In the right corner we have the Environmentalists….. Mike joy, is a senior lecturer at Massey University’s institute of Agriculture and Environment, has been described as the “rock star” of Freshwater Ecology (Heins, 2014). I guess that’s because he charismatic and is able to communicate well with people. Maybe it’s the long hair. He is an ecologist who has waded into the muddy waters of political debate.
Joy’s (2012) says that New Zealand’s fresh water is in a shocking state and deteriorating fast. The main culprits are the farmers. The fertilizers they use are leaching off the soil into the rivers and the animal waste is creating dangerous pathogens. Nitrogen and Phosphate levels are increasing and we are killing off our native species. He is looking at the situation from the point of view that the health of the ecological system is of paramount importance. Given our dairy dependent economy he sees that the problem can only be solved by regulation. Our Governments, central and local aren’t doing enough.
Everyone: The Environmentalists, the Government, The Farmers and the general public agree that clean water is desirable and something we should be striving for. The disagreement is over what is clean enough and how it should be achieved.
And, in the left corner, the leaders of the farming industry……the Federated Farmers. Their environmental spokesperson, Ian McKenzie (2014) says the Blame should not be put on the farmers but on run off from Urban centres. He asserts that water quality is good enough and that getting it to the standards that would please environmentalists is unworkable because it is too hard. There are also the costs that include the price of plantings, fencings and waste treatment.
Mackenzie (2014) claims that the Dairy industry in New Zealand has taken the bull by the horns (sorry, couldn’t resist it) and that the voluntary initiatives will be enough to remedy the situation to a sufficiently good standard. It is clearly a case of he who pays the piper calls the tune. Federated farmers are protecting the short term interests of the group they represent without looking at the long term economic and social implications.
Heins, A. (2014). Dr Mike Joy lecture. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/events/266664770183999
Joy, M. (2012). Mike Joy details the scientific evidence against intensive dairying and how it is affecting our freshwater systems. How do you see it? Rural news. Retrieved from http://www.interest.co.nz/rural-news/61408/mike-joy-details-scientific-evidence-against-intensive-dairying-and-how-it-affectin
Mackenzie, I. (2014). Why Green isn't the best colour for water. Retrieved from http://www.fedfarm.org.nz/publications/opinion-editorials/article.asp?id=1730#.VmJhj7h96M9