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Government must come clean on water

 

News that the National Government is secretly working behind closed doors on its own water charging schemes shows their utter hypocrisy on this issue, says Labour’s water spokesperson David Parker. 

“They have been carping on about Labour’s plan for a royalty to go to the regions and help pay to clean up our rivers. National have scaremongered, when it’s clear that the Ministry for the Environment’s Technical Advisory Group has been working on their own secret agenda for them, which will not be released until after the election.

“They have been carping on about Labour’s plan for a royalty to go to the regions and help pay to clean up our rivers. National have scaremongered, when it’s clear that the Ministry for the Environment’s Technical Advisory Group has been working on their own secret agenda for them, which will not be released until after the election. 

“This morning the ‘Politik’ site says the National Government’s investigation is considering ‘pricing mechanisms to improve efficiency’ on water supply. This is hypocrisy. The National Government is hiding its plan. 

“Yesterday’s Water New Zealand survey shows that more than 77 per cent of New Zealanders believe there should be a royalty when water is used for agriculture and horticulture. The survey of 5,000 New Zealanders also revealed that nearly 89% of Kiwis want to see a charge for water bottlers. 

“There is clearly an appetite for change to how we manage clean water. 

“National’s scaremongering is made is made worse by their deceit, which has to end. They should disclose their plan. 

“Our failure to clean up our rivers is now having an international impact. This week the Wall Street Journal was critical of how our polluted rivers undermine our Clean Green image. 

“The Wall Street Journal reports that seven out of New Zealand’s ten major rivers are considered potentially unsafe for swimming. This must be undermining tourism and primary produce exports. The Wall Street Journal puts the blame mainly on the growth in intensive dairying. 

“It is the birth right of all Kiwis to have their rivers clean enough to swim in. If those using or polluting water for commercial profit don’t contribute to the cost of the clean-up, it will fall on pensioners and other taxpayers. 

“It is urgent that we clean up New Zealand’s rivers and lakes,” says David Parker.