Stop the dam and clean up the river top wine maker tells Council

Effluent pouring into the Waipawa river

Effluent pouring into the Waipawa river from the council treatment plant

John Buck is angry about the state of the Waipawa River and has written to the Hawkes Bay Regional Council to tell them to stop the dam, at least until they have fixed the problem of discharging sewage into river.

BayBuzz reports:

Yesterday, John Buck, owner of Te Mata Estate Winery, asked Councillor Rex Graham to share this message with other Regional Councillors ?

?The blog Whale Oil, currently the most widely read of New Zealand?s blogs, yesterday carried a colour photograph of human excrement being discharged from the Waipawa effluent ponds in to the Waipawa River. The accompanying text quotes a Steve Thrush who claims that despite making adjustments the plant is still meeting the conditions of its resource consent.?

As the owner of a premium Hawke?s Bay consumable brand, exported to over 40 countries, I find such practices, which undermine our years of investment and hard hard work in a place we love to boast about, as compelling ?evidence for the self-interest of vested community groups, and in this case also two of our Councils.

Why are we even contemplating building a dam for the benefit of a few when we are not prepared to fix a sewerage system which undermines any quality message inherent in the regional brand which underlies the prosperity of our total community?

Is this our equivalent of Fonterra?s problems in China? Its?human effluent, so please tell your fellow Councillors to delay the dam until they?ve fixed the sewerage and put the ratepayers money into that.

Marlborough claims it can farm Wasabi because it?s water is so pure. What can we claim? When the pictorial evidence and banal, arse-saving responses prove the contrary. Our competitors for the consumer dollars just love this.?

John Buck