I feel I really need to voice my concerns regarding the water issues that we are having in Hawke's Bay and that have become very obvious in the past few months.
In actual fact not only in Hawke's Bay. The issues are pressing nation and world wide - look to Standing Rock, look to countries who are already running out of water, look to countries who do great jobs managing their natural resources - we don't need to repeat the same mistakes.
We can learn from other countries and avoid them, be proactive, be clever, be forward thinking, think future proofing for our children and their children.
I would like to ask that water management and management of all our precious natural resources is going to be top priority from now on for local councils, local and national governments.
That includes protecting GMO free status, looking at spraying regimes, punishing industries who abuse natural resources for monetary gain, looking after our soils, bees, animals, protecting the land.
We are sitting on a ticking time bomb and it is about time that those issues are dealt with properly.
No more excuses please, no more scheduling those issues in a few years time. You are representing the ratepayers, the people who live on this land, the people who pay taxes.
And if you talk to real people they have long lost trust in your ability to perform and deliver what we, the people/the rate and taxpayers want.
We want a clean, clear, reliable water supply without chemicals, reliable piping systems, safe bores.
If we carry on chlorinating we put a poisonous sticky plaster on a problem that is not addressed properly by council and government - water pollution by industries for monetary gain, not managing sewage properly and not having future proof solutions, like reliable piping and pumping systems, reliable bores, etc.
Chlorine is really bad for your good gut bacteria - it not only destroys the bad guys but also the good ones. A very large proportion of our immune system is located in the gut, working with the good guys (bacteria). Put one and one together and you can figure out why we see so many autoimmune diseases today.
Of course there are other factors that are contributing, but chemicals in our water supply are a major problem.
We will put in a filter system for our house now, unfortunately many people will not be in the financial position to do so. Again the lower income families are disadvantaged.
I think council and Government should provide subsidies to filtration systems or at least low or no interest loans to ratepayers, so everybody has the equal chance to protect themselves. You have done this for insulation you can do this for filtration too.
What is going to happen to water fluoridation? How are we supposed to make informed decisions on filter systems when we don't know what we have to filter out.
Fluoride is so much harder to remove and in my opinion criminal to put in in the first place - its mass medication essentially.
I don't give my consent to put this neurotoxin in our water. If people want to have fluoride as a supplement go and buy pills.
The reverse osmosis filters needed to remove fluoride are very expensive and remove good properties of the water, needing remineralisation after treatment.
I would much prefer if ratepayers funds would not be wasted on lawsuits and fines between our local councils, it's essentially coming out of our pocket - what a waste of resources.
I want those funds to be used to solve the problem - water pollution and safe equipment/piping/pumping to supply the safe water to households.
If overseas companies can drill safe bores to find export quality water, surely our council can drill safe bores to provide us with export quality water.
I would also like to see an immediate ban or law or whatever is needed to stop corporations sucking our water out of OUR aquifers to sell for profit.
It's simply just MAD.
Bugger the few jobs they are providing - surely we can find jobs making sure our water is safe for example. Water is worth more than gold - you can't drink gold or money for that matter.
LISTEN to the people - nobody wants those water consents - we want those factories gone and we most certainly don't want any more water bottling consents.
By being complacent and accepting the situation, thinking we are safe by chlorinating water we are simply kidding ourselves.
PLEASE I plead to you switch you common sense on, protect our water and natural resources, put your superman/superwoman suits on and do for once what the rate and taxpayers want.
We want to have a safe planet, safe natural resources, safe drinking water, safe swimming water, healthy soils, healthy air, healthy oceans and rivers for our children. Do you duty and do it properly.
Thank you for listening, for thinking about it and for doing something about it. May we all have the wisdom, courage, insight, foresight, enthusiasm, bravery, love and awareness to make the right decisions for this planet and all living beings on it.
- Silke Whittaker is a yoga teacher (Heartspace Yoga) and runs the community online platforms "You made my day Hawke's Bay" and "Coming together" on facebook.