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Swimmable standards that aren’t for all of our rivers except most of them

Written By: - Date published: 8:10 am, March 5th, 2017 - 21 comments
Categories: national, useless, water - Tags: , ,

Nick Smith’s water policy announcement just keeps getting worse and worse.

It was always obvious that the 2040 deadline was just kicking the can down the road so nothing had to happen now (same as the predator free by 2050 scam).

Then the “swimmable” standard turned out to be mostly moving the goalposts – and leaving too much shit in our water.

And now – this:

Majority of waterways not covered by freshwater policy

The majority of New Zealand’s waterways will not be covered by the Government’s recently announced freshwater swimming policy, in contrast to the impression given by the Minister, says Forest and Bird.

Chief executive Kevin Hague says the new freshwater swimming policy excludes hundreds of thousands of kilometres of rivers and streams from the proposed swimmability standards.

“Minister [for the Environment, Nick] Smith has given New Zealanders the impression that 90 per cent of our waterways will be required to meet some kind of swimmability standard, but the reality is that the majority of our streams and rivers will not be required to meet any health standard at all,” Mr Hague said.

Of New Zealand’s 450,000km of waterways, about 54,000km of rivers and lakes – 12 per cent – are covered by the announcement.

Environment Minister Nick Smith clarified that the “90 per cent of rivers and lakes” he announced referred to what most people would reasonably call rivers and lakes – stronger flowing and larger – rather than 90 per cent of all waterways.

The rivers covered by the policy are those categorised as order four or above – larger rivers – and lakes with a perimeter of 1.5km or more. …

So to sum up, Nick Smith has announced swimmable standards that aren’t, for all of our rivers except most of them, sometime maybe not now. Nat policy at its finest.

21 comments on “Swimmable standards that aren’t for all of our rivers except most of them”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Typical National: A policy that achieves nothing but to make it look like they’re doing something and their backers in the farming community happy by allowing them to remain the dirty, polluting, fuckers that they are.

  2. Keith 2

    Another lie from the Nats demonstrated with crystal clarity yet again begs the question, how can anyone trust National?

    How can you take anything said by them or any statistic quoted by them as accurate?

    Everything is a facade under National because we are told our economy is growing rapidly and everything is rosy and with that fairytale comes Nationals standings in the polls. But as Nationals clean water lie shows what is more likely is our economy resembles many fingers blocking holes in a crumbling dyke.

    The latter would explain the dire situation of many government departments, the ones they can’t sell like mental health, CYFS, the police, and hospital boards to name but a few that are genuinely struggling with quite severe under funding. Why, if our economy is the envy of the world according to propoganda, is the above even a reality?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Another lie from the Nats demonstrated with crystal clarity yet again begs the question, how can anyone trust National?

      If people were rational no one would because National always lies.

      People aren’t rational.

  3. Yep Smith is a disgrace – thanks forest and Bird.

    Lots of articles news stories and petitions – NZ water forum – Bung the bore facebook

    Lake Tutira in hawkes bay video is great and sad and anger inducing

  4. Jenny Kirk 4

    Totally agree. Rivers and streams up here in the north are in the same shocking state as everywhere else – and although some locals are doing the hard yards in helping vegetate some buffers, not enough is being done.
    It shouldn’t just be up to volunteer locals to do the job – it needs proper funding from govt – and soon.

  5. red-blooded 5

    Most kiwis swim in small, local rivers. The bigger, more strongly flowing waterways aren’t safe and lives are lost. We want to be able to swim in local swimming holes and camp in the summer holidays by wee rivers with the kids. That’s the kind of NZ I want and this lot just aren’t interested.

  6. Keith 6

    Lets call this what it is, good old Deception!

    This absolutely reeks of the few’s interests being attended to whilst the majority suffer. Could it be the farmers have told their National Party that they do not want any part of farming with consequences. They will have told them their margins are too thin as it is and if you want us to control sewer into waterways then the donations cease and you guys are out of power.

    Nek minute policy spokesman and resident wind up idiot Nick Smith is fronting the latest exercise in smoke and mirrors/lying policy on the hoof because the Nat’s know people are getting tired of our open cesspools masquerading as waterways? You know, poison a whole towns drinking water with farm effluent doesn’t go down well does it, even if the rigged investigation into it tried to cover up the facts. So they have to come up with some kind of fraud pretending to care when they don’t.

    Look at those maps, they could be anywhere in this country and a lot of the tributaries to those major waterways or the sea will have some form of farm somewhere around them. How can any workable policy on maintaining clean waterways not include those? Answer it cannot.

    One way of cleaning up waterways oddly enough is to clean up political donations and bring all donations and their donors into the cleansing light of day and show the public who you are. Maybe then a lot of donors will shy away and the influence brought to bear on the likes of National who care more for their donors than the public may be deflated, stopping this corruption!

    • solkta 6.1

      I don’t think National have ever been serious about cleaning up waterways and have always been onside with farmers. This pretend policy change from National is simply to try and take some wind out of the Greens sails as they know they have been taking a big hit on this issue.

      National first announced their national water quality standards on 3 July 2014 ahead of the election to be held on 20 September. NOW with another election approaching they are trying to make it appear that they have beefed up those standards again in response to the Greens Swimmable Rivers campaign. 100% bullshit!

  7. rhinocrates 7

    Where’s Wayne Blimp to reassure us that everything’s all right and raw sewage is actually Champagne?

    Or do even the Nat cowards know that they’re seen by everyone to be craven liars on this issue and are running away?

  8. AB 8

    I expect Nat Grandees don’t go anywhere near their local rivers. They have overseas holidays.
    As long as there are some iconic, clean high-country rivers on the tourist trail that’s all that matters, economically-speaking.
    Local rivers used by local plebs can all go to sh*t.

  9. Antoine 9

    These water quality standards are a bit uninteresting.

    Setting a standard doesn’t make water any cleaner or dirtier.

    What is interesting is what the parties are actually going to _do_ about water quality.

    A.

    • McFlock 9.1

      Setting a standard implies that something needs to be done (it doesn’t meet the standard), or it implies that nothing needs to be done (in this case, the standards being wider and applying to fewer waterway mean that a waterway that makes someone sick either meets the standard or doesn’t have a standard to apply).

      The nats want it to look like nothing needs to be done in their political future, purely in order to justify their intention to not do anything.

      • Antoine 9.1.1

        Right so if they don’t do anything, I agree that’s bad.

      • Antoine 9.1.2

        But if they came out with a really stringent standard covering all bodies of water, that would be no better – unless they actually did something about it!

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.2.1

          You really need to have a think about the way standards are enforced and by whom. Consider Horizons vs. Fish & Game for example.

          That also should provide you with a clue to what the National Party;s PR exercise is designed to achieve: nothing. Fish and Game were successful in court because Horizons were missing the targets they set. No chance of Nick Smith ever missing his target, because it formalises the status quo.

          • Antoine 9.1.2.1.1

            > That also should provide you with a clue to what the National Party;s PR exercise is designed to achieve: nothing

            I’m agreeing with you! I don’t think these standards are very interesting or important.

            A.

        • McFlock 9.1.2.2

          Well, it would be better even if they chose to do nothing about it because the standards will be there for all to see, the failure will be there for all to see, and voters would be able to make an informed choice.

          The only reason the nats are tinkering with standards is because this is an issue voters care about, after years of campaigning by the Greens, Forest&Bird, and a variety of other organisations.

          The widening of standards isn’t a plan to help the nats achieve improvement, it’s a plan to hide their inactivity about worsening water quality.

          If doing nothing while failing narrow standards meant nothing, they wouldn’t even draw attention to the issue by trying to hide their bad performance. So yeah, doing nothing with narrower standards is better than doing nothing because your standards are so wide you’ve already met them.

  10. Philj 10

    If it wasn’t so tragic it would be a Monty Python comedy sketch. Good work Forest and Bird. Now if only the Mainsteam Media would report this. TVNZ, RNZ? Calling Giles Beckworth or Phil Pennington?

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