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World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper

World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper

Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without any recognition by government, the Prime Minister, Conservation or Environment cabinet ministers, the Department of Conservation, Ministry for the Environment and organisations like Federated Mountain Clubs, Fish and Game, Forest and Bird and others.

"It's happened without a whimper of concern for the state of New Zealand's rivers, of which 60 percent are classed as deteriorated and which under government plans to weaken the Resource Management Act, will very probably come to be in a worse state," said CORANZ co-chairman Bill Benfield of the Wairarapa..

Bill Benfield said “To be fair to organisations, it was a likely they would not be aware as certainly government would not be lauding World Rivers Day in the light of the critical condition of New Zealand’s rivers”.

He said he congratulated the National Party on its resounding election win and also on the progress off NZ First in getting more MPs into Parliament.

"But that doesn't remove the responsibility for all MPs , all parties and indeed government to look after the public interest and in this case restore the quality of rivers."

Bill Ben said despite the National Party's election vow to weaken the RMA, the impact of such statutory alterations must come under close scrutiny and full public debate.

"It was World Rivers Day on Sunday. We should make every day a celebration of the public's rivers,” he said.

He said while the focus was on clean rivers, it was important to realise that quantity i.e. flow was vital to living rivers.

"Extracting water for corporate dairy farms only intensifies any pollution already there. Besides we want flowing rivers not dry riverbed like Canterbury's once famous trout river, the Selwyn," he said.


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