One of the biggest casualties of the quakes in Seddon has been the damage to Dick Bell’s earth dam . It’s lucky that here in Canterbury, we have neither a history of earthquakes, nor a government-backed plan to build a series of massive dams so that we can convert more and more land to dirty dairying. It’s also fortunate that there are no examples of irrigation dams failing in Canterbury in our recent history.

Government subsidies for mass-expansion of an industry that has shown an ability to successfully regulate itself and enhance New Zealand’s international reputation is clearly the only way forward for this economy.