• Otago Regional Council: Phase Out Synthetic Nitrogen Fertiliser
    Synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser should be banned because: 1) It pollutes our rivers and lakes 2) It allows the establishment and growth of intensive dairy farming in inappropriate places in Otago 3) It causes the release of nitrous oxide, one of the worst greenhouse gases 4) There is evidence nitrates cause bowel cancer 5) It is degrading the natural health of our soils Our once-safe drinking water is being contaminated. Everyone needs safe drinking water and clean swimmable rivers. Too many cows made possible by too much chemical fertiliser are polluting the once pristine rivers and lakes of the Central Otago. Agriculture causes 48% of all our greenhouse gas emissions and overloads our rivers with synthetic nitrogen in the form of nitrates. The 2019 report The Hidden Killer, compiled by the world’s leading climate scientists, documents the impacts of wealthy countries failing to make the changes needed to ensure liveable futures. New Zealand’s circumstances require us to tackle our biggest polluter, industrial dairy farming. Current research shows a strong link between nitrates in drinking water and babies being born underweight or prematurely.[1] Chronic exposure to drinking water containing more than 0.88 mg/L of nitrogen in the form of nitrates has been linked to colorectal cancers.[2] Synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser is mostly sold here by just two companies; Ravensdown and Ballance. Industrial dairying is their biggest customer by far. A transition away from industrial livestock farming and mass milk production is essential. A ban on synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser and a nationwide shift to more plant-based regenerative organic farming is urgent and essential. Our Regional Council has the responsibility for environmental management, monitoring, enforcement and compliance, and has the power to end synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser use. We call on the ORC to put te Mana o te Wai (the integrity of the waters) first, so that all other objectives in the Regional Policy Statement are informed by the priority to care for water and keep it healthy. Synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser use is incompatible with te Mana o te Wai. Join the call! Add your name today to demand our Councillors immediately put in place a swift, fair phaseout of synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser. Free mail-in nitrate water testing for drinking water, from private bores only: https://petition.act.greenpeace.org.nz/agriculture-nitrate-testing-request Image: Geoff Reid https://geoffreidnz.com References 1 - Link between nitrate levels and premature births, study finds, 2021https://bit.ly/3vacKKK 2 - Report: The hidden killer, 2019. How synthetic nitrogen fertiliser is fuelling intensive dairying, polluting our rivers and climate. https://www.greenpeace.org/static/planet4-aotearoa-stateless/2019/09/8130950a-greenpeace-synthetic-nitrogen-fertiliser-briefing.pdf
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  • Phase out synthetic nitrogen fertiliser - Southland
    Synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser should be banned because: 🌏 It pollutes our rivers and lakes 🌏 It is responsible for the growth of intensive, unsustainable farming 🌏 It causes the release of nitrous oxide, one of the worst greenhouse gases 🌏 It is a likely cause of bowel cancer 🌏 It is degrading the natural health of our soils Everyone deserves safe drinking water and clean rivers to swim in. But too many cows, and too much chemical fertiliser, are rapidly polluting the rivers, lakes and drinking water we should all be able to enjoy and rely on. The agriculture sector is currently Aotearoa New Zealand’s biggest polluter, causing 48% of all our greenhouse gas emissions, and overloading our rivers with synthetic nitrogen in the form of nitrates (nitrogen). Southland’s cow numbers have increased by 16 times since 1990, from 38,000 to 636,000 and according to Stats NZ we have nationally increased the tonnes of nitrogen fertiliser applied to farmland per annum by 629 per cent from 1991 to now (from 62,000 tonnes to 452,000 tonnes). Our once clean rivers and lakes are increasingly polluted. Our once-safe drinking water is being contaminated. A 2019 report found nitrate was the contaminant with the highest risk ranking in Southland’s groundwater. Growing research is showing a strong link between nitrate in drinking water and babies being born underweight or prematurely.(1,2) Chronic exposure is associated with formation of carcinogenic nitroso compounds in the gastrointestinal tract. Chronic exposure through drinking water containing > 0.88 mg/L (as nitrate-N) has recently been linked to colorectal cancers. (1,2) It’s shocking that Southland has to build a Charity Hospital to deal with the large number of colonoscopies needed by people from across Murihiku Southland which the current Southland Hospital does not have the capacity to deal with. Synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser is mostly sold here by just two companies; Ravensdown and Ballance have industrial dairying as their biggest customer by far. A transition away from industrial livestock farming and mass milk production is required. It starts with an urgent ban on synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser, and a nationwide shift to more plant-based regenerative organic farming. Our Regional Council has the responsibility for environmental management, monitoring, enforcement and compliance, and has the power to end synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser use. Join the call! Add your name today to demand our Councillors cut synthetic nitrogenous fertiliser. Also you can request free nitrate testing for private bores if you wish to have peace of mind that your own water supply is safe: https://petition.act.greenpeace.org.nz/agriculture-nitrate-testing-request References 1 - Link between nitrate levels and premature births, study finds, 2021 https://bit.ly/3vacKKK 2 - Human health risks associated with contaminants in Southland waters, 2019 https://bit.ly/3sjB5f2 3 - Report: The hidden killer, 2019. How synthetic nitrogen fertiliser is fuelling intensive dairying, polluting our rivers and climate. https://www.greenpeace.org/static/planet4-aotearoa-stateless/2019/09/8130950a-greenpeace-synthetic-nitrogen-fertiliser-briefing.pdf
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  • Moratorium on helipad consents for Aotea / Great Barrier
    The Aotea community is greatly concerned about the recent increase in helipad applications for Aotea, and the fact the Hauraki Gulf Islands District Plan “specifically envisions helipad activity” and provides a planning pathway for new consents. Our island is a precious ecological sanctuary; people live and visit here to experience a different pace and way of life. The potential proliferation of helicopters runs counter to this, and to the wairua of Aotea. Whilst we fully support and value the vital medical helicopter flights that service the island, we take issue with private, non-essential helicopter flights. They are an intrusive source of noise and pollution and are driving division in our normally tight-knit community. We call for a halt to all consent approvals, while a longer-term solution to this problem is found; one which protects our island’s peace, ecology and world-leading night skies, along with the climate.
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  • Stop the proposed cattle feedlots in Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere) - Ōtautahi
    ★ 16 June 2022: The Little River ECO-Collective gathered in front of ECAN, the head offices of Environment Canterbury in Christchurch, to present the 2 petitions huge 2000-cattle feed barn with well over 3000 signatures. Green MP Eugenie Sage and Labour MP Tracey McLellan will attend the event in support. Please continue to help build the pressure to put this issue on the agenda. Write to ECAN to express your concern about the lack of appropriate action – ask ECan to make the Wongan Hills feedlot application ‘publicly notifiable’, and involve us in the decision making: email Chief Executive of ECan: Stefanie.Rixecker@ecan.govt.nz ★ Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere) is the largest lake in Canterbury/Waitaha and one of the most important wetland habitats in New Zealand, providing homes for numerous birds, plants and invertebrates. Yet it’s also heavily polluted from the runoff of surrounding farms with some of the country’s highest concentrations of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus. Over-allocation of water to irrigation schemes contributes to the problem. It could get much worse with a proposal for industrial farms and thousands of cattle right on its shores. Christchurch City Council has granted consent for company Wongan Hills to build two 200m-long indoor barns, or feedlots, holding up to 1000 steers each, raised for beef, in Kaituna Valley, Banks Peninsula. The sheds breach several district plan rules, including those for maximum building footprint which is meant to be 300m². The barns and buildings will cover 24,330m². These proposed feedlots to be installed on Te Waihora land are utterly unacceptable. The lake already suffers enormously from pollution from current farming practices. Feedlots are a style of intensive indoor farming that is focused on increased production from animals, in larger numbers, in smaller spaces. Feedlots risk spreading disease and the huge amounts of waste pollute waterways, soil and plant life. Animal farming is responsible for a large part of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions and these intensive feedlots do not align with the way Aotearoa should be responding to the current climate crisis. This kind of intensive farming has no place in Aotearoa, and especially Canterbury. We should be moving to regenerative and organic agricultural systems that work with the environment, not against it. We strongly oppose this and call on the Council to throw it out immediately. There should be no chance of a consent from Environment Canterbury. [Image: Stuff] Controversial farmer’s next venture: A feedlot https://www.newsroom.co.nz/pro/controversial-farmers-next-venture-a-feedlot Whakaora Te Waihora https://ngaitahu.iwi.nz/environment/te-waihora/whakaora-te-waihora/ Land, air, water Aotearoa - Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere water quality https://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/canterbury-region/lakes/te-waihoralake-ellesmere/#:~:text=Average%20water%20quality.,Mesotrophic%20lake%20conditions. How to fix Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere https://www.nzgeo.com/stories/how-to-fix-te-waihora-lake-ellesmere/ Why you should give a damn about feedlots https://thespinoff.co.nz/food/23-08-2018/why-you-should-give-a-damn-about-feedlots
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  • Cut synthetic nitrogen fertiliser
    Together we are facing enormous challenges to our local ecosystems and climate. Our food production systems need to be resilient and sustainable to guarantee a long term future. Everyone deserves to swim in clean rivers and have safe drinking water. But too many cows and too much chemical fertiliser is rapidly polluting the rivers, lakes and drinking water we should all be able to enjoy and rely on. The agriculture sector is currently Aotearoa New Zealand’s biggest polluter, causing 48% of all our greenhouse gas emissions, and overloading our rivers with nitrate nitrogen. Synthetic nitrogen fertiliser is the key ingredient that has intensified agriculture in Aotearoa, in particular dairy farming. Since 1990, dairy cow numbers have doubled. The addition of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser on the land has increased seven-fold. Dairy farmers spread synthetic nitrogen fertiliser onto farmland in vast quantities because in the short term it’s an easy way to make grass and other crops grow fast. Synthetic nitrogen fertiliser is a double whammy for the climate. Its use enables increasing numbers of cows on the land, which increases methane gas emissions from burps, and more nitrous oxide emissions from manure and urine. Nitrous oxide is one of the most dangerous greenhouse gases. It’s 265 times worse for trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Synthetic nitrogen fertiliser is mostly sold here by just two companies; Ravensdown and Ballance and industrial dairying is their biggest customer by far. Besides our climate, our once clean rivers and lakes are increasingly polluted. When nitrogen gets into rivers and lakes it can cause algal blooms which can suck all the oxygen out of the water, suffocating fish and other species. Our once-safe drinking water is becoming contaminated. Entire freshwater ecosystems are being pushed past breaking point. We are on the brink of losing native freshwater species forever. A transition away from industrial livestock farming and mass milk production is required. It starts with an urgent ban on synthetic nitrogen fertiliser, and a nationwide shift to more plant-based regenerative organic farming. Regenerative organic farming is a way of growing food that works with nature. Instead of using synthetic nitrogen regenerative farmers use nitrogen fixing plants and put their effort into building healthy soil. They farm a diverse mix of crop and animal varieties, and use methods like cover cropping, inter-cropping, agro-forestry, and no-till techniques. Together, we can move towards regenerative organic farming. But first, we need to starve Big Ag of its key ingredient. The Government has set new rules for fresh water which limit the amount of nitrogen fertiliser farmers can use, but still leave the limit too high. Our Regional Council has the responsibility for environmental management, monitoring, enforcement and compliance, and has the power to cut synthetic nitrogen fertiliser use. Join the call! Add your name today to demand our Councillors cut synthetic nitrogen fertiliser. https://www.instagram.com/cutsnfcanterbury/ Report: The hidden killer, 2019. How synthetic nitrogen fertiliser is fuelling intensive dairying, polluting our rivers and climate. https://www.greenpeace.org/static/planet4-aotearoa-stateless/2019/09/8130950a-greenpeace-synthetic-nitrogen-fertiliser-briefing.pdf Agriculture emissions and climate change 2021 https://environment.govt.nz/guides/agriculture-emissions-climate-change/ Why New Zealand has to cut synthetic nitrogen fertiliser https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arc73-E5W9M The Regenerators https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKMM2b6srIg
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  • Make Otautahi-Christchurch one-use plastic-bag free
    Samoa and 29 other countries have banned them...now it's time for our redesigned city Otautahi-Christchurch to lead the way in NZ. New Zealanders send an estimated one BILLION plastic bags to landfill annually. Scientists estimate it takes 1000 years (yes, you read that right) for plastic bags to degrade and during that process toxins are leached and particles can get into the food chain.
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  • Give cows a life worth living
    There are over six million dairy cows in New Zealand. They are literally everywhere across our landscape as farming has intensified. A more sustainable future that is kinder for cows and truly gives them a good life, a life worth living, must include a transition to more plant-based regenerative agriculture, and that's better for the planet too. Our animal welfare laws establish animal sentience as a basis for how we treat farmed animals.(1) This means we recognise cows feel pain. They think, have physical and social wants and needs, including food, water and shelter, and the company of (cow) friends and family, just like us. They are peaceful, generous herbivores but we’re exploiting them for profit. Our laws also recognise the need for 'a good life for cows' as a basic measure of welfare. This means they must have food and shelter. But they also need, and deserve, 'a life worth living' - with friendship, enrichment – a variety and things of interest, and ‘positive affective states’ - happiness, too.(2) Yet dairy cows have anything but a good life and a life worth living.(3) Since the 1990s the dairy industry has squeezed cows more closely together for higher production. Cows are exposed to the harsh weather because shelterbelts were removed to fit in more cows. Intensive winter grazing can see cows crammed in at two per metre (!) and forced to sleep and give birth in mud.(4) All calves are taken from their mothers at around four days old, and around two million of them are killed outright either at the slaughterhouse or on-farm. At least a quarter of the herd is also 'replaced' - killed, every year. And that's mostly for milk, butter and other dairy products, 96% of which get sent overseas. We make so much money from cows in Aotearoa, we're living on the cows' back. The least we can do is ensure they have lives worth living in this Code of Welfare review. Ultimately, cows deserve to live in a world in intact family units where they are not exploited and killed for their bodily products. We have the power to shape a genuinely good life for cows and ensure they have a life worth living, in the 2022 Government review of the dairy cow Code of Welfare. Let’s do it. [1] Animal sentience: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/animals/animal-welfare/national-animal-welfare-advisory-committee/animal-sentience-their-emotions-feelings-and-experiences-of-life/ (2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4810049/ (3) https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/125319128/animal-welfare-complaints-increasing-in-dairy-industry (4) https://www.mpi.govt.nz/dmsdocument/38210/direct
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    Created by Kindness for Cows Aotearoa
  • Save the Paturoa Kauri
    At a time when our forest is losing Kauri trees to Kauri dieback disease, we need to do all we can to save the healthy trees to protect this endemic species. I am not anti-development, however, the developer could move the intended building and protect these trees. The RMA was never designed to allow developers to be able to destroy trees that have significant ecological value. The RMA legislation has loopholes that will destroy our forests if change does not happen.
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  • Stop the aerial spraying of harmful herbicides in QE Park
    The World Health Organisation's research arm, the IARC, has declared glyphosate a probable carcinogen. Glyphosate has been linked to tumours in mice and rats — and there is also what the IARC classifies as ‘mechanistic evidence’, such as DNA damage to human cells from exposure to glyphosate. The poison is being dropped by helicopters, the boundary of which is the newly built cycle path, only a few meters from residents properties. Poison was dropped early on labour day, breathed in by residents opening their front doors, as well as onto people in the park. Residents, growers, pony clubs and concerned human beings are worried for our children, our food, our water, our birds and animals.
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  • Stand by your pledge to protect GM Free Regions
    The current Minister has made quite clear that he will use those new powers to quash regional GM free food-producing zones, even though they are backed by communities, using legitimate planning processes. Auckland, Far North, Whangarei and Hastings councils' have all exercised their current rights under the RMA to create GM free food-producing zones. The zones are community-driven by tangata whenua and pākehā working together to secure these protections for our whenua, our kai and our people. As you know, they cover what is grown on the land and farmed. They are not about medicines or cancer vaccines, which will continue to be regulated exclusively by national health authorities. Other regional initiatives that protect communities and local environments would also be under the gun – particularly protections around fracking and other mining activities. Do not lend your names or that of the Māori Party to this bid to undermine the rights of our communities. These powers should not be the law of our lands. You can protect our ability to shape the futures we want for our people and land. Stand by us; defend local democracy. Do not support 360D or 43A(3A), in any form.
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  • New Countdown, No Plastic
    Single-use disposable plastic bags are not recycled and although often reused, they pollute and poison the marine and land environment and negatively impact human and animal health. The ingestion of plastic in the Hauraki Gulf and beyond seriously threatens turtles, whales, sea birds and myriad other creatures. Plastic bags take several hundred years to break down leaving microscopic pieces of highly toxic plastic in the environment as they fissure. Toxicity from plastic components has been scientifically linked to metabolic disorders and threats to fertility in humans and sea creatures. Stopping the use of single-use disposable plastic bags is a relatively easy way we can make a positive difference.
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  • Opoho “enviro” school put your words into action and stop burning coal!
    Coal is the worst fossil fuel to burn for greenhouse gasses. It emits twice the carbon dioxide as natural gas for the same amount of energy produced. These dioxides, namely nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, and mercury can potentially lead to health implications ranging from asthma, lung cancer and heart disease to compromising intellectual capacities. Opoho School is marketing itself as having one of the highest standards of Enviroschools in New Zealand. It, however, burns between 12 to 14 tonnes of coal a year. Its environmental practices are contributing almost 40 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually to an already over-polluted atmosphere. The burning of coal is antithetical to any school’s mission. For an Enviroschool like Opoho School, its actions are hypocritical, unconscionable and should not be tolerated. What is the use of a school if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on? Will you allow your children to study in this polluted environment? Sign this petition today and stop the coal burning! http://opohoschool.iwarp.com/cgi/wp/?page_id=6
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    Created by Ralph Adler Picture