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

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>>

ALSO:

 
 

Immigration: Clampdown On Rogue Employers Good First Step

The Human Trafficking Research Coalition is pleased at the new clampdown on rouge employers who exploit migrants announced by Minister Woodhouse this morning, and believes this is a step in the right direction. More>>

ALSO:

Mayor: 750 New Social And Affordable Homes For Wellington (Over A Decade)

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