A court date has been set for a challenge against a water bottling consent in Christchurch.
Aotearoa Water Action (AWA) is challenging the bottling consents given to bottling companies Cloud Ocean Water and Rapaki Natural Resources.
The case will be heard at the High Court in Christchurch on 9 December.
AWA spokesperson Peter Richardson said the group was looking forward to presenting its case to the court.
"We believed from day one that the granting of these consents was short-sighted and dangerous. Now we will get the chance to persuade the Court that the process ECan followed was also unlawful and that the consents should be overturned," Mr Richardson said.
Earlier this week, Cloud Ocean Water announced it is mothballing its two production lines in the suburb of Belfast, amid disappointing sales into China.
The company says its current workforce of 160 would be cut to 35.
Mr Richardson said the company's announcement has made no difference to the legal proceedings.
"Unless these consents are surrendered we have no doubt that either Cloud Ocean or someone else will be using them in the very near future to exploit our scarce water resource," he said.
The Chinese Cloud Ocean Water has consent to extract more than one-and-a-half billion litres of water each year, and in February was looking to open a second bottling plant.
There are high hopes that a large predator-trapping effort in the South Island's Mackenzie Basin will boost the survival chances of one of New Zealand's most endangered birds.
One hundred and thirty juvenile kakī - or black stilts - have been released around the Godley and Cass Rivers and into the Tasman Valley where thousands of new predator traps have recently been installed.
The kakī is the world's rarest wading bird and is only found in the upper Waitaki and Mackenzie Basins.
DOC ranger Dean Nelson said previously there was only limited trapping, and the survival rate for young birds was only about 30 percent.
The predator traps are part of the conservation project, Te Manahuna Aoraki.
Chairperson of Te Manahuna Aoraki, Jan Wright, praised DOC and other organisations for helping to bring kakī back from the brink of extinction.
"Over the last six months Te Manahuna Aoraki have laid more than 2000 new predator traps, so 80 percent of the current kakī range is now protected," Mr Nelson said.
Te Manahuna Aoraki has more than doubled DOC's existing trapping network area, from 26,000ha in the Tasman valley, to more than 60,000ha across the kakī range.
DOC said the birds had been hatched and reared for release by DOC and the Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust. The juvenile kakī are released into the wild at nine months old, and reach adulthood just over 12 months later.
"I'm told kakī start squabbling like teenagers at about nine months so it's the right time to release them into the wild, and it is wonderful to know these birds will have their best chance yet to survive through to adulthood," Dr Wright said.
There are currently 129 adult kakī in the wild and DOC is hopeful that one day the kakī will be able to thrive without human intervention.
DOC has been managing the threatened species since 1981, when the population declined to a low of 23 birds.
Two unusually close typhoons are barrelling across the Western Pacific Ocean towards multiple parts of Asia.
Typhoon Lekima - equivalent to a category four hurricane - is heading towards Taiwan, Japan's southern archipelago and eastern China, including densely populated Shanghai.
Lekima has churned up rough seas from the north of the Philippines to Japan's southern Ryukyu Islands and is expected to hit China's Zhejiang province, on the eastern coast, tomorrow.
Heavy, tropical rainfall would likely cause flooding across eastern China and mudslides were a possibility in the higher terrain with enough rainfall.
China's National Meteorological Centre has issued its most severe "red alert" and said the typhoon was the strongest in China since 2014.
Swirling in Lekima's wake is Typhoon Krosa, which has intensified into a category two storm headed north towards the larger northern islands of Japan and cities such as Kyoto.
Krosa is predicted to make landfall early next week, although its exact path is still uncertain.
Westland District Council could be lumped with a $2.8 million bill and "significant consent applications" to fully protect the Fox River from future rubbish spills.
'Operation Tidy Fox' will draw to an end today, after a disused landfill split open in flooding in March, spewing rubbish across South Westland.
Over 850 volunteers, NZDF staff and DOC workers removed more than 13,000 bags of rubbish, but the landfill - which is covered by geo-fabric and rocks - is still vulnerable to heavy rains and extreme weather events.
Council Assets Manager David Inwood said options to seal the landfill were still being assessed by the council with input from DOC and the regional council.
He said any further rock protection work would only be an interim solution when taking into consideration that New Zealand's largest active landslide was at the head of this valley - and the fact that 60 metres of land had already been lost to the Fox River when the landfill broke open.
It would cost at least $300,000 to carry out that work.
The second option, to remove all the landfill's contents to a new location, required significant consent applications and compliance with the National Environmental Standards for contaminated soil, he said.
It would cost about $1.8m to move the rubbish to a consented landfill at Butlers, plus $1m to create a new cell, as the rubbish would use most of the landfill's remaining life.
But Ōkārito local Mike Bilodeau, who first organised the volunteer army, said he was concerned about a lack of urgency when it came to protecting the landfill's rubbish.
"I don't think people understand the scale of the issue," he said.
"At the moment if you actually go and you walk across it, there's pieces of rubbish and metal and stuff like that sticking out of it. We don't even need to have a weather event like the one that happened at the end of March.
"It's just a matter of time - if the water comes up in any way and washes through, that landfill is just going to tear it open and start pulling rubbish out again."
He said if the landfill ripped open again, he doubted that they would see the same level of volunteer support.
Forest & Bird spokesperson Nicky Snoyink said it was clear central government would need to intervene and get ahead of the game, so another Fox Glacier spill did not happen.
She acknowledged the government was looking into the protection of legacy landfills around the country, but agreed "serious urgency" was needed.
David Inwood said the council had obtained technical support from experts, and was working through this process of consent applications and compliance with the National Environmental Standards for contaminated soil with a view to moving the rubbish.
Professor Chris Lowry from Colorado University is part of a team of scientists who have uncovered a bacteria found in soil which can help combat anxiety and depression. He says simply by gardening people can feel the effects of it. It's his hope that one day soon it can be developed into a vaccine.
Hawke's Bay could become the new Canterbury if it continues down the path of large-scale irrigation and water storage projects, freshwater ecologist Mike Joy warns.
Speaking at an event in Havelock North last night he said Canterbury was now feeling the impact of the environmental damage that irrigation-fuelled intensification had caused, and Hawke's Bay could follow in its footsteps.
"What seemed like a really good idea at the time, they allowed huge intensification and allowed dry land like here to be turned into dairy farming. And now they have this huge issue of nitrates in the groundwater."
The Victoria University of Wellington senior researcher was also critical of plans to investigate Managed Aquifer Recharge in Hawke's Bay, which could see water taken from rivers and pumped back into aquifers to boost levels in dry spells.
Hawke's Bay received $14.7 million from the Provincial Growth Fund in June to investigate the use of the technology in the region.
"It's like robbing Peter to pay Paul. There's virtually no evidence of any long-term gains of it," Dr Joy said.
Hawke's Bay Regional Council chair Rex Graham believed the technology was still worth exploring and while new irrigation would be needed, strict new nutrient and water limits would prevent environmental damage.
The region's farmers were also becoming more water efficient, he said.
"Everywhere in Heretaunga and Central Hawke's Bay we want to look at crops that use far less water and existing crops using smarter water technology, which uses a whole lot less water than traditional methods," Mr Graham said.
Otane farmer Hugh Ritchie, who was part of a group exploring water storage options for Central Hawke's Bay, said farmers had learnt from Canterbury's mistakes.
"Irrigation can be as much of an enabler in terms of allowing land use change into horticulture and other things. It's critical ... in our business with seed crops and specialists vegetable crops we do not get contracts without water."
While large-scale irrigation in Hawke's Bay was still relatively small, it was having a big impact in some areas.
In Central Hawke's Bay, the top six water consent holders - all big dairy farms - used more than half of all the allocated water from the Ruataniwha aquifer and rivers.
Wellington regional councillors realised how little power they have in managing consents for water bottling at an Environment Committee meeting today.
The council is currently considering a 30-year consent that would allow a private company to take 432 million litres a year from Lower Hutt's groundwater for bottling.
There are two existing consents from the same aquifer to draw almost 950 million litres a year, as well as a consent in Upper Hutt to draw 180 million litres a year.
Public submitters at the start of the meeting made passionate pleas for the council to review and halt any unnecessary existing water take consents and place a moratorium on any new consents being issued.
Upper Hutt resident Tracy Ultra told the committee the fact that the consent went through without any public notification was underhanded and should be illegal.
"The public has been refused consultation which is in breach of democratic, civil and political rights. These facts are grounds to revoke the consent.
"I know you don't have the authority or the process to revoke, so I say invent one, fight them."
Ms Ultra asked the council to consider a number of actions.
"Amend the freshwater plan and cap allocations ... ban plastic bottles, publicly notify new consents, the Upper Hutt consent expires in 2023, don't renew it."
However, the council's environment regulation manager Shaun Andrewartha told the committee consents could only be reviewed if there was concern that the environment might be being harmed.
He said the council had no remit to decline a consent based on its intended purpose.
"The legislation itself doesn't focus on who uses water and why, it's environmental-effects based ... these considerations around effects are very much the same if we're considering them for a water-bottling plant, an irrigator in the Wairarapa and if we were dealing with a brewery in Upper Hutt as well."
Currently, the Whaitua project is underway to examine water quality and supply in Wellington and at its completion in two years' time, may suggest changes to the way water is allocated - which in turn could affect future water take consents.
However another public submitter Hutt resident and city council hopeful Chris Parkin said action was needed now, and two years was too far away.
"My worry is that we are going to end up finding that the Whaitua process is going to be too slow to stop these things happening.
"You will end up with a rush of consents, even the one we have is enough ... the maximum [duration] should be five years to give some flexibility."
While officials conceded they were tightly bound by the existing legislation - namely the Resource Management Act - and there were no grounds to review existing consents or impose a moratorium, councillors searched for options, clearly concerned that they did not hold much power in the matter.
Committee chair Sue Kedgley asked if action could be taken by amending the council's regional policy statement or other policy.
"There is the potential in some way which we're not clear of yet, to limit the length of term of a water take consent and to consider a policy around notifying consents. Are those two things we could do outside of the Whaitua process?"
However, that suggestion was quickly shot down with officials saying that those changes could land the council in legal hot water.
Officials assured the council that they were confident that the water allocations for both Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt were reasonable and that any changes could be made with the completion of the Whaitua project.
Council environment management group head Alistair Cross said any major changes around water-take consents had to come from central government but believed the existing framework was still appropriate and if the science proved that the water takes were affecting the environment, consents could be declined.
Councillor Prue Lamason told the committee it was staggering that the discussion around water take for water-bottling was happening straight after the council had just debated on whether or not to declare a climate emergency.
She said, on one hand, the council was having to think about big-picture climate policy, but on the other was hamstrung into "business as usual" around the likes of water take consents.
The decision was made to mull things over until the next meeting in six weeks time.
The Wellington Regional Council will vote on whether to declare a climate emergency on 21 August.
Watercare says August will have to be twice as wet as usual if Auckland's water supplies are to get back to a normal level. A record dry start to the year means the city's four main dams in the Hunua Ranges are only about two thirds full -- they should be at 90 percent at this time of the year. At the start of July Watercare called for people to use less water, suggesting showers be limited to four minutes. But are Aucklanders heeding that call? Reporter Chen Liu went to find out.
World's largest parrot found in Central Otago - and it's twice the size of a Kākāpō.
Evidence of the world's largest parrot has been uncovered in Central Otago - and it's double the size of the previous title holder.
Named Heracles inexpectatus to reflect its myth-like size and strength, the new parrot is estimated to stand up to one metre tall and weighs about seven kilograms.
It's twice the size of the critically endangered Kākāpō - the former world's largest parrot.
Heracles inexpectatus was found in fossils dating back up to 19 million years near St Bathans by palaeontologists from Australasia.
Flinders University Associate Professor Trevor Worthy said no-one had ever discovered an extinct giant parrot anywhere until now.
"New Zealand is well known for its giant birds. Not only moa dominated avifaunas, but giant geese and adzebills shared the forest floor, while a giant eagle ruled the skies," he said.
"We have been excavating these fossil deposits for 20 years, and each year reveals new birds and other animals. While Heracles is one of the most spectacular birds we have found, no doubt there are many more unexpected species yet to be discovered in this most interesting deposit."
The research paper is published in Biology Letters and features experts from Flinders University, UNSW Sydney and Canterbury Museum.
"The NZ mainland is larger and more ecologically complex than most islands and, lacking mammalian predators, predictably has produced the greatest diversity of giant avians anywhere," the researchers said in their paper.
Professor Mike Archer, from the UNSW Sydney's Palaeontology, Geobiology and Earth Archives Research Centre, said the rarity of the find might suggest it fed higher up in the food chain.
"Heracles, as the largest parrot ever, no doubt with a massive parrot beak that could crack wide open anything it fancied, may well have dined on more than conventional parrot foods, perhaps even other parrots," Professor Archer said.
Canterbury Museum Natural History senior curator Paul Scofield said the St Bathans site provided the only insight into the terrestrial birds and other animals that lived in New Zealand since dinosaurs.
A giant sand dune is being built on England's east coast to save 400 homes from storm surges, in Britain's first attempt to use "sandscaping" to stave off rising seas and prepare for a changing climate, engineers said on Tuesday.
The novel project, set to finish this month, will only buy north Norfolk residents about 20 to 30 years before erosion and likely relocation, according to Jaap Flikweert of Royal HaskoningDHV, the Dutch engineering company that designed the scheme.
"This coast will continue to erode ... these communities will at some point have to move back inland," Mr Flikweert said.
"This project is giving them time to adapt to that reality of coastal change."
With climate change, the world is becoming warmer and wetter, with more frequent extreme weather events, such as floods, storms and heatwaves, according to scientists.
Britain recorded its highest-ever temperature of 38.7 Celsius in July, while downpours last week led to flash floods, with 50mm of rain falling in just one hour, the national weather service said.
Police evacuated more than 6000 people from Whaley Bridge in central England last week as a military helicopter dropped bags of ballast on the edge of a dam which was badly damaged by heavy rain, and threatened to collapse and flood their homes.
If successful, the sand dune project near Bacton and Walcott beaches - costing about £18 million ($NZ34 million) - is set to inspire many more sandscape defences across Britain, said Flikweert.
It will also protect nearby Bacton Gas Terminal, which processes one-third of the nation's gas, said Mr Flikweert, whose firm has built similar dunes in the Netherlands.
"Not only was it essential to protect an important source of natural gas for the UK, but there are 2000 people in the nearby villages living with the threat of losing their homes and communities," he said.
About 1.8 million cubic metres of sand are being dredged and pumped from a nearby seabed and positioned on the shore by bulldozers, to create a solid protection and delay a diminishing coastline, according to North Norfolk District Council.
Britain's Department of the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), said it was committed to defending Britain's coastline where it is sustainable and affordable to do so, and to let the coast function naturally in areas where it is not.
DEFRA is providing £2.6b over six years to better protect 300,000 homes, it said in emailed comments.
- Thomson Reuters
Evidence of what's called a "truly gigantic parrot" has been found by scientists from Australia and New Zealand among 19-million-year-old fossils. The world's largest parrot - dubbed Squawkzilla - stood up to 1m high and once wandered Central Otago terrain.
Palaentologists from New Zealand and Australia have discovered a fossil of what's thought to be the largest parrot the world has ever seen.
It's called Heracles inexpectatus and Professor Paul Scofield from Canterbury Museum's on the line now to tell us more.
World’s largest parrot fossil discovered in Central Otago
The government's latest biodiversity document could ease the financial burden on farmers who preserve native bush on their own land at their own expense, according to Federated Farmers.
It said this would be a big step forward.
The document also called on state agencies and private groups to work together for environmental improvement, and this also got a tick of approval from Federated Farmers.
The organisation was commenting on a new discussion document on biodiversity, called Te Koiroa O Te Koiroa, or a shared vision for living with nature.
This document lamented a loss of biodiversity over several centuries and called for: an end to the extinction of species, restoration of habitats and removal of invasive predators.
"We all need to do more on public, private and Māori land, so nature can thrive," Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage said while unveiling the document.
This emphasis on collaboration was welcomed by Federated Farmers' environment spokesperson Chris Allen.
He said state agencies working with private landowners would work far better than a process-based purely on government regulation.
"You don't have to be a Greenie to have exclusive rights to be caring for the environment," he said.
"There are farmers with a multi-generational connection with the land, who have fought against [past] government policies of trying to clear the land.
"That is why we have got some really spectacular bush on farms."
Wider community should contribute through 'rates relief'
Mr Allen said this commitment to nature by farmers made a part of the document really welcome news.
This section referred to farmers who pay for biodiversity out of their own pocket.
"If landowners decide to set aside land for biodiversity, perhaps in a Queen Elizabeth II covenant or Ngā Whenua Rāhui kawenata, they bear a cost while the benefits of enhanced biodiversity are spread much more widely," the document said.
"[The government should] implement a consistent national approach to rates relief for covenanted and other protected private land."
Mr Allen welcomed this acknowledgement for the efforts many farmers make off their own bat.
"It's a huge investment for a landowner to basically give away a piece of land in perpetuity," he said.
"They still have to protect it from predators and fence it and this stuff doesn't come cheap.
"In many cases, they don't get any assistance from the wider community, so what we have said is that the wider community has to contribute through rates relief or whatever.
"That is all part of the discussion document."
The government has said this latest document will be followed by a national policy statement.
A fisher has been convicted in the Christchurch District Court after illegally using a set net, threatening endangered Hector's dolphins.
Set nets were banned during the warmer months from many harbours used by the dolphins as feeding grounds.
The Ministry for Primary Industries said fisheries officers found a set net at Barry's Bay in Akaroa Harbour last December.
The owner of the net, Jason Hutton, was discovered when he came looking for it.
Hutton professed not to know what he was doing was illegal.
He was fined $1000.
Four hector's dolphins were captured in trawl nets used by commercial fishers off the east coast of the South Island last summer alone.
Lying about restless in bed with the clock ticking away and unable to stop a cycle of thoughts and worries isn’t something that’s uncommon for people with anxiety, insomnia and depression.
Dr Giresh Kanji has spent a decade exploring stress-related conditions and how to fix them. His interest was piqued by his own childhood trauma that led to nearly 40 years of stress symptoms.
He was hospitalised as a child for tuberculosis, then had to be admitted again after a car accident, and later his family also had to deal with the death of two of his siblings.
It took a large toll on the family and resulted in lifelong trauma for Dr Kanji.
“I had regular nightmares and night sweats, poor sleep. I had a feeling of anxiety, sort of overly concerned about things. A lot of people would sound pretty irritable,” he told Kathryn Ryan.
“I think after a night’s sleep I’d flare with anger quite easily. And this sort of went on for years until I was 40.”
That’s when he started to dig deeper, to find some of the reasons behind the symptoms and how stress amplifies pain. He collated his own worldwide research into a book entitled Brain Connections: How to Sleep Better, Worry Less and Feel Happier. This is his third book, after Fix Your Back and Fix Your Neck Pain, Headache and Migraine.
Sleep is a central point in looking at these symptoms because it’s the “barometer” of mental and physical health, Dr Kanji says.
“That’s the one thing if you want to measure [your health and wellbeing], measure your sleep. The studies show actually if you sleep well you really cannot get depressed.”
While experts commonly recommend staying away from devices before sleep, Dr Kanji says such sleep hygiene rules are useful but probably only in the short term.
“But I think when I looked at this research over the past four or five years, specifically concentrating on insomnia, anxiety, depression, it's about habits that unwind your stressed brain.”
Dr Kanji’s looked into headaches as a type of chronic pain syndrome, because the risk of chronic pain patients developing insomnia, anxiety or depression is increased to 300 percent.
“I was looking for patterns and that's when I sort of stumbled upon the sympathetic nervous system, which is the stress nervous system … and discovered that that can generate electricity in multiple parts of our brain.
“It’s designed basically for the wild, it's designed for that sabre tooth tiger, and you see the tiger, the stress chemicals in your brain, your spinal cord, and throughout your body, they're released.
“Basically, the design is to keep you awake. You want to stay completely awake and you want to be really anxious, as well because you want to be on edge. Because if you're not on edge, you're going to be eaten.”
And lying down awake doesn’t help the stress levels either, because the stress chemicals stay in the brain and they’re not depleted, Dr Kanji says.
“If you get increased electricity in the part of the brain that feels pain, you're going to experience more pain, it's gonna be heightened. If you have extra electricity in the part of your brain that, say looks after sleep, you're going to have insomnia. Because increased electricity is sort of when you're awake and reduced electricity is when you're asleep.
“Another part of your brain, the amygdala, an increase of electricity will create a panic attack, anxiety, and, more interestingly, that's the part of your brain with other parts that sub serves anger. When you're faced with that tiger, you want complete aggression, you actually want to be in that frame of mind.”
He has three useful tips for people who suffer from anxiety, insomnia and depression – heat, meditation and exercise.
“When you think about it, as soon as you see the tiger, the stress chemicals go up, they’re in your brain, they flood your body, and then when you run, fight, sweat, they go down. So you've completed the cycle of stress chemicals, so to speak.
“Running had been a thing for me for years, and whenever I run I sort of cope with life I think, and sometimes if you stop because other things are on your mind things spiral backwards.”
Studies show exercise also helps with depression significantly, and Dr Kanji advises doing about 30 minutes, four times a week, of rigorous workouts as a minimum.
“You’re almost invoking the stress nervous system and that's how heat works as well.
“The breathing meditation basically almost blanks the brain. So it's a time where you have no thought whatsoever, and it's almost like winding down the electricity.”
In terms of food diets that can help, Dr Kanji says smoking, alcohol and caffeine (although at a lower standard than the previous two) may aggravate these symptoms.
“This is very difficult actually for people, because generally speaking you might pick up smoking because you're feeling a bit anxious or uptight. Then you get addicted, [because] the nicotine hits your brain, releases the pleasure chemicals, and then all of a sudden you can't shake the habit.
“You might get a very quick fix, you feel a bit better for a few minutes while you're smoking. However, in the long term, it winds up your stress brain and would make you more depressed, or keep you depressed.
“Alcohol also winds up the stress brain … too much alcohol will give you a very light sleep and a disturbed sleep.
“A lot of people will have a bottle of wine after work to forget the day sometimes and think that'll help me sleep. But in fact, it'll actually do the opposite.
“I think my advice would most things as most things in moderation are fine and it's really about excesses, they're probably going to get people in trouble.”
But not everything will work for everyone who suffers from these symptoms, Dr Kanji encourages people to keep trying different approaches.
“If you don't exercise or do other habits, that’ll release the stress chemicals, they just start building up and creating problems.”
It’s in your head: Ways to fix insomnia, anxiety and depression
Pandas, dolphins, rhinos, tigers, and a whole host of bird species – many of them in New Zealand – are facing extinction.
Some of them aren’t doing themselves any favours. They’re fussy eaters, don’t get out of the way of predators, or don’t breed easily.
So why are we sinking hundreds of millions into trying to save them?
The experts in their fields here generally point to the same reason – because humans are the ones who are doing the damage, and it’s up to us to right the wrongs.
RNZ’s Alison Ballance, a zoologist and film maker, has been documenting the highs and lows of kākāpō conservation over 22 podcast episodes.
When asked about the value for money spent on trying to save this funny little parrot, she says – “they’re priceless”.
Conservation biologist, Rochelle Constantine is another looking for solutions to save species – her speciality is in the marine environment.
She has a successful track record of helping with conservation efforts for Brydes whales in the Hauraki Gulf.
She fondly rattles off facts about the whales - “they actually go to sleep at night, like we do and we had a few whales die from entanglement in mussel spat lines because of how they feed.”
Brydes whales, she explains, don’t simply open and close their mouths to eat.
“They flip 90 degrees onto their side, mostly to the right and take a giant gulp of water and filter out their prey.”
But as Constantine discovered, mussel spat lines were the least of the worries facing Byrdes whales.
DOC categorised the whales as nationally critical, which is when population numbers dip below the 200 mark.
“This is the highest listing you can get for a conservation concern.”
When a number of the mammals started washing up dead, Constantine investigated.
“When we did a necropsy on them it became pretty apparent that a lot of these whales, up to 84 percent, were dying from ship strike. Clearly large vessels.”
The vessels were killing 2.3 whales a year – almost doubling their rate of mortality.
Constantine says a working group of DOC, local iwi, shipping companies, Ports of Auckland and academics were able to gather, argue freely and reach a solution.
International shipping companies agreed to voluntarily slow to a pace of 10 knots when entering the port.
Constantine acknowledges the change comes at a cost to shipping companies who run on a tight schedule.
But since the change in 2014, there have been no whale deaths as a result of ship strike.
But Constantine says the working group is an outlier among conservation efforts.
She says efforts need to extend beyond saving one species to a more holistic way of thinking.
“If you talk to Māori, everything is taonga, everything is connected.
“And it’s not just Māori, there are large migrant communities who get that as well.
“It’s only those that are raised with the notion of humans first and everything else second who don’t understand.”
What’s the point in trying to save a dying species?
Auckland Council is urging the government to get started on an in depth feasibility study to find a local solution for the country's paper recycling.
Council's programme director for waste solutions Parul Sood said Auckland households produced 60,000 tonnes of paper every year and that did not include commercial outlets.
She said the current recycling plants did not have the capacity to take on all the country's paper - about 485,000 tonnes per annum.
At the moment, about half is processed and recycled in New Zealand and the rest is exported to markets overseas.
But with those markets now drying up, Ms Sood said it had never been more important.
She said the council had looked into paper mills already as a possible solution but it wanted to look at all options.
"You need a big sized paper mill [to] make it really sustainable and have that product compete on the global market," she said.
"It [paper mill] may or may not be the right answer but I think that's the reason why we need to do this work so we can be 100 percent sure that whatever processing plant we put in for the country, has got a product coming out that makes sustainable sense."
Ms Sood said it was great the government announced it was looking at how to increase New Zealand's paper and plastic recycling capacity in May this year.
But she was urging them to undertake an in depth feasibility study that could be done in four months.
Associate Minister for Environment Eugenie Sage said she was looking at local solutions for recycling but a feasibility study may not be on the cards.
The mayor of Buller District Garry Howard says an abandoned state mine dump at Hector is at risk of being clawed open by the sea as stormy weather and high tides continue to hammer the West Coast. He says the council has a solution that will cost $660,000 and it needs government funding immediately. Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage says that won't happen. Mr Howard tells Susie Ferguson the mine was a state-owned entity that made profits for New Zealand, so the government should be helping.