Sunday, July 25, 2021
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Climate Change | Scoop News


I don’t doubt the climate is changing as it always has
and that all the current policies & plans the
politicians want to implement aren’t going to fix their
concerns.

As usual, we continue to see flooding,
weather bombs, fires effecting not only New Zealand but the
world.

Why don’t these politicians think how can we
support our people, communities, towns cities at the local
level to adapt to the ever changing climate?

The
recent flooding event in Canterbury is an example of where
the politicians could have planned to prevent these types of
events turning into disasters of this magnitude.

These
flooding events involve extremely heavy short duration
rainfall draining into the rivers that flow through these
regions.

Before we constrained the rivers, the braided
river systems meandered over these flood plains and
deposited materials that built up the areas that we can now
use today for urban expansion & food
production.

To allow us to develop our communities we
built stop banks to prevent the rivers from naturally
changing course.

While doing this instead of looking
further ahead & considering the climatic effects
Councils/ Government instead put constraints in place that
do not allow adaptation. For example, it’s either not
possible or profitable to get resource consent to extract
aggregate out of the rivers, so we are seeing the beds of
the rivers becoming infilled and in some cases the beds are
higher than the land around them.

This natural
infilling of the river beds has now become a part of the
cause of the flooding from major rainfall events due to the
inability of the water to spread over a greater area and
dissipate its forces across a much wider area.

What is
needed is to have policies and plans put in place to assist
protect the cities, towns and farmland from the effects that
weather events are having on us now and not wait for the
future when we will have been forced out of our homes or off
the land due to flooding effects.

Recently the CEO of
MINEX (extractive industries representative body), Mr Wayne
Scott was shown on television talking about aggregate
supplies and he was saying that there is a shortage in the
available supply.

A beneficial outcome from allowing
the dredging of the river channels is that we get a source
of top quality aggregates which urban NZ is built on, whilst
also protecting the surrounding land from flooding effects
and we have less of a scar on the environment than from a
static quarry site.

The current review of the RMA
should include provisions to allow for management of the
effects of these weather events by dredging the river
channels to ensure the rivers stay within their current
banks.

We need good support from central, regional and
local government now to allow communities to be able to be
safe now, not in 50 to 60 years. If these agencies allowed
common sense to prevail and not let bureaucracy take hold,
we might’ve not had the damage that is being done now! We
should learn from the mistakes of the past and not make the
same ones again, apply common sense and use the latest
engineering modelling to alleviate these
problems.

Peter Buckley

Co-Chair,
P.L.U.G.

Primary Land Users
Group

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