DA­MON RUSDEN

The Napier Mail - - WHAT’S ON -

Green Party can­di­date

The most prom­i­nent and im­me­di­ate to me are wa­ter qual­ity and the pro­lific use of meth and other per­ni­cious drugs.

We are not able to swim in our rivers with­out hav­ing a one-in-20 chance of be­ing sick. In ev­ery­thing the Green Party does, we look at the source of the prob­lem. We need to stop sub­si­dis­ing in­ten­sive farm­ing with a $450 mil­lion dol­lar ir­ri­ga­tion scheme and use that money to make rivers swimmable. We will look at herd num­bers – nu­tri­ents from cows seep­ing through the ground into rivers and aquifers. We will work with farm­ers to make this eco­nom­i­cally vi­able. The rea­son we have chlo­rine now is poor in­fra­struc­ture. We will place a levy on wa­ter bot­tled ex­ports of 10c per litre and half of that rev­enue will be ringfenced for wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture main­te­nance.

As for drugs – le­galise cannabis. Those who ped­dle high-risk drugs are nor­mally gangs. Where do peo­ple go to buy cannabis? Th­ese same en­vi­ron­ments. I would es­ti­mate a de­cent share of meth-deal­ers money also comes from cannabis. And if large amounts of peo­ple are go­ing to par­take any­way, we should have reg­u­lated ac­cess to a low-risk drug rather than prop­ping up gangs and get­ting who-knowswhat in their prod­uct. It’s not a sil­ver bul­let by any means, but it’s a start.

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