Sunday, March 27, 2016
Mike Butler: Waikato River clean-up awaited
Some may recall that the Waikato River Authority was set up six years as part of the Waikato River settlement. That deal involved a total of $422.8-million, with $212.8-million handed over to Waikato-Tainui, Te Arawa, Raukawa, Tuwharetoa, and Maniapoto, of which part of that amount was spread over 30 years.
A total of $210-million spread over 30 years was for for a clean-up -- $10-million went towards setting up the Waikato River Authority, and $40-million went to setting up the Waikato River Clean-up Trust.
Two rivers, the Waikato and the Waipa, were scored on eight different indicators; water quality, ecological integrity, water security, economy, kai, experience, effort and sites of significance.
Waikato River Authority co-chair John Luxton told Radio NZ that a C grade was not a pass and was regarded as a low rating, meaning overall the standard of the catchment fell short of expectations of the vision and strategy for a healthy Waikato River.
The Radio NZ had no indication that any actual; work had been done on the river other than to carry out this “first comprehensive assessment”, although the report said the authority was “working together with industry, local government, with Waikato River iwi and a range of community groups”.
The authority's chief executive, Bob Penter, said it would take an "inter-generational" approach to improve the water quality, and that could take 80 to 100 years.
A quick Google search reveals what is actually involved in cleaning up a river.
Some rivers in China are real shockers. The first step to clean up those rivers was to stop pumping raw sewage in and to take piles of dumped garbage out.
A clean-up involving the Hudson River that flows to sea at New York City cost General Electric about $460-million to remove and dispose of more than 2.6 million cubic metres of sediment contaminated with PCBs.
At some stage the Waikato River Authority is going to have to do something other than collect money, do an assessment every six years, and talk.
John Campbell, formerly of Campbell Live on TV3, did the above-quoted story as part of his new life as a Radio NZ host. No reference to money spent and little or no work done in his report.
At least he could have asked: “More than $50-million has been spent, six years have gone by, what do you have to show for it?”
'Up to 100 years' to restore Waikato River, March 22, 2016. http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/299633/'up-to-100-years'-to-restore-waikato-river
at 7:23 PM