Stand For The Environment!

  • 21/07/2016

New Zealanders are being urged to do their bit for the environment by standing in October’s local body elections.

Orange Black transparent 0The elections to be held on October 8 will provide the opportunity for all voters to choose who will best represent their communities on regional and district councils.

Nominations to stand as a councillor are now open and Fish & Game wants people who care about the environment and water quality to put their names forward as candidates.

Fish & Game Chief Executive Bryce Johnson says voters need high quality councillors to represent their interests.

“The October local body elections provide a great opportunity for those concerned about our environment and outdoor recreation enthusiasts to elect councillors who’ll push for positive action on issues like water quality and recreational access.

“I encourage anyone who cares about what’s happening to their region to stand for council and give voters a real chance to improve their communities,” says Mr Johnson.

He says there are significant issues which need to be addressed before it is too late.

“Throughout the country, water quality is declining and people are becoming increasingly concerned about unrestricted development. The solution should lie with the regional and district councils responsible for making the rules and enforcing them,” Mr Johnson says.

Bryce Johnson believes local government bodies should be at the front line protecting our waterways and environment, but the reality is that isn’t happening in many areas.

“Unfortunately, many of these councils are dominated by environmentally unsympathetic councillors more interested in water resource development or paralysed by the fear of a backlash from vested interests.

“It is time we had fresh blood on these councils – councillors who actually care and want their children and grandchildren to be able to swim in the clean rivers, lakes and streams of their own childhood,” Mr Johnson says.

Fish & Game has become a major partner with Local Government New Zealand to promote the local body elections and encourage good candidates to stand.

“Research by Local Government New Zealand shows water is one of the major issues concerning people throughout the country and we need to have a proper informed debate about what’s happening.

“We are fortunate to live in a democracy and this year, everyone is being given the chance to change things for the better by standing in the elections, or at the very least, voting,” Mr Johnson says.

Nominations for local body candidates close on 12 August.

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