Land & Water Concerns of Federated Farmers & Irrigation NZ

Land & Water Concerns of Federated Farmers & Irrigation NZ.

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4 Responses to Land & Water Concerns of Federated Farmers & Irrigation NZ

  1. Gary Clode says:

    Hi Chris
    Keep up the excellent work / discussions.
    A couple of things. First your comments on riparian planting being a means to demonstrate results but not achievement is both correct and a problem. Maybe I haven’t read deeply enough but my view is that a lot of so called riparian planting is put in as being a nice thing to do, and it is on some levels, but a big unknown if part of the aim is to improve water quality through trapping, filtering and biological uptake. It seems to me that riparian planting needs to be designed for each individual reach of a waterway to consider its purpose (what do you want to achieve), what is the landscape next to the riparian, what mass of plants (width, spacing, species) will achieve the objectives, and importantly what is the overland flow pattern, (how will it be diffused, how will concentrated flows eg in sheep ruts, be managed?) and what is the maintenance and monitoring for effectiveness? Where is this approach happening at present?

    Secondly, you may be interested to know that I have taken up the challenge to see how we can get water flowing back down the Paritua (Bridge Pa). I have Jenny and Morehu assisting and it is a big task. Council is keen to see what can be done to rectify the situation. I have had an initial hui with Mangaroa and two influential farmers to date to hear views and talk about options. As you would have gathered from the hui at Matahiwi a few weeks back, there are some deeply felt hurts to mend and issues to resolve. I have some ideas that might work, it will be a bit of try and see. The key though is to have the whole community, Maori and Pakeha all paddling the same waka in the same direction. I am afraid that my skills won’t reach that far in the end, but with help I’ll go as far as I can. It is certainly a good case study on community perceptions, farming interests, the effects of irrigation on a community (perceived and actual) and our current and historical treatment of a significant waterway from both a cultural and ecological perspective. A PHD anyone?

    • justind says:

      Gday Gary, I’m Chris’s brother Justin, I think I met you at Chris’s fiftieth. It is excellent to hear about the interest you are taking in the Mangaroa stream. Thirty years or so ago as a youngster my brothers and I spend many of our waking hours in and around that stream. We fished, swam, made huts in the trees alongside and set off on rafting adventures of discovery downstream. I remember the diversity of life and the abundance of eels large and small in particular as well as trout, koura and native fish. In visits to HB over the last few years I went back to Mangaroa to relive the halcyon days of childhood but came away with a bewildering sense of loss due to the marked transformation in our childhood sanctuary. Where was the water, the trees and the wildlife? Chris told me of the passion displayed at the recent meeting from local people and I share their anger and indignation at the loss of water and ecological diversity and therefore their traditional cultural usage. So it is very pleasing to hear of the engagement and bringing together (hopefully) of all local peoples. In a wider context I wish all communities throughout NZ can be open for discussions like this.

    • cjkperley says:

      Hi Gary, thanks for this. Really constructive reply.

      On your first point, agree. Understanding the local pattern of land/water essential to know when, where & what suite of practices to reduce run-off. That needs professional staff who can work back from an agreed outcome/goal, and that can think in that complex space, not technical (“I’m here to sell drench containers”) staff.

      On the second, I greatly admire that initiative and endorse Justin’s views. He was mortified when I took him to see the stream 3 years ago. We need to focus away from the mainstems into the landscape streams, and back from there to the land and land practice.
      Chris Perley

  2. Ian Cairns says:

    Go Chris! I used to think that the adverse changes associated with the industrialization of agriculture would not manifest for in our lifetime and this is why decision makers do nothing about it. But I have come to realize the changes are much quicker: its a question of opening ones eyes. I wonder what DOC would have to say about your Mangaroa Stream example? Nothing if Minister Nick Smith would have his way.

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