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Green Party comment on Key's irrigation announcement

Green Party comment on Key's irrigation announcement

“John Key is planning to sell our future in renewable energy in order to subsidise the pollution of our rivers and lakes,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

Dr Norman was responding to John Key’s announcement that $400 million from the Future Investment Fund generated by the partial sale of New Zealand state-owned energy companies will be used to support irrigation developments.

“Subsidising irrigation will lead to increasing land use intensification – putting more animals and fertiliser on our land – and the science is absolutely clear that this leads to increased water pollution,” said Dr Norman.

“National’s irrigation investment is an investment in the degradation of our rivers and lakes. When the degradation inevitably happens, the taxpayer will end up having to pay for waterway clean-ups.

“John Key must stop simultaneously subsidising pollution and pollution clean-up and focus on preventing environmental damage from happening in the first place.”

National’s environmental policy announced earlier today included some funding to clean up our waterways.

“It’s time for the Government to take real action to look after our beautiful rivers and stop subsidising their pollution,” said Dr Norman.

“It’s time for the Green Party’s plan for clean rivers and lakes. The Green Party will 1) set standards for clean water; 2) introduce a fair charge for irrigation water; and 3) support water clean-up initiatives.”

ENDS

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