Monday, March 22, 2010

Shitting in our water

Drinking water is one of the key functions of local government, and they have a wide range of powers to ensure that it meets basic quality standards. So you'd think that when a local farmer starts letting his cows shit in the river providing the water supply to a local community, the appropriate local authority - in this case, the Northland Regional Council - would be able to do something about it, right?

Apparently not. Farmers in this country it seems have impunity to pollute our drinking water and poison the rest of us. Their right to make a profit is apparently more important than our right to life.

This has to change. Now. Local authorities must be given full powers to regulate farming, to impose stocking limits, to require waterways to be fenced and farmers not to pump their shit (or let it trickle) into them. Otherwise, our rivers and streams will continue to be polluted, and small communities like the one Russel Norman talks about will continue to be poisoned by farmers' toxic waste.