web analytics

Pure spin vs. pure water

Written By: - Date published: 1:34 pm, March 30th, 2016 - 27 comments
Categories: Conservation, sustainability, water - Tags: , ,

Bravo to those who are highlighting the issue of the state of our water:

Emotions run high on Parliament steps over freshwater standards

There were tears, there were chants, and a challenge was laid down to the Government.

A host of students marched on the Beehive to present a petition of 13,000 signatures to politicians, calling for all freshwater in New Zealand to be swimmable. ‘Wadeable’ and ‘boatable’ are the current standards for freshwater bodies around the country.

Green Party, Labour Party and Maori Party leaders and MPs greeted the protesters.

Labour leader Andrew Little said the Government’s bottom-line was “appalling”. “By the Government’s own reckoning, 61% of our monitored waterways are of ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ quality which means they are unsafe for swimming and should be avoided,” he said. “This acceptance of dirty water quality is the reason New Zealand’s young people have taken it upon themselves to lobby the Government for higher standards and action.” He said a Labour Government would set minimum swimmable standards.

Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty said it was “rubbish” that water pollution was too expensive to clean up.

Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell goes further than wanting freshwater to be swimmable. He wants all freshwater to be drinkable. “It should be should be drinkable as an element of sustaining giving kai (food),” he said. It was one of “three principles” the party have argued for, along with being able to swim in the water and to gather food. “In the end the sustenance of water that gives to every human being is worth spending any amount of money on.”

Our “100% Pure” brand is 100% spin.



27 comments on “Pure spin vs. pure water ”

  1. Aught3 1

    I supported the swimmable river position by signing the petition (and love the Maori party position on drinkable, good stuff). The National party says that some rivers can’t be made swimmable due to native bird life and geothermal activity. That seems reasonable to me but what I would like to know is what proportion of the 62% currently below this standard that comment actually applies to. It being the National party I suspect it’s only a small proportion. Seems like a job for a journalist writing these articles to find out about.

    • Andre 1.1

      I used to spend a lot of time whitewater kayaking. Can’t think of a single instance of any waterway being fouled by native birdlife. The Lagoon in Palmerston North is disgusting, but that’s imported mallards. The only waterway made undrinkable by geothermal activity I can think of is the Whangaehu River, which starts at Ruapehu’s crater lake.

      • Aught3 1.1.1

        Actually, I’ve just seen that the 62% applies only to pathogen contamination so the geothermal concern is irrelevant.

    • esoteric pineapples 1.2

      There were literally millions of ducks and other waterfowl in New Zealand when Europeans first arrived but no one said anything about the water being fowl (scuse the pun) back then.

    • weka 1.3

      “The National party says that some rivers can’t be made swimmable due to native bird life and geothermal activity”

      How come?

  2. Magisterium 2

    My dad, born and bred Rotorua, told me that when he was a kid Lake Rotorua was as clean and clear as Lake Taupo. By the time he told me that, in the 80s, Lake Rotorua was already brown glop.

    • Tautuhi 2.1

      Evidently Lake Taupo has water quality problems in parts of the Lake these days?

    • Macro 2.2

      Lake Rotorua, and Lake Taupo , and all the inland lakes fed by streams and rivers passing through intensified dairy country are all contaminated by agricultural run-off. In the States – Lake Eire – more massive than all our lakes combined – is now undrinkable because of agricultural run-off. Some lake side cities have had to import drinking water because of algal blooms and toxins that cannot be filtered or treated.
      Either we begin to regulate farmers discharging their external costs onto the community (every dairy herd of 200 cows has the effluent discharge of a town of 3500 people. They can spray it into paddocks, where it sits for a time, but eventually it finds it way into the streams and rivers) – or we face increasingly polluted water ways.

  3. roy cartland 3

    Actually “drinkable” isn’t even the highest standard we should aim for. Adult humans are much more tolerant to nitrate levels than babies, who are more tolerant than fish. Get them clean enough for the original fish to come back, then we can start congratulating ourselves.

    • weka 3.1


      It’s a sad indictment of NZ as a society that we are now doing something about polluted rivers because we can’t swim in them. This has been going on for a very long time, why weren’t we concerned enough before?

  4. BM 4

    Giardia makes the drinkable part a bit unrealistic.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      Yeah, like landing a robot on Mars using a sky-crane: it’s all about priorities. Yours are a little bit shit, and you have no excuse.

  5. TC 5

    Flavell takes the piss surely given the way
    His party keeps voting with national and supporting their flogging of assets.

    • Red delusion 5.1

      Correction selling assets to raise funds for new assets

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1

        Too funny: a wingnut who actually still pretends to believe the lies.

      • maui 5.1.2

        Such as?

      • saveNZ 5.1.3

        @Red delusion – don’t you mean…

        Correction selling vital assets like power, water and state houses cheap, to raise funds for new assets using corporate welfare like subsidised development for malls, convention centers, oil exploration, pollution, desert sheep bribes and casinos.

  6. Amanda Atkinson 6

    Listened to Nick Smiths dismissal of this issue last night and cringed, it just really did not feel right. I grew up on a farm in the 1970’s and 80’s that had a river down the back, where my little Sister and I, and all kids from our Local iwi spent the whole summer swimming together. I don’t know if that river is still swimmable or not, I havent been there for over 20 years, but if it isn’t, that would break my heart. Shame on you Nick Smith.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      Cringing: the first stage in denial of personal responsibility.

      Don’t worry, you’ll be back to your weasel words against the Left soon enough.

    • Jones 6.2

      I can remember in the late 70s/early 80s, growing up in Masterton, the many creeks around used to be crystal clear and we’d go looking for freshwater crayfish and eels… and they were abundant.

      Went back about 5 years ago and I was appalled at the state of the creeks… brown and lifeless.

  7. Tautuhi 7

    Nick Smith aint up with the play on housing and is definitely not up with the play on water quality, he is an apologist for whom?

    • Jenny Kirk 7.1

      Good question Tautuhi ….. We know ShonKey is just for the 1% and of course he was parachuted into his place by his 1% mentors … but why don’t the rest of the Nat Cabinet who have lived most of their lives in NZ and presumably they, and their kids, have done the sorts of things most NZers have done including playing/swimming in freshwater lakes and rivers …. WHY aren’t they concerned about the real state of NZ’s freshwaters ? What is it that makes them so blind to the deterioration of these waterways ?

    • miravox 7.2

      Nick Smith:

      I do get quite annoyed with people that want to run down New Zealand’s brand in a domestic argument about improving water quality.

      He’s an apologist for his boss and other people who see NZ as a commodity.100% pure vs Pissy little domestic water quality issues. pfft.

      The fair trading act will be the next to be reviewed/dismantled.

  8. gsays 8

    I want to echo the bravo to the youth and others for their leadership, courage, tenacity and commitment shown in the petition and hikoi.
    The question is what do the rest of us do next?

    • maui 8.1

      Wait for globalisation and international trade to collapse and then we can get on with repairing waterways. Because right now authorities right from local council to Government are part of the problem and are assisting private industries and farmers to pollute.

      • gsays 8.1.1

        so rather than wait for globalisation to end, maybe we help it to it’s logical conclusion.
        vote act and join federated farmers perhaps?

  9. saveNZ 9

    +100 – Good post. Also water quality transcends politics. A person from the right is just as likely to see this water quality as a problem like those in the left. The idea that the Natz just manipulate the water statistics and refuse to do anything about it, is damaging to their voters.

    Obviously the main issue is why would you pretend you have better water quality than you have and then say you don’t think being able to swim in waterways of NZ due to pollution is a priority?

    The Natz seem to think convention centers are more important because they are for tourists and not locals, the government does not see that having local streams and rivers polluted is worth worrying about it, as long a few are kept safe for tourists.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago