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‘Don’t Fail Us On Water, PM’: Togs, Towels And A Serious Message At Parliament Today

A group of young freshwater campaigners are getting their togs on, grabbing a towel and heading to parliament at rush hour this morning with a message to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern; “Don’t fail us on water.”

The group, from the student-established Choose Clean Water campaign, says the Labour-led Government must remember its 2017 promise to clean up rivers and deliver strong water rules in 2020.

The Government is due to announce its finalised freshwater policy in the coming months.

The group will be in togs and towels, at the Cenotaph from 8:30am today, holding signs saying, “Prime Minister, don’t let us down. Strong Water Rules in 2020 for healthy, swimmable rivers.”

They'll also be handing out pamphlets to commuters on what needs to be done in the Government's water policy.

Mary Fisher, spokesperson for today’s demonstration says young people especially are relying on Ardern’s Government to put strong policy in place to protect the country’s fresh water.

“Young people, our children, don’t deserve to inherit polluted rivers, poo-y streams and contaminated aquifers.”

“The pollution of water has gone too far and we need strong water rules to put us on the path to cleaning up.”

To deliver on Labour’s promises, Choose Clean Water say that the Government’s finalised water policy must contain meaningful bottom lines for pollution, including 1mg/L of nitrogen and higher swimming standards, as well as a cap on nitrogen fertiliser to rein in high polluters.

James McNally of the group says these strong water rules are urgently needed to protect the public from the risks of contaminated water and to keep New Zealand beautiful and healthy.

“We all love swimming in our rivers, fishing, and collecting food from waterways. We need strong water rules to keep people safe and happy when they’re at their local river as well as to protect drinking water sources for a healthy, secure future.”

Choose Clean Water says this is one of many actions that will be taking place in the coming months to hold the Government to account on its clean rivers promise.

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