Fish & Game welcome Budget announcements
Fish & Game New Zealand welcome the Budget 2019 announcement of a $229 million Sustainable Land Use package.
"We welcome this move to assist farmers to become more environmentally sustainable so we can safely swim and fish in our lakes, rivers and streams," Fish & Game New Zealand Chief Executive Martin Taylor says.
"This is public money going to the benefit of private farming businesses to meet the expectations of New Zealanders.
"A recent nationwide poll conducted for Fish & Game by Colmar Brunton shows that over 80 per cent of Kiwis are concerned about water quality.
"This year, the Government is releasing a new National Policy Statement for Freshwater. This presents an opportunity for the Government to tackle an issue Kiwis are deeply concerned about. Budget 2019 sees the Government investing money into ensuring the Government’s ambitious Essential Freshwater work programme is resourced.
"The Government is developing a national plan to halt the decline in water quality and improve rivers, lakes and streams that regional councils will have to follow.
"I also welcome the investment into river and lake clean-ups. However, we should never have gotten into the position of needing to clean-up rivers and lakes. Intensive agriculture - particularly dairy - has been increasingly damaging our waterways for 20 years. And now taxpayers have to invest millions to help reverse this damage.
"Dairy leadership have a responsibility to work with the Government so it can deliver on stricter water quality rules to protect rivers, lakes and streams from pollution.
"Kiwis expect to be able to swim, fish and gather food from their rivers, lakes and streams. It's time everyone work together so this vision can be achieved."