Voters urged to take ‘hard look’ at political promises this election
With just over a fortnight until the General Election on September 23, voters are being urged to take a hard look at which political parties will do the most to improve the environment and recreational access to the outdoors.
The environment has emerged as one of the top issues of the 2017 election, with some media commentators even dubbing it the environment election.
Fish & Game says public concern over the environment, particularly water, has been building for years.
“The state of the country’s rivers, lakes and streams has been worrying people for years and their frustration at the lack of action and continued abuse of our waterways is now readily apparent,” says Fish & Game’s Chief Executive Bryce Johnson.
“Water quality is now one of the key issues that voters will consider before they cast their vote,” Mr Johnson says.
Most parties have woken up to fact that our waterways are way out of step with what Kiwis want – immediate action to return rivers so they are swimmable, fishable and safe to gather food from , he says.
“It is now up to voters to familiarise themselves with the policies and choose which is best for them and the outdoor pursuits they enjoy.
“Fish & Game urges voters to consider the merits of each and every party’s environmental policy with a critical eye before voting.
“This election falls at the right time for all of those who care about the environment and water quality standards in particular, to tell the government in no uncertain terms, they are fed up and out of patience,” Bryce Johnson says.
Access to the outdoors and the purchase of prime recreational areas by overseas buyers is also proving to be a significant issue for New Zealanders.
Fish & Game has also taken a strong stand on the government’s Clean Water report, criticising it as simply shifting the goalposts for water quality.
And it is one of the groups which has helped formulate the seven-point Freshwater Rescue Plan (https://www.freshwaterrescueplan.org/) for cleaning up and protecting our waterways.
“Fish & Game is by no means the only organisation that has attempted to highlight the public’s anger over the state of their rivers, lakes and streams but in spite of petitions, marches and so on, the government has shown little response.”
Fish & Game urges New Zealanders to visit www.h2whoa.co.nz for some facts on the water quality issue and links to some of the key reports by government agencies and other organisations.
The website also provides an easy way to send a letter and call for action from your local MP.