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Freshwater policy

Ecologic leads input to Government’s Water Programme

Stakeholders discuss water reform proposals in a workshop organised by EcologicThe Government has agreed to develop a National Policy Statement (NPS) to address concerns about water availability and water quality, and to develop some National Environmental Standards to accompany the NPS.

As part of an NGO Reference Group on the Government’s Sustainable Water Programme of Action, Ecologic has taken the lead in drafting a proposal for an NPS on Freshwater Management.

Documents describing the proposals are below, reflecting the combined views of environmental NGOs as of March 2007. There is broad consensus on the proposals, and the few remaining areas of disagreement are noted. 

Ecologic is also talking with industry stakeholders and Maori to identify common ground and resolve areas of disagreement, taking a Nordic-style collaborative approach.

Summary of key features of a proposed NPS

Outline of Objectives, NPS policies, National Standards and RMA Amendments

Draft NPS on Freshwater Management 

Ecologic’s submission on the NZ Government’s Water Programme of Action (March 2005).

Maori and the Government's Sustainable Water Programme of Action

The Government's Proposed National policy Statement on Freshwater Management (July 2008)

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A disappointing draft of the Government's National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management was the subject of a Memorandum to Ministers by five non-governmental organisations concerned with freshwater. Drafted by Ecologic, the memo calls for far-reaching changes to the National Policy Statement:

Critical issues with the draft National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management

Simon Upton's column of 29 July 2008 in the Dominion Post and The Press comments that the National Policy Statement "is one of the most insipid and evasive attempts to grapple with a major environmental policy issue that I have ever seen."

He says that environmental organisations who earlier wrote to Ministers with a critique of the draft Statement should have been more outspoken in the news media when it was released, and suggests members should ask their organisations for a copy of the critique. Ecologic drafted the critique, which was supported by four other environmental and recreation organisations:

Guy Salmon urges Federated Farmers to work with environmentalists

In remarks to the 2006 annual conference of Federated Farmers in Nelson, Ecologic’s Executive Director Guy Salmon responded to an attack on environmentalists by the president of Federated Farmers. Guy acknowledged the positive environmental contributions of many farmers and suggested the federation should be proud of these rather than defensive.

Guy urged a partnership approach to solve the issues associated with water quality. He also called for government funding to assist farmers with the transition to sustainable land use, accompanied by obligations on farmers to maintain practices that taxpayers help to fund.

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