Monday, January 28, 2019

Fooling no-one

Fresh water is one of our biggest environmental challenges, and over 80% of us want to see the government take stronger action to protect our waterways and ensure we can all swim in our lakes and rivers. So what do National's proposed astroturf "BlueGreens" think about it? Predictably, they're backing polluters:

A rejected Green Party leadership hopeful planning to form a rival environmental party says New Zealand might not need stricter rules on protecting its waterways.

Vernon Tava, who unsuccessfully ran for the party's co-leadership in 2015, is in talks to set up a "centrist" green party that - unlike the present Green Party - could work with National.


"We've got a lot of rules… the councils' policies, the regional plans, the district plans, RMA requirements, national policy standards, national environmental standards that are tough, but they're not enforced.

"A big part of our problem in New Zealand is actually not the rules themselves, it's the lack of enforcement."

Tava is wrong. Yes, enforcement is a problem, but fundamentally the problem is that the limits in place are inadequate to begin with. We have too many farmers sucking our rivers dry, and too many cows shitting in them, all perfectly legally. If we want to protect our waterways and make them swimmable, then we need to tighten those limits, reclaim that water for the rivers, and cut the number of cows. But I guess someone angling to be astroturf cover for a party which is the biggest support of the polluting dairy industry just can't advocate for something like that. So why would anyone who wants to protect rivers vote for him? And is he really stupid enough to think he's fooling anyone?