Fish & Game New Zealand welcomes the Government’s Tourism Strategy
- Richie Cosgrove
Fish & Game New Zealand welcomes the Government’s New Zealand-Aotearoa Government Tourism Strategy, which sets out a plan to better manage the challenges of growth on the environment. However, we are concerned with the lack of focus on protecting and enhancing water quality.
“Our backcountry is coming under increasing pressure from tourist numbers. This is hurting the environment and Kiwis’ ability to go camping, fishing, hunting or tramping,” Fish and Game chief executive Martin Taylor says.
“That is why the Government’s new strategic approach to tourism is welcome. However, we need to build tourism infrastructure before we allow tourist numbers to increase, not after.”
“Fish & Game are also concerned that improving and protecting water quality is missing from the Tourism Strategy.
“It’s vital that tougher water quality rules to protect rivers, lakes and streams from pollution are introduced. We cannot provide the experience tourists want with degrading water quality from intensive agriculture, or caused by poor effluent systems in tourist areas”.
“We know Kiwis want this to happen. A nationwide poll conducted for Fish & Game in December by Colmar Brunton shows that over 80 per cent of Kiwis are concerned about water quality.
“This year, the government is releasing a new National Policy Statement for Freshwater. This presents an opportunity for the Government tackle an issue Kiwis are deeply concerned about before we encourage more international tourists to New Zealand.
“Ensuring we protect this country’s reputation as a tourist destination is vital for the economy. We must make sure our water quality is protected and enhanced in this process”