Labour’s Plan to Cull Irrigation Fund a “Watershed” Policy for Clean Rivers: Greenpeace
9 August, 2017 - Greenpeace have welcomed Labour’s commitment to ditch National’s $480 million taxpayer fund for new irrigation
“Ditching the irrigation fund is one of the most important things that any political party could be doing right now to
protect New Zealand’s freshwater - it is a watershed policy for our rivers,” says Greenpeace sustainable agriculture
campaigner, Genevieve Toop.
“Big irrigation drives more intensive dairying, and we already have too many cows in New Zealand. If we’re to save our
rivers, we need to stop big irrigation.
“Every New Zealander should be able to swim in clean rivers and drink pure water without fear of becoming ill. The first
step to restoring freshwater health is to stop making the problem worse through dairy intensification.”
Labour’s policy states existing commitments will be honoured, but Crown subsidies for the funding of further water
storage and irrigation schemes will be removed because they should stand on their own economic merits if they are
Greenpeace has also criticised National’s $44 million river clean-up grants, which were announced yesterday. The largest
recipient of the grants was an irrigation dam in the Waimea Valley, which received $7 million.
“National’s so-called river clean-up fund is actually funding big irrigation - one of the root causes of the problem,”
“We already have too many cows in New Zealand. Any Government that is serious about saving our rivers must first stop
the intensification of dairy and reduce the herd.
“There’s little point in cleaning up rivers while you’re still funding the major drivers of pollution.”