Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Fish and Game NZ
Local Government New Zealand’s (LGNZ) election manifesto fails to recognise that regional councils should focus on meeting their obligations to protect the environment for future generations, instead of blaming central Government.
Fish & Game New Zealand Chief Executive Martin Taylor notes that many regional councils currently do not have tough enough rules to protect water quality for future generations, have not enforced existing rules well enough and have even actively fought against imposing rules to improve environmental outcomes.
“You can comply with the current rules, and water quality will still decline in the catchment. Look at what has taken place in Canterbury with nitrate levels”.
“We have no confidence that some regional councils are even enforcing the current rules effectively, look at LGNZ’s own reports commissioned. The 2019 report called out regional councils for ‘significant shortcomings’ when it comes to compliance, monitoring and enforcement functions under the RMA while the second 2020 report says “key trends remain consistent with the inaugural report”.
These reports make it clear that while some councils are performing well. Others, meanwhile, are poorly resourced, behind in consent checks and are reluctant to prosecute. Not all councils provided the requested data, leaving gaps, and making meaningful comparisons difficult.
“LGNZ needs to look at itself and the legacy it wants for all New Zealanders. It seems to have spent the last three years opposing the Government’s freshwater reform package, despite the Government’s reforms being focused on protecting the environment for future generations.
“The last 20 years of water quality decline in both rural and urban settings clearly demonstrates why the Government needed to introduce rules that force regional councils to do their job.
“Only nationally-set standards backed up by nationally enforced rules will deliver the water quality Kiwis are calling for.”
“The answer to LGNZ’s fear that Government rules impose extra costs on councils is easy. Councils should pass all costs on to those businesses who pollute. If they don’t then those businesses are being subsidised with public money”.
A recent Colmar Brunton poll conducted for Fish & Game New Zealand showed that pollution of our rivers and lakes remains a top concern for Kiwis, with two-thirds expecting the Government to put rules and regulations in place to protect water quality.
“Three quarters – 77 per cent – of those surveyed said they were extremely or very concerned about the pollution of lakes and rivers,” Mr Taylor says.
“These results show the depth of feeling kiwis have about the loss of what they considered their birthright – clean rivers, lakes and streams.
“Kiwis expect to be able to swim, fish and gather food from their rivers, lakes and streams. This election is an once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure the next Government will tackle an issue Kiwis are deeply concerned about. Let’s get this right.”
WHAT IS FISH & GAME?
Fish & Game manage trout, salmon and game birds to provide healthy recreation for Kiwis.
We work to protect the environment that anglers and hunters have enjoyed as a tradition for over 150 years.