There was a really good turnout to hear Mel Brooks CEO of MVH irrigation cooperative. We were knocking on our limit of 50 people.
I found it fascinating listening to a highly intelligent person explaining to a crowd of townies the complexity of managing an irrigation scheme. For those of you who were unable to attend this irrigation scheme commenced as a Labour Government employment schemes of the 1930’s. The very professional way it is managed now is impressive. It was interesting to hear that Mel shared their sense of urgency to comply with Ecan regulations. (Rosemary notes – not everyone in the room agreed with their sense of urgency’) It was good to have members of Extinction Rebellion present. This group is our long-term conscience.
My message to XR is to keep in close contact with MVH. In particular focus in on irrigation schemes which are not complying, and not showing signs of changing. Support those which are changing. Your pressure assists everybody.
At Tuesday Club MVH had a platform to put forward where they are heading. Unfortunately, in an hour it was not really possible to have a significant pushback from groups who have serious questions about MVH’s latest consent and its consequences to the environment.
Like others, I am concerned that while some things might be tracking on a better trajectory for the environment according to MVH, over the past consent period many things have deteriorated. While some farmers are working hard to limit their impacts, others are not.
- How will MVH monitor this? Will money be invested in better monitoring instruments?
- Does ECan have the funding to monitor and enforce compliance?
- Will MVH focus be on best practice and doing better than the minimum required?
- Will farmers use good dairy pay-outs to invest in better environmental outcomes?
- How will good farmers be rewarded for their efforts?
- What help will there be for farmers to transition away from dairying in the cases where best practice can still not achieve regenerative outcomes.
This week some members of XR, other environmental groups and some farmers are meeting with the Chair of MVH to pursue some of these questions and more – I hope something is written up about this so we can keep the conversations going.