25 October 2010

Save the Mokihinui

120 kayakers, environmentalists protest West Coast dam - Environment Sci - Video - 3 News

Briefly out of blog retirement to lament the slanting of the above news item. Having been at the Mokihinui this weekend in support of the river run, I'm disappointed that news piece couched the run in terms like "costly" and supported by "outsiders".

For the record the most of the costs of the exercise went directly into the West Coast economy and a number of locals are against the dam. This would have been evident if the ONLY 'local' interviewed in the piece hadn't been a representative of Buller Electricity. Also, Meridian's consent is under appeal and this means that the dam is NOT going ahead until these appeals are sorted (amongst other go-ahead issues).

The river run was an incredibly important way for those opposed to it to generate a personal understanding of the river and balanced publicity for the reasons behind not wanting to dam it. It was also an economic way for some river lovers to run the Mokihinui river and see it, first-hand, for what may be the first and only time.

As I mentioned I travelled to the coast to support the trip, but to be honest, I wasn't entirely for or against the dam. On seeing the river, and on walking some of it's length, and witnessing the effects that large scale industry are having on the West Coast, e.g. the Stockton mine, I can't help but now be 100% against the proposed 85m tall dam.

I say we should save the Mokihinui.

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