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

Gaza.Scoop: Another Israeli Attack On A Hospital

Israeli tanks attacked Al Aqsa hospital in Deir Al Balah, killing five patients and doctors, and injuring more than 70.

The third and fourth floors, housing the emergency department, orthopaedic department, surgical department, and the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) were destroyed. Operating theatres had to cease work because of the lack of oxygen.

Patients are being evacuated to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, and the European Gaza Hospital between Rafah and Khan Younes. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Non-Apology To Tania Billingsley

The refusal by Prime Minister John Key to issue a personal apology to Tania Billingsley has been accompanied by an array of excuses... Yesterday though, Key’s choice of words indicated that an apology was the last thing on his mind. More>>

ALSO:

Conventions: Winston Peters On The Nation

Winston Peters opens door to standing in East Coast Bays electorate, says it's an "exciting point" and he's thinking about it. "I’ve had a whole lot of people writing to me and calling up and saying ‘why don’t you have a go in East Coast Bays’." More>>

ALSO:

Waitangi Tribunal: Report On The MV Rena

In its interim report, the Waitangi Tribunal has found that the Crown’s conduct in response to the grounding of the MV Rena on Otaiti (Astrolabe) reef breached the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. More>>

ALSO:

Gaza: Wellington Protest For Palestine Calls For End To Bombing

Around 300 people gathered outside the Israeli Embassy in Wellington on Friday to protest Israel’s occupation of Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Failure To Prosecute The GCSB

So one hand of the state – the Independent Police Conduct Authority – has now washed the hands of its brother agencies, and declared that all hands are clean. Case closed. More>>

ALSO:

Illegal Search: Police Behaviour 'Reminiscent Of Tūhoe Raids'

"Māori will lose further trust and confidence in the New Zealand Police and the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) if the recent incident in Stratford is not adequately addressed. This behaviour would not occur in Epsom or Khandallah so why should police think that such behaviour was acceptable in Stratford," says Chris McKenzie. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On The Dotcom Emails

The Dotcom residency decision fails any number of sniff tests... Why, then, was it approved? Here we get into the realm of the “INZ being under political pressure” to approve Dotcom’s application. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shonky Police Statistics, And The Israeli Air Strikes On Gaza

When people systematically alter how being statistics are recorded in order to gain personal and organisational advantage, that’s usually when the Police get called in. Yet in the case of the burglary statistics in Counties-Manakau, it was the Police doing the fudging and – at the time – it was then-Police Minister Judith Collins claiming the credit... More>>

ALSO:

'Clean Rivers': Green Party Launches Key Election Priority

The Green Party will make a series of announcements over the course of the election campaign in which it will outline the specifics of how it will clean up our rivers and protect our beaches. In the first of these announcements the party launched its plan for clean rivers. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news