One of the reasons why we love this country so much is its natural beauty; the incredible rivers flowing down from high mountains out to sea, the smaller streams that our kids splash around in to look for fish and cool off in summer, the clear and still lakes that birds glide across where there's a jetty to jump off.
But our rivers and lakes are under threat and our fresh water is increasingly contaminated, with widespread pollution risking the health of our people, our wildlife and environment.
The good news is you can help turn this around by making a submission to the Government’s review of their freshwater policy – this is where you get to have your say and push for the future of clean, safe fresh water and healthy waterways we all want.
The Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) 2017 review of Aotearoa New Zealand’s environmental performance found that we are reaching environmental limits and that fresh water is particularly under threat from diffuse pollution.1
This month, the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor released a report on the state of NZ’s waterways saying that we must focus more on ecosystem health in our management of fresh waterways.2
Our country’s freshwater policy must reflect the love and connection our people have with their rivers, streams and lakes by putting in place meaningful limits and strong legal protection to support the work of councils and communities.
The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM) in its current form is nothing more than a PR-stunt from Govt. The NPS-FM will not address the serious problems facing our waterways and, in fact, will make them worse.
Tell them that our country’s freshwater policy must aim high for the health of our people, our wildlife and our environment. It can’t just be an excuse for the degradation that’s already happened and a green light for more pollution.3,4
Submissions close at 5pm Friday 28th April.
Remember, you don’t need to be a freshwater science expert to make a submission. You just need to care about New Zealand’s water. These processes exist so that New Zealanders can participate in the decisions that affect their lives. Our job is to make it easier for you to get involved in that participation.
Make a submission now and share this page with your friends encouraging them to do the same.
Ko te wai te ora o ngā mea katoa - Water is the life giver of all things
References and further reading:
‘Environmental Pressures Rising in New Zealand’ – OECD (March, 2017)
‘Nick Smith’s water policy a washout’ – Choose Clean Water (February, 2017)
‘Forest & Bird quits water forum’ – Radio New Zealand (March, 2017)
The content in this submission has been put together by our mates at Choose Clean Water. We've been working with them for almost a year to support better freshwater standards in Aotearoa. To see the work we've previously conducted around this issue, click here and here.