By ROBYN BRISTOW
Groundswell is planning further action if it doesn’t get a Government response by August 16 to its protest over unworkable regulations.
It has been six weeks since Groundswell’s Howl of a Protest galvanized around 60,000 people throughout the country to roll into town in their tractors, trucks, utes and on foot to support Groundswell’s concerns around two key pieces of legislation – freshwater and indigenous biodiversity/significant natural areas (SNAs).
In recent days it has added Three Waters Reforms to its dossier because of increasing concerns among councils..
Spokesperson Bryce McKenzie says many councils have expressed concerns about the lack of information and meaningful consultation, and the haste in which the Government are pushing the reforms through.
issue in local government, with some councils strongly in support and many others opposed or expressing reservationssubject to a one size fits all, we know best, attitude from the government.
Groundswell pledges to continue its campaign until much needed changes to unworkable regulations happens.
The organisation, which has its roots in Southland, is now well established on the West Coast, and has been joined by the North Canterbury-based Rural Advocacy Network through an alliance with Groundswell.
It has published an Open Letter to the “People of New Zealand” reiterating its concerns.
halt in progress addressing our environmental issues. We believe all New Zealanders need to join in the journey of environmental custodianship.
“Leaders of Groundswell NZ are at the forefront of the environmental effort in New Zealand, clear evidence that we are well and truly on board.
“We are not opposed to all regulation as claimed by some Government ministers.
“All human activities, including farming, have negative impacts on the environment and regulations are part and parcel of every day life.
“Our opposition is to unworkable regulations impractical, cost prohibitive, penalise environmentally progressive landowners or have detrimental outcomes for the environment. Hence our objection to the two key pieces of legislation; freshwater and indigenous biodiversity/SNAs,” it says in the open letter.
Groundswell says its alternative solutions received scant coverage in the media, and it would continue to highlight them.
“We support a catchment approach to freshwater where regional councils have the autonomy to work with their communities in prioritising efforts to those catchments most in need of action.
“Indigenous biodiversity policies must not continue to penalise conservation minded landowners and devalue their properties.
“We seek an approach that turns natural areas on private land into an asset, supports those proactive in conservation and empowers everyone to take better care of our environment.
“Enough is enough.”