Stop big irrigation and Save Our Rivers

New Zealand’s once pristine lakes and rivers are fast becoming heavily polluted by industrial dairying and our agricultural greenhouse gas emissions are on the rise.

To protect our rivers and our climate we urgently need to reduce the number of dairy cows in NZ but right now there are several irrigation schemes planned across NZ that will take the national dairy herd to record numbers.

These think-big irrigation schemes will suck water from rivers to grow more grass for more dairy cows. More dairy cows means more freshwater pollution and more climate emissions. Many of our councils are not only allowing these schemes to go ahead, but they’re funding them using millions of ratepayer dollars.

We need your help to stop this, here is your chance to lead your own campaign with our support, join others campaigning in your area or sign the petition to stay informed and put pressure on your local council to stop them funding these dirty schemes!

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Campaigns (3)

  • Fairlie
    Stop Big Irrigation and Save Our Rivers
    The future of the Mackenzie Basin rests on the shoulders of the tiny, but powerful Mackenzie District Council. The Mackenzie is world-renowned for its iconic landscape, turquoise lakes, and snow-capped mountains. It is home to critically endangered native species in urgent need of protection. Industrial dairying has become so extreme and out of control that it is even trying to expand into this fragile place. Right now, there are plans to create a new mega dairy farm on the southern shores of Lake Pūkaki near Aoraki/Mount Cook. The Council have the power to deny resource consents for this and all other dairy conversions in the Mackenzie. We, the undersigned, call on them to stand up against industrial dairying and save the Mackenzie.
    2,441 of 3,000 Signatures
    Created by Liana Kelly
  • Wellington
    Stop funding the Wairarapa dams and other irrigation schemes: Greater Wellington Regional Council
    Wairarapa means ‘glistening waters’ and is home to many beautiful rivers, lakes, streams, plants, and animals. These waters are not what they once were and are under further threat from an extreme plan to build think-big irrigation dams to drive more industrial farming. These schemes invariably create wealth for a small proportion of a region at the cost of the majority - our tax money funding pollution. This proposal to build two dams, one on Black Creek and one on Wakamoekau and to also take water from the Waiawanawanga for irrigation is being led by the Wairarapa Dam company and subsidised by the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC). Much of the water from these dams will be used to grow more grass for more dairy cows. The company predicts if they build the dams, land currently in dairy will double to over 13,000 ha. (1). It's not about hating dairy cows or their owners. More cows simply means more effluent finding its way to our water. This includes nitrogen-rich urine which leaches down through the soil and gets into waterways causing damaging algal blooms. Thus, pollution from more cows cannot be mitigated away by fencing or planting. Like many of our waterways in NZ, the Ruamahanga river and several other rivers and streams in the area are already polluted. Some of them are already classified unswimmable. (2) GWRC Councillors have already thrown 3 million ratepayer dollars at this polluting irrigation scheme and they may put in even more (3). Council should be spending our money cleaning up rivers, not polluting them further by subsidising irrigation schemes. The first dam site that was scoped was the Mangatarere Valley and it was ditched after fierce resistance from local people and farmers. The GWRC and dam company should expect continued resistance if they carry on with their polluting plans. This multi-million dollar irrigation scheme is only going to be possible if local and central government continues to hand over millions of dollars of public money to subsidise them. We call on Greater Wellington Regional to make the right decision for our freshwater and stop any further funding to the Wairarapa Dam company. Tiakina te wai! We want clean water! References BakerAG 2016 Water Wairarapa Future Land Use Scenarios. Report prepared by: Chris Lewis and Stefan Bryant GWRC, 2015 Is it safe to swim? Recreational water quality monitoring results for the 2014/15 summer
    953 of 1,000 Signatures
    Created by Jade Waters
  • Save Te Waikoropupū : Tasman District Councillors
    Te Waikoropupū (Pupū) springs in Golden bay has some of the clearest waters ever measured on earth. And right now they are under threat from an extreme proposal to take water from the rivers that feed the springs and use it to water grass for more dairy cows. More cows would mean more pollution in these pristine springs. If accepted the proposal would allow the springs to lose at least 20% of their world renowned clarity. It would also allow the level of nitrate pollution go above what National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) has recommended is the safe upper limit. (1)(2) The springs are of immense cultural, ecological and spiritual importance to New Zealanders and are also visited by tens of thousands of tourists every year. They are Wahi Tapu (sacred place) for local iwi. But in the coming months, Tasman District Councillors could accept this drastic proposal from a group called FLAG - the Takaka Freshwater Land and Advisory Group. This would be a disaster for the springs, for New Zealanders and for the local economy that depends on tourism. Our international reputation and one of our cherished places of unique natural beauty destroyed forever. These councillors have a choice to make. They can either protect the springs, or they can choose more dairy cows. We the undersigned call on them to protect and safeguard this national and international treasure for current and future generations. (1) (2)
    13,200 of 15,000 Signatures
    Created by Save Our Springs