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

 

Parliament Today:

The Kids: OECD Report Shows Huge Impact Of Poverty On Education

A new report from the OECD has again highlighted the negative effects of poverty, showing that disadvantaged children in New Zealand are more than six times more likely to underachieve in maths than children from wealthier homes. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific: NZ Pledges $500,000 To Help Address Zika

“With the Zika virus now confirmed in a number of Pacific countries, New Zealand is committed to helping limit the impact and spread of the virus in the region,” says Mr McCully. “New Zealand will provide $250,000 as a contribution to the WHO to implement the Pacific Zika Action Plan, and a further $250,000 to enable countries in the region to respond rapidly if required." More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Police Commissioner 'Doesn’t Get Force Needs'

The Police Commissioner has let down the public and his own force by insisting the police have what they need despite it taking a year to solve a burglary and overwhelming number of officers saying they are under-resourced, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Pressure To Expand Our Role In Iraq

Foreign news services are being more forthcoming about what the “next 12 months” will entail – essentially, the defence ministers will be under US pressure to increase their “training” role preparatory to an assault on the city of Mosul in northern Iraq. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Restarts: Prime Minister’s Statement

Our policy agenda and legislative programme will reflect the Government’s four priorities: • to responsibly manage the Government’s finances • to build a more competitive and productive economy • to deliver better public services to New Zealanders, an • to support the rebuilding of Christchurch. More>>

ALSO:

NZEI Survey Report: Special Needs Students Missing Out

The survey revealed that around 16 percent of students were on schools’ special needs registers, but nearly 90 percent of schools’ special needs coordinators did not believe there was adequate support for students and their learning... More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Waitangi Tribunal On Ture Whenua Legislation

Labour on Proposed changes to Maori land rules: “To have Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson dismiss findings as ‘bizarre’ is totally disingenuous and disrespectful. What’s bizarre is Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell stubbornly pushing through this Bill before the Waitangi Tribunal has even completed its report..." More>>

ALSO:

Spy Update: Appointment Of GCSB Acting Director

GCSB Chief Legal Advisor Lisa Fong will become the Acting Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) from 15 February 2016, Minister Responsible for the GCSB Christopher Finlayson announced today. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news