Letters to the editor
State of rivers
The discussion on the discoloured state of the Waihopai River and the alleged bacterial counts seems to lack a degree of credibility.
Council officer Wadsworth blames sheep and cattle faeces going into the river, but this seems very unlikely. Stock numbers are much lower than, say, 25 or 50 years ago, due to lighter stocking in line with enlightened sustainable farming and lower stock numbers, huge areas going into pine forest, and some properties completely destocked as the overseas owners try to make quick dollars out of carbon credit trading.
Let's not forget that people have swum in the Waihopai at Craiglochart for up to a century. Why now, with significantly lower stock numbers, would bacterial counts rise?
Have the standards set by the council altered? Are they more stringent now? It seems they can find bacterial counts but not the 1080! That's a way bureaucrats keep their jobs. Classic examples are DOC and the Animal Health Board with their scaremongering.
It seems to me farmers are wrongly targeted in terms of water quality. Perhaps the council should be looking in its own backyard at sewage going into the lower Wairau and where in duckshooting season, shooters' dogs developed infected cuts after being in the water? Or the state of the Taylor River through town, which once ran crystal-clear but is now a grey murk, as is Doctor's Creek?
A question asked since the Pike River disaster is, where are the whistleblowers?
As many of us are aware, to blow the whistle on a situation such as bad practice or bullying in the workplace at worst sees the whistleblower unemployed and isolated. So the life of a predator bully continues growing stronger with each conquest. It is the "slice and dice" attitude of the bully that sees people lose their jobs and in extreme cases commit suicide.
A recent book by Dr Bruce Bryant, A Small Window - Dirty Politics 101, is an eye-opener - a tragic account of what happened in New Zealand, a country that prides itself on free speech and freedom for all.
It is a fine example of a whistleblower who had the courage to speak out about a great injustice in our country. It is a must read for those involved in the fight against bullying, those with an interest in the education system and justice, and those who do not believe that bullying is rife in certain sectors in our country. The sad fact is that some of those named are probably still slicing and dicing, and the injustice continues. DIANE CAGNEY
Blenheim No cod crisis Good on the Marlborough Recreational Fishers Association for its determination and tenacity in bringing logic and common sense to the unfair treatment of the recreational fishing public over blue cod. It is blatant discrimination that while the minister, David Carter, penalises recreational fishing with poor regulations, he does not apply the same rules to commercial or customary fishing. The same goes for set netting.
Recreational fishers have just a four-month season now; commercial and customary fishers have 12 months. We are all New Zealanders, regardless of ancestry, income or calling. It's interesting to note that the commercial blue cod catch has increased over the past year or two while the minister erodes recreational rights under the guise of managing the cod "crisis". Codswallop! There was never a cod crisis.
What has our local MP done about it all? Or is he weakly falling into line with the ministry bureaucrats and another poor minister? The old TV programme Yes, Minister seems to be being re-enacted over the blue cod issue.
- The Marlborough Express