Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Waikato River arsenic shows pipeline 'stupidity'

Waikato River arsenic shows pipeline 'stupidity'

Two of New Zealand's biggest cities and many communities along the Waikato River continue to drink water discharged by industry, farms and municipal sewers, Green Party Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons warned today after a report indicated arsenic levels near the Waikato's source were twice that of recommended levels.

Ms Fitzsimons said the report from Watercare Services, the company that runs the Waikato pipeline providing part of Auckland's drinking water supply, which showed arsenic levels are more than twice the recommended level is damning evidence of the stupidity of taking water supply from a wastewater discharge.

"This is the problem you get when you use rivers for both your wastewater needs and your drinking water supply," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"It's not rocket science to know that the two don't mix."

The arsenic is entering the Waikato River from the Wairakei geothermal power station. Wairakei operator Contact Energy is seeking resource consent to increase the amount of waste it discharges from the station and also develop the Tauhara field which could increase the river's arsenic levels.

"Any further pollution of the Waikato River is completely unacceptable," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"The ecological balance and the safety of the water could be severely undermined by this move.

"Contact Energy should be responsible for cleaning up their own effluent rather than relying on the river to do it for them."

Ms Fitzsimons repeated the Green Party call for the Waikato pipeline to be used only for emergency and industrial supply.

"We now have nearly a year of drinking water pulled downstream from effluent discharges, farm run-offs and industrial waste drains. Now Watercare's own report casts doubt on the safety of the water."

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election