• Open submission: Refuse Beach Energy Drilling Consent
    Aotearoa is the global seabird capital and home to over half of the world’s marine mammal species. The South Taranaki Bight is a hot spot, hosting six endangered species, one vulnerable species and 18 other species of marine mammals with too little data to even assess. We also have a genetically distinct Blue whale population in the Bight. Kororā, the Little penguin sometimes travel here all the way from Marlborough Sounds to feed. Fossil fuel mining threatens entire marine ecosystems and contributes to ocean acidification and deoxygenation. There are also risks to kai moana and other traditional food gathering on the coast. Drilling and discharging harmful substances in such an important area is irresponsible. Beach Energy Resources NZ (Kupe) Limited has lodged applications with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for a marine consent and a marine discharge consent for activities associated with development drilling of up to two wells at the existing Kupe Wellhead Platform some 30km off Manaia, South Taranaki. Climate Justice Taranaki is making a submission to request the consents be declined. 🔥 Critically, we are in a climate emergency. Getting off fossil fuels is crucial. There is no excuse to drill for more oil or gas when the window for reducing emissions to minimise climate catastrophes is closing. We need to reduce our energy demand fast and transition onto sustainable renewable energy instead. It is ludicrous that the current EEZ regulations do not allow the consideration of impacts on the climate from proposed activities. We are requesting the EPA Board of Inquiry to refuse all of Beach Energy's consent applications associated with its planned drilling program at the Kupe field. Please join us.
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  • Stop deep sea mining
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWlBLjVDV8M The deep sea is a treasure of biodiversity and home to untold wonders and possibilities. Right now, mining companies from around the world are trying to plunder these pristine ocean depths, exploring the deep waters of the Pacific and developing technologies to exploit the seafloor. But we can stop them before it’s too late. Acting now will keep the lid on this destructive industry, preserving the health of the ocean and people’s way of life. Many of our Pacific neighbours are calling for a moratorium to protect their waters from deep sea mining, but the New Zealand Government has failed to speak out against this dangerous industry. It’s time for New Zealand to take a stand. Join our call on the New Zealand government to support a ban a global ban on deep sea mining. Sign and share this urgent petition.
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  • Pass a Deforestation-Free Import law!
    The world’s forests are home for millions of indigenous people, they are the lungs of the planet - critical in the fight against climate change - and provide vital habitats for abundant wildlife. But forests are under threat from an insatiable industry that clears, burns, chips and mills to make way for plantations and to produce cheap goods. To make matters more urgent, deforestation itself is also a major driver of climate change, contributing 10 to 15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. SOLUTIONS EXIST The global community has solutions at hand to save global forests, but we must demand the political will from our Governments. The New Zealand Government can play a part by passing a law to ensure that products entering Aotearoa (including products the Government procures) are not contributing to the loss of the Earth's most precious forests. New Zealand has to crack down on imports of the most high-risk commodities such as palm oil, palm kernel, pulp and paper, soy, animal products (like beef and leather), cocoa, coffee, and rubber. Right now there is a political opportunity to strengthen New Zealand’s rules governing importation of forest products, but we must act quickly. 🌲 Be a forest champion and help save this planet for future generations. Sign and share our petition to pass a strong New Zealand law to fight deforestation!
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  • Ban toxic coal fires
    Good air quality is essential to health and wellbeing. Although we on the West Coast enjoy a beautiful natural environment, many areas (including some outside the Reefton air-shed) are prone to low air quality in winter from the burning of coal in many of our homes. Toxic coal smoke is extremely harmful for our environment and people's health. Air quality in West Coast urban areas is being significantly compromised by burning coal for domestic heating in winter. Coal fires are used by 35 percent of the properties in the Buller region and 41 percent in the Grey region (compared to only 4% nationally). Air pollution can affect people’s health, especially their heart and lungs – and can even lead to early death. Particulate matter causes most of the health effects from air pollution. Wood and coal fires are the largest contributor of human made particulate matter (PM10) in New Zealand. The West Coast Regional Council (WCRC) has only one permanent air quality monitoring site, located in Reefton. Mitigation and adaptation to climate change is the key challenge facing us all. Carbon dioxide is by far the largest contributor to global greenhouse gases. It lasts in the atmosphere for many thousands of years, continuing to warm the temperature. Coal is the single biggest source of climate changing CO2 pollution and the biggest risk to the future. Of the fossil fuels left in the ground and available to burn, 79% of the global warming potential is from coal. Beside CO2, burning coal releases sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the air, which globally create acid rain and smog. To avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change we need to keep global temperature rise below 2ºC (compared to pre¬industrial levels). To do this, global greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2020 and from there go down to zero. Coal is the dirtiest fuel we could be burning. The small number of coal users means getting rid of coal is an easy solution. Let’s ban it now! This is an issue important to us and will affect our votes in the 2022 local elections. 🔥 Act now for the health of the environment and the health of the people living on the West Coast and Buller regions. Sign and share our petition! 🔥 Notes Proportion of Households Using Wood and Coal fires as a Source of Home Heating https://ehinz.ac.nz/assets/Factsheets/Released-2015/EHI13-14-ProportionOfHouseholdsUsingWoodAndCoalasASourceOfHomeHeating1996-2013-released201501.pdf Submissions on air quality https://www.wcrc.govt.nz/repository/libraries/id:2459ikxj617q9ser65rr/hierarchy/Documents/Publications/Regional%20Plans/Regional%20Policy%20Statement/Hearing/Chapters/Chapter%2010%20-%20Air%20Quality.pdf https://coalaction.org.nz/coal-facts West Coast - State of the Environment 2018 https://www.wcrc.govt.nz/repository/libraries/id:2459ikxj617q9ser65rr/hierarchy/Documents/Environment/State%20of%20Environment/SOEDocument_v12.pdf
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  • Ban plastic bottles
    ★ 1 July 2022 ★ Yesterday we delivered your name with our petition to Ban the Bottle. Over 100,000 of us - 100,017 to be exact - have called on the Government, and our representatives in Parliament, to take real action to eliminate plastic pollution. On Parliament steps we handed over our powerful call to Green MP Eugenie Sage who will speak up for it in Parliament. Birdie, our large sculpture of a toroa, represented for us the cost to wildlife and Papatūānuku from the non-stop production of plastic pollution by companies like Coca-Cola. https://www.greenpeace.org/aotearoa/press-release/petition-ban-single-use-plastic-bottles/ https://www.1news.co.nz/2022/07/01/100k-petition-to-ban-plastic-bottles-delivered-with-huge-toroa/ ★ Every year it’s estimated we toss away more than a billion plastic bottles here in New Zealand. This plastic ends up clogging our landfills, getting shipped offshore and incinerated in places like Malaysia, where it harms human health, or it winds up on our coast, causing harm to wildlife like the toroa (albatross) and breaking down into tiny toxic pieces which end up in our food. We all know the time has come for visionary action on plastic - let’s ban throwaway plastic bottles* and mandate for reusable alternatives. We’re calling on New Zealand’s government to ban single-use plastic bottles. Will you join us? *The scope of this ban should include all ‘ready-to-drink’, single-use plastic beverage containers in the volume range of 0.1 litres to 3 litres (e.g. mineral water, soft drinks, sport drinks, juices, and milks). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOwC4luBzGo&t=1s
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  • Don’t delay New Zealand’s insulation standards
    Making our homes cosy, snug places by improving their insulation will help to improve our health, reduce household bills, and slash carbon pollution. Yet despite these huge benefits – which will help keep homes warm and the climate cool – government officials are right now considering delaying planned moves to increase insulation standards after being lobbied by a minority within the building industry. If government officials at MBIE are swayed by these voices calling for a delay, this could saddle 40,000 Kiwi households with higher household bills. And this is happening at a time when the costs of living are increasing. What’s also increasing is the planet’s temperature. And there’s a raft of ways in which we can – together – tackle this. One of the key ways highlighted in the recent report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is to make our homes and buildings cosier by improving insulation. The cheapest and cleanest energy is the energy you don’t use. Improved insulation means using much less energy, and it means warmer homes. Plus, installing insulation is much, much easier to do than it is to build a huge piece of energy infrastructure like a new power station. The government have been preparing to introduce improved insulation standards in November this year. They ran a consultation last year that garnered massive support for increasing insulation, and for doing so quickly. 98 per cent of responses backed improved insulation – and improving it in the shortest time possible. For anyone who wants our homes to be cosy, warm and healthy places, where families build memories, laugh, cry and eat together, where families can look forward to a low carbon, cleaner Aotearoa, these simple insulation changes will be warmly welcomed. However MBIE have lent their ear to the pro-cold home lobby voices urging delay, and are considering postponing the improvements by a whole year. It’s now time for James Shaw, the minister of climate change to step in, and make sure these insulation standards are not delayed.
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  • Make a submission to support a beverage Container Return Scheme for Aotearoa
    After years of campaigning from community groups, waste minimisation experts and with support from local government and the Environment Select Committee, the Kiwi Bottle Drive and allied organisations Zero Waste Network, Para Kore, Greenpeace, the Rubbish Trip and the New Zealand Product Stewardship Council are delighted with the government’s proposal to finally implement a Container Return Scheme in Aotearoa New Zealand! The proposal currently out for public consultation includes most of the key points we have been advocating for, such as a 20c deposit, the inclusion of all materials, and convenient and accessible collection points. There is room for improvement in a few areas: to keep things simple and fair, milk and refillables should be included in the scheme and more power must be given to community and social enterprises, with particular regard for Māori-led initiatives, rather than handing the Container Return Scheme to industry to lead. We have the chance now to make a few tweaks and develop the best Container Return Scheme for Aotearoa: a simple, comprehensive Tiriti-led scheme that will increase the circularity of beverage containers, ensure producer responsibility and deliver maximum benefits to the community. Add your voice to the group submission now! *If you prefer, you can make a submission directly through the government website, where you can also read more about the proposals: https://environment.govt.nz/what-government-is-doing/areas-of-work/waste/container-return-scheme-reducing-waste-landfill/
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  • A Moratorium on Fishing of Long Finned Eel (Tuna) Needs to Be Implemented Immediately
    "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Mahatma Gandhi “Any threat to the eels are a threat to the identity and mana of the iwi and hapū who have a responsibility to protect them… It is outrageous that people are still catching them for profit.” - Sir Pita Sharples, 2013 "The Government must suspend the commercial catch of New Zealand's longfin eel, and accept the conclusion by Parliament's environment watchdog that the eel is on a path to extinction" - Green Party spokesperson for conservation and oceans & fisheries., Eugenie Sage, 2016 https://www.greens.org.nz/govt-must-act-longfin-eels-disappear "Killing a kererū - which is classified as "Near Threatened" - is punishable with a $100,000 fine, and/or up to two years in prison. Yet with the long finned eel - which is classified as "Endangered" – not only can recreational fishers legally take up to 6 day, but killing them is rewarded with somewhere between $10 and $20 per eel on the export market" - Charlie Mitchell, Environment Correspondent, Stuff, 2019 "https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/113450351/managed-to-extinction-are-we-at-risk-of-losing-our-creature-of-mystery "The concern among scientists is that freshwater eel numbers are declining to the point where populations will not possess the critical mass necessary to carry on migration and reproduction. In the 19th century, the North American population of passenger pigeons was estimated to be over six billion, representing 25 percent or more of the total avian biomass of the continent. Even though millions of passenger pigeons were being killed every year, it seemed the resource could never be exhausted. The species went extinct in 1914" -James Prosek, award winning author, artist and filmmaker, 2010 https://e360.yale.edu/features/a_steady_steep_decline_for_the_lowly_uncharismatic_eel "Tuna whakaheke deaths are disastrous for the future" - Hori Kingi, Ngā Kaitiāki o Ngā Wāimāori https://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/eels-minced-by-hikurangi-swamp-pumps-dumped-at-council-offices/HIFOC2IWYHNGTM7ZV6E7MXFX4Y/ The long-finned eel (tuna) is endemic to New Zealand. It is an ancient species with a profound connection to our land and its people. It is an iconic and mythical species with an important place in the history and folklore of Māori - with a special traditional role as a spiritual protector of the land, nature and people - as much as the kiwi, kererū, tuatara, Hector's dolphin and the like. It is categorized by the Department of Conservation as "Declining - At Risk" and yet we are exporting as much as 100 tonnes of them per year as well as allowing recreational fishermen to fish them at will. The tuna is one of the largest eel species in the world. It was once very common in our waters; today, it is endangered, yet we continue to plunder it. The government has done little meaningful to protect the species, despite prior petitions being presented to them (in 2013). When in opposition, Labour and the Greens supported the proposal of this petition (a moratorium on commercial harvesting) yet when they were elected, little changed. The tuna is a noble, beautiful, mighty species of creature that deserves a place in the heart of every citizen, just as the kiwi and tuatara. They bring happiness to people when they can see and interact with them in the wild. At this rate, reserves like Ngā Manu will be the only place to see them, and eventually the species will be gone forever - exactly like what happened (almost) to the American bison and the passenger pigeon, both species which were annihilated from billions of individuals to extinction or near extinction by thoughtless greed in the space of a matter of decades. Surely we are better than that - I think most Kiwis would assume that we are, but our history, and current policies and attitudes with respect to this issue, puts those important values in serious question. The campaign acknowledges the kaitiaki status of mana whenua/local iwi to best look after tuna. Note that a member of the community representing Eel Activists Wairarapa has made a submission to parliament petitioning for the species of tuna to be granted absolute protection, in light of its endangered status. Please also consider signing this petition here https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/petitions/document/PET_113510/petition-of-david-famularo-protect-the-longfin-eeltuna Join the eel conservation Facebook group here https://www.facebook.com/groups/472729636842389/ I believe placing the tuna on the protected species list, like the kiwi, kea, native lizards, native dolphins, and so on, is ultimately the most desirable outcome, but the most urgent step is to place at least a temporary halt on its utterly unsustainable commercial exploitation. https://e360.yale.edu/features/a_steady_steep_decline_for_the_lowly_uncharismatic_eel https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/128521642/threatened-eels-still-being-harvested-for-food-renewing-call-for-commercial-fishing-ban https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/113954064/the-dams-the-science-and-the-tiny-industry-clinging-to-life?rm=a https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/82056650/pressure-to-ban-fishing-of-longfin-eels-rises-as-industry-faces-upheaval?rm=ahttps://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/69946047/eels-just-as-worthy-of-protections-as-kereru https://www.longfineel.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Tuna-Kuwharuwharu-Longfin-Eel.pdf https://eel-activists-wairarapa.blogspot.com/ https://www.pce.parliament.nz/publications/on-a-pathway-to-extinction-an-investigation-into-the-status-and-management-of-the-longfin-eel http://www.longfineel.co.nz/extinction-crisis/ https://www.visitzealandia.com/Events/ArtMID/2271/ArticleID/272/Tunaeel-release-to-keep-population-thriving http://www.longfineel.co.nz/conservation/ https://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native-animals/freshwater-fish/eels/
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  • 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: [email protected] ★ 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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