Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Horizons still supports pollution

Back in 2015, the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council (AKA Horizons) was caught colluding with farmers to enable them to evade regional plan restrictions on nitrogen leeching. A coalition of environmental groups took them to court, and won a ruling forcing the council to actually enforce its own plan. The council's response? Try and modify the plan to let polluting farmers off the hook:

Horizons Regional Council wants to change nutrient runoff allowed under its One Plan to make it easier for some Manawatū-Whanganui farmers to get a resource consent.

The regional council is seeking to reassess nitrogen runoff limits for dairy farms as well as horticultural units.


"If farms can meet the current leaching targets they get a consent. This side of the ranges it is easier but in Tararua it is harder," said Peet.

He said advice sought by the regional council suggested farmers would lose at least $30,000 if they were to meet all of the runoff requirements for One Plan.

"If we insisted all people had to meet the table in the One plan, they would face a significant loss."

Tough shit. These fuckers are poisoning our rivers. Being forced to clean up their act or go out of business is exactly what should be happening. Instead of weakening the plan and penalising farmers who have cleaned up their act, Horizons should be enforcing it, and prosecuting those who refuse to comply. Which is what the court told them to do, and their fucking job.

It would be nice to have a regional council which actually enforced the law, rather than just making excuses for polluters.