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Proposals set out by Government seek to treat water as taonga

The Green Party welcome the fresh water policy proposals announced for consultation by Government that seeks to treat water as taonga and recognise te mana o te wai (“the innate life force of the water”).

“Water is life and the wellbeing of our communities and nature depends on it. We have long needed a holistic approach that ensures our water stays clean and healthy from the mountain to the sea”, Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson said today.

“The proposals set out for consultation show a comprehensive approach to making sure our water is healthy, safe, swimmable and drinkable.

“This ranges from reducing soil loss and pollution, enforcing standards and working with farmers to improve practices, and protecting our ecosystems, drinking sources and human health.  

“Our rivers provide precious habitats for our native species like whitebait, provide drinking water for our towns and cities, and irrigate our land so we can grow food. But most of our river systems have been degraded, with too much water taken out, and too much pollution going in.

“We need higher standards for water quality, and robust tools to make sure these standards are achieved.

“Cleaning up our rivers and protecting aquifers is going to take all of us and it is going to take time. After decades of water degradation, it will take time to heal.

“We encourage everyone to submit on the discussion document, and show their support for cleaning up our rivers. 

“Part of our Confidence and Supply agreement with Labour is to improve water quality and prioritise achieving healthy rivers, lakes and aquifers with stronger regulatory instruments, with funding for freshwater enhancement. We are really happy to see this important work coming to fruition”.