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A waterfall of funding to destroy rivers, and a drop in the bucket to clean them up

National’s Budget has delivered a waterfall of funding to destroy rivers, but only a drop in the bucket to clean them up, the Green Party said today.

“National is showing its true colours in regards to water quality in this country. By injecting another $63 million into Crown Irrigation Investments in today’s Budget, National is subsidising the pollution of our rivers, lakes and aquifers,” said Green Party water spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

“To clean up our rivers, National has budgeted a paltry extra $1 million towards iwi-led community clean-up programmes. It does nothing to stop pollution entering our rivers.

“By spending 63 times the amount of money to destroy our rivers as to clean them up, National has shown its true colours in regards to water quality.

“Large-scale irrigation is a disaster for our environment. It enables intensive farming that adds pollution to our waterways and contributes to our rivers running dry.

“It’s clear that the only way to truly clean up our rivers is to change the government. National has had nine long years, but has failed our environment with its short term thinking.

“The Green Party in government will stop subsidies for irrigators, put a moratorium on new dairy farm conversions and stop pollution at its source. We’ll need to spend less on cleaning up pollution if it doesn’t exist in the first place,” said Ms Delahunty.