Grahame Sydney, in an article in the Otago Daily Times, declares some of his reasons for believing the proposed Project Aqua on the Waitaki River to be an unforgivable mistake.
“Please remember: we are not owners of this earth, these landscapes. We are nothing more than brief occupiers, caretakers charged with its maintenance and well-considered nurture. What we do to the landscape becomes the legacy our children and theirs inherit. This project is a 60km-long, straight-edged, six-storey high gutter subdividing the river valley like a giant Berlin Wall, filled to the brim with a sluggish flow wide enough for a ship or two, and leaving a sad and pathetic once-was-beautiful braided, natural riverbed dead and overgrown to one side. If you think this is going to add beauty to our southern land, and be a valuable legacy, then I am indeed from Mars.
It is ill-conceived, inappropriate and anachronistic – a monument to short-sightedness, and I have no sympathy whatsoever for those directly involved with delivering it into our midst.”