Before we fix water quality we need to stop allowing more pollution

The Prime Minister bragged about how much money his Government is spending on water clean-ups today, but he failed to admit that the money required for clean-up of our rivers and lakes will increase because of his policies. Nearly every study on water quality shows that land use intensification leads to water pollution. Yet the […]

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Fourth Dirty Water Tour starts in Southland

I launched our fourth “Dirty Water Tour” this week at Invercargill’s New River Estuary, with Southland Green Party member Dave Kennedy, and Maurice Rodway of Fish and Game.  Invercargill could potentially overtake Oamaru as the heritage capital of the south  – distinctive and attractive heritage buildings abound. Natural heritage at the nearby New River Estuary, […]

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For farming to be in the black we need to go green

With only the most backward openly saying that we can keep trashing the planet to grow the economy it can be harder to distinguish between the rhetoric of genuine environmental commitment and greenwash. The language of “balance” has reappeared.   In a speech to Federated Farmers’ conference in Auckland president Bruce Wills talked about the need […]

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Love Wild Rivers? Give them your support

Cool. Today a new campaign has been launched for one of New Zealand’s most iconic features – our Wild Rivers. It’s great to see diverse groups – tree-huggers, deer-stalkers, bird-watchers, knobbly-kneed trampers, sharp-edged climbers, risky rafters, kool-kat kayakers, and angelic anglers – representing “over 100,000 New Zealanders” and united in seeking to protect wild rivers […]

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World Bank Goes Green?

Sometimes something really good happens. The World Bank has withdrawn funding for the palm oil sector including the Wilmar company that supplies [PDF] palm kernel to Fonterra. The World Bank is not satisfied that the palm plantations they loaned to in parts of the developing world met acceptable standards for sustainability. Congratulations to the Forest […]

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Recommended Sunday listening

Some great listening and viewing this morning on NZ environmental issues. Podcasts and on-demand TV means those who slept in haven’t missed out – so enjoy. RadioNZ’s Insight doco at 8am was on carbon offsetting. Reporter Ian Telfer narrated a well-rounded look at the benefits and risks inherent in the largely-unregulated voluntary carbon market. Includes […]

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Feds’ selective hearing deafening

Federated Farmers seemed a tad defensive yesterday. Their press release “Environmentalists ‘silence deafening’ on dirty cities” said: Federated Farmers believes the hypocrisy of environmental lobbyists has been revealed by their silence on urban pollution. “Yesterday, farmers learned that raw sewerage and heavy metals are being pumped into Wellington Harbour. But environmentalists like ‘hook and bullet’ […]

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Feds’ selective with the science on water quality

Here’s one that left me speechless with incredulity… Fed Farmers Dairy chairman Lachlan McKenzie addressed the organisation’s AGM  yesterday and made some quite ridiculous and irresponsible comments on the progress that farmers have made in cleaning up waterways. This time last year, Fish and Game New Zealand was calling on the government to regulate production […]

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Reports a reminder of need for action on freshwater

Two important studies revealing the state of our freshwater came out last week, and the news is disappointing. The first comes from NIWA, and updates water quality trends at the 77 National River Water Quality Network sites, which have been monitored over the last 20 years. The study confirmed that waterways flowing through farmland have […]

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Greens don suits, and gumboots

Today the Green Co-leaders launched our Green New Deal stimulus package to “to save the economy and the environment at the same time”. Launching it, Jeanette said: We’re engaging on economic issues on a new scale. The Greens’ package is costed with the best available published figures, and clearly specifies the benefits of each initiative […]

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Farming and the ETS – the latest from the select committee

Yesterday we heard all the farming related submissions. Federated Farmers continued to be the most extreme – agriculture should be entirely left out of the ETS because food production is important. But in NZ methane and nitrous oxide from farming are the large half (51%) of our emissions. Leaving them out means taxpayers fork out a hefty subsidy to farming, or other energy users pay twice as much as they otherwise would.

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