Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


National muddying waters and needs to come clean

14 July 2014

National muddying waters and needs to come clean

The Government’s inaccurate response to the Green Party’s clean rivers policy shows it is scared of the Party’s plans that will actually make rivers clean enough to swim in, the Green Party said today.

Minister of Economic Development, Steven Joyce, claims that only polluted sites are monitored. However the most recent Ministry for the Environment report card on the suitability of our rivers for swimming shows 61 percent of our monitored river swimming sites are not safe for swimming. The report identifies that sites are selected because they are “popular for primary contact recreation”.

“Joyce has simply got it wrong again,” said Green Party water spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“New Zealanders want to be able to swim in their local river, but National’s plans offer nothing better than the ability to wade in them.

“If the Government wants to turn our rivers into drainage ditches, then it should come clean about that.

“National is being mischievous with the facts:

- They are ignoring the jobs cleaning up our rivers can create, and overlooking the cost we face if we fail to ensure our clean green image matches reality;

- Their claims that water conservation orders are adequate overlooks the fact that under National the Rakaia’s water conversation order was weakened to allow more irrigation;

- Water conservation orders also don’t protect rivers from pollution. The Mohaka and some of its tributaries are protected by a Water Conservation Order. This has not prevented a major tributary, the Taharua River, from being polluted by more intensive land use in its catchment;

- The Environment Minister has forgotten that there is a definition of river in the Resource Management Act that excludes farm drainage ditches, irrigation canal and water supply races;

- The Yangtze River was cited by the New Zealand Freshwater Sciences society in their submission on the Government’s water quality proposal, along with the Mississippi River which is so polluted it has created ‘dead zones’ in the Gulf of Mexico,

- Mainly more rivers than the 13 covered by water conservation orders deserve protection.

“If the National minister want to argue with the science then they should take it up with the scientists. What we know is that New Zealanders want to be able to swim in the rivers where they live, and we can have rules that ensure they can.

“The Environment Minister Amy Adams has stated that she would like her children to be able to swim in the lakes and rivers where she lives. Many monitored swimming sites where she lives are graded unsafe for swimming, including the Selwyn River/Waikirikiri at the Upper Huts.

“An Environment Canterbury report that covers water quality in the Selwyn electorate cited that further land use intensification is likely to lead to further compromise of recreational values like swimming.

“Despite this her Government has backed the Central Plains irrigation scheme which will result in more pollution of the rivers in the Selwyn electorate, and Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere,” said Dr Sage.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

More Evidence - Scoop Press Conference Recordings:
PM's Post-Cab Presser 8/8/11
"at that point [Tucker] told me he'd release it ..."

Hager Revelations: Inquiry Into NZSIS Release Of Goff Docs

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS), Cheryl Gwyn, announced she would be instituting an inquiry concerning allegations that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) might have released official information to Mr Cameron Slater, regarding briefings provided to the then Leader of the Opposition, for political purposes...

“I am satisfied there is a sufficient public interest justifying the commencement of an own-motion inquiry into the substance of the issues raised with my Office,” said Ms Gwyn. More>>

Goff: Director’s Letter Contradicts Key’s Claims

At yesterday’s media standup, when asked on the topic John Key said ‘I wasn’t told’...
“In a letter dated November 2011 former SIS director Warren Tucker states three times that ‘in accordance with the usual practice of keeping the minister informed’ the Prime Minister had been told. More>>


 

Parliament Today:

Schools, PPTA Sign Up: Primary Teachers And Principals Vote Down Govt Plan

Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Usual Round Of Mud Slinging And Name-Calling

This week gave an interesting example of how hard it is to untangle the reality from the slanging matches. The issue that emerged early this week could hardly be more important. Does the government intend to cut spending in health, education and on the environment if re-elected, or not? More>>

Earlier:

Electionresults.co.nz: National and NZ First Rise in Roy Morgan Poll

National has bounced back in the latest Roy Morgan Poll but the big winner has been New Zealand First who rise to their highest level of support since September 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Fish Pun Warning: By Hoki! It’s Labour’s Fisheries Policy

A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. More>>

ALSO:

It's Official: Governor General Gives Direction To Conduct Election

The Governor General has signed the writ directing the Electoral Commission to conduct the General Election on 20 September 2014. This is the formal authority to run the 2014 election, and enables candidate nominations to open tomorrow Thursday 21 August 2014. More>>

Gordon Campbell: No More Mr Nice Guy

When future historians seek to identify the exact moment when the prime ministerial career of John Key hit the downward slope, they may well point to Key’s interview yesterday with Guyon Espiner on RNZ’s Morning Report. More>>

ALSO:

Dirty (Politics) Weekend: Collins’ Admission Reason For Key To Act

"Despite claiming that the evidence about her in Nicky Hager's book was ‘false’ Judith Collins has now been forced to admit that she did send information about a Ministerial Services staff member to Cameron Slater for him to use in a baseless smear campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Potential Disasters: Underground Coal Fire On Denniston Plateau

Forest & Bird says one or more coal fires have broken out beneath the Denniston Plateau, and that the Department of Conservation (DOC) must stop Bathurst Resources’ preparatory mining work going on there until the fire or fires are extinguished. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news