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

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014.

During his visit, President Xi Jinping met with Governor-General Jerry Mateparae, and held talks with Prime Minister John Key. The leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of common interest. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

China President Wishlists: Greens Welcome Xi, But Human Rights Need To Be On Agenda

“President Xi has made some progress on climate change, but he must also lift the Chinese government’s game on human rights issues,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said... It is important that our Government continues to urge the Chinese government to show restraint and respect human rights in both Tibet and the Xinjiang province.” More>>

ALSO:

Airport Security Breach: CAA Fines Minister

Minister Brownlee has been issued an infringement notice and is required to pay a $2000 infringement fine for breaching Civil Aviation Rule 19.357(b), which states no person may be in an airport security area without an appropriate identity card or document. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news