Written By: - Date published: 10:07 am, April 16th, 2017 - 100 comments
Categories: articles, sustainability, water - Tags: dirty water, nadine higgins, opinion, sunday star times, water, water quality
Nadine Higgins has written a scorcher of an opinion piece in the SST:
We’re up an unswimmable creek without a paddle
The late John Clarke wrote in The Listener a few years ago “If you’d like to enjoy the beautifully clean, swift-flowing New Zealand river system, you should make every effort to get out there before the dairy industry gets any more successful”.
I think that window has now closed. Yet another report this week confirmed we’ve trashed our waterways. More rivers are declining than improving. Nitrate levels are rising. It’s our fault but there’s seems to be little urgency to do that.
That is a national shame, but also National’s shame.
The Government’s approach to water quality has been about as upfront and effective as its approach to the housing crisis.
First step, emphatically deny there’s a crisis and if that fails, change the definition to make it look like you’re making things better. Lowering the bar of what’s considered swimmable is about the same as deciding you need only 40 per cent not 80 per cent to be an A-grade student – it doesn’t make you any smarter.
The Land and Water Forum, designed to advise Government on water policy, has been bleeding members who say their advice is being ignored.
Throw in the Government’s long-stated aim to double agricultural exports by 2025 and we’re heading up an unswimmable creek without a paddle.
Water quality should be a massive issue this election. Some friends, who are the kind of dyed-in-the-wool National supporters who call everyone else a loony leftie, now say water quality will guide their vote and it can’t possibly go to National. …
Plenty more good reading in the full piece.
Vote for clean water.