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EDS welcomes Green Party freshwater policies

Media Release: EDS welcomes Green Party freshwater policies

The Environmental Defence Society has welcomed the Green Party’s freshwater policy, which was announced this morning in Hamilton.

“I’d have expected the Greens to have a progressive policy stance on freshwater management,” said EDS Chairman Gary Taylor.

“But what’s particularly welcome is the respect shown to the Land and Water Forum and the support for the Forum’s recommendations. Those recommendations represent cross-sector agreement by iwi, industry, environmental, and recreation interests and constitute a blueprint for reform. All political parties should be willing to stand behind the Forum’s work.

“What’s different here though is an indication that the Greens would speed up implementation and work towards an earlier improvement in water quality.

“We also welcome the undertaking to review the National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management. Whilst the government’s recent review did introduce some bottom lines for freshwater quality, the list is incomplete for some important indicators and has some internal contradictions.

“It’s clear that improvements can be made to the national policy instruments and we would be pleased to work with the Greens on that.

“The idea of a new initiative to protect wild rivers is interesting. Some more clarity about how it would fit with the existing water conservation orders would be helpful.

“Finally, the undertaking to work towards making rivers suitable for primary human contact – swimming – is an improvement on the government’s target of secondary human contact – wading.

“New Zealanders expect to be able to swim in our rivers, lakes and streams without getting sick. How long it will take us to get there will depend on how fast we can implement new freshwater management policies,” Mr Taylor concluded.


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Gordon Campbell:
On First Time Voting (Centre Right)

For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

One guest columnist will be from the centre right, one from the centre left. Today’s column is from the centre right – by James Penn:

As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

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