I am enjoying time with my mother and son over the holidays. I love watching the generations together, 76 and 4 and me closer to mums age than Kahu’s. Mum was born into a family that lived in the Catlins, in what would be called now, a shed. Where will Kahu be when he is 76. I do believe we are heading towards tough times but I have hope. I believe in my son and the world he is growing into. I will do everything to make that world the best it can be for him and his peers.
Part of that is highlighting aspects of our society that are detrimental to the benefit of everyone. I was shocked to read this report about dairy farms and their voluntary (non) compliance with the Dairying and Clean Streams Accord
Under the latest accord figures published last month, 69 per cent of Fonterra Tasman dairy farmers told the company their stock was totally excluded from all permanent waterways on their properties deeper than a Red Band gumboot and wider than a stride. However, a representative audit conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture of 35 of those farms found that the actual figure was just 17 per cent, the second worst result behind Marlborough with 8 per cent. Nationally, MAF found 42 per cent of 587 farms inspected excluded stock from waterways, just half of what Fonterra's survey of farmers suggested.
69% to 17% is a disgrace and should be investigated thoroughly. There is something really wrong that farmers can misrepresent what is happening to the environment within their farms. These waterways flow and carry any shit, silt and mud downstream.
Neil Deans, Nelson Marlborough manager of the environmental group, which has long been critical of the policing of the accord, said the gap between what farmers said they did and what MAF had found was too big to put down to a mistake and it was clear some farmers were "pulling the wool".
Sadly a lot of dairy farmers, for all sorts of reasons, are letting us all down. We want the rivers to be clean and alive with strong mauri and plentiful life. The dairy farmers who are actively working against that should be ashamed, and they are making life more difficult in the future for our children – that should be reason enough for them to change their ways. But to date they have made the problems worse and changed little for the better.
The number of dairy cattle in New Zealand increased to 6.2 million at 30 June 2011, Statistics New Zealand said today. This provisional result from the 2011 Agricultural Production Survey was up 260,000 on the number in 2010. "This is the first time the number of dairy cattle in New Zealand has exceeded 6 million" agricultural statistics manager Hamish Hill said. "The dairy herd is now double the number it was 30 years ago."
Our environment should not be sacrificed for a small group to make money. The basic requirements are compliance even if it lacks teeth and is woefully inadequate. The fact that this simple requirement cannot be met should send shivers down our spines because what the hell is actually going on. How bad is it?