River sign slams Fonterra
Concern over farming’s impact on the Manawatu River has been given a public airing with the erection of a sign in the waterway itself.
The sign reads ‘‘Fonterra main drain number 1’’ and is located a few metres downstream of the Fitzherbert Bridge.
It was spotted in the weekend.
Bill Boakes, operations manager at Fonterra’s Pahiatua plant, said the sign was disappointing to see.
‘‘We’ve always said that we’re happy to talk to anyone about the river and take them through our water management plans for our site and the ongoing work we’re doing in this area.
‘‘This includes some major and ongoing investment in improving our water management systems.
‘‘Since 2010 we’ve been members of the Manawatu River Leaders’ Accord, the goal of which is to improve the Manawatu River.’’
The river’s health is an emotive topic in Manawatu.
Fonterra came under fire in 2006 when several hundred people protested a consent for the company to discharge waste into the river, while farmers have also come in for criticism.
More recently it has been local authorities that have borne the brunt of people’s frustrations.
Palmerston North City Council was found last year by Horizons Regional Council not to be meeting its consent conditions around the city’s wastewater treatment plant.