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Sewerage infrastructure investment needed: Greens

12 December 2008

Sewerage infrastructure investment needed: Greens

Green Party Co-Leader Russel Norman - speaking from a protest at Whangarei Harbour today - is calling for urgent action on the northland city's pollution crisis.

Dr Norman has marched in solidarity alongside local hapü, iwi and concerned residents to protest a controversial Whangarei District Council plan to discharge raw sewage into Whangarei Harbour in emergencies.

Pollution in the harbour is already dire enough, and the council's plans will only increase the emerging eco crisis, Dr Norman says.

"Even people going sailing in the harbour are getting sick.

"This situation is clearly a risk to both public health and the clean, green image our New Zealand tourism industry relies so much upon.

"I call on the Government to take immediate action, to invest in sewerage infrastructure to protect this fragile aquatic environment.

"National clearly aren't afraid of ramming legislation out under urgency. This is clearly an urgent situation that could easily assume crisis proportions if remedial action isn't taken."

Clean beaches, rivers and harbours are New Zealand's ecological base, that underpins our international appeal, Dr Norman says.

"Keeping our waterways pristine is a strategic economic investment in Kiwi tourism, a vital industry as it's one of our biggest earners.

"I call on the Government to include sewerage upgrades in its infrastructure programme. This will mean people can go sailing in our harbours without worrying about getting sick. This will protect both our environment and our economy."


ENDS

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