Dealing with Canterbury’s water crisis

The Problem:

    • The people of Canterbury have lost control of our most precious resource – water. Our guarantee of clean, fresh water in our homes and our natural environment has been stripped from us by Environment Canterbury at the behest of the previous government. ECAN has overallocated clean, fresh water for corporate profit and is leaving unclean, nitrate-enriched water for our homes – a problem which will escalate into the future.
    • ECAN is leaving us a legacy of many deeply-polluted, un-swimmable rivers and streams, and in many places a severely degraded natural environment.


    • End water chlorination for Christchurch residents (already close to being achieved)
    • Set the goal of swimmable rivers within the city with the initial step of promoting local communities to take responsibility for their neighbourhood stretch of the Avon and Heathcote rivers and promoting good practices around the river (eg discouraging the feeding of ducks, encouraging people to clean up after their dogs, avoiding local runoff from washing cars etc)
    • Christchurch City Council to actively lobby and campaign for all rivers in Canterbury to be swimmable. (Note: Canterbury is not a natural home for dairying. It is unsustainable and irresponsible to turn a blind eye to the damage this is doing through introducing E Coli into waterways and nitrates into our underground aquifers)
    • Reject and resist any proposals to introduce “user charges” for domestic water and/or wastewater as these impact hardest on low and middle income families
    • Reject and resist any attempts by corporate interests (Water NZ) to have control of water passed to centralized government agencies (with the ultimate goal of privatizing water supplies)