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Water quality a priority for rural New Zealand

Wednesday 22 November 2006

Water quality a priority for rural New Zealand

United Future agriculture spokesman Gordon Copeland has emphasised his party’s concern over the state of water quality in many parts of rural New Zealand following new reports published by the Ministry for the Environment.

“While it is positive to see that sectors within the farming community are beginning to address the issue, it is obvious that much more needs to be done,” said Mr Copeland.

“The ‘10 in 10’ initiative launched by Federated Farmers is a significant step in the right direction. The challenge now is to make sure that such objectives are met.

“I am confident that rural water quality can be greatly improved without affecting farm productivity or running costs. The planting of trees around waterways, fencing streams off from stock, nutrient budgeting and nitrogen inhibitors are all low-cost, no-regrets solutions to mitigating nitrogen leakage into our rivers and streams.

“Water quality was one of United Future’s most immediate concerns running into the last election. Clean water is a basic requirement for any healthy, environmentally friendly country, which is why we have committed ourselves to addressing water quality issues through our Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Government.

“Our aim is to work with the farming community to achieve a lasting improvement in New Zealand’s rural water quality. We realise that while some progress has been made there is a long way to go and there are still some areas of the country that are simply not pulling their weight.

“While we are monitoring more waterways than ever before and have a handle on the enormity of the task, I cannot over-emphasise that now is the time to act. The longer the status quo is maintained the harder it is going to be to turn the situation around,” concluded Mr Copeland.

ENDS

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