Does Nick Smith think New Zealanders are stupid? His dirty rivers spin sure makes it look that way. Just calling the standards for wading and boating “swimmable” is not progress. At 540 Ecoli per 100mL, the new “swimmable’ means 1 in 20 people are at risk of getting sick. Is this what thousands of people […]
Yesterday, Hon David Parker and I spoke at the Freshwater Management and Infrastructure Forum at Te Papa. The audience was mainly Council staff, irrigators and fertiliser people. David and I were in agreement that there we must change the standards for freshwater to be genuinely swimmable. We agree that we need a price on the […]
Every week, I get media alerts about unhealthy water, including algae risks at swimming spots and boil water notices in small towns. It got personal the other week when I went kayaking on a river and found a rash on my arms and legs wherever I had touched the water. The rash formed small itchy […]
When Environment Minister Nick Smith said in Parliament that some waterways – like Auckland’s Lucas Creek – are not worth saving because no-one wants to swim in them, he forgot to ask the locals we met last week who have put hours of work into restoring Lucas Creek river to health for their community so that it is safe to swim in once more.
The fifth river in our Swimmable Rivers tour is an urban river on the North Shore called Lucas Creek, which runs from the outer suburban edge near Paremoremo through to the Waitemata harbour. The river came to our attention when Dr Nick Smith, the Minister for the Environment, named it in Parliament as a very polluted […]
On Thursday night I hosted a great swimmable rivers meeting organised by the local Greens in Heretaunga (Hutt Valley). It was great to see about 70 people attend and engage in the topic.
Iain Rabbitts’ belief that drinking water quality, charging for water use and the land use that leads to water quality degradation should be treated separately is part of the problem we have right now in this country. The connection is painfully clear to the people I meet as I travel around the country, visiting rivers […]
Alongside the massive problem of 10 million cattle and their waste entering our waterways, is the lesser but vexed issue of human waste. All over the country, councils struggle with developing wastewater systems that actually work and do not pollute the environment. Success is very mixed because disposal of wastewater and solids to land or […]
We were on our first visit to the Oparara Basin, on the Karamea side of Kahurangi National park, famous for its large natural rock arches.
We may never know exactly what happened to the Havelock North water supply, but either way, how about stopping the pollution of rivers by sewage plants and intensive agriculture?