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

 

Campaigners will fight National's new freshwater policy

Campaigners will fight National's new freshwater policy

For immediate release

Clean river campaigners say the government’s changes to freshwater policy to be announced today are yet another blow to New Zealand’s declining rivers and lakes and a slap in the face to the public who have resoundingly called for a swimmable bottom line.

“After years of public calls for cleaner, swimmable rivers and lakes, the only thing Nick Smith and the government's new policy is going to do is lower swimming standards and make things worse,”said Choose Clean Water NZ spokesperson, Marnie Prickett.

“Nick Smith's new policy will allow more faecal contamination into rivers and lakes where New Zealanders are swimming – which means more poo in the water and increasing risk of infection. This is a slap in the face for all New Zealanders who have rationally called for safe, unpolluted rivers.”

“It’s unbelievable in an election year, the only thing that National can offer New Zealanders is a policy that will make pollution of rivers worse. A policy that would increase health risks to the public. We call on New Zealanders to join us in the fight against these plans. We will not let the government continue to pollute fresh water.”

The group says Nick Smith has responded to the public’s calls for swimmable rivers and lakes in the new policy by simply devising a new definition of swimmable that allows more pollution.

“Instead of dealing with the sources of faecal contamination going into our rivers, National just wants to make it legal for more poo to be in the places New Zealanders swim, to make it look like more rivers and lakes get a pass. It’s disgusting and reckless.”

“We know how waterborne illness effects human health, think of the people of Havelock North. We heard today in the media of the ongoing of battles of those who are still suffering the effects of the gastro outbreak. The Ministry of Health also says children and the elderly are likely to be at greater risk of infection from swimming in contaminated water.”

The group points to advice given to the government from the Land and Water Forum in a letter sent to ministers, Nick Smith and Nathan Guy, in August last year. The forum, an industry dominated group, describes the new swimming standards as “less precautionary than the primary contact standard in the current MfE (Ministry for the Environment) and Ministry of Health microbiological guidelines.”

Prickett says Nick Smith needs to answer the question today: Why is the government recklessly making the standards for swimming weaker than they are already?

“The government is making our freshwater crisis worse. They are risking our people’s health by rubber stamping faecal contamination in the rivers and lakes they swim in. We’re not going to stand aside and let them do this to New Zealand. The government have a serious fight on their hands”

Supplementary info:

· Scientists use the bacteria E.coli as an indicator of the level of faecal contamination of water and the associated risk of illness.

· The acceptable swimmable standard given in the Ministry for the Environment and Ministry for Health’s microbiological guidelines is a E.coli count of <260 per 100 mL of water. To meet the Ministries’ standard, waterways must pass this 95% of the time.

· The Ministry of Health’s drinking water standard is an E.coli count of <1 per 100 mL of water.

· The standards the Land and Water Forum advise would see a grade given to rivers based on the amount of time they meet a standard of E.coli <550 per 100 mL of water (this count is called ‘Alert’ in the MfE/MoH guidelines).

· Choose Clean Water is a student-led group who presented a 13,000 signature petition to parliament last year calling for the bottom line for freshwater to be raised from “wadeable” to swimmable (primary contact) and for the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, to have as its priority the health of people, wildlife and the environment.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: on the inquiry into the abuse of children in care

Apparently, PM Jacinda Ardern has chosen to exclude faith-based institutions from the government’s promised inquiry into the abuse of children in state care.

Any role for religious institutions – eg the Catholic Church – would be only to observe and to learn from any revelations that arise from the inquiry’s self-limiting focus on state-run institutions… More

 

Gordon Campbell: On Jim Anderton
For anyone born after 1975, it is hard to grasp just how important a figure Jim Anderton was, for an entire generation.
During the mid to late 1980s, Anderton was the only significant public figure of resistance to the Labour government’s headlong embrace of Thatcherism...More>>

ALSO:


Gong Time: New Year's Honours List

Jacinda Ardern today congratulated the 179 New Zealanders named on the 2018 New Year’s Honours List.

“Although this list was compiled and completed by the last government, it is a pleasure to welcome in the New Year by recognising exceptional New Zealanders,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“As an Aunty, I love reading books to my nieces, so it’s lovely to congratulate Joy Cowley, who is made a member of the Order of New Zealand today....More
Full list


Roads: National launches bid to save highway projects

The National Party has launched a series of petitions aimed at saving regional highway projects at risk because of the Government’s obsession with Auckland trams…More>>

ALSO:


Medical Cannabis: Bill Introduced to “ease suffering”

Health Minister Dr David Clark says making medicinal cannabis more readily available will help relieve the suffering of people who are dying in pain More>>

ALSO:

Campbell: On The Quest For Zero Net Carbon Emissions
Some would querulously ask, zero net carbon emissions by 2050 – while others would say, why not?
More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: The Further Fraying Of The Welfare Safety Net

New Zealand’s welfare system has undergone a major transformation during the past three decades. This process has seriously thwarted the original intent of the system, which was to provide a decent standard of living for all New Zealanders in times of need... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages