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Genevieve Toop

Genevieve Toop is a food and agriculture campaigner for Greenpeace New Zealand.

  • In the last two weeks, roughly 4500 adults and children have been struck down with a waterborne gastro illness found in Havelock North’s water supply.

    That’s a third of the town’s entire population.

    Most likely source? Ruminant farm animals - quite possibly cows.

    The crisis has sparked concerns about industrial agriculture - not just in the Hawke’s Bay but across New Zealand.

    Leading freshwater scientist Mike Joy says this is a case of water mismanagement “coming home to roost….we are seeing the legacy of not looking after our water”.

    Public health professor Michael Baker says New Zealand’s drinking water is “under huge pressure from…intensification of dairying, which is obviously contaminating surface water a lot more.”

    The reasonable thing to do in the face of the Hawke’s Bay crisis would be ... Read more >

  • There’s no question about it -  drought is causing serious problems for our farmers and communities.

    So what do we do about it? Dams and irrigation are often touted as the best way to deal with increasing dry spells, especially in regions with low rainfall.  But what’s actually happening is water captured for irrigation in New Zealand  isn’t just being used to help tide farms over during droughts. It’s being used to intensify farming.

    So what happens if droughts keep getting worse, and the irrigated water that allowed farms to intensify is no longer there?  We only need look to Opuha dam in Canterbury to see how this critical problem plays out.

    The Opuha dam was built in 1998 with the promise of helping farmers through the tough droughts that had been hitting Canterbury. In the summer of 2... Read more >

  • Answer? A fresh water crisis.

    Gone are the days of Aussies telling Kiwi sheep jokes. In the past 20 years, sheep,  pine trees and shrub have made way for more and more cows,  mostly for intensive dairying.   At the same time our lakes, rivers and aquifers are becoming more and more polluted.  

    You don’t have to be the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment to put two and two together there. (Although she did do that in this report).

    5 million cows and their impact on our fresh water could easily become just another statistic if it wasn’t for everyday Kiwis willing to step up and take action to protect our waters.

    Recently shocked trampers snapped shots of cows standing in lakes and rivers in Canterbury and Otago and sent them in to the media, clearly showing just how inadequate ... Read more >

  • A new chapter in the New Zealand story

    Blogpost by Genevieve Toop - October 22, 2015 at 15:04

    When Simon Bridges announced the areas of Aotearoa that he wants to open up for oil and gas exploration in 2016 (the “Block Offers”), he probably wasn’t expecting this…

    In just six weeks since the announcement 25 communities around the country have mobilised and publicly demanded that their local councils say NO to deep sea oil and Block the Offer.

    Christchurch City Council was the first to listen to their constituents and have called the Government’s deep sea drilling plans “sheer lunacy”.  Kaikoura District Council followed suit soon after.  

    Over the next week many other councils will be deciding where they stand.  Auckland Council will decide at a public meeting on October 29th and we will all get see what they’re made of.  

    In recent history decisions like the one Christchurch and Ka... Read more >

  • Block the Offer to Stop Deep Sea Oil

    Blogpost by Genevieve Toop - September 17, 2015 at 13:19

    From now until the 30th of October local councils, iwi and hapū around New Zealand have the opportunity to take a position on deep sea oil drilling off our coast.

    Every year the Government via NZ Petroleum and Minerals (NZPAM) proposes “block offers”. The ‘blocks’ are  huge swathes of our land, ocean and seabed that the Government wants to open up the following year to international oil companies to explore for oil and gas. The area that the Government has offered up this time - “Block Offer 2016” - is massive.  It is twice the size of New Zealand’s whole landmass, and includes nearly a quarter of the West Coast North Island Marine Mammal Sanctuary where the critically endangered Maui dolphins live. 

               Block Offer 2016


    But before the Government sells off our oceans they have asked for submission... Read more >

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