March 29, 2016
Get real about water
The Government has got a loud message from thousands of people around the country that its vision of wadeable rivers isn’t acceptable.
A group of students from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Whakarewa i te Reo o Tuwharetoa was among those who marched from Lake Taupo over the Easter weekend to be at parliament for the delivery of the 12,000 signature Choose Clean Water petition.
Green MP Catherine Delahunty, who accepted the petition yesterday, said New Zealand's lakes and rivers should be clean enough for children to swim in without becoming sick.
Environment Minister Nick Smith says it isn’t realistic to require every water body in New Zealand be swimmable, and it wasn't even prior to human settlement.
He said rivers would not get dirtier now the 2014 National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management is in place.
But Labour’s water and environment spokesperson David Parker says the statement substituted earlier rules, and it will allow increased nutrient and effluent flows from more intensive farming to increase pollution to rivers.
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