Parliament

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

Gordon Campbell: On (Not) Taking Responsibility, Terrorism Porn, And Dylan’s 76th

So Martin Matthews, our current Auditor-General wishes he could have detected “earlier” the fraud that occurred on his watch at the Ministry of Transport. Hmmm. But he could have detected it earlier, surely? That’s the point.

Reportedly, some junior members of his staff had been trying to tell him and his senior colleagues in management for years about the fraudulent actions of Joanne Harrison... Not only were those internal alerts apparently ignored. Some of the whistle blowers were allegedly punished by losing their jobs, as Harrison and her colleagues in management took revenge on them... More>>

Auditor-General's Statement: Standing Aside for Review of Appointment
Yesterday, I wrote to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and requested an independent person review my suitability for the role of Controller and Auditor-General... More>>

 

NGOs Pleased: Govt To Halt Collection Of Client Data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and national manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through. More>>

ALSO:

Gosh: Blasphemy Law Repeal Struck Down

Chris Hipkins, the MP who tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to add our Blasphemy Law to the Statutes Repeal Bill, said this was a "sad day for freedom of speech, tolerance, and leadership". More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Navy’s Dealings With Fat Leonard, And Twin Peaks

At an official level, our “she’ll be right” attitude routinely spills over into a keen resentment of anyone who suggests the outcomes may be less than satisfactory… The Navy has now gone one step beyond. It won’t even ask itself whether it did a good job. More>>

ALSO:

NZDF: Fifth Rotation Of Troops Heads To Iraq

The fifth rotation of New Zealand Defence Force troops left today for a six-month mission training Iraqi soldiers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Demonising Of Iran

Will New Zealand still be willing to pursue its recent trade overtures to Iran, now that US President Donald Trump has used his speech in Riyadh to single out Iran as the main source of terrorism and instability in the Middle East? More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Budget Offers: Green Party’s New Plan Puts Kiwi Families First

The Green Party has a plan to help all Kiwi kids have a great start to life, by giving parents more financial support and more flexibility at work. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

Opening The Election Supporters

 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election