Parliament

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

 

National’s water announcement is election band-aid

3 September 2014

National’s water announcement is election band-aid

"National’s water announcement is an election band-aid on a gaping wound because it doesn’t address the main cause of water pollution: intensification of land use,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

John Key announced that $100 million would be spent on retiring land next to important waterways, and that dairy farmers would be required to fence streams on their properties by 2017. To date, National has allocated $120 of the $400 million it ear-marked in 2011 for irrigation subsidies.

“The National Government is encouraging and subsidising irrigation that will lead to increasing land use intensification – putting more animals and fertiliser on our land – and the science is absolutely clear that this leads to increased water pollution,” said Dr Norman.

“John Key must stop simultaneously subsidising pollution and pollution clean-up and focus on preventing environmental damage from happening in the first place.”

New Zealand's environmental watchdog, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment said that she found it difficult to see how water quality wouldn’t continue to decline in the next few years if we continue with large-scale conversions of land to more intensive uses because mitigation cannot offset the resulting increase in nutrient pollution.

“Fencing dairy cows out of streams is a token gesture if you stop at that. We need to put a halt on dairy conversions in regions where there are already too many cows, and too much pollution in our rivers,” said Dr Norman.

“Ten million per year to retire land near waterways will not solve our water quality problems if we continue to allow more conversions in sensitive catchments.

“Based on Dairy NZ figures – that $10 million a year will only mean 777 fewer cows. Two new conversions and that’s gone.

“National could have put controls on intensification, with its National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS), but it chose not to against expert advice.

“The draft NPS, written by a group of experts appointed by the Government, required land owners to obtain a resource consent for land use intensification, but the National Government bowed to polluter pressure and removed this requirement in the final version. This means that some regional councils cannot say no to dairy conversions.

“National’s irrigation subsidy will result in the degradation of our rivers and lakes and the taxpayer will end up having to pay for waterway clean-ups.

It’s time for the Green Party’s plan for clean rivers and lakes. The Green Party will establish a protected rivers network and implement new standards and rules for water quality that ensure our rivers and lakes are clean enough to swim in.

“At this election voters have a clear choice, National’s rivers that are so polluted you can only dip your toe in them, or the Green Party’s plan for clean rivers you can swim in.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care.

In effect, there will now be two closely related reports. An initial report into the historical mistreatment of children in state care will be delivered by the end of 2020, and - two years later – a report into how “faith based institutions” investigation dealt with children will be presented as part of the Commission’s final conclusions... More>>

 

Rebuilding: Dame Silvia Cartwright To Lead Public Inquiry Into EQC

“The aim of the inquiry is to learn from the experience of the Canterbury earthquakes and ensure that the Earthquake Commission is fit for purpose in future events." More>>

ALSO:

Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>

ALSO:

"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>

ALSO:

Govt Loses In Supreme Court: Call For Debate On Prisoners' Right To Vote

The court earlier this week upheld a High Court decision which found that a law restricting a prisoner's right to vote was inconsistent with the Bill of Rights. More>>

ALSO:

Shenanigans: NZ First Accepts Jami-Lee Ross Proxy Vote

The New Zealand First caucus strongly believes that in terms of the Electoral Integrity Amendment Act, that someone in Mr Ross’ position should resign his seat... the New Zealand First Whip will use Mr Ross’ proxy–to be exercised at all times in support of the vote of the National Party... More>>

ALSO:

Call For Conversation: Do You Know What Data Is Being Collected About You?

New Zealand Maori Council has called on a national conversation when it comes to data sovereignty asking the question “just how many people know what data is being collected, why and how is it being used?” More>>

Economic Policy: Gordon Campbell On The Aussie Banks And Their Profits

Some folk rob you with a six-gun, as Woody Guthrie once memorably put it, and some rob you with a fountain pen. And some do it in broad daylight without blinking, while the government looks on impotently. More>>

ALSO:

Drug Law: Cost Benefit Analysis Shows Reform Stacks Up

Both decriminalisation of drugs and introduction of a strictly regulated market for cannabis are fiscally positive. Shifting away from a punitive response to drug use would significantly reduce costs in the criminal justice system. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels