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


Clean clear water is what matters not fence length

Clean, clear water is what matters, not fence length

Green Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons is welcoming a snapshot of the Clean Stream Accord that shows that most dairy farmers are taking the first steps asked of them, but warns that its success will be measured by how much pollution is detected, not by how many new fences are put up.

Fonterra, the Ministry for the Environment, the MAF and Local Government New Zealand have released a ‘Snapshot of Progress 2003 / 2004’ on their Dairying and Clean Streams Accord.

“It is impressive that 99 per cent of Fonterra’s suppliers responded to the Accord survey and they are to be congratulated for supporting this initiative,” said Ms Fitzsimons, the Greens’ Environment Spokesperson.

“But the further growth of dairying should only be allowed to happen if there is a serious reversal in the trend that wherever there is more cows, there is lower water quality.

“The Clean Streams Accord should be subject to outcome-based measures, not just input-based ones. It simply isn't enough for this Snapshot to say that the Accord is having an 'impact on the farm', it actually needs to be having impact on the environment.

“The report acknowledges that 99 per cent of farmers have been granted resource consents to discharge effluent in an appropriate manner, but says nothing about the level of compliance with those consents. Unfortunately regional councils are inconsistent and often inadequate in their monitoring and enforcement of resource consent conditions.

“While the report card shows that there has been good progress on keeping stock out of waterways, it also shows that much more could be done to advance sophisticated measures such as farm nutrient budgeting.

“In June NIWA - the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research - reported that most of our lowland rivers and streams are not fit to swim in, let alone to drink. In October the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report ‘Growing for Good’ found that the application of nitrogen to land has increased by 160 per cent in six years and that much of this lands up in our waterways. Stock can be kept out of streams and riparian margins can act as buffers, but this will all be undone if irrigation or canal-based hydro schemes are allowed to seriously deplete the quantity of water in a river, removing the dilution factor and increasing the concentration of the pollutants that continue to get through.

“Ultimately we will know that the Clean Streams Accord has been a success when water quality measurements show this has all changed and our children can again go down to the local river for a swim.” said Ms Fitzsimons.

The report is online at

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>


Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. 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