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

 


Key aspects of water standards disappoint

Key aspects of water standards disappoint

Independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird is concerned the government’s new national freshwater quality standards may encourage some councils to propose that rivers and lakes be allowed to become toxic to wildlife.

The final National Policy Statement was released today and is a response to a key recommendation of the Land and Water Forum that New Zealand should have a set of national bottom lines to protect the life-supporting capacity of, and to guide the use of, our freshwater resources.

“While the government’s new national standard contains several important improvements, it is disappointing that an important measure of ecosystem health has been defined in terms of nitrate toxicity to aquatic life,” says Forest & Bird Advocacy Manager Kevin Hackwell.

“The Board of Inquiry’s decision on the Ruataniwha irrigation dam made it clear that the ecological health of our lakes and rivers cannot be defined by nutrient levels approaching toxicity.
“Defining ecosystem health in terms of nitrate toxicity creates the risk that regional councils will consider it OK to set nitrate levels that will be constantly harmful to fish and invertebrates,” Kevin Hackwell says.

“This is what was rejected in the Ruataniwha case. However, we now run the risk of having to make the same arguments all around the country. Everyone had all been looking to the government to provide certainty from this national guidance.

“It is also disappointing that the government has not implemented the Land and Water Forum’s recommendation that ecosystem health should be defined in terms of the freshwater invertebrate communities. This recommendation was agreed to by the forum’s primary sector, iwi and environmental members,” Kevin Hackwell says.

One important improvement announced today is that the regime by which water bodies could be exempted from the bottom lines has been tightened up.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

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>>

Protests Close Roads: TPP Signed In Auckland

“TPP was signed by Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Viet Nam.” More>>

ALSO:

Emails Behind 'Diplomatic Immunity' Case: Whitehead Report Released

“As previously indicated the conclusions reached by Mr Whitehead’s investigation are not unexpected but they are very disappointing,” Mr Mccully says. “At the heart of the matter is a single email, along with procedural shortcomings, which gave Malaysian officials the impression it would be acceptable for Mr Rizalman to return to Malaysia." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Treaty/TPP Overlap, And Iowa

The fears about the ISDS provisions in the Trans Pacific Partnership deal are well-founded. The reality is that there is a sharp uptick in the occurrence of ISDS litigation in developed countries, and even the right wing likes of The Economist have been souring on the process for some time. More>>

ALSO:

Christchurch Red Zone Offers: Fresh High Court Proceedings

Grant Cameron, Solicitor for the Quake Outcasts said “the action seeks judicial review of the Crown’s recent decision to make a fresh offer to purchase properties from uninsured property owners in red zones. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Post-Cabinet Press Conference: Waitangi And TPP

Prime Minister John Key on Tuesday said his office has received an invitation for him to visit the Lower Marae on Waitangi Day, but was waiting for a meeting of the Te Tii Marae Trustees. More>>

ALSO:

Flagged: 'Wrong Colour' Bridge Flag To Change

NZ First: Only 13 days after National trumpeted its legally questionable flag on Auckland Harbour Bridge, it is now coming down because it is the wrong colour... “Mr Key’s latest flag fiasco is another waste of taxpayers' money. Given it is coming down, down is exactly the location where it should remain. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Children Head Back To School

“Across the whole of this year we expect 61,820 five year olds will begin their primary schooling for the first time,” says the Ministry of Education head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey. More>>

ALSO:

Dog & Lemon: FBI Disagrees With NZ Government Over Police Chases

Multiple studies, quoted by the FBI, show that once suspects realise they're no longer being chased; they tend to slow down to normal driving speeds and therefore become far less of a risk. The FBI report also categorically rejected the argument that abandoning police chases meant ‘giving in’ to offenders. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news