Drought & Climate Change – Letter to editor HB Today

Sir

I find it ironic that the week that you have an extensive article about the effects of drought in the Hawkes Bay our Climate Change Minister has pulled out of the Kyoto Treaty. Fair enough, it was his decision to make, but he claims that our treaty obligations will be replaced by voluntary obligations. Question is, what are the intended voluntary obligations? The minister, in response to questions in the select committee discussing this issue, was unable to give any sort of answer. If he does not have an answer for a parliamentary select committee when he withdrawals from one set of obligations, how can we have any confidence that he actually intends putting another set of voluntary obligations in place?

I also believe that it is disingenuous of the Regional Council to claim that the Ruataniwha Water Storage scheme will save our agricultural economy from drought when the scheme only covers 30,000 ha of a total 1.42 million ha in Hawkes Bay (2% of total land area). What is the Regional Council’s intended solutions to climate change (increased droughts) in our hill country north of Napier or east of State Highway 2? I would suggest that they have none, and that neither does Federated Farmers going by comments from Bruce Wills in Saturdays HB Today.

There are solutions however, but as a townie I do not think it is my place to lead the discussion on alternatives. It is however my place to raise concerns about the Regional Council investing our money in a scheme which is going to financially benefit a very small proportion of agricultural industry to the determent of us all, at a time when our Climate Change Minister is unwilling to acknowledge the serious consequences global climate change is going to have on our region.

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