Marama by river

Cleaning up our rivers

Our streams, rivers, and lakes are precious to all of us. Freshwater is the lifeblood of our communities. That’s why we’re pleased that the Government is continuing work to deliver on the Green Party’s commitment to clean up our rivers so they’re clean and healthy for our kids and grandkids.

The Green Party have long championed cleaning up our waterways and protecting them from pollution.

Russell Norman spent a summer kayaking several awa highlighting the growing pollution. When National slashed the freshwater standards Catherine Delahunty toured the country to restore them, and last year we made rivers a priority in the 2017 election campaign.

Together, we’ve put cleaning up our rivers on the political agenda. And with the Greens at the heart of Government, we’re making tangible progress.  

As part of our agreement with Labour, we’ve secured prioritising healthy rivers, lakes, and aquifers.

Because of that, the Government has announced:

  • A comprehensive work programme to clean up our most at-risk catchments
  • Strengthening the National Policy Statement on freshwater
  • A new environmental standard to protect water
  • Improvements to the RMA
  • Beginning work on catchment-by-catchment allocations

We’ve still got a long journey ahead to make our rivers healthy and safe to swim in. But, this announcement shows this government is flowing in the right direction. However, a key area we think could be strengthened is by properly recognising that Māori have rangatira and kaitiaki rights over water, as guaranteed by Te Tiriti o Waitangi. We’ll continue to push for this to be honoured.

Protecting the environment and recognising Māori rights go hand-in-hand.

Thanks for your ongoing support for the lifeblood of our communities.