‘The wait is over’ - Fish & Game welcomes Government’s plan to improve water quality

Fish and Game is welcoming the government’s just announced plan to tackle water quality, saying such action is well overdue.

Environment Minister David Parker and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor today unveiled the government’s water quality blueprint outlining the steps it will take to improve the state of our waterways.

The plan includes improving the RMA’s powers, regulating some intensive farming practices, a new National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management and a new National Environmental Standard.

David Parker is promising the moves will result in better water quality within five years.

Fish & Game’s Chief Executive Martin Taylor says the plan is welcome.

“This is a significant environmental announcement and represents the first step in stopping the decline in water quality before we can then improve the situation for future generations,” Mr Taylor says.

“Fish and Game, along with concerned New Zealanders and other environmental groups, have been battling for years to get meaningful government action on the problem.

Martin Taylor says the wide scope of the plan is impressive.

“We have a government that is now addressing the broad threat of poor water quality, rather than tinkering around the edges,” he says.

“It is particularly pleasing to see better recognition of wetlands and estuaries, along with ensuring regional and district councils do their job of protecting the environment.”

Martin Taylor predicts wide support for the move.

“Water quality is one of the most important issues facing this country and last year’s election result showed how deeply Kiwis care about not being able to swim in their local river, fish or gather food from it.

“Surveys show three quarters of people are extremely or very concerned about pollution of lakes and rivers.”

“This is a powerful mandate from New Zealanders supporting government action”, Mr Taylor says.