FRESHWATER CLEAN UP FUND – A DROP IN THE FILTHY BUCKET
NZ OUTDOORS PARTY
9 AUGUST 2017
The Outdoors Party is challenging the Government to reconcile its recent $44M freshwater ‘clean-up’ grant against the $540M grants for new irrigation schemes which create the pollution in the first place.
“The freshwater degradation we have experienced so far is the tip of the iceberg” said Co-Leader David Haynes. “The Government has committed only 15% of its $540M irrigation subsidies so far, less than 2% of which has delivered working schemes to date. Unless we radically change the way we do dairy we can expect a fifty fold increase in freshwater pollution which will condemn our rivers and lakes to lifeless sewers.”
The Outdoors Party says, in effect, tax payers are obliged to subsidise polluters, care of mega-irrigation schemes, and pay for the clean up afterwards. Crown Irrigation Investments has so far committed to funding an additional 130,000 hectares of land, an area larger than greater Auckland.
Ironically, the freshwater improvement fund is also being used to subsidise irrigation schemes, such as the $7M earmarked for the Waimea dam project.
“Farming is the backbone of New Zealand, but it needs to change drastically if we genuinely want healthy rivers and lakes. New Zealanders want greater leadership from our Government and this token grant is a drop in the already filthy bucket. The clean-up would not be required if polluters were held to account.”