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

 


PQ 11. Freshwater Management

11. Freshwater Management, National Policy Statement—Water Quality of Rivers
[Sitting date: 23 July 2014. Volume:700;Page:15. Text is subject to correction.]
11. EUGENIE SAGE (Green) to the Minister for the Environment : Does the Government’s National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management require the 61 percent of monitored recreational river sites that are graded “poor” or “very poor” to be safe for swimming?
Hon AMY ADAMS (Minister for the Environment): The national policy statement requires all fresh water to be at a level that experts tell us will protect aquatic species and human health. Beyond that, it does not set requirements on a river-by-river basis. They are national standards, and above the bottom lines, it is for each community to decide what goal will be set in each case.
Eugenie Sage : Does she think it acceptable that these sites, chosen because they are popular for swimming, are actually too polluted to safely swim at and that her weak bottom lines will not make a difference?
Hon AMY ADAMS : Well, the member is quite wrong in her assertion. First of all, what we are talking about here is 94 sites out of a total of 425,000 kilometres of waterways, and even fewer than that actually measuring as potentially at risk, and even those are generally safe for swimming most of the time.
Eugenie Sage : When the Minister said that we need to manage popular lake and river swimming spots for swimming, did that include the Waikirikiri Selwyn River on her doorstep, which has multiple sites that are unsafe for swimming, and which her national bottom line—that rivers have to be fit only for wading and not for swimming—will not clean up?
Hon AMY ADAMS : What we have said consistently is that we trust local communities to know which sites they want to protect for swimming and to take the necessary steps to do that. I back my community to make decisions about what it wants to protect for swimming, and I am not going to impose costs on every community, every business, and every household in New Zealand because the Greens want every drainage ditch to be managed as if it was a swimming pool. It is ludicrous.
Eugenie Sage : What advice has the Minister had on the cost to local authorities of multiple regional plan processes and court litigation that result from her decision to leave it to councils to determine whether rivers should be clean and safe for swimming, rather than having a national bottom line?
Hon AMY ADAMS : What I can tell that member is that, of course, at the moment—and the situation that that member’s party was quite happy with when it was in a position to do something about it—these decisions are entirely for councils, the difference being that at the moment the Government provides no assistance, no national consistency, and no standardised science. That is what we have done and that will significantly reduce the time and the cost on each community in making those decisions. I am just surprised that member does not back local communities.
Eugenie Sage : Can the Minister confirm that she is abandoning annual reporting on recreational river quality in the suitability for swimming indicator report because the National Government is trying to hide the bad news?
Hon AMY ADAMS : That member well knows that we are moving to the most comprehensive system of environmental reporting that this country has ever had, under which water quality will be reported twice in every 18 months—a system, by the way, that did not exist in 2007 when the Greens were propping up a Labour Government that picked and chose what information it wanted to give to the public.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

'Tea Break Bill' Passes: Gordon Campbell On Bad Labour Laws And Poor Safety

By co-incidence, one of the prime dangers of the government’s new employment relations law has been underlined by the release of the death and injury statistics among workers at New Zealand ports. These are highly profitable enterprises for the port owners.

The Port of Tauranga for instance, is expecting its current full-year profit to be between $78 million and $83 million and other ports are enjoying similar boom times – but they are also highly dangerous places for the people who work on or around the port premises. At the Port of Tauranga, there have been 26 serious accidents since 2011, and two deaths. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

No Charges: Outcome Of Operation Clover Investigation

Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls in the Waitemata Police district and wider Auckland area... More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF Report: NZ Cautioned On "Stagnating" Child Poverty

An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession. More>>

ALSO:

Funding Report: Two Pathways For Transport In Auckland

Commissioned by Auckland Council, the group was asked to investigate two possible pathways for raising $300 million per year ($12 billion over 30 years) to pay for the improvements needed to help fix Auckland’s transport system. More>>

ALSO:

Pay Equity: Equal Pay Win In Court Of Appeal

CTU: The Court of Appeal has made a historic decision paving the way for a substantial equal pay claim for aged care workers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Finishing Line, And Amazon’s Woes

If the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal wasn’t such a serious matter, this would be pretty funny… More>>

ALSO:

TV3 Video: Three Die On Roads Over Labour Weekend

The official holiday period ended at 6am Tuesday, with three deaths on the roads during the Labour Day weekend. More>>

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news