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

Digital Evolution: Scoop Independent News Launches "Operation Chrysalis"

From today Scoop is beginning a process of public consultation with the political, business and civil society groups it has served for the past 15 and a half years.

"It is hoped that in time - with new leadership and increased community engagement - the chrysalis will incubate a new kind of Scoop, one which can sustainably continue Scoop's Mission 'to be an agent of positive change'", says Scoop Founder, Editor and Publisher Alastair Thompson.

"As big publishing shrivels, public participation in contributing and spreading news has grown. Scoop has evolved with this wave by providing an independent platform, committed to upholding democracy, providing a voice to all, and providing the public easy access to information about decisions which affect them." More>>

 

Parliament Adjourns:

Greens: CAA Airport Door Report Conflicts With Brownlee’s Claims

The heavily redacted report into the incident shows conflicting versions of events as told by Gerry Brownlee and the Christchurch airport security staff. The report disputes Brownlee’s claim that he was allowed through, and states that he instead pushed his way through. More>>

ALSO:

TAIC: Final Report On Grounding Of MV Rena

Factors that directly contributed to the grounding included the crew:
- not following standard good practice for planning and executing the voyage
- not following standard good practice for navigation watchkeeping
- not following standard good practice when taking over control of the ship. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On The Pakistan Schoolchildren Killings

The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between sections of the Pakistan military/security establishment on one hand and sections of the Taliban of the other… More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Satire:
The Politician’s Song

am a perfect picture of the modern politic-i-an:
I don’t precisely have a plan so much as an ambition;
‘Say what will sound most pleasant to the public’ is my main dictum:
And when in doubt attack someone who already is a victim More>>

ALSO:

Flight: Review Into Phillip Smith’s Escape Submitted To Government

The review follows an earlier operational review by the Department of Corrections and interim measures put in place by the Department shortly after prisoner Smith’s escape, and will inform the Government Inquiry currently underway. More>>

ALSO:

Intelligence: Inspector-General Accepts Apology For Leak Of Report

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August 2011 to media prior to its publication. The Inspector-General will not take the matter any further. More>>

ALSO:

Drink: Alcohol Advertising Report Released

The report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship has been released today, with Ministers noting that further work will be required on the feasibility and impact of the proposals. More>>

ALSO:

Other Report:

Leaked Cabinet Papers: Treasury Calls For Health Cuts

Leaked Cabinet papers that show that Government has been advised to cut the health budget by around $200 million is ringing alarm bells throughout the nursing and midwifery community. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news