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.



Latest Environment Announcements


Take action to protect our oceans

We’re taking the health of our oceans seriously and our Thriving Oceans Plan sets out exactly how the Green Party will protect them so we all can e...

Thriving Oceans

Oceans are the lifeblood of our planet and home to thousands of taonga species, providing us with nourishing food to feed our families, supporting ...
Read More

Farming For The Future

Here in Aotearoa, we can have a thriving and sustainable farming sector that is good for farmers, good for people, and good for the planet. By maki...
Read More


More action on waste – Government funds recycling infrastructure, moves to standardise kerbside collections

$36.7m Government investment in high-tech recycling plants nationwide Plan to standardise and improve the nation’s kerbside collections As part o...
Read More


New rules for the outdoor storage of tyres

The Government is introducing environmental standards for tyres stored outdoors announced Associate Minister for the Environment, Eugenie Sage. “A ...
Read More


Government announces plan to tackle problem plastics and seven single-use plastic items

Following the success of the phase out of single-use plastic shopping bags, the Government now has plans to phase out more single-use and problem p...
Read More