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National’s toxic water culture seeps out

National’s toxic water culture seeps out in election campaign

11:30am, 14 September 2017

Clean water campaigners are challenging National Party leader Bill English’s claims on water quality, saying he is wrong and misleading voters about the National Party’s performance on addressing the issue.

Mr English told RNZ’s Checkpoint programme National is “getting on with the job” of dealing with water pollution and that before National came to power, “there was no agreed science on measuring water quality.”

Choose Clean Water spokesperson Marnie Prickett says Mr English is wrong.

“What English’s Government has really done is politicise water quality over the last nine years at the same time as pushing for further intensification of farming.

“This is just putting more and more pressure on our already suffering waterways and was starkly demonstrated early this year when National released water quality standards allowing even more faecal contamination of our communities’ swimming holes.”

Marnie Prickett says the Government’s approach is taking a heavy toll on our environment and people, and risking New Zealand’s international reputation.

“National’s determination to further intensify farming is putting more pressure on degraded waterways and communities already struggling to cope with water pollution problems.

“This is more evidence of the government’s toxic water culture, where PR is more important than protecting our communities’ fresh water and people’s health,” Marnie Prickett says.

Choose Clean Water is also challenging Bill English’s claim that there was no agreed science on measuring water quality before National took office.

Marnie Prickett says that simply isn’t true.

“The truth is, prior to the current National Government, freshwater scientists used the Australia New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council guidelines, which came out in 2000.

“The guidelines were used widely by councils and academics and recreational water quality guidelines were established in 2003 by the Ministries of Health and the Environment.

“These sort of statements should worry voters looking for action on water pollution. The National Party should stop misleading voters and provide real solutions to New Zealand’s freshwater crisis,” Ms Prickett says.

ENDS

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