I am appalled at the prospect that one of the last unspoilt rivers in New Zealand has been given government blessing to be damned for hydro power. ( A report by Mike McGavin detailing the April 2010 decision. Decision) . We just saw Craig Potton Rivers DVD episode that shows the river and exposes the threat.
The Mokihinui is in the heart of country where I have tramped and camped, just south of the Whangapeka. I love this land. Google Map. I can’t bear it’s destruction, the country should not loose this land, the animals including endangered native snails and fresh water eels and fish will loose their habitat, trees will die, the permanent loss of trees and the building and concrete will add to carbon to the atmosphere.
Damming this river rides rough-shot over New Zealand culture and Maori traditions as the Craig Potton video makes clear. Meridian (the NZ state and who else?) are a power to reckoned with and will spare no efforts as what went on here with money to Iwi might indicate: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10637348 Sounds like a case of divide and rule.
This dam will happen to our shame, we can stop this dam! Stop the Mokihinui dam, save the Mokihinui river. What to do? This is what I have in mind.
- I’m going to go there this year, and take a lot of photos and put them on the net. http://www.windy.gen.nz/index.php/archives/421 (Report on a trip)
- Is this river really still under threat? It would seem so! There is little recent news. I can’t find any withdrawal of the consent. DoC is not appealing, because of concessions being put on hold. “On hold”? Investigate. Let’s not be lulled into thinking it is really not going to happen. What would certainty look like?
- What is happening with the appeal? Need to investigate. Is DOC appealing? No, their appeal is withdrawn. http://www.doc.govt.nz/about-doc/news/media-releases/mokihinui-hydro-proposal-on-hold/. What does that mean?
- There are a couple of groups on Facebook, I’ve joined them. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=110386072354991 http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=21469207940 Keep a lookout and promote them.
- The Green Party is opposing this, I support that! http://www.greens.org.nz/mokihinui. They have suggestions as to who to write to, and e-cards to send. I might print some of those! It is always easy to say greenies and townies oppose local workers. Workers need income and finding ways to meet that need on the coast is urgent, but the dam way to meet that need is at the expense of the planet and all of us.
- Where does Labour stand on this? Investigate.
- The WWF in New Zealand is taking a stand and that is great, they have suggestions as to who to protest to. I’ll follow their suggestions. http://www.wwf.org.nz/?4120%2FMokihinui-river-dam-plan-poses-ecological-disaster—WWF
- Save Our Wild Rivers http://saveourwildrivers.org.nz/ are onto it, and have links to the whole sordid story on their site, links to Facebook page I have joined. Craig Potton photos here.
- Support Forest and Birds who are opposing the dam: http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/what-we-do/campaigns/save-mokihinui-damn-dam. They have an activist mailing list, I’ve just joined it. Here is their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/ForestandBird?ref=ts I’ve just liked it.
- There is YouTube video worth watching. Promote it.
- Maybe I’ll make some bumper stickers. Revive the Manapouri tradition
- Promote Craig Potton Rivers video available here: http://www.craigpotton.co.nz/. The episode on the Mokihinui is excellent.
- Alternatives? http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf97.html”>Can we trust this? Don’t think so. Blackouts are the way to go.
- Boycot Meridian. Glen White proposes this in a comment on a news item here on Stuff http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/3552176/Dam-approval-threat-to-all-rivers Boycott the state?
- Investigate Meridian dealings. Who benefits from this dam deal. Meridian is owned by the state, but is it really? Who stands to build the thing? Who gets to buy the power? Another Comalco? Other than the West Coast where will the power go?
- Where is that song? Damn the Dam? Was that Phil Garland? Investigate.
- Should the decision to build this dam be made by the West Coast Regional Council (WCRC) and Buller District Council (BDC)? Of course not. Nor should it be up to Meridian. Is there a legal provision to challenge this decision on the grounds there needs to be (or already is) a more appropriate process?
A list of action ideas and links follows, at the end a link to the Lake Pedder tragedy.
There are so many problems in the world, so much war and corruption, is saving a river even worth our attention? I think the plan to dam this river has serious, deep and far reaching problems at its root; use of energy, global warming, political short-sightedness for short-term lining of someone’s pockets, viable sources of income on the West Coast, corruption, erosion of cultural values, the need for awareness and holistic consciousness.
This must be a national and global issue, for me it is that my heart is connected to that land. This is a cause that deserves a movement, and a movement is brewing I am pleased to see and join.
The blindness at work here is akin to that great Tasmanian blunder, the damming of Lake Pedder.
Heavily opposed at the time, but now mourned as an Australian tragedy. Tasmanians are not prized for their foresight.
Did anybody ever benefit from this at all in any way? Where does the power go?
Save the Mokihinui River, stop the Mokihinui dam.