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

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza?

As usual, Prime Minister John Key has busily tried to distance himself from the political fallout, even though he happens to be the main beneficiary of the Remuneration Authority’s generosity. Finance Minister Bill English says with a straight face that it would actually be very hard to give the money back...

Even if it were true, it would actually be very easy for English and any other guilty colleagues, to give the extra money away. There are any number of food banks or homeless shelters who would be able to put the money to good use. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

No Designers Or Visual Artists: Flag Panel Members Announced

The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour MP Stands Down From Portfolio: Comment From Carmel Sepuloni

The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday. I spoke to Andrew and we agreed there is a conflict of interest at the present time which means I will temporarily stand aside from the Social Development portfolio. It’s the right thing to do… . More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Whether NZ Troops Are The Least Of Islamic State’s Problems

Given that it has been politically packaged and sold as a training mission, the Iraq deployment announced yesterday by Prime Minister John Key seemed to be mysteriously short of actual trainers... The other wing of the argument is whether a troop deployment is (a) the only effective way and (b) the appropriate time to combat Islamic State. More>>

ALSO:

143 Troops, Possible SAS Deployment, Legalities Unsorted: PM’s Statement On ISIL

Mr Speaker, today I am announcing to the House the Government’s decisions about our contribution to the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL... More>>

ALSO:

Liu Saga: PM's Dinner With Controversial Donor

John Key must front up to New Zealand and say what he discussed with Donghua Liu when the disgraced businessman paid $25,000 for the Prime Minister to come to dinner at his Remuera home, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Roads: National MP 'Concerned' At Overseas Driver Crashes

Waitaki MP and Parliamentary Private Secretary for Tourism Jacqui Dean said she was concerned at the number of fatal crashes involving overseas licence holders and she really felt that the time had come for more to be done. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: Parole Bill Passes

A bill reducing parole hearings deemed to be unnecessary has passed. The third reading of the Parole Amendment Bill was completed by 104 to 16 with the Greens and Maori Party opposed. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news