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

Human Rights Commission: Urgent Need For Action On Seclusion And Restraint

A new independent report has outlined a number of serious concerns about New Zealand’s seclusion and restraint practices, says the Human Rights Commission...

Chief Human Rights Commissioner David Rutherford says that while the report makes for sobering reading, the focus should now be on how the recommendations can be used to reduce the occurrence of seclusion and restraint in New Zealand and, in circumstances where it is necessary, to improve practices. More>>

 

$11bn Capital Spend, New Debt Target: Steven Joyce On Budget Priorities

First, delivering better public services for a growing country – providing all New Zealanders with the opportunity to lead successful independent lives... And finally, we remain committed to reducing the tax burden and in particular the impact of marginal tax rates on lower and middle income earners, when we have the room to do so. More>>

ALSO:

JustSpeak Report: Bail Changes To Blame For New Billion Dollar Prison

In 2013 criminal justice spending was falling and the Government was mulling over what to spend the money on. 3 years later there are 10,000 people in prison and a new billion dollar prison is announced. More>>

ALSO:

Asylum: Dunne Accepts Hundreds Of Postcards On Refugee Categories

Minister Peter Dunne today accepted over 800 postcards calling for convention refugees to have the same entitlements as quota refugees... The campaign has been run with ActionStation together with LUSH Cosmetics, with postcards being signed in stores around New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Reshuffle: PM Announces Changes To Ministerial Portfolios

Prime Minister Bill English today announced the appointment of Gerry Brownlee as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nathan Guy as Minister of Civil Defence, Nikki Kaye as Minister of Education and Mark Mitchell as Minister of Defence. More>>

ALSO:

Q+A Transcript: CTU Call For 'National Standards' On Wages

‘If you look at countries who do better than us, who pay wages better, who have more competitive industries, more successful economies, they have systems where there are national standards.’ More>>

ALSO:

Energy: Greens Launch Plan For Cheaper And Cleaner Electricity

$112 million for winter warm-up payments to help low-income households cover their power bills • setting a goal for 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 (in average hydrological conditions) • an investigation into the electricity wholesale market. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news