NZ Green Party
The water crisis – a sequel

Water pollution comes from other sources beside dairy (see post last night), so a broader solution is needed, than just best-practice and full compliance from the dairy industry.

NZ also needs a basic standard for water quality that says all water must be swimmable, and if it isn’t at the moment, then it needs to have a clean-up plan with a set timetable.

As well as pushing the government into action, the Greens are also taking the message to councils. Russel Norman has written submissions to most councils proposing this standard in their LTCCP. He and other Green MPs will soon be appearing before the regional council hearings across the country in the coming weeks, making the case. If the Government won’t, then councils should adopt goals for all rivers and lakes in their region to be safe for contact recreation, with action plans for those that do not meet the standard.

I’ve yet to hear a good argument for why they shouldn’t, except that it is too hard and that’s pathetic.

However, it would be so much simpler if the Government would lead the development of such a standard. One area that the Greens agree with the Government on the need for some serious reform is the issue of water. The Government’s RMA Phase II announcement on Friday includes water as a “work-programme”. I hope that it will be a collaborative and comprehensive one, unlike the last Government’s “programme of [in]action”. It needs to tackle all the hard issues of water quality and agricultural pollution, minimum flows and fair allocation and efficient use of the surplus, urban supply needs, protection for our remaining wild rivers, and even the thorny issues around ownership and iwi. The only effective and durable sollution will be a serious combination of regulation (mostly through the RMA and NPS/NESs), economic signals, Government-led investment, industry investment and initiatives, and public buy-in. On the latter, we know that fixing our water crisis is very important to NZers.

57 thoughts on “The water crisis – a sequel

  1. Yes councils certainly do need to do their job better, but they are so constrained by having rates as their primary income source that I think it’s unrealistic for councils to do much more than what they do at present.

    This is particularly the case for smaller rural councils, where I suspect a reasonable amount of the problem is regarding water quality. I know that the drinking water standards have caused councils much financial grief in the past few years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  2. In support of Jarbury’s comment this item appeared in the Marlborough Express last week:

    “A residents group is claiming people are selling up in Grovetown and Spring Creek.

    They would rather quit the area than pay for a new sewerage scheme.

    Yesterday, residents of Spring Creek and Grovetown, outraged at the cost of the new scheme, gave the Marlborough District Council plenty to ponder with a stack of 300 submissions on the proposal.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/news/2395743/Plea-for-bigger-subsidy

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  3. Kevyn – were the people of Grovetown and Spring Creek offered help with establishing composting toilets as an alternative to ‘a sewereage scheme’?
    Small towns are so often bullied into paying for council-favoured sewerage schemes, where there is a better way!
    Humanure to soil, not to the sea!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  4. >>I know that the drinking water standards have caused councils much financial grief in the past few years.

    Oh! sorry guys, lets just not worry bout the whole water quality thing; its hard enough on councilors to have to set the regulations but to expect them to actually implement them?! thats just mean…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  5. Some rivers, streams and lakes will simply not meet the water quality standards for purely natural reasons, like waterfowl.

    Trevor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  6. Which natural waterfowl are those Trevor29? Mallard ducks? Canadian geese? I suspect that ‘back in the day’ when this country was run by fowl (flight able and unable), our waterways were’nt toxic cesspools, despite the guano loads, because we had the organisms, micro and macro, in the water to process the poop. Nowadays, we have so little life in those rivers and streams, relative to then.

    btw Frog – having the bar for water quality set at ‘swimmable’ is misleading. You could swim across a poo-pond, if you had to! There has to be a better way of expressing the quality you desire.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  7. I’m not saying that councils shouldn’t do these jobs, but that they need more resources to actually undertake them. I’m a big fan of councils getting a share of GST, for example.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  8. I’m reminded of the Pope, whose job it is to plead for peace on earth. Everyone says what a profoundly holy man he must be. Personally I think he’s a dick.

    Calling for this or that environmental demand, without acknowledging the trade-offs involves, is very much the same.

    So Russell calls for swimmable water everywhere. What a profoundly holy man he must be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  9. I see where you are coming from, also I dont think we should underestimate the power of a little more commitment from councillors

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  10. “So Russell (sic) calls for swimmable water everywhere. What a profoundly holy man he must be.
    I understand he walks on water! :-)
    Wat – should he call for less ?
    Russel, at the same time as he makes the call, offers plenty of suggestions at to how to go about it – and acknowledges tradeoffs at the same time. Do you think his calls for ‘swimmable water’ etc are reckless?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  11. greenfly,

    This guy can also issue press releases calling for better “free” healthcare and more money for “free” education.

    We can all do that. Does it automatically make him a wonderful, caring human being?

    Let’s see him start to consider the trade-offs involved and, for example, call for less health spending so that more can be spent on these other issues.

    If he doesn’t do that then, frankly, we can dismiss everything he says as self-indulgent wank.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  12. wat – have you looked to see what trade-off’s Russel might be suggesting, in order to make our streams ‘swimmable’ again? He’s possible keen to see less highway construction as a valid trade-off. Who’se to judge whether or not that would be worthwhile? You?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  13. wat sees to the heart of the matter as always. All hail the god Russel!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  14. greenfly,

    Perhaps you could point me at Russel’s budget, where he lays out these priorities?

    Or does he just talk in airy-fairy generalities?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  15. Wat – you ask, does Russel talk in airy-fairy generalities? No.
    Would I point you at ‘Russels budget’? No. Try the Green Party website and any statements that Russel (or any of the Green MPs) has made on the issue.
    There are none so blind…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  16. Yeah Russel’s quite keen on the government saving $2.2 billion on a surface level Waterview Connection, or $2.8 billion on a tunnel. That money would clean up a few rivers I imagine.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  17. Are we to get a ‘general thread’ to play in today dear Frog?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  18. Want more muscle vote Russel?

    Would it not be more honest (not a concept the Greens are familiar with) to say “Want an arrogant Aussie communist import vote Russel”

    Or “vote for the most despised man in parliament, vote Russel”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  19. That’s right big blow, the best defence is offense, so accusing greenfly of the very thing you’re much more guilty of might be an effective approach. It rather exposes you as a hypocrite for saying Russel’s not honest, but that’s what we count on from you for our entertainment and you never fail to deliver.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  20. Gee Valis, if anybody would know about hypocrisy it would be a Green.

    Have a wee think about the way certain Greens have gone after other MP’s in the last few weeks, as they say Valis, if you cannot handle it then perhaps you should not dish it out.

    And as for Russ, more than happy to stand by my comment that he is far from honest, indeed most of your MP’s can be categorised as being economical with the truth or in the case of Delahunty, just plain mad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  21. Far too cute, greenfly.

    Gee Valis, if anybody would know about hypocrisy it would be a Green.

    Yes, we get so much experience dealing with the likes of you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  22. Valis, has ANYone from the Green party ever made a mistake?
    And then admit to it?
    Or are we to believe thay are all perfect, cause you say so.
    I think big bro is on the button when he talks about “truth economy”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  23. Shunda, the answer is of course, including me more than once. big bro, on the other hand, constantly accuses others of what he is routinely guilty of on this blog, from ad hominem attacks, to misrepresentations and outright lies, almost never taking any of it back when it is shown he is wrong. I admit it is mainly sport, but I will not let the likes of him get away with that sort of hypocrisy. About the only poster on frogblog worse is d4j and I can’t see why anyone would want to defend him on either substance or style.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  24. “to misrepresentations and outright lies”

    Name them Valis.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  25. You must be kidding. Pol Pot anyone? I’ve named others on a dozen occasions as you well know, so do a google search if your memory is that bad. At least you don’t also deny your ad hominem attacks, but the day isn’t over yet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  26. Pol Pot is not a lie, I have provided proof that Locke is/was a fan.

    Next one?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  27. What is that greenfly?

    Shunda – it’s a whale, farting! Thar she blows!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  28. Let’s cut to the chase. The “Get More Muscle – Vote Russel” billboard is excellent: grunty, uppity and direct. It complements the softer ‘vote for me’ billboards well. Little wonder there are some wrong-headed shrills getting het-up over it – but I expect that protest will soon blow over :-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  29. Valis said: About the only poster on frogblog worse is d4j and I can’t see why anyone would want to defend him on either substance or style.

    I didn’t realise d4j actually had either any substance or any style Valis. Actually, he’s been remarkably quiet here lately. You haven’t banned him have you frog?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  30. Greenfly,

    The MDC’s thinking on water/wastewater is stuck in the ’60′s.

    Rather than switching to composting toilets the money currently proposed for the pipes to connect these two towns to the borough sewerage system would be better spent reconfiguring these town’s water pipes to a five pipe system. One for treated water to indoor taps, one for greywater/stormwater to a holding tank, third one from that tank to outdoor taps and toilet cisterns, fourth one from toilets to a biodigester, fifth pipe for biogas to households. The humanure from the biogas unit should be blended with greenwaste in a wormfarm and the castings stewed with the water seperated from the biogas to be sold as a liquid biofert to pay for the operating costs of the system.

    MDC has a permanent boil water notice in place for Seddon, I suspect that is because the water take for vineyards has reduced the river flows to the point where conataminants can’t be diluted like they used to be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  31. I note that the darling of the Green party Bailey Junior Kurariki has once again been granted bail after being arrested on assault charges.

    What will it take for you guys to admit that he should never be allowed to live in a society with decent people? (and Greenfly)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  32. Kevyn – that sounds very sensible and therefore unlikely to be adopted by any council that I know of.

    I suspect that is because the water take for vineyards has reduced the river flows to the point where conataminants can’t be diluted like they used to be.

    The council staff that I ‘work with’ are all, sadly, very familiar with the expression;
    ” Dilution is the solution to pollution’

    Do you have any influence over the ‘doings’ of your council Kevyn? I’m hoping you do.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  33. I note that big bro can’t argue the issues, and resorts to blindly attacking the Greens on whatever issue pops into his mind at any which time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  34. On what Kevyn said, its certainly a very sensible option. There are a few countries out there from memory that do use grey water for toilets and outside taps. Definitely something we should be doing. Every flush feels so damn wasted when the water is drinking quality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  35. Always happy to argue the issues however it is a bit hard when Greenfly in particular refuses to do so.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  36. Pol Pot is not a lie, I have provided proof that Locke is/was a fan.

    The only “proof” you’ve ever offered is a Trevor Loudon article, which has been easily refuted on several occasions as he knows no more about it than you do.

    I didn’t realise d4j actually had either any substance or any style Valis.

    toad, I was talking about big bro, but its an easy mistake to make.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  37. Always happy to argue the issues however it is a bit hard when Greenfly in particular refuses to do so.
    Bro – I agree whole-heartedly to debate with you – straight up – if I fail to do so, (given that I’m able) I’ll fall on my sword and leave the Frog-pond for all time.
    Whaddya wanna debate?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  38. The West Coast regional council just gave a farmer a $50 000.00 fine for discharging crap into the Hokitika river, sounds like they’re taking water polution seriously!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  39. “Whaddya wanna debate?”

    How to kill greenfly on valuable crops, and do bugs deserve humane treatment?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  40. ‘crops’ shunda? I’m surprised at you!
    You know that if you treat bugs badly and they’re sure to bite you back!

    Good to hear that the West Coast regional Council are showing some fang.
    How does the Hokitika river rate, quality-wise?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  41. “How does the Hokitika river rate, quality-wise?”

    Good during daylight, not so good after dark apparantly!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  42. Shunda says:

    Or are we to believe thay are all perfect, cause you say so.

    Does anyone else find this hilarious, all things considered?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  43. Sorry, Ive made afew too many Christian cracks as of late. Most of them at Shunda.
    I just cant help it; so easy, so funny.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  44. Sapient, for the record, I would probably agree with 90% of your complaints about christian folk.
    I’ve had some very bad experience’s with my chosen religion, if you think its bad from the outside, I can tell you right now, you don’t know the half of it.
    That said, my faith is not in the people, cause if it was I would have given up long ago.
    Personally I see religion as an attitude of belief in anything, not just in a deity. I have seen non “religous” folk every bit as religous, and displaying characteristics exactly the same as some of the most difficult christians I’ve ever met. The similarity is quite disturbing actually.
    Human kind is a “religous” creature one way or another.

    There’s the sermon for the day, take notes, there will be a test. :)
    Oh and keep the attacks coming!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  45. Shunda,
    Well i was on the inside, sort of, until about year 9 (form 3). Was sent to catholic schools and such, prayer every class, church all the time, blatently biased Religious Education every day; never beleived any of it though, thus the “sort of”. Infact I got a “your next years reenrolment will not be accepted” for arguing about logical consistancy with the religious education teacher, spent the rest of the year in year 13 english (right before NCEA was introduced, I mourn the loss), didint really help my english skills but was great fun, furthermore, the resultant change of schools was marvilous.

    I agree with you in reguards to religion; people whom do not beleive in deities can be just as, or even more, ‘religious’ than those whom do. There will always be those whom blindly follow without questioning, there will always be those whom question; All that can realy be done is to encourage people to think and to question. Christianity would loose alot of its most devout followers, but so would atheism. But then I suppose we would have mass anomie as the idiots loose their justification for living and obeying the law :P .
    Religion serves a purpose in keeping the idiots under control. If a thinking person sees that there is no logical reason why god would exist and no proof, and that the same applies to atheism, and yet choose to beleive then I dont really have a problem with it, I will bag on them, but it is a thought out choice with the potential to lead to a more fufiled life. :P

    Mind you, the fact that I have never, not even at the age of five, seen beleif in god to be logical, or the supposed proof to be proof, (despite a devout family) should say a significant amount about those 90% of christians and their ability to reason. :P

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  46. I’ve… never seen beleif in god to be logical. Sapient – how about belief in Spock?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

  47. Greenfly,
    I would suspect an individual ready to beleive in god would be more susceptable to beleif in spock, atleast pre-god exposure.
    Plenty of research indicates that those high on religion or susceptability to false beleif also tend to be high on measures of personality disorders, esspecially skitzotypical traits :P .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>