New Zealand's Waterway Restoration
- 29 November 2011
- Maryruth Belsey Priebe
- Hits: 8716
One man can make a difference. That man is Jim Tucker.
Jim Tucker, a former journalist for the Taranaki Herald in New Zealand, has recently started to write about the New Zealand Taranaki region's community involvement in restoring the area’s waterways and coastal waters, but in many ways his story is just as interesting. Tucker started telling this tale in the early 1970s when he started reporting on the effluent from farms pouring into streams.
Today Jim Tucker hopes to finish telling the story with a series of case studies that will chronicle the many environmental problems that have been faced by the community’s water systems, including how many industries contributed to polluting the water, including:
- The local municipal sewage
- Energy industry
- The dairy industry
- The meat packing industry
But at present, the community has better control of their waterways, thanks to the actions of many, including Tucker. For instance, dairy farms are no longer permitted to pump waste from their farms into the water and the rivers now run much cleaner. Instead, farm waste is pumped into the city’s aerations sewage plant where it is processed and made safe.
Not only that, but stormwater waste, which used to contain chemicals of all sorts, used to be discharged straight into the ocean where it would cause the water to froth and turn surfers away with skin sores. This too is a thing of the past.
Tucker believes that the residents of Taranaki and the Taranaki Regional Council are setting a brave example for the rest of New Zealand to follow by ensuring that the region works toward high environmental standards for water quality.
This is a great story about how one man can spur on a whole community to change the course of a region’s environmental history. An inspiration, indeed.