This week people all over the country took to the streets to support clean water. There were rallies held from Whangarei to Invercargill. Everywhere people were calling for clean water rather than letting companies export our fresh water without paying for it. The public understand that the amount of water taken for bottling is very small compared […]
Last Friday night, there was a meeting of more than 300 people about the risk of increased water takes for farming in the catchment upstream of the magnificent Te Waikoropupu Springs (‘Pupu Springs’) in Golden Bay. The aquifer that feeds the springs could experience lower water flows and more nitrates if Tasman District Council change […]
I’m buzzing! Yesterday, we had a great visit to the Tukituki river area to focus on swimmable river solutions. The day started near the mouth of the Tukituki at Haumoana where we were honoured to participate in a blessing of a “waiata wall” beside the river. The message on the wall is the beautiful waiata […]
On Sunday, we launched my Members’ Bill to protect underground water and aquifers. It’s called the Resource Management (Clean Groundwater) Amendment Bill. Catchy title. What does it do? It changes parts of the Resource Management Act, the legislation that protects our environment so that groundwater is kept safe from contamination and pollution. What? You mean there’s […]
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.