National have a slacker standard for swimmable rivers than was the case prior to their recent so-called Clean Water amendment to the National Policy Statement (NPS), says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker.
“The table 11 on page 25 of the NIWA report shows that rivers previously classified as unswimmable are now classed swimmable.
“The description that follows the table admits this, saying ‘the number of sites that would be classified as swimmable will vary depending on the approach taken as to how swimmability is defined’, and then says on page 26 that the 2017 proposal for swimmable is “more permissive” than the 2014 NPS. More permissive means lower water quality rivers are reclassified as swimmable, as table 11 shows.
“Nick Smith has denied this, and is now shown to be wrong.
“It’s time to stop the trickery. Labour will regulate to clean up our rivers to enable Kiwis to swim in their local river in summer, without getting ill and without getting out covered in slime. If your local river and my local river are clean, then all our rivers will be clean. It’s not too much to ask,” says David Parker.