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Southland’s Moves to Clean Water Applauded

Media Release

22 February 2006


Southland’s Moves to Clean Water Applauded

Fish & Game New Zealand applauds Environment Southland for taking effective steps to clean the region’s waterways. Environment Southland accepts the Parliamentary Commission for the Environment’s findings contained in the Growing for Good report, and is working to implement solutions through the proposed Regional Fresh Water Plan.

“There is increasing evidential science on the impacts of stock access to water bodies that just can not be ignored,” said Bryce Johnson, Director Fish & Game New Zealand. “The proposed Regional Water Plan Variation acknowledges that science and accepts that the Southland community will not tolerate polluted waterways.”

The goal of the water plan is simple and positive: “to reduce non-point pollution and clean up Southlands’ Waterways.” Many water bodies are not even suitable for stock drinking water, let alone contact recreation or human consumption, and implementation of steps to improve water quality will bring huge benefits to anglers, farmers and the general public. Bryce Johnson said, “Environment Southland is leading the way, and I urge all regional authorities to recognise that damage to the nation’s finite freshwater resources through outdated farming practices must be turned around.”

Fish & Game Regional Manager, Maurice Rodway commends those Southland dairy farmers who have already voluntarily fenced off waterways on their properties, and encourage farmers to work with Environment Southland on contentious aspects and interpretations of the proposed plan to achieve a workable solution to this crucially important issue for all New Zealanders.

“Given our dependence on our ‘clean and green’ image to differentiate our agricultural products in world markets, Environment Southland is moving to manage risks to this image from unsustainable and unhealthy practices; a move which agriculture should applaud and actively support.”

ENDS

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