Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lawless farmers

It looks like Canterbury's farmers are systematically ignoring the law on compulsory water meters:

More than 40 per cent of Canterbury's large water-consent holders have not installed compulsory meters, but the regional council is not issuing any fines just yet.

The Government required all consent-holders with water takes of 20 litres per second or more to have meters installed by November, but as of last week, Environment Canterbury said of the 5527 water takes, only 55 per cent (3040) had fully complied with the regulations.

ECan resource management director Kim Drummond said it would not issue abatement notices or fine anyone who had not met the requirements yet.

This is par for the course for ECan's "enforcement": environmental regulations are ignored on a massive scale, but only a tiny fraction of those doing so are prosecuted. So what's the incentive for obeying the law?

ECan needs to get tough with its lawless farmers. They've had two years to get their shit together on this issue, and there's simply no excuse for having not done so. Those in violation of the law need to be prosecuted and fined. Otherwise they will have no incentive to obey in future.