Federated Mountain Club’s withdrawal from the Land and Water Forum shows how Environment Minister Nick Smith’s water policy is dissolving around him, the Green Party said today.
Environmental groups have been abandoning the Land and Water Forum (LAWF); Fish and Game left last year, while Forest and Bird left just three days ago.
“The Forum is supposed to represent all those with an interest in water in this country, from industry to environmentalists. But the balance is tipped too much in favour of industry and the Minister cherry-picks its recommendations to suit his pro-pollution agenda. It’s become untenable for environmental groups to stay in the Forum,” said Green Party water spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.
“The Green Party has been questioning Nick Smith all week on the failures of his Clean Water package, in which the goal posts have been moved to classify dirty rivers as clean.
“He claimed that LAWF is robust because of groups like Federated Mountain Clubs staying in it. How robust does it look now that they’ve pulled out?
“Nick Smith’s water policy is a failure: New Zealanders know it and he knows it.
“He refuses to make the hard calls required to clean up our rivers, like putting a moratorium on new dairy conversions or ending subsidised irrigation that harm our waterways. He prefers to rebrand dirty rivers as clean to hide his pro-pollution agenda,” said Ms Delahunty.