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Sustainable Water: Programme Of Action Needed Now

10 April 2006

Sustainable Water: Programme Of Action Needed Now

Fish & Game New Zealand has welcomed the Government's Sustainable Water Programme of Action released today which recognises that New Zealand's fresh water resource is both finite and threatened.

"The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry's statement that, 'the days of taking the unlimited use of water for granter are over' is welcomed by Fish & Game New Zealand and seen as a crucial step towards reversing destructive trends, but action is need now," says Bryce Johnson, Director, Fish & Game New Zealand.

"Fish & Game welcomes Government's recognition that there will be no private ownership of fresh water, that this precious and finite resource will continue to belong to all New Zealanders, and that it is a fundamental and vital foundation for our way of life, our wellbeing and economic prosperity. The resource is currently being degraded throughout the country, and over allocated in some areas, to the detriment of us all."

"The Government's willingness to take a greater central role in freshwater management is also welcomed, as is the recognised need for agriculture to take responsibility for its adverse environmental affects. Similarly, the need for a national approach to the problem is a clear signal that the consistency of regional council performance on water issues will get special attention. Hopefully, this will include specific water management planning and mandatory state of the environment reporting.

"The key word in the strategy title is 'action.' No amount of discussion, policy papers, research or periods of grace will recover one drop of water. In this regards the proposed leadership group will be critically important. "


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