Tough new rules to clean up water welcomed
Fish & Game New Zealand welcome that the Government's plan to halt the decline in water quality and improve rivers, lakes and streams will be announced in August.
"Environment Minister David Parker announced on World Environment Day that the Government will release a new freshwater National Policy Statement and a new National Environmental Standards for consultation in this year," Fish & Game Chief Executive Martin Taylor says.
Above Right: Fish & Game staff undertaking habitat monitoring.
"Kiwis expect to be able to swim, fish and gather food from their rivers, lakes and streams. A recent nationwide poll conducted for Fish & Game by Colmar Brunton shows that over 80 per cent of Kiwis are concerned about water quality.
"This gives the Government a once-in-a-generation opportunity to tackle an issue Kiwis are deeply concerned about.
"Minister Parker also announced $750,000 of funding that will help iwi in Whanganui, Gisborne and Omapere improve the health of their local waterways.
"Fish & Game welcome any funding that will improve the health of our waterways.
"However, it's time we all acknowledge that intensive agriculture - particularly dairy - has been increasingly damaging our waterways for 20 years. That's why in December 2018 the public ranked it as their number one issue.
"Dairy farming has only been able to do this because regional councils have failed to live up to their statutory requirements to protect the environment for future generations.
"It's time we all work together to deliver better water quality for all New Zealanders. Kiwis will have their say on tough new rules designed to clean up our freshwater this year - this can't come soon enough."