Olympic officials should worry about the water in their own backyard

Concerns over water quality at the Rio de Janeiro’s Olympics Games next year should prompt concerns here in New Zealand, where rowers at Lake Karapiro are exposed to water that’s becoming increasingly polluted.

A TV3 report last night claimed rowers and Olympic officials were worried about athletes getting sick from poor water quality at venues in Rio.

“If athletes are concerned about the effects to their health from water in Rio, they should question the state of our waterways here. Lake Karapiro, New Zealand’s premiere rowing venue, has suffered from declining water quality and toxic algal blooms in recent years. One rower noted the lake had a pink tinge to it,” said Green Party water spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

“The lake is being put under pressure by dairy farming, with nitrogen and other nutrients entering the waterways. These nutrients cause algal blooms and pollute the water.

“Upstream of Lake Karapiro, Landcorp, the Government’s farming enterprise, is converting former forestry land to dairy farming, putting even more pressure on the ecosystem of the Waikato River, and causing more pollution downstream.

“Landcorp’s conversions undermine the work being done by existing dairy farmers and other stakeholders who are spending millions to save the river.

“The Waikato River is a taonga to Maori, but the Government sees fit to continue pushing more polluting dairy cows onto the land. When prices for milk solids are falling, it doesn’t make sense to sacrifice the environment and the mauri of the river in this way.

“If rowers are worried about getting sick from the water in Rio, they should also look to their own backyard, and ask why Landcorp conversions are allowed to continue to pollute the river they rely on,” Ms Delahunty said.

ENDS

 

Action

Jeanette Fitzsimon's Memorial

Since her passing, we have been so moved by your stories of Jeanette. Inspiring, challenging, humorous, poignant — endless stories of a life so ric...
Take Action

Action

Local Events

We have activists across Aotearoa / New Zealand who are working hard to build a brighter future for our kids and grandkids. This page lists upcomin...
Take Action

Action

It's time to pay our essential workers a dignified wage

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been...
Take Action

Action

Join our call to stop funding fossil fuels!

We need to remove all public money managed by the Government from climate-changing fossil fuel industries.
Take Action

Action

Support our Climate Action Plan for bigger bolder climate action

We agree with all five of the School Strike for Climate's demands. Read more and sign the petition.
Take Action

Action

Show your support to end housing inequality

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been undervalued and many barely....
Take Action

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

Green Party unveils Clean Energy Plan

The Green Party is today unveiling part one of its plan for a fossil-fuel free Aotearoa, including an immediate ban on new industrial coal boilers.
Read More

Story

Funding for Kaipara district community waste programmes

Waste reduction and recycling programmes in Kaipara are set to get a boost with Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage today announcing a $361...
Read More

Story

Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public consultation

The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Managem...
Read More

Story

New protection for dolphins and support for changes to fishing methods

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announce...
Read More

Story

Strongest ever water reforms mean swimmable rivers within a generation

The Green Party says major freshwater reforms announced today provide the strongest ever protections of our waterways, to help ensure the next gene...
Read More

Story

Budget 2020: Huge investment in green nature based jobs jump starts sustainable COVID recovery

The Green Party says the $1.1 billion environmental investment in this year’s budget to create thousands of green jobs will help jump start a susta...
Read More