• Increase water flow on Manuherikia River
    New Zealand law stipulates a responsibility to protect and improve the health of our waterways. The role of the Otago Regional Council is to implement this policy. For too long, private profit-driven imperatives have exploited our fresh waterways, including the Manuherikia River. These have taken precedence over environmental guardianship and the legacy we leave to future generations. This has led to extreme degradation of the river including loss of biodiversity and habitat due to river levels dropping to the extreme, largely due to agricultural and horticultural irrigation through water allocations and the exploitation of water rights attached to historical gold-mining permits. We are well aware of the contribution farming makes to New Zealand’s economy. However, we are also well aware that the financial costs of environmental degradation caused by predominant farming practices, are never included in the financial equation. These costs will be borne by our children and grandchildren. (Mike Joy https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/440120/polluted-waterways-why-are-we-subsidising-environmental-harm) Rather than posing river health and farming in an adversarial context, the better question to ask and explore is: what forms of farming are best aligned to optimum river health? Examples abound here in New Zealand and overseas (particularly Australia/see Charles Massy) of low input farming practices suited to dry land, drought-prone regions which are both sustainable and profitable, that maintain and improve soil health and structure, leading to improved water holding capacity, a decrease in soil erosion, and minimising the need for irrigation. (see also Alan Savory, James Rebanks, Bill Mollison, Masanobu Fukuoka to name a few). Such regenerative and organic approaches to land and resource management prove that environmental guardianship is entirely possible and can be compatible with agriculture and horticulture. The predominant extractive farming model is not sustainable in the short-term, and certainly not in the long-term. As responsible citizens, we must acknowledge that nature has limits, but within those limits, there is an abundance of space for innovative, visionary and long-term practical land and water use.
    155 of 200 Signatures
    Created by Water Watch Otago
  • Save Te Waikoropupū Springs from the threat of synthetic nitrogen
    Te Waikoropupū Springs are a national and international taonga (treasure). The springs have some of the clearest water ever measured on earth. That clarity is under threat from rising nitrate pollution - the signature of industrial dairying. The main source of the pollution is dairy farms in the recharge area of the aquifer, which apply hundreds of tonnes of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser each year, mainly urea. For over three years Golden Bay volunteers have meticulously monitored nitrate levels at the Springs. The undeniable trend is upward. By September 2019 the levels were 30% up from 2016 - and rising. Increasing nitrate levels are a threat to the unique ecosystem of Te Waikoropupū Springs. Elevated nitrate levels create ideal growing conditions for ugly algal blooms and pond slime. Recently a mat of ‘filamentous green algae’ was observed by DOC at the Dancing Sands Spring. This contaminant is typically found in nitrate rich waters. Rising nitrate levels also threaten the tiny creatures (stygofauna) that create the sparkling clear water in the aquifer. Te Waikoropupū Springs are of immense cultural, ecological and spiritual importance to New Zealanders. They are a Wāhi Tapu (Sacred place) to Māori. They are visited by more than 90,000 people a year. The upward trend in nitrate readings is a call to urgent action! We the undersigned ask that Minister for the Environment David Parker and the New Zealand Government acts urgently to ban synthetic nitrogen fertiliser from the recharge area of the Arthur Marble Aquifer.
    12,881 of 15,000 Signatures
    Created by Kevin Moran
  • Stop Intensive Winter Grazing: Get animals out of mud on our Pāmu farms and save our rivers
    Pāmu (AKA Landcorp Farms) belongs to all New Zealanders and we, the public, are all stakeholders with a right to say what is done on our behalf. Intensive Winter Grazing (IWG) is cruel to animals, it’s polluting our rivers, streams, estuaries and groundwater, and it is damaging the reputation of Aotearoa New Zealand. The practice of confining large numbers of animals into a small area over winter churns paddocks to a deep slurry of mud, faeces and urine. The toxic runoff pollutes our waterways and kills freshwater life in rivers and estuaries. As well as pollution, there are serious animal welfare problems associated with the practice as this recently released graphic footage of cows being forced to give birth in the freezing mud shows. There are better ways to farm. Pāmu should lead by example, end intensive winter grazing and shift to less intensive land use. Pāmu can do this and still make money - their own modelling proves it. This practice is very stressful on individual Pāmu farm managers and staff. Taking the pressure off them will improve wellbeing and mental health. More Information: Freshwater pollution: Nitrate leaches into our aquifers at up to 10 times the rate of normal grazing, destroying groundwater for future use and remaining for hundreds of years. Phosphate and pathogen-rich effluent runs off into streams, rivers, lakes and estuaries, making them unswimmable, and killing ecosystems. Animal suffering: When it rains the land on which these animals are grazed turns to mud, leaving heavily pregnant mothers with nowhere dry to rest and give birth. They get exhausted and end up drinking muddy water to hydrate. Dry paddocks are often full of boulders which are painful to stand on. Soil degradation and loss: IWG destroys the soil and releases tonnes of stored carbon into the atmosphere, accelerating climate breakdown. It’s practice is heavily dependent on pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilisers which are causing severe decline in biodiversity and human health. It’s also the cause of huge loss of valuable topsoil. #EndIntensiveWinterGrazing
    1,137 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Geoff Reid Picture
  • End all NZ Super Fund Investments in Intensive Winter Grazing
    Our nation’s global reputation relies on a government that puts the health of its environment and people's wellbeing first. Spending millions of dollars from the nation’s pension fund on farms that practice Intensive Winter Grazing is one of the most unethical choices the Superannuation investment fund has EVER made! In contrast to traditional grazing, Intensive Winter Grazing restricts animals to small patches of land for long periods, which quickly turn into mud. This practice causes freshwater pollution, animal suffering and soil degradation. Freshwater pollution: Nitrate leaches into our aquifers at over 10 times the rate of normal grazing, destroying groundwater for future use and remaining for hundreds of years. Phosphate- and pathogen-rich effluent runs off into streams, rivers, lakes and estuaries, making them un-swimmable, and killing ecosystems. Animal suffering: The land these animals are grazed on turns to mud, which leaves animals with nowhere dry to rest and give birth. They often end up licking mud to get water. Soil degradation: Intensive Winter Grazing destroys the soil and releases tonnes of stored carbon into the atmosphere, accelerating climate breakdown. This practice is heavily dependant on pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilisers which are causing severe decline in biodiversity and human health. This is no way to be ‘investing for the next generation’. Please sign and share this petition with your networks Email the minister responsible: Hon Grant Robertson, Minister of Finance. g.robertson@ministers.govt.nz Tell him to; Stop investing any of the New Zealand Super Fund into farms that are winter crop grazing, divest from any that continue, and find sustainable alternatives immediately! #EndIntensiveWinterGrazing
    7,425 of 8,000 Signatures
    Created by Geoff Reid Picture