August 11, 2008

ES in Conflict of Interest With Charter

DAVE KENNEDY (letters, July 28) reaffirms an oft-made point and addresses the fact that the board of Environment Southland is fundamentally in a conflict of interest with its charter given the number of incumbent farmers thereupon.

The facts speak for themselves and Ciaran Keogh's statement of the same date that ES "does not exist just to protect the environment" but to ensure that "farming, industry and communities gain the greatest value possible from the natural resources of Southland, without destroying them" is a clear indication of loyalties divided between ecological issues and economic prosperity.

What ES (and most ratepayers) have yet failed to grasp is that Southland has already surpassed a state of unsustainable over- exploitation by a burgeoning dairying industry.

While Farmer Collie and his cohorts thump their chests over a succession of too-little-too-late initiatives and a litany of ingratiating reports and other propaganda, the problem has simply become too big to be entrusted to lapdogs of agriculture and will continue to remain so until the board of ES is replaced with impartial administrators wholly devoted without fear or favour towards the recovery of a scandalously violated environment in decline.

History will judge Stuart Collie, Mr Kennedy. We might not be around to do so given the ever-increasing levels of pathogenic micro- organisms and toxins infecting our ever-diminishing supplies of municipal drinking water.

C D Hutchison, Lumsden

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