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

 

PM's Press Conference: Crime And Diplomacy

The Prime Minister's press conference today was dominated by foreign affairs and an open letter from the PM to the Chinese community on crime. More>>

ACC: Govt Caught In Unethical Cluster Bomb Investments

The ACC Fund admitted that it had $1.4 million invested in cluster munitions and nuclear weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Before responding to the Green Party’s request for information,however, ACC sold its Lockheed investment and updated its ethical investment policy. More>>

ALSO:

Local Governments To Decide: Easter Trading Bill Passes

The union representing working people in the retail industry is condemning the Government for whipping its MPs to pass the controversial Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill. More>>c

ALSO:

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news