Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Fish and Game NZ
Fish & Game New Zealand welcomes the Ministries for the Environment and Primary Industries’ announcement today that eight independent experts have been appointed to lead a technical review of the Overseer environmental modelling software.
This follows on from the excellent report by Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Simon Upton who pointed out the critical shortcomings in Overseer, which calls into question whether it is fit for purpose as a regulatory tool in its current form. Currently, Overseer is used to assess nutrient losses from farms and how they pollute rivers, lakes and streams.
“Overseer’s inability to do its job has been known for a long time, and yet little has been done to fix it. Meanwhile, our waterways have been allowed to become polluted,” Fish & Game New Zealand chief executive Martin Taylor says.
“It is good a technical review has been set up to ensure that Overseer is the right tool to drive sound land management decisions and improve freshwater quality.”
However, due to the complexity of the work the technical group is going to take many years to get it right. During this time, to ensure our waterways do not get even more degraded, we must take a highly precautionary approach.
This means that in the interim before the technical review is completed and changes implemented, the Government should consider input controls on known issues such as synthetic fertilisers and a moratorium on land use intensification in at-risk catchments to ensure the degradation of water quality does not continue.
“Kiwis expect to be able to swim, fish and gather food from their rivers, lakes and streams. New Zealanders are calling for change and saying water quality must be protected. It’s time that we stop further degradation of our environment.”