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Swimmability report reveals lack of accessible rivers

Swimmability report reveals lack of accessible rivers

The refreshing news that 70% of waterways are swimmable is tinged with concern for a future where most New Zealanders don’t have a clean stream near where they live, says Swim Fresh spokesperson Mark Blackham.

Blackham said the Minister for Environment report backs Swim Fresh’s assertion over summer that swimmable waterways are abundant and should be cherished and experienced.

“It turns out that there’s plenty of places to experience healthy rivers. Research shows that the more people experience healthy rivers, the stronger they support cleaning up the rest.”

Which is why he says the real problem revealed in the statistics is the absence of swimmable rivers close to where most New Zealanders live.

“Two thirds of our waterways are swimmable, but too few of them are where people live.

“We are deeply concerned that close to half New Zealand’s population don’t know the joy of a clean, natural river. Our own research shows that the lower your socio-economic background, the less likely you are to have ever visited a waterway.

“One of the greatest free experiences of living in New Zealand should be clean and natural environments within easy reach.”

Swim Fresh is a not for profit independent campaign encouraging people to show love for their rivers and lakes. It is proudly conceived, organised and funded by BlacklandPR.


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