22 Dec 2012

Success at last for river patrol man

4:14 pm on 22 December 2012

Whangarei's river patrol man, Milan Ruka, has chalked up a win for water quality after persuading a farmer to fence off several kilometres of river bank.

Mr Ruka has been paddling along rivers and filing photos and GPS reports to the Northland Regional Council when he finds stock fouling the waterways.

He's told the council and Fonterra that unless the farmers clean up, he'll publish his photos on the internet.

In the latest case, he says, he was on the verge of doing that when Fonterra stepped in.

After negotiations, and another extension, he got a commitment from Fonterra that it would ensure an electric fence is put up for now.

A permanent fence will go in next year, with support from the regional council's environmental fund.

Mr Ruka was recently given a 'local hero' award by Kiwibank and says he's been effective in improving about 60 kilometres of Whangarei rivers.