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Just allow more shit – a metaphor for this government

Written By: - Date published: 4:21 pm, February 23rd, 2017 - 122 comments
Categories: Environment, quality of life, water - Tags: ,

So National’s great plan for swimmable rivers by 2040 is to allow more than twice as much shit in them1 and still call them “swimmable.”

Move the goalposts and still take more than 20 years to cover the much smaller distance.  Ambitious for New Zealand as ever.

There will now be a 1 in 20 chance of campylobacter by swimming in an “excellent” river.  I look forward to nasty shits/vomiting about every 20 swims…

It’s just a brilliant metaphor for this National Government – faced with the need to do something important for the future of the country, the answer is just to allow more shit, while sitting on their hands and doing nothing.

1: 540 p/mL e coli instead of 260.

122 comments on “Just allow more shit – a metaphor for this government”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Exactly as I was expecting from this government once they realised that they couldn’t dodge our steadily worsening waterways. Instead of cleaning up our waterways to become swimmable they’d just change the standards so that wadeable became swimmable.

    So totally and utterly predictable from a government that won’t do anything to upset business and farmers.

  2. Tamati Tautuhi 2

    There should be specific scientific measurements and standards not some b/s terminology like swimmable and wadeable do these guys think we are actually stupid?

  3. Cinny 3

    Those ringing/contacting talk back about this topic can see straight through this charade.

    Woo hoo the ecoli levels will be doubled, what a piece of shit election sell out promise.

    We are going to clean up the rivers, translated by the national party thesaurus of propaganda, actually means, we are raising the allowable e-coli levels, so the waterways will still be filthy, but hey they are under the newly changed allowable levels so it’s all good and legal.

    WTF and their time frame for this crap, 23 years, how stupid do they think people are, no ones going to swallow this shite.

    Maybe the outgoing governments internal polling proved that everyone cares about the water.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      WTF and their time frame for this crap, 23 years, how stupid do they think people are, no ones going to swallow this shite.

      I’m pretty sure that a number of people actually would.

    • rob 3.2

      Trouble is the dimwits that vote for this lot will only hear more swimable rivers and waterways.blinkers on.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1


      • Red Hand 3.2.2

        Townie voters don’t swim in rivers so don’t give a shit.

        • Sabine

          nah the townies give a shit, its the country people that don’t…you know the farmers, or shall we call them the milk (maids) managers.

          • rob

            Plus 70,000 a yr nat voters by residency

          • marty mars

            country people give a big shit actually – we see it much more clearly than town tap people – we see the stinky brown water in the once clear streams – it isn’t a poster for us – it is real life.

        • Draco T Bastard

          National canned Ecan and put in appointed managers because the farmers were upset that the townies were voting to keep their rivers clean.

        • Cinny

          All animals including humans should give a shit, just not in the water 😀

          Personally I prefer the sea for swimming, but even living in Devonport, across the road from a beach, I never ever swam there, instead would drive North or West for well over an hour for a CLEAN beach to swim in. If I was a river swimmer would have probably had to drive even further.

          You know what Red Hand, in the end I moved to Motueka, one of the big reasons were the clean places to swim/nature. This ex townie and many more ‘townies’ do in fact give a shit about clean swimming and drinking water. Beautiful place Motueka, am very very lucky to live here.

          Am pretty shitty about this new facade of deception from Dr Custard.

          Far out he’s saying that his new standards will be in line with waterway standards in the USA and Europe, because that makes it ok?
          Dang! He’s a real special kind of stupid

          “More than 15,000 streams, rivers, and lakes in the United States are too polluted with nutrient runoff to support wildlife, be enjoyed recreationally, or serve as a drinking water source”

          Dr Custard doesn’t seem to realise that the Europeans come here for among other things to swim in clean water, they’re gonna be a little bit shitty when they discover our waterways are allowed to be just as polluted as theirs. Bye bye tourism #1 kiwi export earner.

          And, and, and lolololz he’s done this before, guess his plan wasn’t working he’s added another ten years on to previous target.
          “This was the same Nick Smith who in 2006 promised all rivers would be swimmable by 2030”

          Dr Custard you are an Idiot

          I’m going to vote this election for a party that does give a shit about the water, not Dr Custard. We desperately need a change.

          • Wayne


            I live in Bayswater on Ngataringa Bay. I swim in the Bay most days for 8 months of the year (at least when I am in Auckland).

            Ngataringa is highly tidal, you can only swim 90 minutes either side of high tide. I have lived here for 15 years. The water quality has been getting better each year, mostly because of the reduced leachate from the old Devonport tip which closed 30 years ago. there has also been quite a lot spent of stage and stormwater systems which has drastically reduced (at least on the North Shore) the number of pollution alerts.

            In short the beaches around Devonport are quite swimmable.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              You’re alright Jack? That’s nice.

              • Wayne

                Just making the point to readers that swimming in Devonport is quite OK. You don’t have to drive 30 minutes to go for a swim.

                • Jenny Kirk

                  Lucky you, Wayne.
                  And I used to swim off Birkenhead Wharf when the tide was right and the water was okay. And in the seas off Whangarei to the east, the water is fine – come on in !

                  But hang-on – the non-swimmable water that we’re all talking about – the polluted contaminated water – is the so-called fresh water in streams and rivers – including I see now, the Waikato River from whence Auckland supercity gets its “drinking” water.

                  I don’t know the state of Auckland’s rivers any more, but up here in the north they are shockingly contaminated – and mostly by dairy farming – with farmers allowing their beasts to wade into the water, poo and wee, and drink it as well. Yuk. And the local Northland Regional Council, full of farmers, allows this to continue non-stop. We even have dead beasts left in the water. Lots of public (media) documentation and photos to show all this continually happening.

                  And I now see the Nat Govt has borrowed the North Reg Council’s limited “standards” for achieving better water quality – a 20-year deadline for farmers to get their act together. Load of bullshit, if you’ll pardon the term, Wayne. Your govt is just clearly negligent on this matter, and no doubt you know it under your skin.

                • One Anonymous Bloke


                  Rivers all polluted where you live? Wayne Mapp has kindly offered accommodation at his place.

            • Cinny

              That’s awesome to hear Wayne.

              When I lived in Devonport, one of my jobs was cleaning all the beaches on the north shore and many out west, so they looked pristine for Americas Cup visitors at the time. I was blown away at what we would find, they were not the type of beaches this south island girl was used to. Never seen needles or so much glass and rubbish on a nz beach in my life, was an eye opener for me and a daily occurrence.

              This week i’ve taken the kids to Kaiteriteri every day after school, 13 mins drive from us. They spend their time snorkeling, chasing and trying to catch all the fish, in beautiful clear water, no need for shoes, no glass buried in the sand.

              I cleaned every beach from Devonport to Browns Bay, three to four times a week, just for perspective.

              Rivers flow into the sea.

  4. Ian 5

    Mike Joy doth complain too much.

    • McFlock 5.1

      Mike Joy doth complain too much.

      wouldn’t that imply that he’s the one crapping in all our rivers?

    • Tricledown 5.2

      Ian you want the rivers to get worse I take it.
      Others are not allowed an opinion or their opinion doesn’t count.
      Or your a farmer.

      • Ian 5.2.1

        I am a farmer.I grow food so everyone can eat.The river on my boundary is pristine. I am looking at real estate in Christchurch at the moment and looked at a property bordering Dudley creek . What a foul smelling,rotten stretch of septic stagnant sludge.Not a cow in sight. Just urban developement.

        • Psycho Milt

          What a foul smelling,rotten stretch of septic stagnant sludge.Not a cow in sight. Just urban developement.

          Gosh, well that certainly does demonstrate why people are so wrong to want something done about the state of our rivers. /sarc. Are farmers in general subject to severe logic failure, or is it just you?

          • Ian

            Your interpretation of what I implied,not mine Psycho. Note I said my river is pristine. Just saying that You Hippocrates need to stop shitting in your own nest if you want me to come aboard your peace train.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Dude, it was the cows shitting in the river upstream that turned them into a stinking mess. Hippocrates would have known that.

              But, hey, you’re a National voter so engaging in typical RWNJ action of denying your responsibility and showing your stupidity at the same time as you think others will accept your lies and BS as truth.

            • Psycho Milt

              Yes, my interpretation of you objecting to Mike Joy’s attempts to get something done about the country’s water quality is that you think people are wrong to want something done about the country’s water quality. If you don’t want people to reach that conclusion, don’t write statements like “Mike Joy doth complain too much.”

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Urban development did it too? I’m sure that excuse works at Cabinet Club. At primary school, not so much.

          agriculture does have an effect on water quantity and quality.

          William Rolleston, President, Federated Farmers, June 27, 2016.

          Stop whinging: we’re all in this together.

        • McFlock

          Well, if you’re one of the jolly good farmers who don’t pollute our waterways, good for you. Seriously.

          I’d like all farmers to follow your example.

          At the moment some rotters are saving on fencing and boosting productivity by expecting the public to take the cost of their bad land and water management practises. Our shitty streams subsidise your industry competitors.

          And yes, I also have issue with waterway pollution from roads, residences, and other industries.

          But good on you for leaving all waterways on your property pristine. You are the benchmark everyone should copy, rather than having a tosser government simply redefine “pristine”.

          • Ian

            Rivers have birdlife that craps alot.If you can’t take the risk of a good swim ,stay in your safe space. Canterbury river scientists have pointed out that we have had 3 winters of low rainfall and minimal recharge of aquifers. They have also pointed out that Christchurch is sucking water out of those aquifers like there is no tomorrow. Any one heard about water storage. Save it when it is plentifull and you can get through those tight spots.

            • McFlock

              And the Hawkes Bay gastro outbreak was apparently caused by sheep.

              BTW, is environment canterbury still the fiefdom of national party designees rather than elected representatives?

            • Gavin

              Don’t try the birdlife story Ian, that’s not anywhere near the scale of cows or cattle. Just considering cows alone, there are 20 human equivalents taking a dump on paddocks, for every human in NZ. That’s a lot of point source pollution. It’s impossible to mitigate fully without removing the cows or putting them in barns and treating all the effluent properly, as though they were human.

              Don’t try the line that cows only live for 5-7 years either, they are immediately replaced with heifers brought up on the same property, or a nearby one.

              The rest of NZ is not so sure about those Fonterra ads.

              • Jenny Kirk

                Talking about birds pooping in rivers – the Northland Regional Council has just come out with a blurb saying that as well.
                But remember – we used to swim in rivers that were okay, and the birds were pooping in them then, too !
                But since then the cattle have become much more numerous, and farmers are using the waterways as watering holes for their cows etc instead of fencing them off so of course much more cow muck is going into the rivers.
                I don’t think many people will believe either Ian, the Nth Reg.Council, or the govt when they try that “birds do it too” line.
                Its too much like blaming someone else for their own problems. In fact, it sounds a bit like that old refrain we’ve been hearing for the last 8 years, Labour does it too – but our rivers were a lot cleaner and swimmable 9 years ago.

            • Draco T Bastard

              They have also pointed out that Christchurch is sucking water out of those aquifers like there is no tomorrow.

              And it’s the farmers doing that too as they farm where they shouldn’t:

              Farmers have depleted aquifers by taking vast quantities of water for irrigation. A lot of this water gets mixed with fertiliser chemicals and animal effluent and over decades seeps into waterways and aquifers.

              This contaminated water has already caused outbreaks of illnesses in Springston, Dunsandel and other small communities close to Christchurch.

              All the problems that we have with our waterways sheets home to poor farming practices and the farmers not wishing to change.

            • rob

              Bird life has dropped not increased. So the facts please.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Captain Cook reported that you could hear Aotearoa before you saw it: the birds were that plentiful (and noisy). That’s why his whole crew got so sick when they drank the water, and as for tangata whenua!

              No, wait, that bit about the crew never happened. Do you always get sucked in by blatant lies, Ian?

            • Philj

              Hey Ian, don’t forget all the waste from the cockabullies, eels and trout etc.

            • michelle

              you grow food whippy do Ian stop blaming the birds we all know who the biggest polluters are and who props them up and why

        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          I live in a valley on the West Coast that is intensively dairy farmed. The main river has been “straightened” into drains by the farmers (no resource consents) and workers on their farms who also fish, complain that the fishery is getting worse by the year and they wonder why….as they wade herds of hundreds of cows through the river.

          True story.

    • rob 5.3

      Piss off bill or Nick!

    • Sacha 5.4

      Oh I’m sure he’s mighty inconvenient. There are plenty of farmers who manage not to shit on their fellow citizens. Intensive corporate dairying supported by state-subsidised irrigation is our biggest current threat, not small-herders, courgette-growers or wool-harvesters.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.5

      In general, Mike Joy is dead right about the state of NZ freshwater ecology.

  5. weka 6

    Sorry, I’m having this moment of cognitive dissonance. Can someone please confirm that the 1 in 20 thing means that one in twenty people swimming in the river in question are expected to get campylobacter infection.

    • Carolyn_nth 6.1

      I think it’s this statement from the clean water document, p39:

      Grade A standard:

      The river or lake is excellent for swimming. The estimated risk of Campylobacter infection is less than 50 cases in every 1,000 exposures

      But it doesn’t say if it’s exposure by 1 person 1,000 times, or 1,000 people once.

    • AB 6.2

      Sort of – 50 cases per 1,000 exposures.
      But that’s an average that is true only over a large dataset. So you cant say with any certainty that you’ll get sick 1 in every 20 times you swim. You might swim 100 times and be fine, On the other hand you might swim twice and get sick both times. Though I guess you wouldn’t swim the second time after getting sick the first time?
      Basically it’s a lottery – you probably won’t get sick from any single swimming event but if you swim often enough then…..
      And that will put people off and they won’t go swimming. So fundamentally it’s a confiscation of a public recreational resource by private commercial interests – thanks National, true to your (non)principles as always.
      And the thing is – once people stop swimming/fishing in rivers they’ll stop caring about the state they’re in. They’ll turn to shopping and electronic entertainment or more likely they’re working really long hours for low pay and outdoor recreation is difficult to afford and organise anyway, so they’re going to be even less likely to do it if there is a risk of illness. There’ll be no voices raised against further degradation. This is a staging post on the way to collapse.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1

        This is a staging post on the way to collapse.


        Capitalism: Destroying societies and the environment for the enrichment of the few since forever.

    • Sacha 6.3

      As Kevin Hague put it on RNZ Checkpoint, if you take a school class on a trip to a local river for a swim, statistically one kid would come back infected with campylobacter (which can kill). #brighterfuture

      • Ian 6.3.1

        He was lying

        • McFlock

          in what way?

          • Ian

            He doesn’t back his argument with facts. how many kids have become infected with Campylobacter after swimming in a river.

            • McFlock

              The facts are in the linked report: we know the risk of infection for a given concentration of bacteria, we know the target concentration of bacteria for “swimmable”, putting the two together gets “one kid in a class”.

              • Ian

                How many kids have actually caught Campylobacter from swimming in a river? How about some plain simple facts ??

                • mickysavage

                  Um the Government thinks that using their new and improved standard the rate will be one in every 20 kids that swim in a river.

                • McFlock

                  let’s ballpark it, as the public health surveillance quarterly ESR reports don’t cut it by agegroup:
                  a kid’s rate of 200 per hundred thousand;
                  joe90’s link reckons 4% of those are related to swimming in lakes or rivers;
                  roughly 800,000 kids (under 15 years old) so 200*8 = 1600 cases

                  4% of 1600 = 64 kids infected by lakes and rivers last year.

                  • Wayne

                    I listened to Nick Smith on RNZ this morning.

                    As I had suspected there is rather more to this than 1 in 20 getting sick if they swim in a river. As soon as I heard that figure I knew it would be bogus, or at the very least, the 1 in 20 would not tell the full story. Almost in the category of fake news.

                    But I can see that it makes a good headline or a good slogan. After all I wouldn’t swim if I knew there was a 1 in 20 chance of getting sick.

                    Apparently there will be three swimming standards, “excellent”, “good” and “fair”.

                    For the lowest swimming quality of “fair” the E Coli count has to be better than 130 per litre of water 50 % of the time. The risk of getting sick is then only 1 in 1,000. For only 15% of the time can it be 540 E coli per litre of water. The 1 in 20 risk actually relates to the 15%, when the water quality is at its worst.

                    Of course the problem will be that you won’t definitively know when that 15% will be. Though I suspect it would mostly be after heavy rain.

                    I wonder how many rivers etc will be in the “fair” category?

                    And how many won’t even reach the “fair” category?

                    According to Nick Smith the mouth of the Waikato is currently at the “fair” category, whereas Lake Taupo is in the “excellent” category. “Excellent” means even when the water quality is at its worst, the chance of getting sick can be no more than 1 in 1,000.

                    • dv

                      So where does this fit Wayne

                      (From the clean water document, p39:

                      Grade A standard:

                      The river or lake is excellent for swimming. The estimated risk of Campylobacter infection is less than 50 cases in every 1,000 exposures

                    • One Anonymous Bloke


                      For his next trick, Wayne will solve our child abuse statistics by changing the definition of assault.

                    • Wayne


                      So you read the document and then quote it out of context. Hardly helpful for an informed discussion, but perhaps you don’t want one.

                      As you know, since it is all set out on p 39, Grade A requires that the water not exceed 540 E coli per lite of water more than 5% of the time. The 1 in 20 relates to the 5% of time when there could be an exceedance.

                      Lake Taupo is a grade A body of water. Swimmers in Lake Taupo will not get sick 1 in 20 times.

                      However, a flash flood of a stream immediately adjacent to a Lake Taupo beach might mean the beach is affected by reduced water quality at the time of the flash flood. Perhaps you should not swim at the beach at the time of the flash flood.

                    • s y d

                      There will be three swimming standards.
                      1. Excellent
                      2. Clean As
                      3.100% pure*

                      (*when measured at the end of the day)

                      Transmission ends

                      News Flash (Flood)!
                      Just in – do not swim in a flash flood, unless you are a really good swimmer 15% of the time and can hold your breath longer than the top 5% of the population.

                    • Sacha

                      Nobody but Nuck Smith assesses this sort of risk by referring to median values and confidence intervals – it’s always the margins furthest from safe that count. That’s why people are focusing on the 1 in 20 figure.

                      Any parent could have told him that. The guy is a liability.

                    • Jenny Kirk

                      Not sure I’d believe Nick Smith on this if I was you, Wayne.

                      A totally different story about the state of the Waikato River – incidentally used by Auckland superCity for drinking water –
                      is in the attached story – Nov 2016. It won’t have improved much since then !!


                      ” The Waikato River doesn’t even make the top 30 cleanest waterways in New Zealand”.

                    • rhinocrates

                      Ooh, love your big alternative facts. I wonder what the pinup of Kellyanne Conway looks like on your wall? (Don’t answer, that was a rhetorical question.)

                      Apparently there will be three swimming standards, “excellent”, “good” and “fair”.

                      No, here’s a translation of bullshit (literally) into truth: ‘Worse’, ‘worse’ and ‘worse.’

                      Or how about poverty? Let’s rename it ‘fabulously wealthy’ – there, problem solved!

                      Even better, mortality statistics can be similarly improved by calling the dead ‘metabolically challenged.’

                      Only an idiot or a child thinks that changing the name of something changes its reality. Only frauds think they can get away with it when they’re adults.

                      The fact remains is that Double Dipton’s government’s initiative is to lie about objective facts once again to give the thin illusion that they’re committed to something when they don’t give a shit (or give a lot of shit). Of course this is to be expected from someone who claimed to live in two places at once in order to milk more cash from the taxpayer.

                    • McFlock

                      So, using the Eng(NZ-Nat) dictionary, to be “swimmable” a waterway can have a “shit your guts out” risk of >=4% on no more than one in every seven swimming trips.

                      What’s the current limit?

                    • rhinocrates

                      The Naked Gun 2 1/2, The Smell of Fear starring Nick Smith and Wayne Mapp:

            • joe90

              Quite a few, apparently.

              Stomach bug lurks in most popular swim spots

              12:26 AM Thursday Oct 2, 2003


              Yesterday, the scientist who led the water study, Graham McBride, told a microbiology conference in Auckland that about 4 per cent of campylobacter cases arose from swimming in infected rivers and lakes. Other cases stemmed from animals catching the bug from water infected by other animals’ wastes.


        • rob


        • rob

          Would you back that up with a financial contribution?

    • Red Hand 6.4

      “Risk Management”. If you swim in the river you have a one in 20 chance of getting infected. If you thought you had a one in five chance of an amazing outdoors experience in Clean Green New Zealand for whatever social medium you display on you might risk the few days of gut ache, throwing up and diarrhoea.

      • Whispering Kate 6.4.1

        You obviously have not had or experienced a family member with campylobacter – its a serious debilitating illness and if somebody has an underlying chronic illness it can be very serious indeed. Not one person in this country needs to be exposed to this illness and every method which can be done to get rid of this gut illness needs to be put in place,. 1 in 20 is not good enough – National should be bloody ashamed of itself not having the bottle to get on top of this disgraceful health concern. Just wait until foreign tourists get ill and see them sue this country – Double Dipper will love that.

        • rob

          I agree whole heartedly, but the numbsculls looking after the dippton will b ridiculous and blind

      • McFlock 6.4.2

        even without an underlying chronic condition, “a few days of gut ache” seems to understate the stabbing pain building to a crescendo of power-chundering and explosive diarrhoea that felt like everything up to my lungs had followed it all out.

        And of course calling it “Clean Green New Zealand” is a bit stupid if the risks include a non-trivial danger of swallowing cow or sheep shit.

      • joe90 6.4.3

        few days of gut ache, throwing up and diarrhoea.

        I’ve had campylobacter and I can assure you, it ain’t just few days of gut ache, throwing up and diarrhoea.

  6. Mrs Brillo 7

    I thought this government might behave itself this year. But then I also thought this government could not disgust me much more.
    More fool me, on both counts.

    Ah well, at least it leaves a hole in National’s policy big enough for Labour/Greens to drive a bulldozer through.
    Go for it.

    • Go for it?– Mmmmm-I assume, wonder ? if there is perhaps an
      ( English farm} stream/creek /dipton waterway through his estate. If so could the outfall of it be perhaps be tested, and any verified results published,

  7. One Anonymous Bloke 8

    Q.: What is the difference between the National Party and a civil war?

    A.: Time. The National Party takes longer to achieve the same result: everybody loses.

  8. rob 9

    Hahaha the maori party’s partners in crime. Weldone you sell out lot.

  9. Sacha 10

    Nick Smith is just so fortunate that the PM is his buddy so will not fire him for serial incompetence.

  10. Graeme 11

    50 cases in every 1,000 exposures

    Would we tolerate this with food safety?

    Or more to the point, what would Nick Smith do if you offered him a plate of 20 canapés and told him one will give him campylobacter.

  11. Drowsy M. Kram 12

    “If you’ve got a waterway that’s been accumulating poor quality for decades, then you’re not going to reverse it that quickly.” – Prime Minister English

    Regarding the many NZ waterways that have “been accumulating poor quality for decades”, including the last eight-and-a-half-years, presumably the causes have been known for some time.

    I’d prefer a targetted ‘polluter pays’ policy (with asset-seizing teeth) to a taxpayer-funded bailout of polluting bludgers, although the latter is preferable to doing nothing.

    Given the Nat’s record of piss weak support for DoC (remember Key’s 2010 ‘mining in National Parks’ proposal), and their ‘3 monkeys’ record on climate change and water quality, this feel-good 2040 waterways quality target is about as achievable as ‘Predator free by 2050’.

    Unlike Dr Mike Joy, who understands and is genuinely concerned about the continuing decline in NZ waterways quality, the Nats really don’t give a monkey’s unless it costs them votes.

    • Sacha 12.1

      “accumulating poor quality for decades”

      Brilliant spin-doctoring from the Nats, that line.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 12.2

      I expect campylobacter etc contamination could be reversed quite quickly, as could flow rates in many cases. Things like nitrate and phosphate take time.

  12. Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster 13

    Same tactics and swallowed by the MSM.

    All rivers swimmable by 2040 – great. Off stage – doubling bacteria levels to achieve it.

    Get tough on employers who exploit migrant labour – great. Off stage (as Mike Treen pointed out) only 58 inspectors for the whole country.

    The definition of weasel words, I think.

  13. Keith 14

    Very cynical stuff from National. Why can I picture one of their employed liars/PR advisers telling these muppets that this looks aspirational?

    Policy on the never never, no one will be around from this rotten bunch of liars to ever held accountable when this lie never amounts to anything. Meanwhile our waterways will be toxic ruins!

    The dairy industry is over the moon of course, shit in the water indefinitely, free open sewers and plenty of time to pay off another National Party to keep business as usual.

    And best of all, call an infected sewer masquerading as a waterway sanitary by downgrading the standards and all their problems are hidden away by the crooked accounting. Fuck, Nick Smith is so bent now he talks this up fraud as if it isn’t. That really sums up this government!

    • Gavin 14.1

      I’ve never been on a political march, but I’d march for clean waterways, that’s a big part of being a NZer I reckon. We used to have them a couple of generations ago, we know they can be cleaned up with a bit of effort and some new rules. Lake Taupo catchment is leading the way, as an example.

      • lprent 14.1.1

        It’d be a hell of a lot easier and less expensive if they didn’t pollute them in the first place. The problem is that fundamentally the people polluting the waterways aren’t paying enough for their use of the water. So charge them more (to the point that it becomes a significiant production cost) for a pollution right and they will protect their asset.

        I’d suggest just fining the hell out of non-paying polluters and shoving the worst offenders and non-payers in jail.

        Use the collected money to exclusively pay for water inspectors and prosecutions until the quality of the water improves a lot.

  14. Anyone would think it’s election year…

  15. rob 16

    Another political diversion coming this way soon I predict.

  16. Antoine 17

    Speaking as a habitual National voter this is really not a great look


  17. Keith 18

    Come in Labour, hello…..anyone out there?? Its not just policy, as well summed up by TS yesterday, communicate in plain English, stop the navel gazing, please!

    The National Party should be like fish being shot in a barrel over this farce, but where is the opposition?

  18. Sanctuary 19

    The message I’d be hammering if I were Labour would be this – would you eat in a restaurant if you had a one in twenty chance of getting serious food poisoning? Hell no? Then why would you swim in one of National’s “swimmable” rivers?

    preferably voiced by Jonathan Pie.

  19. Alfie 20

    Relax people. While Nick Smith’s party trick won’t fool the median (or 95th percentile if you prefer) voter, it’s guaranteed to secure the ecoli vote in an election year.

    Nick Smith… Minister for ecoli and other nasty scum. Quite appropriate.

  20. saveNZ 21

    The Natz are not doing nothing… they are active agents for polluters…

  21. Cinny 22

    Nickoff is flat out defending his water quality idea, is anyone backing him? Maybe a group of hand picked scientists etc. Have heard Nada.

    Kids were asking about water quality, as it’s all over the news. Explained a bit more about river pollution, Miss 12 said, Mum rivers flow into the sea, we swim in the sea, if more poo is allowed in the river and sea where will we swim? How will I be able to enjoy snorkeling? What will happen to the fish? Will we get sick? Mum that’s really disgusting and gross, we can’t vote for that. Yes darling, I know.

  22. RedBaronCV 23

    National Party free by 2018 sounds like a better slogan. That way we might have a chance of better water quality by 2020 not 2040

    • saveNZ 23.1

      RedBaronCV. Good slogan! can just see a bumper sticker with National logo and a line across it with National Party Free!

  23. Time to get a paddling pool out by parliament filled with this wading quality water and invite smith to have a swim.

    Time for theatre in your face – a old new way of getting the point across – forget changing the thicko gnat minds – let's go direct to the people.

    and We will need a coherent message from labour and the greens – this is their big chance to gain some momentum for election year and shame those gnats into doing something. Inspire us left grouping, please inspire us.

    • weka 24.1

      Good idea. I wonder how many Nats actually swim in rivers and lakes. Maybe it’s just too abstract for them.

      • marty mars 24.1.1

        wish I was good at photoshop I’d make a nice picture of all the gnats swimming in the river grrrrr

      • Cinny 24.1.2

        Apparently Nickoff likes to swim in the Maitai River, unfortunately for him there’s another algae bloom this year in his swimming river.

        The comment on this link is very interesting

        And this from November
        “It has been an eventful week for Nelson’s Maitai River.

        News that the river, which flows through the central city, had been honoured as the second most improved river in New Zealand was followed by a suspected industrial waste leak on Tuesday.

        Now, the Nelson City Council has issued toxic algae warnings after raised levels of cyanobateria (or phormidium, also known as blue-green algae), were detected in the water.”

        ‘also known as blue-green algae’ lolol irony right there

        • weka

          Thanks, here’s the comment

          The continuing problem of toxic algae in the Maitai is due to fine sediment that has accumulated in the river due to the intense clear felling of logs in the watershed from 1999 to now. Three things need to happen to put the river back in order (if we want to continue to have a forestry industry): more and wider riparian strips that contain native plants to arrest sediment before it gets into the river; regulations to reduce the area forestry companies can clear fell at one time; and planting of mixed commercial species (not just pinus radiata) that are on different harvesting cycles so not everything matures at the same time. It’s not complicated, but it does take political leadership and political will.”

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