Walking on water

3000 kms to teach Kiwis a lesson

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 12:00 09/01/2014
Walking
MURRAY WILSON/ Fairfax NZ
MAN ON A MISSION: Lance Talstra, pictured beside the Manawatu River, is walking the length of New Zealand to raise awareness about water quality issues.

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For most people, going for a walk, usually means a trip around the block.

For Lance Talstra, it's a journey of more than 3000 kilometres - and all in the name of water.

Mr Talstra was in Palmerston North yesterday to talk to ecologist Mike Joy about the issues facing New Zealand's waterways, as part of his walk from Cape Reinga to Bluff.

He is walking the Te Araroa track, which runs the length of the country and goes through the bush, to raise awareness about threats to water quality.

He had also always wanted to do a big trek, and decided it was best to do it before he got too old.

He said action was needed to prevent waterways degrading.

"We are reaching an impasse where we might have to make the choice between more agriculture or preserving the environment."

The walk had also been an ideal way to discover the difference in water quality in different areas for himself.

"What better way to find out about it than to walk along the country?"

The walk along the track had not been without difficulties, with blisters hampering his progress from the start.

He also had to take some time off with a "nasty infection", but was making good progress now.

Mr Talstra said he was using his trip to talk to experts and people on the street about the issue, and most agreed something had to be done.

The Mt Maunganui teacher said his journey was just a small part of a wider movement advocating for cleaner rivers and waterways. To follow Mr Talstra's trip, see facebook.com/walkforwaterqualitynz.

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- Manawatu Standard

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