Freshwater ecologist and PERC member Mike Joy was nominated late last month as a semi-finalist in the 2018 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Awards.
Mike has been chosen for his work in bringing the state of New Zealand’s waterways to public attention, having studied the diminishing quality of our rivers for the best part of two decades.
Speaking to Radio NZ last week, Mike Joy surmised the problem with New Zealand water ways was that water catchment areas had no protection from contamination:
“Intensification of farming, and putting housing developments and things in the wrong kind of places, and the draining of wetlands, and just a whole bunch of things that we do where we don’t think about the catchments. We only treat the problem after it’s happened.”
Mike campaigns to highlight the poor record of local body and central government regulators in addressing the problem, and has raised the issue of the tight relationship between government and industry groups.
Such a relationship speaks to a broader issue with science in New Zealand. Funding to carry out research in New Zealand comes mainly through government, and many industry groups are not necessarily interested in outlining the environmental impacts of their practises.
The awards will be announced on February the 22nd. PERC is very proud to be able to wish Mike luck!