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Too little, too late on water strategy - Nats

Hon Nick Smith National Party Environment Spokesman Hon David Carter National Party Agriculture Spokesman

10 April 2006

Too little, too late on water strategy - Nats

The water strategy out today has too little action and too much waffle to address the serious issues facing New Zealand's fresh water resources, say National's Environment spokesman Nick Smith and Agriculture spokesman David Carter.

"The only solid announcement in today's package is the establishment of a 'leadership group'," says Dr Smith.

"This is a pathetic outcome after three years and millions of dollars on the so-called 'Programme of Action'. It sounds more like inaction.

"This package asks more questions than it answers. There is no commitment to tradable water rights - just talk of exploring the concept. There is no answer on the future of water conservation orders. There are no proposals to reform the Resource Management Act. The package does not address key issues like water storage, or serious threats posed by Didymo."

Mr Carter says regional councils need more support and direction than the policy provides.

"We need clear national direction, not another dose of wordy waffle.

"We have lakes and rivers becoming putrid and unusable. We have huge growth in irrigation demand without the incentives for more efficient water usage or storage.

"We need a far more robust package than this to ensure New Zealand's freshwater resources are wisely used and effectively managed."

ENDS

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