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An “action plan” with no action and a fatal flaw

An “action plan” with no action and a fatal flaw: Why agricultural leaders continue to fail New Zealand’s rivers and their industry

For immediate use
4pm Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Choose Clean Water NZ

The Good Farming Practice: Action Plan for Water Quality document released by agricultural industry leaders today contains no concrete action and a fatal flaw say freshwater campaigners.

“This “action plan” is a voluntary plan to make voluntary plans over the next 12 years, rather than what it could have been, a list of concrete steps for real improvement,” says Choose Clean Water spokesperson Marnie Prickett.

“It fails to recognise that the first and obvious action agricultural leaders can take is to immediately call for and commit to an end to conversions of land to intensive dairy farming.”

“This is the fatal flaw of our agricultural leaders, that they refuse to accept that we have to stop making the situation worse if we are ever going to achieve the goal of swimmable rivers that all New Zealanders want.”

Choose Clean Water points to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s 2013 Water Quality in New Zealand: Land use and nutrient pollution that found, “even with best practice mitigation, the large-scale conversion of more land to dairy farming will generally result in more degraded fresh water.”

“Today’s “action plan” is more tinkering around the edges and planning to make plans. Once again, our agricultural leaders fail to tackle the problem of water pollution head on and this leaves our rivers vulnerable, our people’s health at risk from contaminated water, and our farmers without a clear path forward.”

ENDS

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