The National Government’s water standards are a murky mess that won’t protect our rivers, lakes and aquifers, the Green Party said today.
The comments comes on the back of news this morning that the Government hasn’t released information to scientists clarifying how the standards will improve water quality.
“If even our freshwater scientists aren’t being given the full picture of how the so-called Clean Water package actually makes our water cleaner, how are the public meant to know?” said Green Party water spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.
“The Clean Water package has been a total disaster for the National Government.
“By creating a new definition for ‘swimmable’, Nick Smith is trying to convince New Zealanders that action is being taken on fresh water when in reality, it’s not.
“The Government’s goal for 90 per cent swimmable rivers by 2040 has no substance and no plan to get us there, and has been shown to be a disaster for rivers.
“We should all see the science that the Government has agreed to show the scientists and re-open the public submissions period, so that New Zealanders can make an informed decision about the new standards.
“The Green Party in government will do what’s necessary to take care of and protect our rivers.
“We’ll look at how we can reduce the number of animals on our farms who contribute to the decline in our water quality, we’ll wind up subsidised irrigation, and we’ll set clean-water standards that actually mean something to people and the ecosystems that depend on clean rivers,” said Ms Delahunty.