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Expert advice ignored over water quality

Meka WHAITIRI

Water Spokesperson

6 December 2013           MEDIA STATEMENT

Expert advice ignored over water quality

Commissioners at Environment Canterbury must not ignore expert advice from scientists and economists, says Labours Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.

“The scientists are saying that nitrate levels in the Land and Water Regional Plan are being set at a level that will cause toxicity in Canterbury’s water.

“Water quality will be a critical issue throughout New Zealand in the coming decades and nowhere will this be more important than on the Canterbury Plains.

“The Medical Officer of Health Alistair Humphries has spoken out about the dangers to infants of nitrates leaching into the region’s soils and contaminating the groundwater.

“The region should be congratulated for now measuring that level of nitrate leaching into the soil but it is no use if we are just measuring the toxicity.

“The onus is now on the Canterbury commissioners to prove that the minimum toxicity levels they are planning to enforce are safe and in fact decreasing. It is not just enough for them to say they are right and their opponents are wrong,” says Meka Whaitiri.

“I challenge them to show the people of New Zealand they can prove these levels are not only safe but scientifically robust, ”says Meka Whaitiri.

ENDS

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