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Tukituki plan decision dams National’s weak water rules

Tukituki plan decision dams National’s weak water rules

The Board of Inquiry decision on the Tukituki regional plan confirms that National’s approach to water quality rules will allow our rivers to become toxic, the Green Party said today.

“The Board’s decision signals that the Government’s favoured model for managing water quality doesn’t stack up and will allow more water pollution,” said Green Party water spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

The Board has said water quality should be managed to ensure rivers are ecologically healthy and not allowed to become toxic.

“The Government’s proposed national objectives and bottom lines will let our rivers become more polluted than China’s Yangtze River. New Zealanders don’t want that.

“The Government now has to rethink its proposed changes to the National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management because the board ruled against allowing nitrate pollution to toxic levels,” said Ms Sage.

Water quality scientist Dr Russell Death in his evidence to the board used the analogy that, “very few people die from alcohol poisoning, that’s the nitrate toxicity level, but a lot of people get quite sick when they drink a reasonable level.”

“We need strong water rules that ensure our rivers are healthy for fish and other aquatic life, and are safe for swimming.

“That means limits on polluting nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus should be at levels which protect the ecological health of rivers, not at levels which are toxic to aquatic life. And it means setting limits on faecal contamination so that we can safely swim in our rivers. The Government’s proposed water objectives do neither,” said Ms Sage.

ends

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