Waikato, Green Party
Health – an issue for people, environment and economy. The rural GP shortage has been highlighted by the discussion over a proposed Waikato-based medical school. It’s a real issue for Matamata-Piako. There are too few GPs for a growing population. A proposed retirement village for Matamata will bring new challenges for the district’s health services.
Lack of clean water is a district issue. The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Jan Wright, identified the Waihou River as the third most polluted river in the country. Ground water is also under stress with, for example, allocation for irrigation impacting on the overall availability of water for all.
In the future, Matamata-Piako may have to face disruption to its biological farming. The disruption will be based on three developing factors: a growing awareness that animal protein is not necessary for a healthy diet; ‘‘food from the lab’’ which will become cheaper, more palatable, and more socially acceptable; and the significant contribution of bio-farming practices to greenhouse gas emissions. We need to start now to adapt to the coming reality. We’ll also need increasingly to practice sustainable agriculture and establish the agri-food sector as an artisan, niche producer of premium-quality, safe and sustainable food, fibre and timber.
Enlightened and caring Green policies can help address these issues.
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