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

 


Government releases freshwater proposals

Government releases freshwater proposals

Environment Minister Amy Adams and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy today released a document outlining the Government’s proposed plan of action for improving water quality and the way freshwater is managed.

The proposals are consistent with and based on the Land and Water Forum’s (LAWF) recommended approach and gives effect to their core recommendations.

“Today, we start the most comprehensive and positive reform of our freshwater management system for a generation,” the Ministers say.

“LAWF’s significant work over the last four years has provided a strong basis for improving New Zealand’s freshwater management system.

“The Government is now at the point of being able to advance freshwater reforms that have wide buy-in, consider the long-term impacts of the way we manage our freshwater resource and provide greater certainty for those that need reliable access to water.

“These reforms are about the Government supporting communities to make decisions, plan and set freshwater objectives and limits, and then meet the challenges over time of managing our land and water use within those limits. They are also about ensuring we recognise the rights and interests of iwi in freshwater.”

The document outlines a clear path of reform ahead that will be addressed through a comprehensive and measured approach, starting this year.

Immediate steps will provide a suite of changes to strengthen and enhance the foundations of the freshwater management system.

A key element of the immediate proposals is the introduction of a National Objectives Framework. Among other things, this means the Government would require that, for the first time, New Zealand waterways would need to meet a national bottom line to ensure they are a healthy place for fish and plant life, and that they are safe for recreational activities.

The framework would ensure that councils have access to the best science, iwi values are understood and considered appropriately and freshwater objectives and limits are set in a consistent and well-targeted way.

Ms Adams says issues around water management remain challenging, but the cost of not dealing constructively with them has been significant and can no longer be ignored.

“The key tenet of the Government’s proposals is that improving our water management system will require solutions that start now and build over the long-term. There is no quick fix.

“Issues with our waterways have been building over a number of generations, and it is going to take a similarly long time to fully realise solutions for these issues.”

Mr Guy says New Zealand’s natural assets offer huge potential for economic growth but only if water is used and managed carefully within environmental limits.

“We know that managing water more efficiently through irrigation has the potential to increase our agricultural exports by $4 billion per year by 2026.

“To deliver this we need to allocate existing water more efficiently, and develop schemes that will store and distribute water for the benefit of both the economy and the environment.”
ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Overseas Investment: Auditor-General To Examine OIO

The Auditor-General is to examine how the Overseas Investment Office collects and manages information following a request from the parliament's finance and expenditure committee. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English Living In Denial

The working poor have been a direct byproduct of the economic policies in vogue for the past 30 years or more, all over the Western world... That anger was evident in the Brexit vote, and it underlies the support for Donald Trump in the United States. More>>

ALSO:

Final Reading Of Parental Leave Bill: Families With New Babies Victims Of Veto

“For the first time ever, a Bill will have a third reading debate and no vote will be taken at the end because the National Government has used its veto – an extreme measure against families,” says the Bill’s sponsor, Labour MP Sue Moroney. More>>

ALSO:

Water, Pests, Erosion...: Commissioner Releases Mixed Report Card On Environment

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has released a mixed report card in her assessment of the state of New Zealand’s environment. “We are lucky to live in an exceptionally beautiful country, but we have some big issues to face up to” said Dr Jan Wright. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Private Schools Beneficiaries Of Extra Cash

“Not only did this year’s Budget freeze operational funding for state schools, but 86 per cent of secondary school principals say they don’t get enough funding, and the demand for school donations from parents is rising at 10 times the rate of inflation... Now we’ve got Hekia Parata proposing more cash for private schools." More>>

ALSO:

Shop Hours Bill Second Reading: Government Blocks Easter Trading Petition

The union representing retail workers is warning that the Government is out of touch with working people after passing the second reading of the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, a law handing local authorities the power to permit trading on Easter Sunday. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news