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Feds: Extremely timely water report from Auditor-General

Feds: Extremely timely water report from Auditor-General

Source: Federated Farmers


Federated Farmers congratulates the Auditor-General’s office on its release today of its report Managing Freshwater Quality: Challenges and Opportunities.

Federated Farmers believes the report reinforces many of the points its been making, including its call to take more time, and care, to get the national freshwater management process right.

The report reviewed the performance of four regional councils and shows all four have improved their performance on freshwater quality management since the last review in 2011.

It states: "we are concerned that there is not enough information about freshwater at a national level. Decision-makers do not have the information they need to prepare a national approach or long-term strategy to address this significant environmental issue."

Federated Farmers took an enormous amount of heat last week for expressing similar concerns after the release of the government’s freshwater management ‘discussion document’, Action on Healthy Waterways.

Feds expressed significant concerns the ‘discussion document’ reviewing the National Policy Statement for freshwater failed to calculate the huge economic challenges it could apply to farming.

"Good policy should be informed by good information," Federated Farmers environment and water spokesperson Chris Allen says.

"We’ve been working for over a decade on improving freshwater quality under a ‘catchment by catchment’ approach to meet water quality limits.

"The Auditor-General's report highlights the ability of the councils to build positive day-to-day working relationships with farmers to clean up waterways and that effort from both parties is starting to pay dividends."

It says these positive relationships often centre on regulatory work and non-regulatory initiatives that help support more sustainable land-use practices.

"Farmers are working hand-in-hand with regional councils everywhere around the country, every day. We are getting on with the job of improving water quality, together."

Read the report here: https://www.oag.govt.nz/2019/freshwater-quality


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