Summer’s barely begun and too many lakes & rivers are already unsafe for swimming

Waikato, Hawke’s Bay, and Canterbury lakes are under threat this summer as poor water quality management has led to toxic algal blooms that make even wading and boating unsafe for human health, the Green Party said.

“Summer’s barely begun and already we’re seeing too many waterways that aren’t even safe for boating and wading, let alone swimming,” Green Party fresh water spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“So much toxic algal bloom this early in the summer is a clear sign that the National Government’s fresh water strategy has failed to keep our waterways clean.

“I challenge National Party MPs to explain to kids this summer why they risk getting sick by swimming in so many of our local rivers and lakes.

“Many people all over the country work hard to keep our rivers and lakes clean but the National Government undermines their hard work by setting useless and ineffective fresh water management strategies to exploit the environment for short-term profit.

“People who are travelling around our beautiful country this summer should look out for the great work being done by some farmers to fence off and plant alongside streams and rivers, but we also need to put in place new and stronger rules that stop so much nitrogen and phosphorus leaching into our rivers.

“Kiwis should be able to enjoy swimming in our rivers and lakes this summer, but National’s failure to protect the health of our waterways will deny too many people that right,” said Ms Delahunty.

Toxic algal blooms are caused by excessive nitrates leaching into waterways, mostly from dairy farms, and reacting with sunlight. They usually appear at the height of summer, rather than this early.

These waterways are currently affected by toxic algal blooms:

In Waikato and Hawke’s Bay:

  • Lake Whangape
  • Lake Waikare
  • Lake Ngaroto
  • Lake Rotokaeo
  • Lake Rotoroa
  • Lake Tutira

In Canterbury:

  • Lake Rotorua
  • Lake Forsyth
  • Lake Ellesmere Te Waihora
  • Tengawai River at Pleasant Point
  • Selwyn River at Coes Ford
  • Waihi River at Winchester
  • Temuka River at Mause Bridge
  • Opihi River at Waipopo
  • Pareora River

 

Action

Virtual 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 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

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

Story

Reducing waste and creating jobs - Minister announces 2020 Waste Minimisation Fund applications open, focus on COVID-19 recovery

Creating jobs in the vital waste reduction sector is the focus of the latest application round for the Waste Minimisation Fund, which opens today.
Read More

Story

COVID-19 recovery: Greens call for investment in people and nature

As Aotearoa starts focusing on the economic recovery from COVID-19 the Green Party is calling for an economic stimulus package fit for the 21st cen...
Read More

Policy

Environmental Protection Policy

Our kids have a birth right to swim in clean rivers, fish in the sea, and walk in pristine forests. Real prosperity means clean rivers, clean air, ...
See More

Latest Water Announcements

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

Flood of support for Top of the South catchment

Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Governm...
Read More

Story

OIA reforms mean more attention to nature and cultural values

The Green Party welcome proposed changes to the Overseas Investment Act (OIA) that will see stronger controls on applications by overseas interests...
Read More

Story

Proposals set out by Government seek to treat water as taonga

The Green Party welcome the fresh water policy proposals announced for consultation by Government that seeks to treat water as taonga and recognise...
Read More

Story

Eels a sign of the health of our creeks

Central government needs to resource local councils to protect our waterways, Green Party Water spokesperson Marama Davidson said today, following ...
Read More

Story

Water important for New Zealanders

Water extraction should be considered a sensitive asset under new consultation launched today on the Overseas Investment Act review, Green Party Co...
Read More