Thursday, May 28, 2020

Chickening out on clean rivers

The government released its Action for Healthy Waterways package today, ostensibly with the goal of cleaning up our rivers and making them swimmable within a generation. Doing that, of course, requires confronting the cow in the room: the dairy industry which causes most of the pollution. But while they've imposed some limits, including restrictions on dairy conversions, in the end they chickenshitted it again, setting a fertiliser limit which is far too high, and delaying setting bottom lines for nitrogen and phosphorus for another year. The latter in particular has gone down like a cup of cold cowshit with environmental groups, because it is the core of the problem, not to mention a public health hazard. But instead of controlling it, the government's "plan" is that farmers should be allowed to continue poisoning the public for at least another year.

This isn't acceptable. Kiwis deserve clean rivers and water which doesn't give us cancer. And if this government won't protect us from polluting farmers, we should get another one which will.