EDS Welcomes Mackenzie Country Report but calls for urgent action
EDS says that the Mackenzie Basin Agency Alignment Report
, released yesterday, is an important step forward in the fight to save the Mackenzie Country from large-scale dairy
“The review, which looked at how the government agencies involved in the Basin could work together to achieve better
environmental outcomes, makes some very useful recommendations,” said EDS CEO Gary Taylor.
Land Information NZ, Environment Canterbury, Mackenzie and Waitaki District Councils and the Department of Conservation
commissioned the report after urging from EDS. It was prepared by independent consultants John Hutchings and Hugh Logan.
“There’s a clear need for more joined-up oversight and management of the area which is under intensive development
pressures that are systematically destroying nationally significant ecological and landscape values.
“The report indicates the desirability of creating a Mackenzie Drylands Natural Heritage Area which is a great idea that
had its genesis in the earlier Mackenzie Forum. We agree with that vision. But the problem is that the window of
opportunity is fast closing.
“The pace and scale of change is truly alarming and will require the agencies to not only work better to do so but to do
it on what could be called a war footing, the situation is that dire and urgent.
“An example is one landowner who is proposing to convert over 5000 hectares of Simons Pass Station to intensive
dairying. This will include up to 15,000 cows and 24 large pivot irrigators and will destroy native plants, animals,
birds and outstanding landscape.
“The Basin is at a tipping point and needs urgent and co-ordinated intervention to save this nationally important area
from the dairy juggernaut. This will require a big change from business as usual and will require the agencies to work
together towards the agreed goal,” Mr Taylor concluded.
Environmental Defence Society
EDS is a not-for-profit environmental organisation committed to improving environmental outcomes within New Zealand.
The Environmental Defence Society (EDS) is a professionally run, independent environmental group that was established in
1971. It brings together the disciplines of science, planning, landscape and the law.
MORE ABOUT EDS
It operates as a think-tank, providing thought leadership on key environmental issues as well as representing the
environment before councils and the courts.
EDS is located at the collaborative and business aware end of the environmental movement, seeking constructive
engagement with all sectors, to achieve good environmental and economic outcomes for all New Zealanders. It has
It also plays an education role, helping business, councils, community groups and iwi to better understand best
practice resource management. EDS runs national and regional conferences and seminars on topical issues.
EDS is a registered charity and donations to it are tax-deductible.