08 April 2013

Freshwater changes show promise – Environment Commissioner

The Government's proposed changes to freshwater management are much needed, but only if they are implemented properly says the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright.

Dr Wright submitted on the changes this afternoon, and says moves to improve water quality are welcome.

"It is vital we make progress on water quality, and the proposed changes are a step in the right direction.

"However, the effectiveness of the reforms will lie in the detail of their implementation. That detail will determine whether water quality across New Zealand is maintained and improved as the Land and Water Forum intended, or becomes worse.

"One thing I do disagree with is the plan to allow Water Conservation Orders to be bound by regional plans.

"Water Conservation Orders exist to create a network of nationally protected rivers – regional councils should not be put in the position of deciding whether or not particular rivers are nationally outstanding."

Dr Wright's full submission is available here.

ENDS