Aaron Campbell: Water: Time’s Up
By Li Huizi
A community board member for Harewood since 2016, Aaron Campbell will be contesting the Christchurch West constituency for Environment Canterbury (ECan) in 2019 as an independent candidate.
“Why am I running for ECan? In one word, Water,” Campbell told Palmary.
He spoke out against water bottling in Belfast as a Community Board member over two years ago. Since then the eight consents to bottle water have now grown to 18 in Canterbury.
“This is not what the community wants for its most precious resource, the permissive regulatory environment that enables this to occur needs to align with comm unity, the government needs to take action,”
he said, supporting a moratorium on new water bottling consents in Canterbury.
Campbell also speaks out in opposition to permanent chlorination of Christchurch drinking water.
“We need to make every effort to retain a safe and secure nonchlorinated drinking water supply,”said Campbell, who was also a cofounding member of Aotearoa Water Action (AWA).
The quality and quantity of Canterbury’s water is declining in many areas, and a permissive regulatory system has allowed
intensification of dairy farming on soils largely unsuited to handle the quantity of nitrogen rich cow urine now being deposited on it, he said.
“I hope changes to the Resource Management Act will allow consents to be more easily reviewed and tougher limits on nitrate losses applied,” he added.
For him, nitrate contamination is the biggest long-term issue.
“What will the drinking water in Christchurch be like in 75 to 100 years’ time?” he said.
On public transportation, Campbell said there should be rapid transit or rapid transport opportunities.“ I actually want to ride on the bus…We need to get more people on the bus and therefore there’ll be less cars on the road, less competing for car parks.”
A company director, Campbell ran a catering business in Kaiapoi with his wife. In 2010, they made“ the world’s largest Pavlova” in the Christchurch Cathedral, raising money for the charity KidsCan following Christchurch’s deadly earthquakes in February 2011.
He said he likes to keep busy and is a workaholic, with photography and his 1969 Fiat Bambina being his passions. He is thinking of turning his classic car into an electric one.
He also volunteered to help Lianne Dalziel in 2016 for the mayoral reelection as her campaign secretary, a role he is repeating this year.
Spending about nine years overseas, Campbell lived in London and Japan where he met his wife.
“Approximately 20 percent of Christchurch residents were not born here in New Zealand, and speak a language other than English, and that includes my wife,” Campbell said, adding there is so much enthusiasm and energy that immigrants can bring to the city.
“My vision is pretty simple. If we have a healthy environment, we can have healthy people. Then the other good things can really happen.”