Don't Forget To Stand Up For The Environment!
Fish & Game is urging people who care about clean water and the environment to stand as candidates in their local council elections.
The local body elections are being held in October and nominations for candidates to become councillors on regional and district councils close at the end of this week.
Fish & Game has become a major partner with Local Government New Zealand to promote the local body elections and encourage good candidates to stand.
“Communities throughout the country are facing major challenges over unthinking development,” says Fish & Game chief executive Bryce Johnson.
“Local body elections arguably have a greater impact on communities than national elections and this is the first time in three years that people have a chance to have their say on what is happening where they live.
“If voters are to make an informed choice, they need top quality candidates standing to be councillors and engaging in decent debates about the issues and challenges facing their communities,” Mr Johnson says.
Bryce Johnson says one of the major issues concerning voters is water quality and this is backed up by Local Government New Zealand’s own research.
“Already this year, we have seen a groundswell of public concern over what is happening to our rivers, lakes and streams. There was widespread outrage over cattle standing in high country lakes and the failure of local councils to act.
“And we have seen the nationwide Choose Clean Water Campaign which culminated in a march on Parliament, where a petition was presented to politicians calling for action.
“People are making it clear they want to be able to take their children to their local streams, lakes and rivers and swim,” Mr Johnson says.
Bryce Johnson says regional and district councils need to start listening to voters.
“Councils should be in the front line protecting our waterways and environment, but unfortunately, many are failing to stand up for the public’s rights because they are dominated by environmentally unsympathetic councillors.
“It is time we had fresh blood around the table,” Mr Johnson says.
Bryce Johnson is urging potential election candidates to put their names forward now.
“Time is running out. There is less than a fortnight to go before nominations close on 12 August. Those who care about the environment and recreation need to come forward so their communities are properly represented by the best people available,” he says.