Media Release: EDS commends the Greens' Plan for Cleaning up New Zealand's rivers
The Environmental Defence Society welcomes and supports the Green Party's plan to clean up New Zealand's polluted lakes,
rivers and streams.
"The Green Party has correctly recognised that it's essential to set national standards for freshwater if we are to
reverse the concerning trend of declining freshwater quality with its associated threats to native freshwater fish and
aquatic ecosystems," said EDS Chairman Gary Taylor.
"EDS endorses the Greens preference for the draft National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS) as
recommended by the Board of Inquiry. This position is consistent with the recommendation in the Land and Water Forum
Report that the Board of Inquiry version was a basis to work from with four minor changes.
"The key difference between the Board of Inquiry NPS and the current NPS as promulgated by the government is that the
former set an environmental bottom line and required rules on freshwater quality that recognised the intrinsic values of
freshwater. So the Green Party's plan reintroduces an environmental bottom line.
"It is imperative that the next step is to develop a National Environmental Standard for water quality and environmental
flows and levels. As proposed by the Greens, this would ensure consistent bottom lines for water quality and water
quantity and methods for measuring and reporting.
"The Greens also propose adopting a minimum standard for intensive agriculture and a fair charge for irrigated water.
Given that over 90 percent of our lowland rivers in pastoral catchments are polluted, it is appropriate to have targeted
measures to address the impacts of intensive agriculture and irrigation.
"The third element in the plan is to support water clean-up initiatives.
"EDS considers that such initiatives are a good use of public money if there are robust criteria for the allocation of
funds. For some activities, such as riparian planting, it is also appropriate that there is an equivalent private
monetary contribution to recognise the role that person had in causing the original pollution, Mr Taylor concluded.
Environmental Defence Society
EDS is a not-for-profit environmental organisation committed to improving environmental outcomes within New Zealand.
The Environmental Defence Society (EDS) is a professionally run, independent environmental group that was established in
1971. It brings together the disciplines of science, planning, landscape and the law.
MORE ABOUT EDS
It operates as a think-tank, providing thought leadership on key environmental issues as well as representing the
environment before councils and the courts.
EDS is located at the collaborative and business aware end of the environmental movement, seeking constructive
engagement with all sectors, to achieve good environmental and economic outcomes for all New Zealanders. It has
It also plays an education role, helping business, councils, community groups and iwi to better understand best
practice resource management. EDS runs national and regional conferences and seminars on topical issues.
EDS is a registered charity and donations to it are tax-deductible.