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Green victory over MAF for clean rivers

Green victory over MAF for clean rivers

Green media release 23-5-08

The Greens are claiming a significant victory in its campaign to clean up rivers and lakes after MAF was forced by the Greens to drop its opposition to a plan by Horizons Regional Council to make their rivers safe for swimming.

“This is significant victory for those campaigning to clean up our rivers and lakes,” says Dr. Russel Norman, Green Co-leader.

“MAF had previously come alongside Federated Farmers’ campaign to break Horizons for daring to suggest that all natural water bodies should be safe for swimming.

“We exposed MAF’s dirty tactics back in early April and today the Minister of Agriculture, Jim Anderton, has responded to my OIA request by admitting that MAF has now withdrawn its own submission opposing the swimming standard.”

In early April, the Greens revealed that MAF had made a written submission on Horizons’ draft One Plan opposing the draft standard that all natural water bodies should be safe for swimming. Instead MAF wanted the standard to only apply to water bodies that were already safe for swimming and where there was no conflict with existing land use – ie if intensive agriculture polluted the river then it’s too bad for kids who might want to swim there.

“Mr. Anderton in his letter admits that MAF has withdrawn their submission because of perceptions that their submission ‘has been misinterpreted to read that MAF does not support the goal of improving water quality for the region and nationally’. Of course there was no misinterpretation, MAF’s submission was very straightforward and it was pressure from the Greens and others that has forced them to withdraw their submission.

“It’s time MAF started working for the people of New Zealand instead of working for agri-business and its lobby groups. People want their rivers to be safe and clean so their kids can swim in them and we expect MAF to be working hard to achieve that goal as soon as possible.”


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