Report highlights Government’s failure to protect rivers and native species

The inaugural Environment Aotearoa report highlights the major shortfalls in the Government’s environmental management, and must lead to urgent action to protect our indigenous wildlife, rivers, and seas, the Green Party said today.

"The Government’s hands-off approach to environmental  protection is a major reason for the fact that 66% of monitored river sites are no longer safe to swim in and the precarious positions of many of our native seabirds and marine mammals," said Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“Our native plants, wildlife, rivers are worth saving, and it’s time for the Government to stop taking the back seat and start actively leading to keep the place and creatures we love safe.

“While John Key is off acquiring Chinese pandas, eight of our 30 indigenous marine mammals back home are now threatened with extinction.

“Ninety percent of our indigenous seabirds are threatened by or at risk of extinction. If the Government cares about saving them, it needs to take action to protect them.

“Environment officials highlight the biggest concerns for the environment are due to dairy intensification, something the Government has shown no interest in doing anything about.

“The Government is putting agribusiness interests and growth in dairying ahead of a healthy environment.

“The report reveals the shocking extent of nitrogen in our rivers. Total nitrogen levels in rivers increased 12 percent since 1989, with 60 percent of monitored sites showing statistically significant increases.

“Half of the monitored river sites have enough nitrogen to trigger potentially toxic algal blooms.

“The Green Party wants a future where we can swim in our rivers, and where the status of all of our threatened species and the quality of their habitats is improving.

“What we need to see from the Government is a commitment to stop subsidising dairy intensification and to strengthen water standards so that it’s safe for people and wildlife to swim in our rivers.

“We need a much greater investment in pest control on conservation lands and beyond.

“We also want to see a commitment to establishing effective deep sea marine protected areas and ocean sanctuaries to protect marine habitats, and a National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management that actually ensures the water is fresh.

“The message in this report is clear: our mammals, our rivers, and our environment are suffering because the Government refuses to step up,” said Ms Sage. 

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

Report shows reducing actual farming emissions vital

Evidence shows that relying on offsets to reduce agriculture’s impact on the climate will not work, the Green Party says.
Read More

Story

Budget 2022: Greens call for urgency with nature-first climate investments

Budget 2022 shows progress on conservation commitments in the Green Party’s cooperation agreement Green Party achievements in the last Government ...
Read More

Story

Nature needs us to act right now

The Green Party welcomes the release of the implementation plan for Te Mana o te Taiao Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy and calls on the ...
Read More

Story

Urgent action needed to bring natural environment back from the brink

The release today of Environment Aotearoa 2022 is a sobering reminder of what is at stake if the Government does not step up and take urgent action...
Read More

Story

Greens welcome Three Waters recommendations

The Green Party welcomes the recommendations of the Three Waters independent working group and urges the Government to seriously consider the repor...
Read More

Story

Green Party says Government needs to do better to protect our drinking water

The Green Party is calling on the Government to improve environmental standards so every New Zealander has access to clean, healthy drinking water.
Read More