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

Greek Riddles:
Gordon Campbell On The Recent Smackdown Over Greece

There had been a fortnight of fevered buildup. Yet here we are in the aftermath of the February 28 showdown between the new Syriza government in Greece and the European Union “troika” and… no-one seems entirely sure what happened. Did the asteroid miss Earth?

It seems to have. The EU still exists. Syriza is now claiming a victory of sorts. It doesn’t help that the only people who do appear to be sure (the Greeks buckled) are claiming the exact opposite to what the other group (the Greeks won!) are saying. Plus, there are bets either way e.g. Bloomberg News: “Its too early to say who caved in to whom.” More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

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? More>>

ALSO:

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:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news