Two letters in today's Southland Times supporting the regional council and it's two outspoken councillors Rodway and Riddell over the issue of shitty roads. Dave Kennedy wrote the first, Pauline McIntosh the second and both refer to the earlier diatribe from TR McNaughton in less than flattering terms. Here's Dave's letter:
T R McNuaghton's unfortunate letter (December 3) was inflammatory and unhelpful. Nothing could have been more "antagonastic and belligerent" than what he wrote himself.
Those who have personally encountered Maurice Rodway and Jan Riddell know them as decent people who would rather work collaboratively to solve a problem than take an antagonastic or aggressive approach.
The fact that they are passionate about protecting the environment is not cause to liken them to "treacherous and blood minded barbarians" What they had written was factual and reasonable and returned our attention to the real issue of dirty roads and not a distracting side issue.
Environment Southland is in a difficult position in that there is no effective legislation or nationally set guidelines that enable it to control effluent on roads or to set standards on water quality.
The Government's reluctance to take a lead on these issues has meant the responsibility unfairly rests with local councils and every time they try to draw a line in the sand it is perceived as contestable.
It is a fact that the growing intensification of farming in New Zealand has had some serious environmental consequences (around 90% of our lowland rivers are unfit for swimming) but that doesn't mean that all dairy farmers are serious polluters or that Environment Councils are full of Green terrorists).
We need a properly functioning regional authority to ensure that our environment is protected and we need good farmers who produce much needed food and export dollars in a manner that can be sustained over time.
Demonising Environment Southland is as unhelpful as demonising farmers. We need them both and we do need them to work collaboratively.