Parliament

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

 

Funding cuts leave faeces in drinking water

19 June 2011

Funding cuts leave faeces in drinking water

A Government funding freeze and cuts have left rural communities drinking dirty water, the Green Party said today.

The Capital Assistance Programme aims to support small communities of under 5,000 people to improve drinking water quality, but the programme was put on hold in September 2009 for a governmental review. The programme was reinstated at the end of 2010, but with stricter eligibility criteria for communities and an $18 million budget cut.

“Some communities have faeces in their drinking water and yet the Government has limited their ability to clean up their water sources,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“Many of these small communities want to improve their water supplies but simply do not have the funds.

“At a time when nearly half of our lakes and around 90 per cent of our lowland rivers are classed as polluted, and these are the source of drinking water for many communities, the Government needs to be investing more money into helping communities supply clean, safe drinking water, not less.

“The Government’s sixteen month freeze on the drinking water capital works assistance program has limited communities’ ability to address drinking water concerns that were highlighted by the Ministry of Health a year ago.”

Information obtained by the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that some District Health Boards (DHBs) have made progress in their efforts to help communities improve drinking water, but thirty percent of DHBs said that the freeze on funding had been a limiting factor for some communities to improve their drinking water and monitoring regimes.

Roughly half of the country’s DHBs gave examples of work they were doing to address Ministry of Health recommendations, or indicated that they were working with contracted public health service providers to do so. Others indicated that they were working with communities, and three DHBs responded that they had made no progress towards addressing concerns.

“The Ministry of Health recommended that some DHBs remind local water suppliers that faeces in drinking water is a public health concern, and yet the Government is limiting their ability to eliminate contamination,” said Dr Norman.

The responsibility for ensuring safe drinking water supplies falls across the jurisdiction of several sectors, including DHBs, local councils, public health service providers and water suppliers who are contracted by local authorities to provide water. Ultimately it is the responsibility of the DHBs to audit other local authorities and contractors to ensure they are fulfilling their requirements.

“The Ministry of Health plans to publish their Annual Review of Drinking Water Quality for 2009/2010 by the end of the month” said Dr Norman. “I imagine we’ll then get an even clearer picture of how the Government’s spending cuts have affected communities’ ability to improve drinking water supplies.”

References:
Ministry of Health’s Annual Review of Drinking Water Quality 2008/09: http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/indexmh/annual-review-drinking-water-quality-nz-2008-09

Nearly half our lakes and 90% of our lowland rivers are classed as polluted: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10721337


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: on the inquiry into the abuse of children in care

Apparently, PM Jacinda Ardern has chosen to exclude faith-based institutions from the government’s promised inquiry into the abuse of children in state care.

Any role for religious institutions – eg the Catholic Church – would be only to observe and to learn from any revelations that arise from the inquiry’s self-limiting focus on state-run institutions… More

 

Gordon Campbell: On Jim Anderton
For anyone born after 1975, it is hard to grasp just how important a figure Jim Anderton was, for an entire generation.
During the mid to late 1980s, Anderton was the only significant public figure of resistance to the Labour government’s headlong embrace of Thatcherism...More>>

ALSO:


Gong Time: New Year's Honours List

Jacinda Ardern today congratulated the 179 New Zealanders named on the 2018 New Year’s Honours List.

“Although this list was compiled and completed by the last government, it is a pleasure to welcome in the New Year by recognising exceptional New Zealanders,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“As an Aunty, I love reading books to my nieces, so it’s lovely to congratulate Joy Cowley, who is made a member of the Order of New Zealand today....More
Full list


Roads: National launches bid to save highway projects

The National Party has launched a series of petitions aimed at saving regional highway projects at risk because of the Government’s obsession with Auckland trams…More>>

ALSO:


Medical Cannabis: Bill Introduced to “ease suffering”

Health Minister Dr David Clark says making medicinal cannabis more readily available will help relieve the suffering of people who are dying in pain More>>

ALSO:

Campbell: On The Quest For Zero Net Carbon Emissions
Some would querulously ask, zero net carbon emissions by 2050 – while others would say, why not?
More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: The Further Fraying Of The Welfare Safety Net

New Zealand’s welfare system has undergone a major transformation during the past three decades. This process has seriously thwarted the original intent of the system, which was to provide a decent standard of living for all New Zealanders in times of need... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages