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Writer, artists, comedians, Olympic rower in rivers campaign

5 June 2014

Writer, artists, comedians and Olympic rower join Green Party rivers campaign

The Green Party is celebrating World Environment Day with a renewed call for swimmable rivers.

Seven well known New Zealanders joined with the Green Party in calling on Environment Minister to ensure New Zealand’s rivers are clean and safe for swimming. The big names include Brian Turner, Craig Potton, Grahame Sydney, Michele A’Court, Rob Hamill, Te Awanui Reeder and Tiki Taane.

“We know that New Zealanders love our rivers and want to be able to swim in them,” said Green Party water spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“The Environment Minister is currently considering the submissions of thousands of New Zealanders who called for our rivers to be swimmable. The decision should be easy,” said Ms Sage.

“Over 6,900 of the approximately 7,000 New Zealanders who submitted on the Government’s proposed water quality rules called for rivers that were swimmable. The Government is proposing bottom lines that are only clean enough for wading.

“Rivers shape our memories whether it is a day at a river in the summer heat, skimming stones with the family, having kai on the banks or plunging into a deep pool. We need to look after our rivers, lakes and streams so that all New Zealanders can treasure memories of a hot summers day down at their swimming hole,” said Ms Sage.

“Summers at our crib in Arrowtown in the 1960s were largely passed in the blessed company of the Arrow River, a refreshing, ice-clear , benevolent ribbon hemmed in by slopes too steep to climb, intensifying the daytime heat like the focused beam of a magnifying glass. It was an escape to a separate, shimmering world,” said artist Grahame Sydney.

“I've been following the situation closely, and with a gathering despair. It’s an immensely damaging problem which is not being adequately addressed,” Mr Sydney said.

For more information:
Open Letter - https://www.greens.org.nz/clean-rivers-open-letter

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