COWABUNGLE

The Tribune (NZ) - - CONVERSATIONS - Chris Teo-Sher­rell Palmer­ston North

I am­sure many other peo­ple are as dis­gusted as I amwith the long-stand­ing prac­tice of some farm­ers of open­ing the gate (or not re­pair­ing the fence) so that their stock can ac­cess wa­ter­ways and the ad­ja­cent grass growth. This un­der­mines the good work so many other farm­ers and or­gan­i­sa­tions are do­ing to en­sure stock are kept out of streams and rivers.

I ame­qually dis­gusted with what seems to be the lax at­ti­tude of var­i­ous re­gional coun­cils in re­sponse to th­ese long-re­ported and now visu­ally-doc­u­mented in­stances of abus­ing the com­mons.

If in fact there are not rules pro­hibit­ing such oc­cur­rences, then what have re­gional coun­cils been think­ing?

If hu­mans aren’t al­lowed to dis­charge their ef­flu­ent di­rectly to wa­ter­ways and if farm­ers have to ap­ply dairy shed ef­flu­ent to land, and if drains and streams on farms have to be cul­verted to avoid stock walk­ing through them, why would there not be rules pro­hibit­ing stock be­ing in wa­ter­ways out in the back blocks where it’s not so of­ten seen?

Af­ter all, last time I looked, wa­ter still runs down­hill and it all ends up in the same rivers and at the same es­tu­ar­ies.

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