“The recent flooding in Auckland, Northland and the Bay of Plenty has caused chaos and has put people, homes and businesses at risk. It has also decimated huge crops of fruit and vegetables at a time when we are already paying significantly more than we were a year ago,” says Vanessa Winning, Chief Executive of Irrigation New Zealand.
“This disaster demonstrates the need for New Zealand to better mitigate the impacts of climate change – and water management is a significant part of this.
“Water capture and storage is a proven way to reduce the destructive effects of flooding by regulating the water flow and volume into vulnerable areas. Drawing on water from storage also supports food production. The more volatility in the climate, the more we need resilience in water infrastructure.
“The reform of New Zealand’s Resource Management Act (RMA) gives us an opportunity to prioritise water infrastructure as part of our climate change response. . .
In defence of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser – Jacqueline Rowarth :
Dr Jacqueline Rowarth takes a closer look at the debate surrounding the effect synthetic nitrogen fertiliser has on health.
Over half of the people reading background information supplied to them in a Greenpeace Horizon Poll released last week supported phasing out synthetic nitrogen.
“Some scientific research shows that pollution from the increase in synthetic nitrogen fertiliser and the rise in dairy cow numbers has degraded the water quality of New Zealand rivers and lakes. Medical researchers also say that nitrate contamination of drinking water is linked to increased risk of bowel cancer and preterm birth.” . .
Can the egg shortage be cracked? – Matthew Scott :
Online auctions for chickens have attracted double the usual number of clicks in recent weeks, amid a nationwide egg shortage.
Supermarket shelves have been empty and there are limits on how many cartons customers can buy.
And it could be months before the shortage eases.
It’s the end result of a few different things: a 10-year transition away from battery cages; the decision by the big supermarket chains to go completely cage-free; and supply chain issues borne of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. . .
Vegetable price hikes likely after crops hit by floods Auckland growers say – Stephen Forbes :
Last summer it was drought. Now floods have ravaged crops in Pukekohe, and growers warn vegetable price hikes are the likely result.
Shon Fong said Friday’s deluge was the worst rain he had seen before. His family business, AH Gorn & Sons, had been based in the area since the 1950s.
“It was continuous for 24 hours and the ground just couldn’t take it,” Fong said.
His fields had lines gouged out of the soil by flood waters. Fong said onions, which had been harvested and left in the open to dry, were left strewn across the paddocks and an adjoining road. . .
Time for stronger forestry regulations to control pollution – Gary Taylor :
The cycle of environmental damage caused by plantation forestry operations must stop. It is time to rein in damaging planting and harvesting practices with a fundamental reset of the rules that govern the sector.
Increasing frequencies of severe storm events that mobilise massive quantities of slash and sediment, combined with higher public expectations of environmental performance, mean that large-scale clear-felling of exotic forests is no longer tenable or acceptable in many areas.
Recent pictures from Tairāwhiti are shocking. The devastation inflicted on land and homes, and the swathes of marine life dead on log-strewn coastlines, are deeply distressing to see. It is a major environmental disaster and points to a serious failure of public policy. It requires more than the provision of ad hoc financial assistance to those affected, and for an environmental clean-up.
Forestry Minister Stuart Nash appears to have accepted that an inquiry focused on land resilience on the East Coast is required. That decision was made after repeated calls from the Environmental Defence Society (EDS), and from the Gisborne District Council, Federated Farmers and thousands of locals via a petition. The forest industry itself even belatedly agreed. . .
Rohan and Ellie Watson could not be prouder about having worms — millions of them.
Their farm has just taken on 18 extra truckloads of hermaphrodite invertebrates to keep up with demand from Bunnings, councils and community groups.
In 2014 Mr Watson, a carpenter, and his kindergarten teacher wife were working in outback Cloncurry when his uncle posed a question that would change the course of their lives.
“I was down on holidays and he came and said to me, ‘What are you doing when you finish out west?’ and I said, ‘I don’t know’ and he said, ‘Do you want to come and grow worms?’ Mr Watson said. . .