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Forest & Bird welcomes Greens' proposal to detox waterways

13 July 2014 - Wellington

Forest & Bird media release for immediate use

Forest & Bird welcomes Greens' proposal to detox waterways

Forest & Bird is welcoming the Green Party's announcement that it will campaign on implementing key recommendations of the Land and Water Forum to clean up New Zealand's lakes and rivers.

The announcement was made by the party today.

"Strengthening the newly-released National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management would be a good step towards cleaning up New Zealand's lakes and rivers," Forest & Bird Advocacy Manager Kevin Hackwell says.

"Creating a National Environmental Standard for water quality, which would not allow lakes and rivers to become toxic to aquatic life - and that would allow people to swim - would be another very positive step.

"We are pleased the Green Party is supporting the Land and Water Forum's recommendation that collaborative processes need to be established to allow all the stakeholders to work out together how to curb pollution, and meet the national water quality standards.

"Forest & Bird would like to see a commitment from the Green Party that these efforts would be properly resourced, at both central and regional government level," Kevin Hackwell says.

The Green Party also says it would establish a network of protected rivers. The New Zealand Conservation Authority made a similar recommendation several years ago.

"We have national parks and marine reserves, but the systems for protecting our outstanding rivers are inadequate," Kevin Hackwell says.

The party also says it would not allow any more wild rivers to be dammed, and that it would transfer the management of river beds to the Department of Conservation.

"That would avoid the problems that have stemmed from having unprotected rivers flowing through protected national parks and conservation areas," Kevin Hackwell says.


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