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Clean water worth paying for

Written By: - Date published: 5:28 am, March 26th, 2009 - 14 comments
Categories: health - Tags:

Rodney Hide, who thinks nothing of spending billions on tax cuts for the well-off, is baulking at spending “some tens of millions” to improve water supply quality in rural New Zealand. A quick google of ‘water borne disease new zealand’ reveals the cost of doing nothing.

  • There are 800,000 people drinking water that the Ministry of Health classifies as ‘at risk’
  • A Ministry of Health report estimates that there are 33,700 cases of gastro-intestinal disease each year as a result of contaminated drinking water.
  • That’s tens of thousands of lost work days, thousands of hours of medicial professionals’ time used, other health costs, and (let’s not know the price of everything but the value of nothing) a pretty nasty week or so for the people who get sick.
  • Small, rural communities have been the main victims of outbreaks of water-borne disease.
  • Children attending schools with poor quality water at 1.3 times more likely to get gastro-intestinal disease.
  • As the report states “drinking water of poor microbiological quality, low public health grading or that receives inadequate treatment has been demonstrated to contribute to the burden of gastro-intestinal disease in New Zealand”
  • Israel eliminated water-borne gastro-intestinal disease in a decade with the implementation of good water quality standards.

Now that some facts are on the table, does it really seem like a good idea to penny pinch on water quality?

The Waterboy

14 comments on “Clean water worth paying for ”

  1. Ari 1

    It’s only a “good idea” to cut healthy water standards (speaking from his perspective) if you have something you want to do more- like lower top tax rates to 30%.

  2. RedLogix 2

    Great post. Interesting that the Nats are willing to screw over parts of their traditional rural heartland, just to satisfy Hide’s ideological cravings. I draw your attention to ACT’s policy on this area:

    1.Local government will be required to shed its commercial activity, thereby eliminating the need to separate regulatory and commercial functions between local and regional councils.

    2.Roads and piped water will be supplied on a fully commercial basis.

    ACT Party Local Govt Policy

    Note the term ‘fully commercial’… these two sentences can only mean one thing; full privatisation of assets and operations. Roading and water. Think about it.

    I don’t think this will be achieved next week; but Hide is the Minister for Local Govt, and he is in a position to setup policy in this direction. If he gets a second term, you betcha it’s on the cards.

  3. vto 3

    This is surely an area that central govt should be involved in. Ensuring clean healthy water for the country. An essential component of human survival.

    I know from current direct personal experience that many many small towns are suffering here. A wee town we frequent used to have fantastic water supply but now suffers water borne disease and cannot be used for drinking. It sucks, is unhealthy, is a third world hassle, and everyone in the town is unhappy about it.

    Hide is delusional if he thinks this is not a major issue for many small towns. Perhaps he spends too long in big centres to even know that small centres exist and have similar sized though different problems.

    It would in fact be a great way to cement a vote bloc in the rural areas. Especially that past labour stronghold which is currently national, the west coast.

  4. roger nome 4

    “Perhaps he spends too long in big centres to even know that small centres exist and have similar sized though different problems.”

    Perhaps he only gives a fuck about himself and his rich mates?

  5. DeeDub 5

    Surely they can afford to drink the water of choice of the ‘market forces’…. BOTTLED water?


    Seriously though isn’t bad tap water ‘good for business’ – as in the profits of those drink companies?

  6. Clarke 6

    Your title actually said it all … “Clean water worth paying for” in Rodney Hide’s world translates to “Clean water is worth paying the private sector for”.

    He’s already on record as saying that Councils should not be in the business of providing water, and that this basic human right should be privatised.

  7. TightyRighty 7

    is a poster on this site seriously using israel as an example? that’d be like dubya holding up Saddam as model of democracy.

    • Felix 7.1

      You’re going to have to explain that for me, I’m a bit slow.

      What is it about Israel’s water supply that means it shouldn’t be mentioned here? Genuine question.

      • TightyRighty 7.1.1

        the villification of anything done by Israel that pours from certain commentators on this site has always lead me to believe that there is either an underlying anti-semitic trait, or overwhelming blindness to the faults of the arabs who oppose them. so to use Israeli success in eliminating waterborne bugs, when we have seen the Israelites accused of everything from genocide and baby-killing to cutting off said water supply seems a bit incongruous.

        • Felix

          I don’t remember ever seeing anything on this site relating to Israel outside of the context of it’s foreign policy with regard to Palestine, a subject which is hardly specific to this site.

          Perhaps you could point me to some of this discussion so I can better understand what you’re talking about with regard to their water system, if indeed that’s what you’re talking about. I’m still not entirely clear about that.

          • TightyRighty

            im not in the mood to research, take it as a generalisation of my observations toward the mood of Israel and it’s actions.

          • Felix

            So your memory pretty much squares with mine then – you can’t recall anything being written about Israel that would be in any way relevant to the topic either.

            So what’s your problem with their water system?

        • Draco T Bastard

          The actions of Israel toward the Palestinians doesn’t detract from their water supply being top notch.

          We used to have such a water supply and then we got Rogernomics. We have become incredibly cheap since then.

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