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 First Time Voting (Centre Right)

For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

One guest columnist will be from the centre right, one from the centre left. Today’s column is from the centre right – by James Penn:

As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On National’s Phantom Tax Cut Package

Hmmm. So National’s tax cuts package turns out to be one of those television advertisements that screams a headline promise – perfect skin! a youth tonic that works! – while in very small print there’s an out clause: special conditions may apply. More>>

ALSO:

Water: New Marine Reserves On West Coast Opened

Five new marine reserves were officially opened by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith on the West Coast of the South Island to protect a range of marine ecosystems for conservation, science and recreation. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news