Some things Key can’t be blamed for, nor can he fix

via Stuff

via Stuff

The lack of rain in certain parts of the country is starting to bite.  It’s all very well to have petrol under $1.60 a litre, but with lifestock staring at dusty paddocks, a stronger dollar and low payouts, things aren’t looking good.

“There’s no sign of any rain in the forecast anywhere ahead and so we can only expect that things are going to get worse before they get better,” says Phil Wishnowsky, Wairarapa Principal Fire Officer.

Some rivers and streams are running very low in Tararua, Manawatu, Wanganui and Rangitikei.

Water for irrigation is being rationed, while residents are also being urged to conserve every drop.

“We’ve probably got another week until we’re in another more serious proposition,” says Michael McCartney, Horizons Regional Council chief executive. “We’re desperately need some rain. If we don’t have rain in the next week to 10 days then we’ll probably see up to 50% of our rivers under restrictions.”

At the Mangatainoka River in the Wairarapa, the council is asking people to watch out for a toxic blue green algae, which is growing as the water levels drop. If swallowed, it can make people very sick and can kill dogs.

“We do have some issues with cynaeobacteria starting to build up in a few places on the river. It’s approaching 40% coverage at the moment. We’re looking at a limit of around 50% when we start to put in restrictions,” says John Roygard, Horizons Freshwater and Science Manager.

In the South Island, farmers are comparing the conditions to the big dries of the 1980s and ’90s.

Councils suggest watering cans or a hand-held hoses or buckets if you must water the garden between the scorching hours of 8am to 8pm.

And as sure as night follows day, when the hydro lakes get low, we’ll all get hit in the pocket with higher electricity prices.

The next thing we will start hearing is the whinging farmers on the bludge for government assistance for their drought.  Because farmers don’t have to plan for bad years – they just ask the Government to prop them up like the Blue Ribbon beneficiaries that they are.

Better start that rain dance.  Now.

Are you affected by the Big Dry?


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.