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

 

Labour's 'Future Of Work': Major Reform Of Careers And Apprenticeships

The next Labour Government will transform careers advice in high schools to ensure every student has a personalised career plan, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

State Investments Management: Treasury Likes IRD, Not Education Or Corrections

The Inland Revenue Department has scored an 'A' in the first tranche of the Treasury's investor confidence rating for state agencies that manage significant Crown investments and assets, gaining greater autonomy as a result, while the Corrections and Education ministries gained a 'C' rating. More>>

ALSO:

Govt Goal: NZ To Be "Predator Free" By 2050

Prime Minister John Key has today announced the Government has adopted the goal of New Zealand becoming Predator Free by 2050... “That’s why we have adopted this goal. Our ambition is that by 2050 every single part of New Zealand will be completely free of rats, stoats and possums." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The IOC’s Treatment Of Russian Sport, And Lone Wolf Terrorism

A blanket ban on Russian athletes would also have exposed the IOC to criticism that its treatment of Russia would have been marked contrast to its treatment say, of the track and field team from Kenya – a country about which the IOC has very similar doping concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Sounds Like A Plan: Auckland Council Receives Unitary Plan Recommendations

A key milestone in New Zealand planning history was reached today when the Independent Hearings Panel delivered the reports containing its recommendations on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan. More>>

ALSO:

National Park Expansion: Forests And Coast Of Kahurangi Protected

Five parcels of high value land totalling more than 890 hectares have been formally gazetted as part of the National Park. More>>

ALSO:

PPP Go-Ahead: SkyPath Gets Unanimous Support

Auckland’s SkyPath project has been given the go-ahead to be delivered through a public private partnership, after a unanimous decision at today’s Finance and Performance Committee. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Reserve Bank, The UN Shortlist, And Trump

Can there really be there any link between the US presidential elections and yesterday’s RBNZ signals on interest rates and the NZ dollar? Well, maybe. And it would be this: the improving US economy is reportedly putting a tailwind behind the US dollar, and rendering the actions of our Reserve Bank virtually irrelevant. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On What John Key Should Be Asking Joe Biden

No doubt, US Vice-President Joe Biden will be updating Prime Minister John Key on the chances of a TPP vote taking place in the ‘ lame duck’ session of Congress that’s held between the November’s election and the inauguration of a new President in January. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news