Non-compliance by some of Waitaki's wastewater treatment plants is concerning Otago regional councillors worried about the double-standard message it is sending the region's dairy farmers.
New Zealand's regional councils have been asked by the Government to set limits to improve water quality. Rebecca Fox looks at the different ways South Island councils are interpreting those directions while Sally Rae talks to farmers about the impact on their businesses.
New Zealanders will be left with a sad environmental legacy if there is not the political will to prevent further freshwater degradation, the New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society says.
North Otago farmers trying to get to grips with the complexities surrounding a proposed regional council water plan change yesterday said they had been fed false information in the build-up to the hearings.
The Otago Regional Council's "command and control" approach to water quality standards is "unenlightened", environmental scientist Peter Callander says.
Farmers, the people most affected by proposed rural water quality regulations, had the last word as the public hearing on the changes ended in Dunedin yesterday.
Proposed water quality regulations could be the "death knell" of large-scale commercial forestry in Otago, a regional forestry group says.
Silver Fern Farms is concerned water quality standards proposed by the Otago Regional Council could force it to close its century-old meat-processing plant near Balclutha.
Most farmers in Otago will not be able to meet the standards set by Otago Regional Council's water plan change, Federated Farmers members say.
An official study finds more than half our popular river spots are too polluted tobe used safely, reports Jamie Morton, of The New Zealand Herald.
A new Bill aims to tighten controls on sustained pollution of waterways by closing a legal loophole.
If some of the proposed water-quality nutrient standards are applied literally, he doubts any drain discharge from an Otago farm will comply, Dairy NZ consultant Dr Michael Freeman says.
Otago's four runanga (Kai Tahu ki Otago) want assurances from the Otago Regional Council that its proposed water quality regulation changes will safeguard their ability to gather food (mahika kai) safely and use the region's waterways.
Otago waterways with excellent water quality could be degraded under the Otago Regional Council's proposed changes, environmental organisations fear.
The North Otago public hearings on proposed changes to water quality rules in Otago ended yesterday with a call for best management practices to be given more weight.
North Otago irrigation companies are questioning the legitimacy of proposed changes to Otago regional water policy.
Farmers in North Otago claim they are already feeling the impact of changes to the regional water plan, even before any changes have been approved.
North Otago farmers yesterday queued up to tell the Otago Regional Council (ORC) they could go out of business if the council did not alter proposed changes to water quality rules.
Limiting the application of nitrogen in fruitgrowing areas of the Teviot Valley will threaten the sustainability of horticulture and affect up to 1000 jobs, an Otago Regional Council hearing panel was told in Alexandra yesterday.