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

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Board Appointments: Some Minister Appoint Less The 3 In 10 Women

“It’s 2015 not 1915: Ministers who appoint less than 3 in 10 women to their boards must do better, they have no excuse but to do better,” said Dr Blue. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The 1990s Retro Proposals For Our Health System

As we learned yesterday, the reviews propose that the democratically elected representation on DHBs should be reduced, such that community wishes will be able to be over-ridden by political appointees. In today’s revelations, the reviews also propose a return to the destructive competitive health model of the 1990s. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Cab Press Conference: Foreign Buyers Register, TPP And Serco

At a press conference today in Wellington, John Key discussed the foreign buyers register as well as the TPP and Serco. Key was questioned on whether a stamp tax might be used as a tool to deal with foreign buyers. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood Satire: Serco To Outsource Prison To Public Sector

In response to high-profile failings, multinational omnicorporation Serco will introduce public management in its prison system. Serco's New Zealand manager, speaking on condition of anonymity, has announced plans for managers from the Department of Corrections to run the Mt Eden Correctional Facility. More>>

National Party Conference: Plans To Nudge Immigrants Towards Regions

The Government will introduce a package of immigration measures aimed at improving the spread of workers, skills and investment across New Zealand, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections: Serco Relieved Of Control At Mt Eden Prison, Retains Contract

Multi-national private prison operator Serco has been forced to hand back control of Auckland's Mt Eden remand prison to the Department of Corrections, which has used a 'step-in' clause in its contract with Serco following a string of increasingly serious allegations about contraband, prisoner injuries and a death. More>>

ALSO:

Other Experiments: Failing Charter School Stays Open 'For Kids'

Education Minister Hekia Parata says she has given Te Pumanawa o te Wairua in Northland a chance to continue operating because of her concerns about finding other educational opportunities for its students. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news