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Nick Smith’s water policy a washout

Nick Smith’s water policy a washout

Clean water campaigners say Minister for the Environment Nick Smith has failed to provide evidence that he is not worsening water quality standards.

“Nick Smith has let New Zealanders and New Zealand down,” says Choose Clean Water spokesperson Marnie Prickett.

The government announced yesterday its aim to make 90% of New Zealand rivers and lakes swimmable by 2040, but it is relaxing pollution standards to achieve its goal.

The freshwater campaign group say that, after a day analysing the government’s plan and speaking to freshwater scientists, its conclusion is that the government’s proposed changes to the National Policy Standard for Freshwater Management actually make standards for swimming worse.

“He and the prime minister announced standards yesterday that will make New Zealand’s rivers and lakes more polluted. We will not let them do this. The government has a fight on its hands,” said Prickett.

The group say that new freshwater documents made public yesterday by the government, along with follow up information provided by the Minister’s office, show a worsening of swimming standards.

“The public can see their rivers and lakes drying up or turning bright green. Dogs have died from toxic algae and the people of Havelock North have experienced the distress and suffering that waterborne disease can inflict.”

“After all this, Prime Minister Bill English and Nick Smith show us once again that they are not serious about turning around New Zealand’s water quality crisis.”

“We call on New Zealanders to join in the fight for clean safe fresh water. We will not let the government get away with putting our people at increased risk. Fresh water is too important to the health of our communities and our environment.”

ENDS

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