After the meltdown of Dairy intensification and the billions of dollars worth of debt promoted by the Government, after robbing Canterbury of their democratic defences to allow farmers more water rights, after selling off 49% of our assets to fund $400m worth of irrigation, after our rivers have become toxic, after Ashburton insanely allows a corporation to take a billion litres of water and after letting farmers off the hook for any real commitment against climate change, we now have Fonterra wanting to dump an ocean of cow shit on South Canterbury…
Fonterra’s expanded milk plant would need the milk of up-to a million more cows – the equivalent of dropping a city the size of Jakarta on South Canterbury without a sewerage plan, it has been claimed.
The plant, at Studholme, near Waimate in South Canterbury, would need milk from between 550,000 and one million extra cows to derive the economic benefits Fonterra expects, a panel of resource consent commissioners heard.
Former Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons, on behalf of the Coal Action Network, said such a significant upscaling would have a huge and enduring impact on the South Canterbury environment.
“The cows would be the equivalent of putting a city the size of Jakarta in South Canterbury with no sewerage plan,” she told Fairfax sduring the hearing at the Waimate Community Centre on Wednesday.
“Fonterra plans to dry nine million litres per day of milk in this new plant, that milk is not there now and Fonterra has offered no evidence that it ever will be.”
…it’s like nothing has been learned from the dairy intensification backfire or the damage it does to our environment. With National in full spectrum dominance of NZ politically, media wise and culturally there is no way to temper the greed of their biggest supporters.
And let’s not forget this legacy…
Although some aquifers are already contaminated, they say the worst is yet to hit because pollutants like nitrate, can take decades to get down to the drinking supply.
Canterbury University’s Dr Jenny Webster-Brown says nitrate will loom large in New Zealand’s future, but it’s already a public health concern.
“I think we’re definitely going to see things get worse before they get better.”
Pregnant women and mums with young babies on private bores around Ashburton are advised to use bottled water as high nitrate levels can block oxygen in babies and cause the potentially fatal blue baby syndome.
Environment Canerbury test results show nitrate hotspots around Canterbury is growing.
Nitrate levels also exceed drinking standards in some areas of Southland, Waikato and Bombay due to market gardening leading to nitrate leaching.
But much of the nitrate in underground water now is from farming 30 or 40 years ago, which pre-dates dairy conversions.
Dr Webster-Brown says with the dairy industry now using nitrogen, levels will rise distinctly.
Checks and balance have been replaced by cheques and bank balances, our denial over climate change and the never ending focus on mass produced raw ingredients rather than developed products will never grow our economy and will irreparably damage our eco-system.