Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


We're swimming in it

8 December 2008
We're swimming in it

The Green Party is calling on the Government, as part of its infrastructure stimulus package, to offer financial support to local councils to upgrade their sewage treatment plants.

This follows a Consumer New Zealand report today that a third of the country's most popular beaches are unsafe for swimming as a result of sewage and dairy effluent.

The Greens are also calling on the Government to strengthen environmental laws around water pollution because the current laws are too weak.

"New Zealanders are literally sick because of rivers and lakes full of dairy effluent and human sewage. Kiwi kids are getting ear, eye, and skin infections and campylobacter and diarrhoea as a result of swimming in what was once a beautiful river or beach," Green Party Co-Leader Russel Norman says.

"Summer is supposed to be about kids and adults swimming in clean rivers and crystal clean beaches and catching a fish for dinner. Instead the reality of 'clean green' New Zealand is that our lowland rivers are full of cow effluent, our beaches are contaminated by human sewage, and our fish stocks are depleted.

"This situation is also extremely damaging to our '100% Pure' branding, and hence our tourism industry.

"But there is a potential win-win outcome. The Government has announced that it plans an infrastructure package to stimulate the economy. Upgrading sewage treatment plants would stimulate the economy, be an investment in cleaning up our beaches and rivers and lakes, and protect our tourism industry.

"This report shows once again that environmental protection laws are too weak, contrary to what we hear from Federated Farmers and industrial agribusiness.

"Plans to weaken the Resource Management Act, as National has indicated, are ridiculous when the RMA is already so weak it is letting agribusiness destroy what makes this country special - our clean green environment.

"I'm attending a protest on Friday in Whangarei because the District Council is applying for an extension of its sewerage overflow permits to dump sewage into the harbour. This shows that the RMA is too permissive, and that councils need financial support to upgrade their treatment plants."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Criminalising Of Rap Music

For black youth in America, there can be only three ways out of the ghetto: athletics, music or drug dealing. And for every individual who succeeds in making it out, dozens more attach themselves to their celebrity crews in order to bask in the reflected glory, and partake of the lifestyle. And what rap musician can afford to turn their back entirely on the ‘hood, when staying street and staying real is what their audience demands of them..?


Crime: Govt Helps Protect Shops From Ram Raids

The Government is providing further support to help Police protect small businesses affected by a spike in ram raids, Minister of Police Poto Williams says... More>>

Government: Investment Boosts Coastal Shipping In Aotearoa
New Zealand is a step closer to a more resilient, competitive, and sustainable coastal shipping sector following the selection of preferred suppliers for new and enhanced coastal shipping services, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today... More>>

Government: New Zealand To Stay At Orange For Now
With New Zealand expecting to see Omicron cases rise during the winter, the Orange setting remains appropriate for managing this stage of the outbreak, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today... More>>

Government: Independent Panel Appointed To Review Electoral Law
Justice Minister Kris Faafoi today announced appointments to the independent panel that will lead a review of New Zealand’s electoral law. “This panel, appointed by an independent panel of experts... More>>

Trade: Prime Minister To Visit United States
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is leading a trade mission to the United States this week as part of the Government’s reconnection strategy to support export growth and the return of tourists post COVID-19... More>>

National: Jacqui Dean To Retire From Parliament In 2023

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean has announced that she will not be seeking re-election at the 2023 election. “I have advised the President and Leader of the National Party that I have decided not to put my name forward... More>>




InfoPages News Channels