July 14, 2014
River protection high on Green agenda
The Green Party wants Maori to have more say in management of rivers and coastal areas.
The party released its environment policy at the weekend, saying its priorities are making rivers clean enough to swim in again and keeping beaches safe from oil spills.
It intends to establish a protected rivers network, similar to the permanent protection given to national parks.
Iwi and hapu will be involved in the protection plan process at each step, in recognition of their kaitiakitanga and rangatiratanga.
Co-leader Russel Norman says nearly two-thirds of monitored river sites are too polluted for swimming, one-third of lakes are unhealthy and three quarters of native freshwater fish are at risk of extinction.
He says National’s new water rules are a license to pollute, and the Greens would strengthen the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, implement a strong National Environmental Standard for water quality, and implement a National Environmental Standard for water flows in rivers, all of which will be geared to make our rivers clean and healthy enough for swimming.
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