Overheard in Christchurch

By Daniel Collins 31/03/2010

Not quite New York, but much more on topic.

Nicky Wagner, National list member and Christchurch resident, suggested during question time following the ‘Blue Gold’ screening last Thursday that perhaps Canterbury should think about restricting the number of cows it houses.

She also suggested that part of the delay in ECan’s consenting was due to the complexity of the problem, including scientific. I wonder if she read this.

And after the panel (four politicians, two Oxfam reps) had been asked questions, I popped one to the audience: Which is the greatest threat to Canterbury’s water resources in the near future?

    (a) The thirst for profit
    (b) The population’s consumption
    (c) Climate change; or
    (d) Climate variability

A few people voted for (b), and I didn’t see any votes for (d) though someone did conflate it with (c). An overwhelming majority voted for (a) – the thirst for profit. I would have thought more people would have reflected on their consumption. Then again, they did just watch ‘Blue Gold’, which utterly failed to emphasise the threats of over-consumption, climate change and climate variability, and we are in the midst of the Canterbury water wars tussles. I didn’t ask anyone to argue their case, but I was asked if I was a journalist.

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