National must categorically rule out using retrospective legislation to override the Supreme Court’s decision that the land swap of conservation land flooded by the proposed Ruataniwha Dam was illegal, says Labour’s Shadow Attorney General David Parker.
“Having not got their own way with the nation’s highest court, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Conservation have arrogantly said they will look to change the law after the Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal decision.
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 Our Fresh Water Environment 2017 report re-confirms that we need urgent action to clean up our rivers. Meanwhile, National is standing by as our rivers get even more polluted, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker.
“This report is yet more evidence that many of New Zealand’s rivers and lakes are in a bad way.
In a jaw dropping display of political hypocrisy the Government has announced a fresh water policy that was promised by Labour in 2008, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.
“Today’s promise to have a swimmable water standard by 2040 is a belated acknowledgement that they have polluted our rivers for nine years . Labour’s 2008 policy was to stop waterways getting dirtier, with any dirty rivers to be cleaned up to a swimmable standard over a generation starting immediately.
Ruataniwha Dam promoters Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) still has hurdles to clear and a lot of work to do before ratepayers and taxpayers will have confidence in the scheme, says Labour’s MP for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti Meka Whaitiri.
“We need sustainable water management for all users in the region but so far, many more things have gone wrong rather than right for Ruataniwha.
Question time in Parliament today flushed out the silly “flood” excuse used against the swimmable – rather than wadeable – standard needed for our rivers, Labour’s Water and Environment spokesperson David Parker says.
“The Prime Minister and Environment Minister have tried to claim that they can’t enforce swimmable rivers because they are occasionally polluted by floods.
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.