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Nick Smith tries to muddy the waters - fails

Nick Smith is deeply mistaken – or deliberately misleading – to claim our rivers cannot legally be made dirtier under National’s rules for freshwater management, Labour’s Water and Environment spokesperson David Parker says.

“The Environment Minister today – just an hour after the Choose Clean Water petition was presented to Parliament – denied that the 2014 National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management could result in rivers currently clean enough to swim in becoming unsafe for swimming.

“Nick Smith is wrong.

“National spiked the prior guidelines by Judge Sheppard and substituted this ineffectual alternative. Unlike Judge Sheppard’s proposal, National’s rules allows increased nutrient and effluent flows from more intensive farming to increase pollution to rivers.

“Some of the rivers which are currently clean enough to swim are inevitably getting dirtier in compliance with National’s ineffective rules.

“A new National Policy Statement is urgently needed to stop our rivers getting dirtier; and to clean up the dirty ones so they are swimmable.

“New Zealanders want to swim in their local rivers – that’s not too much to ask,” David Parker says.