A poll released by Fish & Game today finding water pollution is New Zealanders’ second highest concern, just behind the cost of living, shows the new Government has a mandate to take firm action to address the country’s freshwater crisis, say freshwater campaigners.
The poll surveyed the public on a number of issues, including health, education, cost of living, water pollution and climate change. It found that New Zealanders are particularly worried about water pollution, with 75 per cent of those surveyed saying they were either extremely or very concerned about the degradation of the country’s lakes and rivers.
“The new Government has a clear mandate from the vast majority of New Zealanders to take firm action to address the pollution of rivers and lakes,” says Choose Clean Water Spokesperson, Marnie Prickett
“Summer has highlighted again the severe water pollution problems we face, with toxic algae being found in rivers and lakes around the country, including our great lake Taupō.”
“Last year’s report on the inquiry into Havelock North’s contaminated town water supply drew attention to freshwater pollution being a problem not only for swimming and wildlife but also for what is coming out of our taps.”
Both Labour and the Greens campaigned in last year’s election on cleaning up our rivers and lakes and dealing with the ongoing pollution of freshwater. Water pollution was one of the major election issues in 2017.
“Let 2018 be an historic year of action on water pollution. This must include an end to the spending of public money on large-scale irrigation schemes – schemes which would further increase pollution of rivers and groundwater – and meaningful changes to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, which the previous Government got so disastrously wrong.”
“New Zealanders are calling for firm action on water pollution this year, and our rivers and lakes are desperate for it.”