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Opposition grows to Govt’s water policy

Opposition grows to Govt’s water policy

Groups withdraw support for Nick Smith’s water policy; billboard erected in Wellington CBD

The withdrawal of the second major national organisation in a week from the Minister for the Environment’s Land and Water Forum is a further sign that the Government’s new water policy is unacceptable to ordinary Kiwis.

Student-led campaign group, Choose Clean Water, say that the withdrawal of both Forest & Bird and Federated Mountain Clubs shows that groups concerned with the protection of New Zealand’s environment are giving the thumbs down to the National Government policy.

“This is a vote of no confidence in the Government’s water policy. If these two long-standing environmental groups say that they cannot support the Government’s approach, it means that the things we love as New Zealanders, our beautiful country, are at risk under this shambolic policy,” says group spokesperson, Marnie Prickett.

“A Government that was serious about solving our country’s widespread contamination of freshwater would start with strong protection in law. The National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management fails to protect the values we have as New Zealanders.

The public want safe, clean, swimmable, healthy rivers, lakes and streams and our country deserves an honest effort from their Government not smoke and mirrors.”

In an interview earlier in the week, Forest & Bird Chief Executive Kevin Hague said that after 9 years involvement on the Land and Water Forum, the Government had presented a policy to New Zealand that would make pollution of fresh water worse.

The have been followed today by Federated Mountain Clubs and we expect that more groups could leave soon.

Choose Clean Water, along with online campaign organisation ActionStation, erected a 12-metre long crowd-funded billboard in Wellington this morning to draw attention to the Government’s worsening of standards. It reads, “This Government thinks you won’t notice more poo in your water.”

The billboard will be up at the busy Manners Street site for a month. It invites the public to send messages to Prime Minister Bill English telling him that New Zealand deserves safe water from the group’s website, www.choosecleanwater.org.nz


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