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

 


National water standards needed now

15 November 2012
National water standards needed now

The Government needs to implement effective national environmental standards for fresh water after the Land and Water Forum did not produce any, the Green Party said today.

“There are two glaring omissions in the Land and Water Forum report released today – the lack of crucial national environmental standards for water and no charges for the commercial use of water,” Green Party water spokesperson Eugenie Sage said.

“In April, the Forum signalled national standards would be part of its third and final report but National Government ministers stopped the Forum from completing that work. Such standards are essential to determine controls on land use and limit how much nutrient and other pollutants can go into waterways.

“Our freshwater is in crisis. More than half of our monitored rivers are unsafe for swimming, one-third of our lakes are unhealthy, and two-thirds of our native freshwater fish are at risk or threatened with extinction.

“If we want clean rivers, lakes and aquifers we need strong national environmental standards for freshwater.

“We also need to start charging for the commercial use of water such as the water used for intensive farming. That money could be used to pay for clean-up initiatives.
“A charge on irrigation water is an effective price signal to more efficiently allocate a scarce resource.

“The report suggests creating a market for water rights by making them tradable, but that would just further complicate water management. It could result in ‘water barons’ - a few companies or wealthy individuals - locking up resources with no benefits to river flows or water quality.

“The report sets out how councils should use regional plans under the RMA to set objectives and limits on contaminants and takes for rivers and aquifers, but lacks guidance on what those limits should be.

“This means any slowing of water quality decline is unlikely anytime soon given that only 5 percent of catchments have such limits for water quality.

“This report shows irrigators and agribusiness got a lot of what they wanted but without having to balance that with measures like having to pay for the water they use or agree to key regulatory controls which are missing.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river.

“Despite an explicit assurance from Minister Smith that the new water standards would provide for human and ecosystem health, he has failed to deliver on either of these things,” says Forest & Bird CEO Kevin Hague. More>>

 
 

Mayor: 750 New Social And Affordable Homes For Wellington

The next stage of Wellington’s Housing Upgrade Programme will see at least 750 new units of social and affordable housing built over the next decade, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. More>>

ALSO:


November Quakes:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:


Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news