Five years ago, the National Party suspended Cantabrians' democratic right to elect their local government, and imposed a dictatorship to give their water away to farmers. But that apparently wasn't enough - the dictatorship is also systematically ignoring water theft by farmers:
Nearly one in five monitored consent holders with permission to take water in Canterbury were significantly breaking the rules, according to figures from the regional council.More than 350 farmers were found to be violating their consents and taking too much water. And yet only nine of them were served with abatement notices, and none seem to have been prosecuted, let alone having their consents cancelled. Its pretty clear whose side the dictatorship is on, and it isn't the people of Canterbury's.
After an unusually dry season in which river flows dropped significantly, it has emerged hundreds were caught breaching their resource consents for taking water.
Many were either taking too much water, or taking water during a restricted period.