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Watch NZH Local Focus: Trubridge makes water protest

By Kaysha Brownlie

There's a sprinkler ban in Havelock North. But water bottling plants continue to operate - something resident and renowned artist David Trubridge says isn't good enough.

"I came home from Canberra on Saturday and saw a sign outside Havelock North which said sprinkler ban and I got outraged at that because I thought, hang on a minute, we've got companies in this bay who are bottling water."

"I thought, this is not right."

Thousands have shown their support for Mr Trubridge's Facebook post protesting.

The post read:

"This is a sprinkler going in our garden today. Yes, I know there are water restrictions currently in force in Hawkes Bay!

You, the Council, have got some gall to expect me to conserve water when you are GIVING our water to private enterprise who are putting unlimited amounts into plastic bottles and then selling it back to us, or whoever!!!

This is outrageous."

He has now turned his sprinkler off - and doesn't condone irresponsible use of water while conservation is enforced.

But he wants to keep the conversation alive.

For him, there is a greater issue at stake.

He says the local water supply is being put second with business profit at the forefront.

A spokesperson from the Hawke's Bay Regional Council acknowledges the public's concern.

The Regional Council has set up a group to review water management of the greater Heretaunga and Ahuriri area - including water bottling in the region.

It says: "There is plenty of water in the aquifer and its quality is not under debate."

But, the artist says, generally, "whether it's the ocean or the mountains, or whatever, I can't bare to see it polluted and desecrated the way it is, and if we stuff that up, we stuff ourselves up".

Mr Trubridge says he hopes more people will join the debate about the use of water - to protect it for future generations.

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- NZ Herald

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