The Green Party welcomes the Freshwater Rescue Plan proposed by non-governmental organisations, the Tourism Export Council, public health practitioners and freshwater scientists this afternoon.
“The National Government has been in denial about the poor state of Aotearoa New Zealand’s waterways, so this plan should be a wake-up call,” said Green Party water spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.
“The seven-point Freshwater Rescue Plan is a bold plan that includes many of the things we have been calling on the government to do in order to clean up and protect our waterways, such as ending subsidies for large-scale irrigation, decreasing the number of cows on our farms, bringing in higher standards for clean water, and moving to less intensive forms of farming.
“The Green Party will wind up Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd and end Crown subsidies for irrigation schemes, such as Central Plains Water that has enabled intensive dairy farming in an area already suffering from too much nitrogen pollution.
“In the last Budget, fresh water clean-up work got only $1 million of new funding, while more than $90 million has been budgeted for irrigation schemes that will pollute our waterways.
“All the best practice mitigation measures like fencing stock from waterways and planting riparian strips aren’t going to prevent further pollution from dairy farms entering our rivers – we need to reduce the number of cows so that there is less pollution in the first place,” says Ms Delahunty.