Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Labour’s freshwater policy ‘more ambitious’ than Govt

Joint Press Release from: Greenpeace, Tourism Export Council of NZ, Fish & Game, Forest & Bird, Choose Clean Water

Labour’s freshwater policy ‘more ambitious’ than Govt but still has some leaks in it.

Major tourism, conservation and recreation organisations behind Freshwater Rescue Plan, announced yesterday, compare Labour’s water policy to their seven step plan.

Labour’s freshwater policy is much more ambitious than the current Government’s approach to protecting the country’s rivers and lakes, but still has some leaks in it.

The Freshwater Rescue plan, a set of seven steps to clean up New Zealand’s rivers, lakes and groundwater was launched yesterday by experts and leaders from the tourism, science, public health, recreational and environmental protection sectors.

Labour’s 2017 water policy has been assessed against the 7 steps and, while it is performing well on some, their approach has been found lacking on others.

Labour’s commitment to stricter freshwater regulation, enforcement and monitoring was applauded as was their inclusion of limits for two major pollutants in its freshwater policy, phosphorous and sediment, which have been completely left out of National’s policy, and their focus on swimmable rivers.

However, the organisations would like to see more detail on the exact standards Labour is suggesting for major pollutants particularly faecal contamination (measured by E.coli), nitrogen, phosphorous as these can undermine the health of waterways and risk human health.

Labour has also committed to ensuring that increases in the intensity of land use for livestock would now need a resource consent. While this is a step in the right direction a more explicit commitment to decrease the national dairy herd is needed.

It is understood that Labour will be releasing a separate water allocation policy in which the issue of irrigation will be addressed.

It is an absolute bottom line for our freshwater that political parties commit to stopping all public subsidies to irrigation and we need to see this reflected in Labour’s upcoming allocation policy.

We also need to see a robust plan from Labour to lead and fund the transition away from irrigated intensive dairying towards diversified, clean and resilient agriculture and we hope to see this addressed in their primary industries policy.

Labour has not yet indicated that they will implement a polluter pays system. Currently, the cost of pollution is largely paid by the public. We need central government to make polluters accountable by having them wear the costs. We hope to see a polluter pays system reflected in Labour’s overall environment policy.

The final step in the Freshwater Rescue Plan is to adopt the OECD recommendation to transition New Zealand to a low carbon, greener economy. The organisations hope to see this point addressed by Labour before the election.

Any prospective Government that is serious about stopping the decline of our freshwater systems and restoring health to our waterways does need to take all the steps outlined in the freshwater rescue plan to succeed.

Labour’s new policy is a step in the right direction. But it still has some way to go before it will ensure that our river quality doesn’t continue to decline.

We hope that as Labour’s other policies are announced this year we see them commit to taking all of the steps outlined Freshwater Rescue Plan.

The organisations behind the Freshwater Rescue plan say they welcome the opportunity to meet with Labour, and all other parties, to discuss the importance of each of the seven steps in the plan and gain a commitment to implementing all of them.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Whether We’re Punching Above Our Weight, And Should We Care?

According to Pierre De Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic Games, the Olympic ideal was not about “winning, but fighting well. Life is not conquering, but fighting well.” True to that ideal, young people from all over the world do still congregate together once every four years to compete peacefully against each other... More>>


Finance: Finance Minister And RBNZ Governor Agree To Update MOU On Macro-prudential Policy

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr have updated the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on macro-prudential policy to further protect the financial system and support the Government’s housing objectives... More>>

Government: Offers Formal Apology For Dawn Raids
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today formally apologised to Pacific communities impacted by the Dawn Raids in the 1970s.

Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families... More>>

Government: Bill Introduced To Protect Against Conversion Practices

Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to protect against practices intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression... More>>


Human Rights Commission: Successive Governments Responsible For Massive Breaches Of The Right To A Decent Home

Te Kahu Tika Tangata / Human Rights Commission has today launched Framework Guidelines on the Right to a Decent Home in Aotearoa and announced that it will hold a national inquiry into housing... More>>

NZUS Council: Welcomes Nomination Of Senator Tom Udall As US Ambassador To NZ

The NZUS Council welcomes the nomination of Senator Tom Udall to the role of US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, NZUS Council executive director Jordan Small said... More>>

BusinessNZ: Visa Extensions Welcomed
BusinessNZ has welcomed the extension of some critical skill visa durations and changes to immigration systems to speed processing. Chief Executive Kirk Hope says move acknowledges advocacy by the hospitality sector, the BusinessNZ Network and others, and comes not a moment too soon.... More>>




InfoPages News Channels