The left like to think they have a mortgage on green issues.
They don’t, and most of their policies to protect and enhance the environment come at considerable cost to the economy.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
It is possible to have sound environmental policies which don’t handicap the economy, and to have sound economic policies which don’t come at the cost of the environment.
Good economic policies enable better environmental ones – cleaning up past mistakes and maintaining high standards comes at a cost.
By worlds standards New Zealand’s water quality is high, but there is still a lot of room for improvement in many places.
In light of that, the announcement of an extra $1.2 million to help communities clean-up waterways is very welcome.
The Government is investing a further $2.1 million to help communities improve New Zealand’s freshwater quality, Environment Minister Amy Adams has announced.
Ms Adams made the announcement at the Bluegreens Forum in Kaikoura today.
“This further investment adds to the Government’s strong commitment to improving the quality of our freshwater, as we develop a package of cohesive reform and clean-ups that will lead to the more productive and sustainable use of our freshwater resource within a generation,” Ms Adams says.
The Government’s freshwater reform programme includes a National Objectives Framework, national bottom lines for freshwater, collaborative planning processes, better water accounting, and spending hundreds of millions of dollars to clean-up historical contamination of our iconic waterways.
“I know that many New Zealanders want to play an active part in improving the quality of the water in our local lakes and rivers.
“To encourage this, today I am announcing the Government is allocating $1.1 million to a fund to support local water quality initiatives that support the freshwater reforms.
“These projects will involve the community, raise awareness and strengthen collaboration.”
Further information, including how to apply for the funding, will be announced shortly.
“As well as helping people take action to improve freshwater quality, we also need to make sure the activity is achieving results.
“So, a further $1 million will be targeted at enhancing the monitoring of freshwater quality in New Zealand.
“A large network of sites is currently used for assessing the state of our rivers. These sites were established for a variety of reasons, but the data collected is not necessarily representative of the whole country.
“This money will be used to improve the effectiveness of the monitoring, enabling more representative and precise reporting on the state of New Zealand’s freshwater.
“This will also support the National-led Government’s environmental reporting framework which will enhance New Zealanders’ understanding about the state of our environment.
“New Zealand is in the middle of ambitious freshwater management reforms and this money will support regional councils to involve their communities in taking action.
“At the same time we are ensuring that good information is available to shape the decisions that communities need to make about water quality in their region.”