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Clean rivers

Eugenie Sage MP
Eugenie Sage MP
eugenie [dot] sage [at] parliament [dot] govt [dot] nz (Email)

Rivers you can swim in

Our sparkling rivers and lakes are a key part of what makes Aotearoa New Zealand such a beautiful place to live.

As Kiwis, most of us have a favourite memory of a golden summer's day at a river or lake. From the mighty Waikato to the braided Rakaia, we treasure our rivers, and overwhelmingly, want them to be safe enough for swimming, fishing, and gathering food.

Our rivers are in crisis

Currently, more than 60% of our monitored river sites are too polluted to swim in, one-third of our lakes are unhealthy, and two-thirds of our freshwater fish are at risk.

It's no wonder that water is the top environmental issue for New Zealanders.

Unfortunately, this trend won't reverse itself. Our rivers, lakes and aquifers face increased pollution risks, especially from intensive agriculture, and increased demand from irrigation, industry and urban use.

The Government's proposed solution is inadequate

Recently, the National Government proposed new water quality objectives for our rivers, but they are too weak and won't do enough to clean them up. In fact, some of their proposed rules would allow many of our freshwater spots to be degraded even further.

The current Government would only make rivers clean for us to dip our toes into, not put our heads under. However, ensuring that our waterways are clean enough to swim in is the best way to make sure that we have pristine rivers and lakes that are healthy for fish and wildlife and people.

Read more about why their proposal won't clean up our polluted waterways.

We have a plan to clean up New Zealand's rivers and lakes

  1. Set standards for clean water
  2. Introduce a fair charge for irrigation water
  3. Support water clean-up initiatives

Read about the full plan


Recent news

Take action

Send a message to the Government - we want clean water rules that ensure our rivers are safe for swimming.

Share your stories - good and bad - with eugenie [dot] sage [at] parliament [dot] govt [dot] nz (Eugenie) about your local river or lake.


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