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Freshwater Rescue Plan launched by leading organisations

Leaders from tourism, science, health, recreation and environmental conservation came together Thursday midday to launch a plan for solving the country’s freshwater crisis. Together they presented seven steps that can be taken immediately to protect fresh water.


They described the seven steps as follows:

1. Protect the health of people and their waterways by setting strict and enforceable water quality standards, based on human and Ecosystem health limits.

2. Withdraw all public subsidies of irrigation schemes as they increase pressure on waterways

3. Invest in an agricultural transition fund, to support the country’s shift away from environmentally-damaging farming methods by redirecting $480 million of public money earmarked for irrigation.

4. Implement strategies to decrease cow numbers immediately

5. Reduce freshwater contamination by instigating polluter pays systems nationally

6. Address the performance of regional councils on improving water quality through quarterly reports from the ministry for the environment on enforcement, breaches and monitoring.

7. Adopt OECD recommendation to establish a “whole-of-government multi-stakeholder process to develop a long-term vision for the transition of New Zealand to a low-carbon, greener economy.”


This plan is backed by leaders from major tourism, public health, conservation, environmental and recreation organisations, and experts in ecology, public health, and Māori, Pacific and Indigenous studies.

The organizations who put this together hope that all parties can commit to the Freshwater Rescue Plan so that the elected Government in September can take immediate action to restore New Zealand’s rivers and lakes.

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