Letter: River quality

Last updated 05:00 23/07/2013

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In reply to Lance and Neville Stone (Timaru Herald, July 16 and 18, respectively), I wish to thank them for speaking out on the degraded state of our rivers.

Their passionate views help raise public awareness about the plight of our lowland streams and can only complement the work of Fish & Game in advocating for ''clean water, healthy streams''.

Neville, indeed, led a delegation to the last Central South Island Fish & Game meeting to express his concerns. As reported in the Timaru Herald (June 15), Fish & Game agreed that many waterways in Canterbury are degraded and stated ''your concerns are our concerns, we're on your side''.

The reality is, however, that Fish & Game has responsibility to manage only the fish and game resource. Regional councils have the statutory function to maintain water quality and water quantity that the fish and game resource requires. Further, they must recognise national policies or statements developed by the Government.

Fish & Game actively submits on water-take applications to get the best possible conditions for the river. More recently, Fish & Game was a major submitter on Environment Canterbury's Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP).

While it was costly to do so, it was necessary to fulfil our statutory role on behalf of our licence- holders. We have pushed to get the provisions of the LWRP right as it will guide future decisions on water management in Canterbury and determine if our waterways continue to degrade or begin to recover for future generations.

I would encourage Mr Stone and his followers to continue to voice their concerns to officials with water-management responsibilities. Imagine if just a fraction of the 3000 petition signers picked up their pen.

JAY GRAYBILL

Chief executive

CSI Fish & Game

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