Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Act NOW to ensure all NZ rivers swimmable

Act NOW to ensure all NZ rivers swimmable


The National Government, through the Ministry for the Environment, is proposing to change the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management. In the face of serious declines in water quality in most NZ rivers, the government want us to accept rivers that are so polluted that we can only wade or boat in them but not immerse ourselves.

This acceptance of stink water quality is shocking. Hopefully, shocking enough for you to take action, tap into your networks and send a clear message to the government that it must set a higher standard for water quality. We need to maintain our ability to use our beautiful rivers for swimming, fishing, boating and ideally, drinking. The proposed standards would set the core ‘Compulsory Values’ for fresh water at “secondary contact recreation”.

Secondary contact recreation value is defined as water which “…will not present unacceptable risks to human health when used for wading or boating (except boating where there is a high likelihood of immersion)” and “…there would be no more than moderate risk of infection or illness to people when wading or boating…that do not involve immersion in the water.” 1

So we’re all OK with our rivers being so polluted that if you happen to slip while wading in them you have a moderate risk of getting sick??! Thirty years ago we could safely drink out of most of our rivers. What’s happened?

Well, mostly, it’s that unnecessary amounts of urea fertiliser on dairies have happened over the last 30 years. I stress unnecessary because dairies can be profitable and even grow MORE grass of better quality when they cut back by as much as ¾ on their urea applications. Organic dairies prosper without any urea fertiliser. The water quality problem is not really about dairy effluent. It is the volume and manner in which dairy farmers apply urea as a source of nitrogen that is the cause of leachate and water pollution. It doesn’t have to be this way. With changes in fertiliser regimes we can have profitable dairies that regenerate soils and do not pollute our rivers. It just takes political will to set the water quality bar higher. And that’s where you come in…

Ministry for the Environment (MFE) and your local parliamentarian need to know that you insist on all of our rivers being safely swimmable and headed back towards being drinkable again. You can do that by sending an email to watersubmissions@mfe.govt.nz. You can use the attached word file as a guide. The important thing is to be sure to give your name and email address and to state clearly that you want Section 4.3 Compulsory Value to be set a swimmable/ safe immersion level. 2

The second important thing is to send your email BEFORE 5pm February 4th…funny how the government seems to put controversial policies out for comment over the summer holidays when we’re all distracted and trying to relax.

The third important thing to do is to make this message go viral. Forward it to everyone you even vaguely know. And then follow up with a reminder. EVERYONE is affected by this whether it’s from not being able to collect kai to not being able to safely drink from your farm well. It is all connected to the way we’re fertilising and doing agriculture and that can be changed with win/win outcomes all around.

Remember that mining in national parks was stopped by 25,000 people marching down Queen’s Street. It can be done on this issue, too. Get angry. Get active.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

Ridiculous reported comments on RNZ this morning by Trade Minister Tim Groser, as he sought to dampen down concerns about the leaked draft of the IP chapter of ther Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. According to Groser, ‘extreme’ positions are common at the outset of negotiations, and these get whittled down over the course of negotiations. Fine.

Except that we’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations.

Still, Groser did promise that the cost of medicines would not rise as a result of the TPP trade deal. Great. But this is not what politicians in other countries are saying. More>>

.

 
 

Parliament Today:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:

Roy Morgan Poll: National Slips, Labour Hits Lows

The first New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll since the NZ Election shows National 43.5% (down 3.54% since the September 20 Election). This isn’t unusual, National support has dropped after each of John Key’s Election victories... However, support for the main opposition Labour Party has crashed to 22.5% (down 2.63% and the lowest support for Labour since the 1914 NZ Election as United Labour). More>>

ALSO:

In On First Round: New Zealand Wins Security Council Seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news