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

 


Greens need to get on the water policy bus

13 July 2014

Greens need to get on the water policy bus

Instead of attacking policy that will massively improve New Zealand water quality, Federated Farmers says the Green Party would be more credible if it showed a lot more bipartisan leadership in supporting that policy.

“The new National Policy Statement (NPS) of Freshwater, actually requires regional councils to maintain or improve water quality while giving the wider community the choice of how far they want to go in order to improve our lakes and rivers,” says Ian Mackenzie, Federated Farmers Environment spokesperson.

“If the community wants to ensure that certain rivers and lakes are safe for swimming that is supported within the NPS. But the NPS also requires they be fully informed as to the effect upon jobs, rates and their local economy, when making that choice.

“To leap into swimming as the gold standard for all, without some sort of exceptions regime, will likely cost urban ratepayers massively in the pocket.

“This Green Party policy intent shows a lack of integrity. It cannot be implemented fairly without a huge cost to society and will likely only end up being implemented in rural areas instead of all waterways.

“In other words, it will let off the hook some of our most polluted waterways, like Wellington’s Waiwhetu Stream and Christchurch’s Avon, yet insist on higher standards for our rural streams and rivers. This is cynical lip service to comprehensively addressing water quality.

“If this is truly a water quality policy, then will it fails to address the fact that more than half of the water quality monitoring sites are within 2 kilometres of urban areas and 90 percent are within 10 kilometres.

“The Green’s may say the NPS is too soft and they would be harder, excepting of course, those areas where most of its supporters are. A soft exemption regime excusing urban water bodies is playing Pork Barrel politics with water and really questions their environmental integrity

“The claim that two-thirds of our waterways are too polluted to swim shows little regard for facts. The Dominion Post recently used the “60 percent” figure in an editorial that drew a rebuke from the Ministry for the Environment, which described the figure as repeating fiction.

“As the Ministry’s Guy Beatson has pointed out, “..most monitoring occurs on large rivers near towns. Around 60 percent of monitored sites may be considered poor or very poor for swimming, but these monitored sites are not representative and should not be scaled up to make conclusions about the health risk in all of New Zealand's waters”.

“Between 1999 and 2008, the Green Party was in pole position to push for minimum standards but didn’t. Political theatrics like this now doesn’t do much for its credibility, when, for the first time ever, there are national bottomlines in the new NPS for Freshwater.

“If they genuinely cared about the environment, the Green’s would show some moral fortitude, show some bipartisanship and back what is arguably the leading legislation protecting water quality of its kind, anywhere in the world.

“Instead, it is targeting one section of the community for politicisation.

“The important thing about having minimum standards for water is that the Government has resisted any attempt to have them set at a level, which would shut down the economy. We can summarise the Green’s policy track as, ‘if it moves, tax it and if it doesn’t, subsidise it.’

“Contrary to how the Green Party has painted it, what we now face with the NPS for the first time ever, carries significant implications for agriculture. Farmers and our stock need good water quality but to be truly equitable, town and country have to be in the same boat.

“That’s why the Green Party needs to get off its high horse and onto the policy bus instead,” Mr Mackenzie concluded.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Hager Revelations: Inquiry Into NZSIS Release Of Goff Docs

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS), Cheryl Gwyn, announced today that she would be instituting an inquiry concerning allegations that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) might have released official information to Mr Cameron Slater, regarding briefings provided to the then Leader of the Opposition, for political purposes...

“I am satisfied there is a sufficient public interest justifying the commencement of an own-motion inquiry into the substance of the issues raised with my Office,” said Ms Gwyn. More>>

Goff: Director’s Letter Contradicts Key’s Claims

At yesterday’s media standup, when asked on the topic John Key said ‘I wasn’t told’...
“In a letter dated November 2011 former SIS director Warren Tucker states three times that ‘in accordance with the usual practice of keeping the minister informed’ the Prime Minister had been told. More>>

  • Image Link - Key maintains he wasn't told about OIA - Newstalk ZB

  •  

    Parliament Today:

    Fish Pun Warning: By Hoki! It’s Labour’s Fisheries Policy

    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. More>>

    ALSO:

    It's Official: Governor General Gives Direction To Conduct Election

    The Governor General has signed the writ directing the Electoral Commission to conduct the General Election on 20 September 2014. This is the formal authority to run the 2014 election, and enables candidate nominations to open tomorrow Thursday 21 August 2014. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: No More Mr Nice Guy

    When future historians seek to identify the exact moment when the prime ministerial career of John Key hit the downward slope, they may well point to Key’s interview yesterday with Guyon Espiner on RNZ’s Morning Report. More>>

    ALSO:

    Dirty (Politics) Weekend: Collins’ Admission Reason For Key To Act

    "Despite claiming that the evidence about her in Nicky Hager's book was ‘false’ Judith Collins has now been forced to admit that she did send information about a Ministerial Services staff member to Cameron Slater for him to use in a baseless smear campaign. More>>

    ALSO:

    Potential Disasters: Underground Coal Fire On Denniston Plateau

    Forest & Bird says one or more coal fires have broken out beneath the Denniston Plateau, and that the Department of Conservation (DOC) must stop Bathurst Resources’ preparatory mining work going on there until the fire or fires are extinguished. More>>

    ALSO:

    Bikes: Nats Plan $100 Million For Urban Cycleways

    Prime Minister John Key has today announced $100 million in new funding will be made available over the next four years to accelerate cycleways in urban centres. More>>

    ALSO:

    New Tax Bracket, Child Poverty Fund: Greens Launch Billion Dollar Plan To Reduce Child Poverty

    The Green Party has launched a billion dollar package to significantly reduce child poverty in New Zealand. The details of the plan were released at the party’s campaign launch in Auckland. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news