The Green Party today launched a campaign and petition to fight for our rivers, to ensure they are safe for swimming now and in the future.
“We’ve chosen 10 rivers from around the country to visit, and highlight what needs to be done to make them clean enough to swim in again,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said at the Party’s annual conference at Lincoln.
“New Zealanders want rivers that are safe to swim in that they and future generations can enjoy. But the Government has given up on clean rivers.
“Rivers can be clean enough to swim in, but only if the Government lifts its ‘wadable’ standards and demands they be swimmable instead.
“Under National, nearly two thirds of our rivers are unsafe for swimming. New Zealand needs a Government to back our rivers, and to stop defending polluters.
“The best hope for our rivers is that we change the government. Today’s petition is an opportunity for New Zealanders to demand rivers clean enough to swim in.
“John Key says that most of our water just runs out to sea, when in fact it sustains communities who swim in and gather kai from rivers, as well as native species and ecosystems.
“Government subsidies for damaging irrigation projects – like the Ruataniwha dam that will impact the Tukituki River – shows the Government’s refusal to protect water quality.
“Lots of work is being done by tangata whenua, communities, industries and farmers, but they can’t do it on their own. We need strong regulation that requires our rivers be safe for swimming, which the Green Party is committed to,” said Mrs Turei.
The 10 rivers are:
· Wairua (Te Tai Tokerau/Northland)
· Kaipātiki/Lucas Creek (Tāmaki Makarau/Auckland)
· Tarawera (Te Moana-a-Toi /Bay of Plenty)
· Tukituki (Heretaunga/Hawke’s Bay)
· Waitara (Taranaki)
· Ruamāhanga (Wairarapa)
· Waikirikiri/Selwyn (Waitaha/Canterbury)
· Mataura (Murihiku/Southland)
Campaign and petition page: http://rivers.greens.org.nz/