web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

NRT: National standards for pollution

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, July 3rd, 2014 - 15 comments
Categories: Conservation, Environment, national, same old national, water - Tags:

no-right-turn-256Reposted from No Right Turn.

Today the government announced the final version of its national standards for freshwater. They’re trying desperately to pretend that these will improve water quality, but nothing could be further from the truth. The standards have been panned by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, as they allow water quality to be further degraded from its already-polluter state. And as the Greens point out, their “bottom line” isn’t rivers that are safe to swim in, but ones which are safe for wading and boating, where skin contact won’t kill you (but accidental ingestion might). National are happy for rivers which we can’t swim in and which kill our pets, because they view our recreation and use as less important than farmers’ use of our rivers as open sewers for their cowshit.

I can’t think of a better example of how bad these “bottom lines” are than to point out that the toxic sewer of lake Waikare, where the water is blood-red with algae, and the fish and birds have disappeared, would meet National’s “standards”. Campbell Live found that it had a Nitrogen level of 5.4mg/L. The government’s bottom line is 6.9. According to the government, Lake Waikare is perfectly fine, nothing to see here, move along. And that sums up their attitude perfectly.

This is not a “balance” between the economy and the environment. It is destroying the environment for the profit of a few. And I’d like to see political parties making clear statements that these “bottom lines” will be improved, to outlaw pollution and make our rivers safe to swim in.

15 comments on “NRT: National standards for pollution”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Canary, meet coalmine.

    We’re fucked. It’s that simple. We must change our behaviour. There is no alternative.

  2. Jack 2

    At least this is a start, I am gobsmacked that we didn’t have a robust regime in place already.

    It makes me wonder what people in Council and Water Quality Institutions actually do, however not surprising seeing most rivers and harbours in NZ have been used for the removal of waste over the past 150 years.

    • McFlock 2.1

      they get kicked like ecanz when they piss off farmers.

    • Macro 2.2

      What we had was a “voluntary” standard – but even that was too hard for farmers and some rural regional authorities – farmers were crying boo hop they keep checking on us.
      This is an abysmal level of regulation and it will see our rivers and lakes even more polluted than they are already.
      Typical press have NO IDEA what these bastards in govt are pulling over the face of NZ and getting away with it
      This announcement is nothing more than a political stunt.

    • Tracey 2.3

      a start jack? We are already near the end and this is where our leadrs put te line?

  3. Ed 3

    From the nps freshwater 2014 final statement, it appeared to me that National were setting the “bottom line” nitrate level at 750 or 800 mg per cubic metre – where did the lower figure of 6.9% come from?

  4. Jenny 4

    Maybe Labour could campaign on an Emissions Trading Scheme for water. Or WETS.

    Under this scheme the polluters are not required to cut back, if they want to pollute they just pay a fee and then they can continue to legally pour effluent into any waterway of their choosing as much as they can afford. To keep costs down and make it fair on the polluters they could trade with each other, if one pours more pollution here, he can buy credit from some other polluter who hasn’t polluted as much over there. Maybe down the track when National comes back into government they can get the taxpayer to take over the payments?

    Meanwhile as more and more pollution pours into our water ways under both schemes, both Labour and National will have grand debates in parliament over whose Pollution Trading scheme is best. But both joining together to condemn the Greens if they ever dare scrapping the WETS, and suggest we legislate to make it illegal to pollute our water ways.

  5. Foreign waka 5

    Ed, from the released National standard. 750-800 mg per cubic meter is for lakes whereas 6.8% Median -9.8% annually is for rivers. This means that the % can fluctuate as long as it evens on a spreadsheet to 9.8% out. So in other words no problems for the farmer having but some heavy fertilizer on the ground and heavy weather comes in. The problem with that is, that 10mg is the maximum contaminate level after which serious health effects take place that can include death in very young children.

    The negative health effects are well known the world over and we seem to be content to “contain” the harm to humans in order to grow the herds of animals by providing feed that has been encouraged by using more and more fertilizer. Nitrate is not the only contaminate in the water. Add chlorine and fluoride and water becomes more and more a health hazard.
    There is no need to add any of these chemicals, but we cant have the truth go in the way of a good yarn.

    web page water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/basicinformation/nitrate.cfm

  6. marsman 6

    National’s Standards for Pollution.

  7. philj 7

    xox
    What about the fish and children swimming in ##it? This is a PR disaster for dairy farmers in NZ. What do you expect from Corporate NZ Inc!

  8. Jrobin 8

    I notice that information about nitrogenous fertilisers such as Urea and DAP which leach into waterways and which also make soil biologically sterile, is seldom included in relation to pollution of waterways. There is a pretence tht the nitrogen is just a byproduct of cows going about their normal business. Cows fed on high nitrogen feed get rid of this into urine, but they can be fed differently on low input, low stocking rate regimes. This cuts down the pollution and makes the cows healthier and live longer. It is not inevitable that we poison our soils, animals and water by using products produced by oil companies. Biologically active soils are also an enormous and effective carbon sink. This natural cycle is ruined by spreading chemical nitrogen on soils.This should be factored in to our response to climate change. Sustainable farming makes sense on all levels but is a threat to the 1% so is being suppressed and pilloried. Makes you wonder, do the ultra wealthy not have children?

    • Macro 8.1

      ” Makes you wonder, do the ultra wealthy not have children?”

      As they would sell their own grandmother to make a quick buck – they sure as hell aren’t going to be worrying about their kids or grandkids.

      • Jenny 8.1.1

        They say the definition of a capitalist is someone who would sell the rope used to hang him. I think that they are actually plaiting it and knotting it as well.

    • Macro 8.2

      And everything you say above! There are farmers who are responsible and farm sustainably and develop their soils and their animals health rather than kill them. I’m fortunate to be able to buy my milk from one of these farmers – and the quality has to be experienced to be believed. I hate to have to buy anything else.

  9. Molly 9

    Despite the PAUP (Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan) having absolutely no teeth when it comes to preventing stock entering or fouling our waterways – ie. no testing of waterways, no requirement to fence, no penalties – farmers are offered Auckland Council grants to do the fencing anyway.

    “The Waterways Protection Fund supports landowners to prevent stock from accessing streams. However, applications may only be from selected catchments in a single year – this year applications were sought from landowners in the Papakura and Ngakaroa Stream catchments.”

    This came through on a Local Board email. Can’t find on Auckland Council website, or by Google, but guessing those in the know will be getting their fences part paid for by ratepayers even though they are not required to fence.

    Funny, how the carrot always comes into play for farmers – and the stick is always used for everyone else?

Leave a Comment

Show Tags

Current day month ye@r *

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • God Save The People!
    THE WORDS to When Wilt Thou Save The People? were written in 1827 by the "Corn Law Rhymer", Ebenezer Elliott. The refrain, "God Save the People!", is, of course, the radical working-class agitator's rejoinder to "God Save the King!"Elliott's song became the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-07
  • Why ACT always needs to play the race card
    During the 2011 election Don Brash was leader of the ACT Party, and he did something really stupid and crazy, but also rather admirable: Act leader Don Brash is calling for the decriminalisation of cannabis, saying prohibition of the drug has...
    DimPost | 30-07
  • Declan Waugh continues his distortion of Finnish fluoride research
    In my last post (Another fluoridation whopper from Declan Waugh) I described how Declan Waugh (a self-professed “scientist and fluoride researcher”) badly misrepresented data from a Finnish study which had concluded the prevalence of ailments attributed to fluoridation were “likely connected...
    Open Parachute | 30-07
  • The 40 Percent Solution.
    Challenging The Conventional Wisdom: The Labour Right believes the party can only succeed by conforming to the prevailing political and socioeconomic orthodoxy; the Labour Left understands that the whole point of the party is to challenge and change it.PHIL QUIN writes a...
    Bowalley Road | 30-07
  • Who wins the Education Debate ?: UMR and Herald-Digi Polls on Quality Teach...
    Herald-DigiPollThe Herald have just released further results from a Herald-DigiPoll (part of their Mid July political poll), which finds that "New Zealanders would rather money was spent on improving teaching standards" - ostensibly National's position - "than on reducing class...
    Sub zero politics | 30-07
  • Hard News: The crybaby philosopher
    Earlier this week, Act Party leader Jamie Whyte notified the world that he had delivered a speech entitled Race has no place in the law and, it seemed, sat back in anticipation of plaudits for his tremendous argument.Sadly, the next...
    Public Address | 30-07
  • Policymaking in a hyperglobalised world
    Speech to a conference of the Industry Training Federation and Polytechnics, 31 July 2014 First, some context. We are living through a turbulent decade. One element is the coming of age of a disruptive technology, digital technology, which is turning...
    Colin James | 30-07
  • Scientists criticise National Science Challenges
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 25 Radio New Zealand has used an official information request to expose serious unrest among scientists this week over the way the government is handling its NationalScienceChallenges project. The...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • League tables due out this week
    The TertiaryEducation Commission will publish 2013 educational performance indicators (EPIs) this week. The information ranks universities, polytechnics and wānanga institutions on their performance against the criteria, and inevitably morphs into league tables. However, TEU...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Joyce monitoring, not acting, on loan cuts
    The tertiary education minister Steven Joyce dodged a question last week about whether he would exempt medical students from the seven-year limit on student loans. Answering a written parliamentary question from Green MP Holly...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Whanganui prisoners want automotive course back
    Prisoners who want to study at UCOL are the subject of a fierce debate between TEU’s UCOL branch president Tina Smith and Whanganui MP Chester Borrows. Chester Borrows told the Wanganui Chronicle last week that...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Fascinating chart on global income change
    Last year Joseph Stiglitz, Prof James K Galbraith, and Branko Milanovic presented a paper that included the following graph, which set the economics world all a-twitter: It shows the change in income around the world in roughly the first 20...
    Polity | 30-07
  • Nurses celebrate partial victory for new grads
    Nurses celebrated yesterday when they learned their 7000 signature petition had helped pressure the government into funding a further 200 more positions in the nurse entry to practice (NEtP) programme for every new graduate...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Development opportunities after CRL: Will Newton become a second Newmarket?
    A couple of weeks ago Auckland Council quietly released a new version of its Capacity for Growth Study. The CFG study is an important and interesting document – it models the potential for future residential and business development under current...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Novopay Exemplifies National’s Governance
    This National led Government is strong on ideology, weak on process and reluctant to accept responsibility. The Novopay debacle exemplifies all of these well.When questioned about Novopay, National Ministers will never accept full responsibility. Initially the Government blamed Labour because they...
    Local Bodies | 30-07
  • Labour’s living wage announcement welcome news for public servants
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Labour’s commitment to ensure all core public service workers are paid at least the...
    PSA | 30-07
  • Novopay debacle shows danger of contracting out public services
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the Novopay debacle shows core public services are best provided in-house. Glenn Barclay, PSA...
    PSA | 30-07
  • Israel celebrates killing of children
    As the Israeli bombardment and occupation of Gaza intensifies with Unicef estimating that 230 Palestinian children have been killed to date, the international response to numerous Israeli war crimes appears to be floundering. Although an investigation will be conducted, without...
    The Jackal | 30-07
  • A video has emerged showing far-right Israeli protesters celebrating the death of children in Gaza in Tel Aviv this weekend.The protesters, who were picketing a much larger anti-war demonstration in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Saturday night, can be seen...
    The Jackal | 30-07
  • Novopay triumph for government
    Today the National government announced the future plans for the troubled education payroll system Novopay. The system has had a rough ride since it was implemented almost two years ago. At parliament today the Cabinet Minister for Fixing Up Really Bad...
    My Thinks | 30-07
  • Stuart’s 100 #3: Plane Tree Avenues
    Stuart Houghton’s 100 ideas for Auckland continues 3: Plane Tree Avenues Franklin Road, with its historic plane trees, is one of the most loved streets in Auckland. What if plane tree avenues defined all the major city fringe streets? This...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Too Much some recent articles on Inequality
    click here for these...
    Closing the Gap | 30-07
  • From truffle to light crude; oil doesn’t come cheap
    The Governments oil salesman Simon Bridges just can’t catch a break these days. Whether it’s having to admit that he’d never even heard of NZ’s largest forest park (Victoria FP) which he’d just opened up to drillers or getting stick...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-07
  • Submit on the Draft Parking Discussion Document
    Auckland Transport have had their Draft Parking Discussion Document (2mb file) out for consultation over the last couple of months, but this closes at midnight on Thursday. This covers the full range of parking issues around the city, including on-street, off-street and park...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Reaching out to voters
    This is going to be the biggest grassroots campaign we’ve ever run. A couple of weeks ago I shared some of the stats from our voter outreach programme with the media. It’s campaign activity that’s often hidden from view, but...
    Labour campaign | 30-07
  • Scrapped
    Wellington City Council has scrapped its "alternative giving" campaign. Good. As the article notes, the campaign was an expensive failure, with $40,000 spent to raise just $3,500 for the homeless. But despite that, its architects are still trying to pretend...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • Following in illustrious footsteps
    Gaylene Nepia is campaign manager for both the national Māori campaign and for her brother Adrian Rurawhe - Labour’s candidate for the Te Tai Hauāuru electorate. Mr Rurawhe and Mrs Nepia are great grandchildren of Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana, founder of the...
    Labour campaign | 30-07
  • Seeing life through a Maori lens
    Meka Whaitiri, MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti, is contesting the seat for the first time at a general election. She entered Parliament through a by-election in June last year, following the death of her predecessor Parekura Horomia....
    Labour campaign | 30-07
  • Bribery
    So, it turns out that the government blew $240,000 on hosting eleven oil company executives for a four-day junket during the 2011 rugby world cup. In Parliament today Energy Minister Simon Bridges admitted that $22,000 of that spending was on...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • All other things being equal… except they aren’t
    US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts likes to say that “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race", a sentiment ACT leader Jamie Whyte would applaud going by...
    Pundit | 30-07
  • Celebrating a great talent pool
    I've been an MP since the 1996 election, first for Te Tai Hauauru and then for Tainui, which became Hauraki-Waikato after boundary changes. I'm seeing a real energy around Labour among Māori. The talent pool that Labour is fielding in both...
    Labour campaign | 30-07
  • Labour on wages
    Great to see positive, progressive policy from Labour on wages today. The core points are: Increase the minimum wage by $2 an hour in our first year, to $15 an hour in our first hundred days in government, and increased...
    Polity | 30-07
  • Inequality: Balancing the Extremes from Credit Suisse Research Institute
    click here for this youtube clip...
    Closing the Gap | 30-07
  • Labours policies a step change for working people
    “After six long years of working life getting tougher in New Zealand workers have been given a real choice today with the announcement of Labours Industrial Relations policy package.” CTU President Helen Kelly said...
    CTU | 30-07
  • Inequality and Its Consequences Stiglitz and Feldstein
    click here for this youtube discusioon...
    Closing the Gap | 30-07
  • Australia’s corruption cover-up
    Wikileaks strikes again:A sweeping gagging order issued in Australia to block reporting of any bribery allegations involving several international political leaders in the region has been exposed by WikiLeaks. The prohibition emerged from a criminal case in the Australian courts...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • A bottom-up plan for inequality
    Labour released its "work and wages" policy today. The headlines? Abolishing the 90-day law and increasing the minimum wage by $2 to $16.25 an hour by April 2015. Those are fairly obvious ways of delivering to their core constituency, but...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • World News Brief, Wednesday July 30
    Top of the AgendaU.S., EU to Toughen Sanctions on Russia...
    Pundit | 30-07
  • Where are Labour’s billboards?
    On Sunday, I drove from Gisborne to Katikati, through Opotiki, Te Puke and Tauranga. Yesterday afternoon/evening, I made the return journey. One thing I noticed is that National Party billboards popped up regularly, mixtures of individual candidates’ billboards (simply stating...
    Occasionally erudite | 30-07
  • “Improving”
    End-of-Year process positive for Novopay, Steven Joyce, 17 January 2014:Minister Responsible for Novopay Steven Joyce says a 100 per cent completion rate for schools involved in the End-of-Year process and an accompanying low error rate are tributes to the hard...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • Farmers don’t set out to pollute our rivers
    It can be easy to vilify farmers. But no farmer sets out to create pollution, and the evidence suggests that many farmers are either already acting responsibly or that they are lifting their game. In particular, dairy farmers are acting....
    Gareth’s World | 30-07
  • Guide to economic evaluation part 3: What is agglomeration?
    Debates over major transport investments often get caught up in arguments over benefit-cost ratios, or BCRs. In recent years, projects such as the Transmission Gully and Puhoi to Warkworth motorways and the City Rail Link have been criticised for their...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Where to now for Colin and the Conservatives?
    It’s (almost*) official – there’s no deal for Colin Craig in East Coast Bays. Murray McCully will not be knifed, thrown under a bus or given concrete shoes to go swimming in. Given that Mr Craig had already accepted he...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-07
  • Real men say sorry
    There are a couple of universal truths that all men should be aware of. Firstly, it takes a bigger man to walk away. Of course men can be accused of being weak if they don't confront their problems with violence,...
    The Jackal | 29-07
  • Why my children took part in a playful protest against LEGO’s partner...