Kiwis want tougher water quality rules to protect rivers from polluters

Posted 28/01/2019

Fish & Game New Zealand website

Over 80 percent of New Zealanders want tougher rules to protect rivers, lakes and streams from pollution.

The findings are revealed in a nationwide poll conducted in December for Fish & Game New Zealand by Colmar Brunton.

People were asked if mandatory environmental standards should be introduced for New Zealand waterways, even if it meant regulating intensive farming.

82 percent of those questioned said they definitely or probably supported such a move.

The result is even higher among people who are extremely or very concerned about pollution of our rivers and lakes, with nine out of ten supporting tougher rules.

Fish and Game chief executive Martin Taylor says the results are a wake-up call for agriculture leaders and local government.

“For too long, local authorities have allowed intensive farms to become established in unsuitable areas and then protected them at the expense of local residents and the environment. Enforcement of the rules has been weak,” Mr Taylor says.

“That policy has resulted in dirty rivers and lakes choked with sediment. In many places, New Zealanders have been robbed of the ability to swim, fish and gather food from their local waterways.

Read the full article here.