Matamata Chronicle - - Sport -

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.

Waikato, Na­tional

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