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Manawatu water quality needs Government leadership

26 November 2009

Manawatu water quality needs Government leadership

News that the Manawatu River is one of the most polluted in the Western world, with a pollution measure that is literally off the scale, drives home the urgent need for Government action on water quality, Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman said today.

“We have always known that the Manawatu River was in a terrible state, and this latest research confirms that it may in fact be one of the most polluted rivers in the world,” Dr Norman said.

Dr Norman was responding to the reported findings of research by the Cawthron Institute in which the Manawatu tops a pollution measurement of 300 rivers and streams across North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

“At these levels of pollution, the river poses a serious public health risk. As the weather warms up and people start to think about swimming, fishing, and boating, Manawatu residents will find that once again their right to enjoy their river has been taken away.

“It could take 20 years before the Manawatu is even at half the accepted swimming quality.

“We know that it is largely agricultural run-off that is causing this pollution, along with industrial effluent from companies like Fonterra and Tui Brewery, and sewage discharge.

“It doesn’t have to be like this. Just today, the Greens are releasing a series of ‘Good Farm Stories’, including one in the Manawatu catchment, which show that there are steps farmers can take to reduce the incredible damage caused by effluent, fertilizer, and stream damage from animals.

“Many farmers are taking it upon themselves to improve the situation, but the large-scale changes we need to return the Manawatu to an acceptable level will require Government leadership.

“Environment Minister Nick Smith said this morning that the Manawatu River needs cleaning up. Now he needs to put his money where his mouth is and tell us what his Government is going to do about it,” Dr Norman said.

Reference:

Manawatu River 'among worst in the West': http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/3097651/Manawatu-River-among-worst-in-the-West/

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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