May 28, 2020
Pūtea eases pressure of tough new water rules
The Government is creating a $700 million fund for riparian and wetland planting and other initiatives to prevent farm run off entering waterways.
It’s part of the long-awaited water package that includes setting higher health standards at swimming spots
- Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams;
- Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots;
- Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health;
- Ensuring faster council planning; and
- Requiring mandatory and enforceable farm environment plans.
Environment Minister David Parker says the primary sector faces challenges in the wake of COVID-19, so the new fund is a way to reduce the cost and impact of the changes on them.
He says many rivers, lakes and wetlands are under serious threat after years of decline and political inaction.
Failure to act now would mean more expense later as well as serious risk to New Zealand’s clean, green reputation, which underpins export earnings from tourism and agriculture.
Climate Change Minister and Green Party co-leader James Shaw says the new guidelines are informed by mātauranga Māori and are the strongest protections a government has ever put in place for waterways.
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