The pressing matter of water

by Mary Tipoki

Twenty odd years ago water was a topic that was barely given serious consideration.  Freely available, easy to dispose of, a fundamental part of our lives, supposedly an infinite resource and taken for granted.  Perhaps this is why when considering the issue of amalgamation water has become so important.   Wairarapa, Glistening Waters, was aptly named by Maori and attracted industries that needed this resource to flourish.  It would seem little planning was done either to conserve or protect what is now known as a precious commodity.  With waterways seriously degraded and climate change impacting sooner than expected, we have been caught unprepared to deal with the now massive consequences of decades of short sightedness and neglect. 
 
How best to deal with the pressing matter of water. Will a political structure centred in Masterton at the northern end of the catchment best serve the needs of the entire valley?  Is it possible to expect that one head can be better than three?  Historically schemes to modify our rivers undertaken with little consultation have proved disastrous. Water is a matter of survival and every single person has a stake in it.   It is a local issue and for this reason should be dealt with as such.  Amalgamation has no benefits to offer our water.     
 
The glistening waters of Lake Wairarapa, clouds and mountains reflected.
Image courtesy of Mary Tipoki
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