China Week triumph
Through the letters column of the Nelson Mail, we would like to thank the organisers of China Week for such a varied, interesting and informative array of events, displays and demonstrations. The concert of performing arts put on by two visiting primary school groups from China was a highlight for us, and people don’t know what they missed by not attending this wonderful evening’s entertainment.
Nelson is fortunate indeed to have had such an illustrious pioneer, Appo Hocton, who arrived here 175 years ago and became the first Chinese person to be naturalised in New Zealand. He was a very busy settler, building several cottages in Hastings St, owning property in Tory and Brook Streets, owning a bullock team which helped form Trafalgar St, and being involved in business here - so Nelson’s links with China started a long time ago, and continue to this day. questionable aspects to the TDC proposal. Councillors have to be absolutely 100 per cent certain that the Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR), will do exactly what TDC are predicting. To get sufficient recharge in to the Waimea plains aquifers is the single most crucial factor, if that does not happen then the whole thing is a very expensive white elephant.
It is well known that MARis by no means an exact science, you do not need to be a hydrologist to appreciate that a number of factors influence whether a worthwhile amount of water can percolate into an aquifer solely from water flowing down a small river bed. The crucial question is, ‘‘can the Waimea plains aquifers accept a sufficient volume of water at a sufficient rate during a dry spell, to keep up with the anticipated draw off?’’
If the situation is going to be as dire as predicted, surely it is the height of reckless stupidity to have the bulk of precious stored water flow past the aquifers out sea. the public’s right to know what council is doing in the ratepayers’ name, is concerning.
The use of ‘‘workshops’’ allow council administration to present the information and consultants they want elected representatives to hear to gain the predetermined result without public consultation. Unfortunately, councillors seem only too happy to force the residents to do the work that they are getting paid to do. Ratepayers must then live with the bad and costly decisions that are the end result of manipulated council processes. The same sort of process is being used regarding the $5 million that NCC intends to give the Waimea Dam project, as well as next year’s annual plan funding. Such dubious process has been resulting in hugely escalating costs for ratepayers. The public needs to be vigilant regarding council’s agenda. As Local Government New Zealand has recently pointed out, the political leadership of Nelson council is content to escalate costs regardless of the ability of the ratepayers to afford rate increases. Environmental Flow is blatant and deceitful propaganda.
The correct definition of environmental flow is ‘‘the lowest level of natural flow a river is allowed to sustain at which river water abstracters must desist from their abstraction.’’
The current major abstracters of water directly from the river and its tributaries are the NCC Roding water supply and Waimea East Irrigation. The newly derived low flow requirements are a problem for those parties and those parties alone to solve.
The notion that ratepayers fund building a dam to put water in a river that nature never was going to is extravagant folly bordering on insanity.
The issue of water augmentation for irrigation for dry and very dry years is a problem for irrigators alone to solve and pay for in full and without subsidy by ratepayers. This is called insurance – ratepayers don’t pay Nelson Pine’s or Talley’s insurance bills, nor should they. The issue of augmenting supply of water for reticulation is for the water ratepayers to solve and eventually pay for in full and the wisest way forward on this would be a joint venture between NCC and TDC.