29 July 2013
Latest water quality trends ‘red letter day’ for farming
Good environmental farm management is starting to show through in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MfE) latest River
condition indicator. This shows that over a decade at 90 percent of the sites tested, most of the MfE’s key indicators
were either stable or improving.
“Improved management of the land and water resource by everyone may be starting to show up in these water quality
results,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.
“In broad brush terms New Zealand’s water quality is steadily improving.
“In recent years, farmers and communities have really stepped up their efforts but we know we can and must do better.
This latest report shows we are heading in the right direction and we need to take this as encouragement to further step
up our collective efforts.
“Or, as the MfE commented, “While long-term patterns and time lags make it difficult to attribute changes in water
quality to any particular action, this may reflect a general improvement in land management and wastewater treatment
“The theme here is that the work of town and country is getting results but we cannot rest on our laurels.
“Farmers need to do their bit, no question about that, but urban communities need to continue investing in better storm
water and waste water management. We all need to work together for positive water outcomes.
“We also need to be realistic that this is a long-run game and the timetables need to reflect that. These results
underline that we have got some real wins and this is contrary to those who believe nothing positive is happening with
water quality. We are making progress.
“Farmers will be highly encouraged to see some real improvement. This is the result of years of hard work and we believe
the picture from the farm will continue to get better,” Mr Wills concluded.