by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Upper Hutt Leader : November 9th 2011
54 UPPER HUTT LEADER, NOVEMBER 9, 2011 To order your own copy of photos in this paper, or other CCN titles, check out: pix.ccn.co.nz MPs targeted by the young By LOUISE THORNLEY Grassroots: Generation Zero’s Lucinda Staniland. ➤ NOT TOO LATE ❚ You can still vote, even if you are not yet enrolled, but you do need to enrol. You can enrol until the day before election day, but anyone enrolled after October 26 has to cast a special declaration vote. You can enrol using Facebook – see facebook.com/ivotenz. Other ways to enrol are: freetext your name and address to 3676; go online to elections.org.nz; call 0800 36 76 56; or pick up an enrolment form at a PostShop. George Bernard Shaw said youth is wasted on the young. But that was before Generation Zero – a nationwide initiative uniting younger voices. Its leaders are not yet 30, but already they talk about what the world could be like for their grandchildren. The group wants more young people to vote in this election. The statistics look bad. Of those aged 18 to 29, one in four are not enrolled to vote. That is more than 177,000 people – almost the popu- lation of Wellington city. Lucinda Staniland, a 19-year- old arts student, said all young people were Generation Zero. ‘‘Whether you believe it or not, we are going to see our society transform over time to a zero- carbon world,’’ she said. Ms Staniland said she liked to focus on solutions. ‘‘People get all this information about how things are not going well in the world. ‘‘But then the question is: what can I do about it? Young people don’t know what to do.’’ The Wellington Generation Zero group held a recent event, attended by 300 people, called Cheer Up Ralph!. ‘‘Ralph Chapman is an environ- mental studies professor at Vic- toria University,’’ Ms Staniland said. The event was about cheer- ing him up, because at times future environmental scenarios can be depressing. ‘‘Ralph spoke first, and we’d asked him to speak about climate change and related problems. He set out some huge challenges. ‘‘But then we had following speakers who talked about what we can do. ‘‘Afterwards Ralph said he felt cheered up, so it was a success.’’ Ms Staniland said the Elect Who? campaign was about informing young people about voting options. Young people meet in pairs with MPs because ‘‘at first it is intimidating to go and talk to a politician’’. She has met with former Labour Cabinet Minister Trevor Mallard and National can- didate Paul Foster-Bell. ‘‘The politicians are easy to engage with, because obviously they want you to vote for them, so they’re going to be nice to you.’’ The young people ask MPs how they plan to improve New Zealand for future generations. Their responses are placed on Generation Zero’s website, with video excerpts of the interviews. This will be the first election in which Ms Staniland will get to vote. ‘‘It’s incredibly important for young people to vote, because we have the opportunity to create the future,’’ she said. ‘‘Bad things are happening, but at the same time there are things we can do about it.’’ ❚ See generationzero.org.nz/ electwho for MPs’ responses to young people’s questions. Slippery issue emerging from ponds Eelers and conservationists ques- tion the council’s approach to dealing with the eels in Master- ton’s waste water ponds and suggest the fish may have to be trapped and removed – but no-one is yet sure where the eels should go. Former commercial eeler Colin Eastwood does not agree with the Masterton District Council’s hands-off approach to the eel problem which may leave up to 80,000 eels homeless when the old oxidation ponds are drained. MDC special projects manager Ian Steer told Wairarapa News in a previous article that the council intended to let the eels decide where they wanted go when they drained the ponds. Council staff believe the eels would either slither overland to the new ponds next door that would have just been built, or the fish would seek other waterways nearby such as the Ruamahanga River. Mr Eastwood says it is unlikely the eels will be able to get out of the ponds of their own accord. Adult eels only move downhill and the pond walls are likely to be too high for them to traverse. He believes the eels would be best accommodated in the new ponds and he fears the animals may be contaminated after years of living in treated sewage and would not be suitable to re-enter the natural environment where they might be caught and eaten. Mr Eastwood says that council may have to take up iwi’s offer of assistance in relocating the fish. Masterton District councillor Chris Peterson has taken up the issue and has found that the new ponds may be unsuitable. Eels like to live and feed in the mud at the bottom of the present ponds. The new ponds are sealed and there will be no sediment initially. He says certain times of the year are likely to be better for draining the old ponds and remov- ing the eels. During the summer the sludge would dry out much quicker and the heat could ‘‘cook’’ the eels. Therefore the winter might be a much better time to plan the eel removal, he says. ‘‘If we do it in the winter they might have a chance to make an escape,’’ says Mr Peterson. As for releasing possibly con- taminated eels into the environ- ment, this is another question that remains unanswered. The council has not carried out tests on the eels to see if they con- tain toxins. Mr Peterson says Masterton waste water does not contain high levels of heavy metals but there are likely to be other unwanted substances in the waste water that the eels ingest throughout their lives. He suggests a group of knowl- edgeable people and representa- tives from the council need to get together to look into the issue and propose some possible solutions. ‘‘We do have quite a bit of time, but it’s obviously something we need to be thinking about.’’ The eel species in the ponds is likely to be a mix of mostly short- fin and some longfin. The longfin are a declining species and there- fore need to be protected. Department of Conservation area manager Chris Lester says members of MDC, Greater Wel- lington Regional Council and iwi need to get together to discuss the best solution for the eels and the environment. ‘‘While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that draining the sewage ponds and just leaving the eels to find their own way was a particu- larly sensitive thing to do, on the other hand, I can’t find any legis- lation which would indicate to me that doing what the council appar- ently intend would breach legis- lation,’’ he says.
November 2nd 2011
November 16th 2011