web analytics

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?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
    Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, says the Ministry for Primary Industries is continuing to stay connected to federal authorities in Australia as devastating fires affect the country.  “The Ministry is using an existing trans-Tasman forum for discussions on the agricultural impact of the fires and the future recovery phase,” says Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
    Thousands of school-age children, their teachers and wider communities are benefiting from the Government’s multi-million dollar investment upgrading and renewing schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian fires.  The New Zealand Defence Force ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better access to books for blind and low vision citizens on World Braille Day
    "Today is World Braille Day and I am delighted to announce that an international treaty giving blind and low vision New Zealanders access to books and literary works comes into force today,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “Today the Marrakesh Treaty and the associated amendments to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to send further firefighter support to Australia
    The New Zealand Government is sending a further 22 firefighters to help fight the Australian fires. “The devastation caused by these fires is taking a substantial toll on our Australian neighbours and we will continue to do what we can to assist as they deal with this extremely dynamic, dangerous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago