Hort NZ also threatened on water tax

August 19, 2017

Labour isn’t listening to reason on water tax, and it’s not just Mid Canterbury farmers it’s threatening with a higher tax:

Farmers in Ashburton are not the only group that has been threatened by Labour over its water tax, Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman says.

“I was not surprised when I saw the Twitter feed from @dairymanNZ about a meeting in Ashburton last night where David Parker told them he was not there to negotiate and not to push him. At a meeting with Labour on Tuesday this week, myself and HortNZ’s president and deputy chief executive were told that the tax could a much higher number. That was equated to the cost to farmers for the Ruataniwha dam in Hawke’s Bay which is not a fair comparison as any charges for that project cover infrastructure and operating costs to deliver certainty of water in a drought-prone region over generations.

One minute Labour says they haven’t got a figure, then they say its 2 cents per 1000 litres then Parker threatens it could be higher.

There’s no need to worry about facts when they’re basing the policy on emotion but a little bit of consistency would be helpful.

“We had asked for a meeting to discuss the water tax and explain the impact it would have, not only on our fruit and vegetable growers, but on the wider New Zealand community who want to eat healthy food. The reality is, the tax will be passed on consumers and healthy food will cost more. How much more depends on the rate of the tax.

“It is unfair to impose a tax on rural New Zealanders for water when there is no such tax for urban New Zealanders. Having the amount of that tax unknown is also unfair. At the higher numbers it will have vast and negative consequences far beyond revenue gathering to clean up waterways.

“That solution lies in looking at the outputs from both city and rural waste.

“The tax confuses water users with water polluters. It implies that people on municipal water supply already pay for water, when in fact nobody pays for water. The costs they are talking about relate to the infrastructure required to source water and remove it as waste.

They also seem to think that fairies deliver water to farms for free when irrigators pay the costs of infrastructure the same way those taking urban water do.

We pay $800 per hectare per year for irrigation water.

“There is no recognition of the facts – it takes water to grow healthy food, water is a renewable resource, and many of our growers have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on both infrastructure to source water and in riparian planting and technology to protect waterways and improve water quality in streams and rivers.

“It is wrong to say this tax will not affect the price of fruit and vegetables, I have had growers ringing me constantly since this tax announcement, telling me how it will add to their production costs, which are passed on to consumers.

Another tax would be an additional cost on production at least some of which will inevitably be passed on to consumers in higher prices for food.

“At our meeting with Labour they would not accept the inequity or impact of this tax and said the policy would be completed within 100 days of them coming to power, all that it would take is discipline. They remain committed to it being a tax on water users outside municipal supply only, even though large urban areas are responsible for some of the worst water pollution.

“For us, this is about policy, not politics, and we want a fair hearing in the making of any such policy. We are trying to understand what Labour wants to achieve. For horticulture, having a reliable water supply is essential to supplying high quality, healthy food,” Chapman says.

Resorting to threats at this early stage doesn’t give any reassurance about being listened to later in spite of Labour promising to do that.


Labour counters facts with threats

August 19, 2017

Labour hasn’t got the facts to back up its water tax policy so is resorting to threats:

That quote is from David Parker, Labour’s Environment spokesman.

A royalty for using a public resource?

Will it be sunshine and air next?

They are also just as much public resources as water and are also necessary ingredients for growing food.

 


Hekia Parata’s valedictory statement

August 19, 2017

Hekia Parata delivered her valedictory statement this week:

Hon HEKIA PARATA (National):

[Authorised Te Reo text to be inserted by the Hansard Office.]

[Authorised translation to be inserted by the Hansard Office.]

Today is a day of thanks. My performance as a member of Parliament and as a Minister is a matter of public record and for others to judge. I am leaving with a great sense of gratitude for the immense privilege it has been to serve, in this way, in this time, my fellow New Zealanders and our country. I am leaving satisfied with what I have been able to contribute, proud of a number of achievements, stronger and more resilient than I ever imagined I would have to be. I am leaving with huge optimism for our future and the settled conviction that I was blessed to have been born to these Pacific isles a New Zealander—well, a Ngati Porou woman New Zealander, to be absolutely accurate. I guess I was just lucky.

We, all of us, are the sons and daughters, descendants, of adventurers, navigators, visionaries, risk-takers, brave and tenacious people, with imagination, grit, and hope, who crossed Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, whether by whale, waka, ship, or plane, to make this place, Aotearoa New Zealand, their home. Ours is a small, smart, sassy nation, and all of us have a responsibility to our forebears and to those who come after us to make it even better.

I have enjoyed the great gift of being a part of this House of Representatives, and our Government, as we have taken up that responsibility. We have served 9 years as a National-led coalition Government to build a better New Zealand than we found it, and we have done that in many practical, significant, and measurable ways. All of those will be examined and judged over the coming weeks, and I trust that New Zealanders will value the unique blend of stability and competence, fresh ideas and the detail and experience to execute them that our team offers. I leave knowing that my place and those of my colleagues, who are also leaving, are filled by capable, energetic, and thoughtful people. We must constantly refresh if we are to stay relevant to New Zealand families, and I am proud that our caucus and new candidates reflect that challenge.

As our coalition separates for the battle ahead, I want to acknowledge our partners: United Future, ACT, and Te Pāti Maori, and to thank them for the support they have given me in the policy and legislative initiatives I have pursued. Ngā mihi.

To my parliamentary colleagues: thank you for being a part of the active democracy that New Zealand is and must always be, and for your commitment to making this the best country that it can possibly be. Tēnā koutou.

I found it extremely difficult preparing for this valedictory statement. It is a challenge to distil to a handful all the memories, to ensure all those who should be mentioned are, and that Hansard records a fitting end to my time here. The expectations feel very high. It reminds me of a time I was standing in the wings of the year 7 to 13—that would be form 1 to form 7—leadership conference in Taranaki, and I asked my 11-year-old introducer what he thought I should say. He looked up at me hopefully and asked: “Can you be funny?” In a nanosecond I could see he had written that possibility off and trudged on to the stage with me following in his wake—just so you know.

I am proud to be a member of the National Party, to have served in a National-led Government, and to make policy based on values of equal citizenship and equal opportunity, of individual freedom and choice, of personal accountability and responsibility, of competitive enterprise and rewards for achievement, and of limited Government and the challenge to create the conditions in our economy and our society so New Zealanders of whatever background have the opportunity to realise their potential. That is the essence of rangatiratanga, the kind I am interested in—the personal, practical, everyday kind where New Zealanders are self-determining, are in charge of their own lives, are able to make choices, and are able to live independent of the Government. I have always said I will leave the “tino” variety to iwi.

In my maiden speech almost 9 years ago I said that I wanted to contribute to developing quality citizenship for all New Zealanders, and a defining aspect of that would be the reduction of dependence on the State. I have been part of a Government that has, in response, focused on a strong and growing economy, the creation of new jobs, raising the level of qualifications and skills, finding new trade opportunities, investing in infrastructure, science, and innovation. None of that on its own sounds sexy or exciting, but unless we have those, we do not have the ingredients for the recipe of a sustainably better life. The other side of that is the social well-being and welfare of people. That is what our social investment approach led by the Prime Minister is about. To achieve equality of citizenship, there must be unequal resource and support for those most vulnerable, those least able to help themselves. We know better than ever who we need to help, and how we marshal the resources of the Government to do that. In turn we have seen a reduction in benefit dependence.

The binary nature of politics is that if you have not done absolutely everything, you are accused of not having done anything. Not true. We have done much, and there is much more to do, but in doing so we have to keep in mind the hard work of New Zealanders represented in their taxes and savings. I know that when promises are made to spend more it is not the “Government’s money” as so many assert. It is the teachers, and nurses, and policemen, the builders, the plumbers, the electricians, the businesses, small and big. It is my whānau, planting seedlings on eroding hillsides in drenching rain, or collecting hives in blistering heat, or fixing potholes and slips and drains, as logging truck drivers loop tediously along State Highway 35. That is whose money it is; not the Government’s. That is who we have to account to, and I have never lost sight of that as we have sought to make the best decisions with their money.

In my maiden speech I also said that I wanted to “join the crusade for literacy and numeracy and for a good-quality education for every New Zealand student.” I said that “We must adopt an uncompromising attitude that failure is not an option. All our other aspirations for economic growth, raised standards of living, and national confidence and pride will flow from getting these basics right.” And, of course, I had the tremendous opportunity as Minister of Education to carry out my 6-year crusade.

I came from a modest background. We did not own the home we grew up in. We never owned a car all the time we were growing up. With the change in our family circumstances, we were so grateful for a State house and my mother for the DPB, as it was then known. We worked before- and after-school jobs to support our family, and through it all we knew that getting a good education was the answer to a better life. Every opportunity I have had has arisen out of having that education, and hard work. That is why I have been so focused on rewiring our education system to make sure that every one of our young people gets the opportunity of the best education possible.

But before that, I held portfolios or associate responsibilities for Women’s Affairs, Ethnic Affairs, Energy and Resources, the Community and Voluntary Sector, and ACC. I learnt something from all of these, but Energy and Resources was the portfolio I learnt the most in, in understanding what a rich set of resources we have around and in our country. It was also the portfolio that got me pretty much excommunicated from my tuakana iwi, Te Whānau-a-Apanui, for proceeding with the approval for exploration for oil and gas in the Raukūmara basin—somewhat awkward, given that we have a home there and we would have to drive past garages and fences saying bilingually just what an egg I was.

It was also during my stewardship that the Māui Gas pipeline went down, taking with it all the hot water in hotels and motels from Taupō North, turning off milking sheds, factories, and businesses across the same vast area. I learnt there was a protocol for the priority of who got reconnected first as the line became restored, and I was lobbied and lobbied. But in that process, I learnt that Sanitarium, Chelsea, and Fonterra were the necessary trifecta for half the country getting a good start to the day. And, of course, Orion energy made sure that it could restore power safely and methodically across Christchurch. One of the privileges one has as a Minister is to meet outstanding New Zealanders, and to see the skills and knowledge, ingenuity and good humour they bring to their everyday work, and most particularly in a crisis.

And then, I got Education. This was my dream job and the reason I ran for Parliament. When the then Prime Minister rang to tell me, I practically perforated his ear drum I was so excited. Apparently that has not often been the response to being offered the education portfolio. In addition, I was given the Pacific Island Affairs portfolio, and what an honour that was. Back when I was training to be a diplomat in our Ministry of Foreign Affairs—I know, when people think of me the first word that springs to mind is “diplomatic”—back then in the 1980s I was arguing for a more Pacific-centred policy, for New Zealand to see itself as part of the Pacific, not just on the other side of it.

I loved my time in the portfolio, meeting Pacific people, who were working so hard, who were committed to their children doing well, singing in church the way we did growing up, and producing some of the best sports men and women and increasingly excelling across the health sector in particular. I also learnt from this, together with the Ethnic Affairs portfolio, how real and alive the diverse cultures are that make up our communities and the richness this adds to all our lives. I think they also have more hui and longer hui than the Māori people do—just saying.

I want to thank our former Prime Minister the Rt Hon Sir John Key for his leadership. He brought a clinical set of decision-making tools to the job, together with a whole-hearted embrace of this country, a confidence about our place in the world, and an unshakeable optimism about what was possible. As a boss, he appointed you to a role, gave you general guidance, and trusted you to get on with it. That was at times both scary and exhilarating—probably for him as well as me. I want to record my thanks for his unflagging support.

It was the Prime Minister in 2013 who encouraged me to look at something big for education. Of course, it was the then Minister of Finance, the right honourable Prime Minister today, who had to be persuaded to fund it. And that, folks, is how we got what I think will truly be transformational for our education system: communities of learning or kāhui ako that keep everything that is special and different about individual schools and early learning centres but systematically joins them in a collaboration centred on the child and their 18-year learning pathway. It cost a shipload of money—$359 million, the biggest single social investment initiative we have made as a Government. It puts the emphasis on the student and their learning and achievement, and it creates 6,000 new roles for teachers and leaders. I want to put on record here my appreciation of the leadership role that the Post Primary Teachers’ Association took in this initiative. To be clear, peace did not then break out; we did continue to argue and disagree about other things.

I also want to thank the many teachers and education leaders who not only have embraced this opportunity but every day bring care and commitment, capability and competence, fun and innovation to the children and young people in their centres and classrooms. We have some of the best educators and education practices in the world, and we see the value in that in the rising achievement of our young people. We have about 2,500 schools and over 5,000 early learning centres and just under a million young New Zealanders engaged in learning. My relentless expectation as Minister of Education was that every child in every classroom every day was learning and achieving. I appropriated from a speech I heard from the then Chief Review Officer, Dr Graham Stoop, a line that said: “The core business of a school is to cause learning to happen and to know that it did”—as simple and as complicated as that.

We have an education system with an architecture that is one of the best in the world. But, like my generation and smart phones, we use only a small amount of its potential. I saw my job as rewiring the system and leveraging that architecture to make sure that it serves every Kiwi kid, to push those who are doing well to do even better, and to pick up those that the system had been leaving behind. I am glad to say that we now have the data to know that all population groups have lifted, and, in particular, at senior secondary, Māori and Pasifika students are achieving at almost twice the rate from when we came into Government in 2008. That is real kids with real results able to make real choices about what is next for them. That is great for them and that is great for our country.

I had the privilege as Minister of Education to visit centres and schools up and down the country and to see the magic that so many of them create. Little Ōturu School in the Far North is developing natural cures for cellulitis and then selling them. Sylvia Park School is involving its whole community in art and sculpture and the living environment. A primary school in Māngere East is lifting numeracy through “Bobbie maths”, a culturally based team approach. Te Kura Māori a Rohe o Ngā Tapuwai is turning out ki-o-rahi exponents and top scholars. Tarawera High School in Kawerau, Tamatea High in Flaxmere, and Pātea High in Taranaki are achieving phenomenal results due to quality leadership. Tolaga Bay Area School is leading a whole of community inquiry based on the transit of Venus and an ongoing ecological project partnering with iwi and the wider community. Kaiti School is leading the way in teaching excellence. A little Nelson Lakes school is introducing ethics-based studies to 6-, 7-, and 8-year-olds. There are 23 Marlborough schools forming a community of learning. Haeata Community Campus, formed from 4 schools in Christchurch East, is leading a revolution in learning and lifting the community as it does so.

I have this brilliant idea—are there any other kinds—that I offer to the universe today: develop a weekly broadcast programme modelled on Country Calendar showing a different school, kura, or kāhui ako and see the stories unfold and the difference they are making—magic!

This is the fourth year that the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards has been held. It is a way of showcasing and celebrating the best practice in our education system and, I hope, part of the way of changing the public conversation about education to a far more positive one. This is the second year of the Education Council, which is dedicated to growing and lifting the teaching profession. But a word of caution: no matter how much we invest to grow and develop the profession, they simply cannot and should not be expected to take up every latest demand. As I said earlier, the core business of schools is to cause learning to happen. It is not the job of schools to become the default for everything young people should learn. As Minister I was lobbied to have schools become social welfare hubs, health hubs, to provide financial literacy, sex education, and so on. Different schools can and do make decisions about how and what they operate. But schools are not our mothers and fathers; they are not our families or whānau. They cannot be everything to everybody and nor should they. Theirs is already a huge responsibility: to educate our kids.

I want to table for the House today, my calling card for this past term of Government—it is just sitting right there. It sets out the system changes that are under way. Helpfully, on the back are references to the relevant key papers. It provides a short summary and saves the House a fuller recitation. But small and colourful as this postcard is, it represents a lot of work by a lot of people.

I said that today was a day for thanks. I think we have a magnificent public service. I think it is the best in the world. It is probably one of the smallest, but certainly one that delivers above and beyond. Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu. Although small, it is of the quality of greenstone. Thanks to all those public servants who supported the work of my portfolios. The education portfolio is not the most popular, which I can testify to, but it is incredibly rewarding, and the work we did together has been some of the most satisfying of my professional life. I want to thank Peter Hughes, both for his leadership of the Ministry of Education and the education sector in Government, and for his full support of me and my work programme. He tells me with sincerity and good humour that he loved it—although not always in the moment. Thank you, Peter.

I want to thank Iona Holsted, first in her role as Chief Review Officer at the Education Review Office where she asked me what I was looking for and then with intelligence and conviction she over delivered—such a woman thing! Then as Secretary for Education she has gotten stuck in, bringing all her social policy background and grit to bear.

I want to thank Karen Poutasi, heading the New Zealand Qualifications Authority—and do not worry, I am not going to go through every principal in the country as well—and her board in particular for the strategic vision they have been working toward. Take notice: assessment on line, anyone, any time. In a truly student centred education system, the choice of what and when a student gets assessed will have profound changes, not least of which the manacle of timetabling that serves adults more than the students.

I just want to segue quickly to illustrate the powerful difference that the multiple vocational pathway choices young people have in our system today under our Government and how much more engaging this is for so many of them. I was visiting the Build a Bach project in New Plymouth and was talking to the students working on it. I asked one young guy what the key education thing he had learnt building the bach. He said: “I know why I have to be able to read now” and pointing to a stack of cans, he said: “cos that shit’s flammable, Miss. That means it burns.” But we need flexibility in timetabling to make more of this happen more easily for our students.

Peter, Iona, and Karen have been served by a leadership team of deputy secretaries, some of whom have gone on to serve elsewhere, who I am proud to have worked with. Every one of them unstintingly worked to meet really high expectations, and I want to thank them all, and their teams. I trust I will be forgiven for naming just two people for special reasons, but who exemplify the commitment that all have shown. I want to acknowledge Katrina Casey and Coralanne Child and their leadership in the Greater Christchurch, Selwyn, and Waimakariri education network over the past 5 years. Both had family or homes also affected by the earthquakes, and both led staff similarly affected. Day in and day out, at night, and on too many weekends they worked to restore, repair, redevelop, support, and sustain the people and the education system there, as many other public servants did also. They accompanied me when I met with every community—at least once—many multiple times, to explain, to listen, to apologise, and to deliver.

I completely accept that we got some things wrong. But there was not a manual for those circumstances. We did not have 5 years to think about it. We did the best we could. Thank you both and all those who worked with you. I know that we are about halfway through the billion dollar programme to repair and rebuild and build 115 new schools, and already the network is fulfilling its promise in the continued growth in learning and achievement.

I want to thank the ministry folk who staffed my office over the years and the advisors in my office who have organised me, prepped me, planned for me and around me, who repaid the high trust I placed in them many times over. Thank you for looking out for me and after me: Kararaina Cribb, Otene Wharerau, Hiria Parata, Julie Ash, Florence Faumauina, Charlotte Haycock, Tupe Solomon-Tanoa’i, Ana Barbono, Nick Venter, Jasmine Higginson, and Brigitte Morten, with a special thanks for keeping me up on pop culture, trending Netflix series, fashion, latest diets, and Wellington on a Plate. Thanks too, to Geoff Short and Matt Sanders for their fountain of knowledge, incredible networks, and good advice.

I quickly turn to the National Party. I want to acknowledge former president Michelle Boag, who first recruited me in 2001 and has been a steadfast supporter of mine ever since. I want to acknowledge Patricia Morrison, who inducted me into the ways of the party and could not have been a better mentor, and to Peter Goodfellow and the board, our regional chairs, and those who are sitting behind me, which seems appropriate now because I have always felt the National Party behind me, and electorate committees, members, and volunteers who are the backbone of our Party—thank you all.

I have cause to be particularly grateful to those who have voted National, because they have put me in Parliament these past three terms of Government as a list member. Despite early mornings on Police Hill beside State Highway 1, hammering up hoardings, leafleting letter boxes, and generally throwing myself at the Mana electorate, I have not been able to uncouple it, first from Luamanuvao Winnie Laban, and now Kris Faafoi, both thoroughly lovely people with a peculiar political penchant. We have, however, won the party vote twice and are working very hard to keep that arrangement this September. It is here that I pay particular thanks to the Mana electorate team. A number of you are in the galleries today and you have my thanks for your support.

My special thanks go to my dear friend and her whānau, who since we set out on this waka have been with me and mine all the way. Pania Tyson-Nathan, you are amazing. Whatever I have needed, whenever I have needed it, you have been there; Evan Nathan for your long, suffering support and assistance; Enoka Mareikura who, press ganged into my campaigns, became the handiest thing on a nail gun and the smoothest mover in human hoardings, to now being the father of a gorgeous wee girl; and Kaylim, who has practically grown up in the National Party, featuring in our pamphlets and singing for many of our suppers.

We have had fun and challenging times, but we have been dedicated and focused. I remember once when teams of us were out leafleting I got a call from Enoka saying: “Mum’s been bitten by a dog and we’re going to A & E.” I raced over to Kenepuru to see how she was. It was pretty bad. She had been stitched and had multiple shots and was on pain medication. Once I had established, however, that she had been sorted I was able to ask: “Um, did you manage to finish that street?” Sorry Parn!

To the three Dames and two Sirs who in different ways and at different times have offered me wisdom, encouragement, poetry, prayer, and love. Thank you Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi, Dame Jenny Shipley, Dame Karen Sewell, and Sir Brother Patrick Lynch—the other Sir, I will come back to. An excerpt from the poem “From Landfall in Unknown Seas” by Allen Curnow became a touchstone for me: Simply by sailing in a new direction you could enlarge the world. Thank you, Karen.

We have a brilliant caucus, with an extremely able Cabinet, led by a good man. To the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Bill English, it has been a real honour to work with you and for you, to debate policy with you—some might say argue vociferously—to be prepped and on my mettle ready to make a Budget case when you were finance Minister. Thank you. I wish you every success in this election because apart from every other qualification you have for the job, you are the only Prime Minister who can shear a sheep, and where I come from, that counts.

To our Deputy Prime Minister, Paula Bennett, tēnā koe. You are a fierce and feisty warrior woman, whose hard work, strength, and sense of fun have been a model to us all. I salute you, and your mana wahine. Together, I think your leadership is awesome.

To the 2008ers, all 16 of us, it is been a blast. I could not have wished for a more diverse, smart, talented bunch of people to come into Parliament with.

Mr Speaker, to you and your colleagues, and all the people who make this place tick—my thanks. It is a veritable ecosystem that keeps the machinery going to ensure we have the active democracy we do.

A special shout out to the VIP drivers, who we often spend more time with than our families. Thank you.

To the press gallery, my apologies. I just could not shake the conviction that if I just explained why, you would all say: “Oh, now we get it. OK, we won’t report it the way we were going to.” And, sorry, to all my press secretaries, I just couldn’t get the knack of the sound bite either—self-evidently.

To my family: what a roller coaster ride we have had. Thanks to all my brothers and sisters and partners for always, always being there. To my two sisters, fabulous educators themselves, who have stood silently behind me and proudly for me, Apryll and Nori, thank you. To my nieces and nephews, apart from being great campaign “volunteers”, thank you for your wraparound love of your two cousins.

To Wira, my pragmatic, phlegmatic, soldier protector. Thanks for looking after our girls, thanks for tweeting right back at them, thanks for this decade doing this stuff. And to our daughters Rakaitemania and Mihimaraea who have grown up in this funny kind of life that is politics. You make me so proud. In this time you have gone from early primary school to completing university—or within one semester of—from young girls to gorgeous young women. It has not been easy, as everyone in this House knows more than anyone, to have a parent in politics. But you have understood the call to public service, and you have been unflinching in your love and support of me. I came here wanting to make a difference for our country and for a better future. I know you have understood that and been proud of me and my work, but I also know how glad you are that I am making this valedictory statement today. I love you always and forever.

And finally, I would like to thank the mums and dads, nannies and papas, the families, whānau, and aiga who care passionately about the well-being and education of their children and young people, and who wrote to me, meet with me, attended education events, who give up their time to coach, to support their schools, to be on the board, to encourage art and drama productions. Thank you all. Our children’s education is better for it.

I am speaking almost from where I started in this House—a full circle. I have loved my time here. I am humbled to have had the opportunity and honoured to be a participant in making our country better.

And to those who gave me advice, told me where to go, and how quickly I could get there—I am on my way.


Reds not Greens

August 18, 2017

The Green Party has dropped 11 points to 4.3% in the latest 1 News Colmar Brunton  poll.

Their votes have gone to Labour as a result of a leadership change and because the Meteria Turei saga has shown that the Greens are really Reds.

It wasn’t that Turei committed benefit fraud all those years ago that did the damage. It was her total lack of contrition and that the remaining leader of the party, James Shaw, and all but two of her party supported her stance.

In his valedictory statement Kennedy Graham said:

What I should say, however, is this. There are two dimensions to the task of political representation. The first is political judgment. That is empirical, relative, contestable, and open to negotiation. It is 99 percent of our daily job. The second is when an issue of personal conscience arises. That is ethical, absolute, non-contestable, and not open to negotiation. If politics transgresses conscience, politics must cede. This is the decision we took. Simple as that.

Yet decisions taken on conscience can, of course, have political consequences.

Graham and David Clendon who also acted on principle lost their place on the party list and Graham’s request to return after Turei’s resignation was denied.

The party is paying the price of backing the wrong person and the wrong policy.

The fate of any political party will wax and wane. That is the nature of politics. But a party is simply an institution. An institution is a vehicle for the pursuit of ideals and principles. Like any vehicle, it requires ongoing maintenance.

Sometimes the way ahead is difficult to discern. Parties can lose their way. But they can also recover. I believe the Green Party will do so, on behalf of the green movement around the world. Individuals come and go, but the institutions remain, to serve the ideals they cherish. . .

The Green Party lost its way by taking the red path. Strong recovery will only happen if it stops being red and starts being green.

A party with a strong environmental ethos that was moderate on social and economic issues would sit in the middle of the political spectrum, able to govern with National and Labour.

Marooning itself on the far left of Labour gives the Greens no bargaining power.

Now that most of their support has gone back to the bigger party they are in risk of following the Alliance Party of which they were once a part, into political oblivion.

The Greens might get over the 5% threshold they’ll need to stay in parliament but if they want to have any influence they will have to shed the red and concentrate on the green.


Rural round-up

August 17, 2017

Labour’s knee-jerk ‘clean our rivers’ call needs details so it doesn’t look like a rural-to-urban wealth transfer in the sheep’s clothing of a freshwater policy; On the principles of royalties; And why aren’t we talking nitrates? – Alex Tarrant:

Labour’s water policy announcement had some of the desired effect. “Labour promises to make commercial water bottlers pay,” one major news outlet headlined.

Some coverage even got excited that Labour would get unemployed youth to plant trees and build fences around waterways to ‘help’ the farmers out.

I’ll get that out of the way first, because as Jordan Luck once said, it’s been bugging me: If you can get someone to the skill level required to build stock fences on rural terrain then you’re more than halfway to training up a fully-fledged farmer. That’s no bad thing, given an ageing farming workforce and shortage of labour. . . 

Alarming lack of detail in Labour’s water charge – Andrew Curtis:

Labour’s announcement of a tax water will hit not just the dairy industry but is bad news for all New Zealanders. Labour won’t be drawn on how much the tax would cost. Apparently it may vary by region based on the scarcity and quality of water. And no assessment has been made of how it would affect the average Kiwi.

However, if there’s one thing you can be certain of, it is that like all taxes, it is not actually a tax on the supplier of goods, because like all taxes it will be passed on to the consumer. In the same way that businesses factor in the costs of paying company tax and GST on goods they use, we will all end up paying.

There is an alarming lack of detail around what has been announced. It can hardly be called a policy, or a plan, because all we have to go on is a one page press release. Calls to the Labour Party headquarters asking for more details were fruitless. . .

‘Let’s answer this’ – questions mounting as New Zealanders demand answers on water tax:

‘Let’s Answer This’, a campaign to get key questions on Labour’s proposed water tax answered is gathering momentum – while the fundamentals remain unclear.

The questions were sent to Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern on Friday 11th August by non profit membership organisation Irrigation New Zealand asking for a confirmed response in writing.

The organisation was prompted to act after a one page statement issued by Jacinda Ardern announcing the water tax provided very little detail on what the tax would involve. Key questions that have not been addressed include the impact of the tax on ordinary New Zealanders, what it will cost, who it will apply to and how it might be implemented. . .

Five-star treatment for NZ venison – Lynda Gray:

Venison processor Mountain River is slowly but surely growing Chinese appetites for Kiwi venison through five-star Western hotels restaurants.

At face value the strategy seems illogical but it made perfect sense given most of the diners were Chinese.

“If you’re a high-end Western restaurant and not targeting Chinese diners you won’t survive,” Hunter McGregor, a Shanghai-based importer and exporter said. . .

Dairy processors compete for milk – Sally Rae:

More cautious investment over the next five years is likely as New Zealand dairy processors struggle to fill existing and planned capacity, Rabobank dairy analyst Emma Higgins says.

While capital expenditure in new processing assets stepped up between 2013 and 2015, capacity construction had run ahead of recent milk supply growth and appeared to factor in stronger growth than Rabobank expected.

In a new industry report, Ms Higgins said milk supply had stumbled over the past couple of production seasons and, while the 2017-18 season was likely to bring a spike in production of 2%-3%, the bank expected growth to slow to or below 2% for the following four years. . . 

NZ innovation makes mastitis treatment easier:

· Penethaject formulation a world first

· Locally developed in New Zealand

· Effective treatment of mastitis in dairy cows

A new ready to use antibiotic formulation for treating mastitis that took seven years to develop, register and launch is now available for New Zealand dairy farmers.

Penethaject™ RTU (ready to use) has a unique formulation that requires no pre-mixing. It’s the first time such a formulation has been developed anywhere in the world.

Bayer dairy veterinarian Dr Ray Castle says Penethaject RTU will make it easier for farmers to effectively treat clinical mastitis, a condition affecting 10% – 20% of New Zealand’s 5 million dairy cows every year. . . 

To fit into Silicon Valley wear these shoes – Nellie Bowles:

 Silicon Valley goes through its own unique shoe crazes. There were Vibrams. There were Crocs.

Now comes the Allbird, a knit wool loafer. In uncomfortable times, Silicon Valley has turned to a comfortable shoe. If there’s a venture capitalist nearby, there’s probably a pair of Allbirds, too.

The Google co-founder Larry Page wears Allbirds, according to the shoemaker, as do the former Twitter chief Dick Costolo and the venture capitalists Ben Horowitz and Mary Meeker.

Founded by a New Zealand soccer star and a clean-technology entrepreneur, Allbirds makes the sneakerlike shoes from wool and castor bean oil. . .

 


Sam Lotu-Iiga’s valedictory

August 17, 2017

Hon Peseta SAM LOTU-IIGA (National—Maungakiekie):

O le a ou le toe faloina le afaloloa

pe lalafo foe ole savili,

aua o lea ua taoto le aupeau,

I le e’e papaaao ole paia ma le mamalu

ua ali’itia ai le maota nei,

ma oute fa’atulou atu I lau afioga I le fofoga fetalai,

le mamalu ole saofaiga a le Palemene,

ma lau tapuaiga Aotearoa.

tulou,

tulou,

tulouga lava.

Fakaalofa lahi atu kia mutolu oti

Tau magafaoa,

Moe tau kapisiga

Kua tolotolo mai he aho nei

Kehe higoa he iki

Ko iesu keriso.

[Authorised te reo text to be inserted by the Hansard Office.]

[Authorised translation to be inserted by the Hansard Office.]

It is an honour to address this House for the last time, as the MP for Maungakiekie and as a proud National Party member. While I have been a public servant for the last 10 years, my first taste of the National Party was in the mid-1990s. I remember being invited along to a meeting by a colleague at Russell McVeagh. I turned up to a regional policy committee meeting and in the time-honoured tradition of political parties, I was co-opted onto a committee. Unlike Ms King opposite I avoided being made the secretary, and I was instead assigned as the events organiser. I was dispatched to organise a guest speaker for the next month, and I thought: “That’s easy.” I would invite my university professor of economics and supervisor of my dissertation—none other than Professor Tim Hazledine. I could not make the presentation, but I was notified that the meeting was a mild success with some robust questioning of the learned professor.

I then thought that, if they enjoyed Tim Hazledine, I could invite another professor from university who supervised my other dissertation, so I notified the committee that Jane Kelsey was next month’s speaker. Well, the reply from HQ was swift and it was abrupt: there are no delegates available for that meeting and the board room is fully booked out next month, anyway. Suffice to say, I was not asked to organise a National Party policy meeting again. But lesson No. 1 in politics: watch the company that you keep.

I left for overseas and I returned to help campaign for my old school friend and current colleague, Mr Paul Goldsmith. Paul ran in Maungakiekie in 2005. It was to be a dress rehearsal for 2008, and I learnt a lot from doorknocking with Mr Goldsmith and, of course, I learnt a lot about canvassing for the party vote. He also learnt a lot from me. I remember telling him on election day that I was scrutineering at a booth in Ōranga, and he asked me: “Where is Ōranga?”. I told him that it was in our electorate, and he mumbled in his Goldie-like way that maybe he had overlooked it on the map. Twelve years on, I am assured by David Seymour that Paul is as scrupulous with that Epsom map as he was with the map in Maungakiekie.

Of course, 2008 was the year of change in New Zealand. A dynamic John Key swept to power on a platform of lower taxes, better front-line services, fiscal discipline, and setting national standards in education. I was grateful to be swept along during that wave of aspirational leadership and positive change, behind a group of committed volunteers and supporters to win Maungakiekie, a traditional Labour seat. I remember that night at Skycity well, and I said to my mum: “Happy birthday, Mum. You’ve got a thousand people at your party and it didn’t cost me a cent.” Mum, I know you cannot be here today; you are watching in Auckland. Get well soon. I love you.

At this point, can I acknowledge the contribution of the many thousands of National Party volunteers who got me here. I want to acknowledge the presidents, Goodfellow and Kirk, and regional chairs, Alastair Bell, Scott Simpson, Alan Towers, and Andrew Hunt. I want to acknowledge Roger Bridge, Peter Kiely—I could go on. You know who you are. Thank you very much for your support of me and the party. Of course, I have also got to acknowledge my electorate chairs Cheryl and Seamus, and also my really good friends Dr Lee Mathias, Graham Malaghan, Mark Nicholson, Mark Thomas, and the hundreds locally who supported me and my campaign.

On 11 November, after the election, I travelled to my first caucus. I remember congregating with other new MPs at the Koru lounge. It was my first time in the Koru lounge. A couple of Pacific women who voted for me came up to congratulate me on my victory. They said: “Well done on your hard work. You’ve made Pacific people proud and you’re going to make a fine MP.” But I quickly learnt as a new MP to try not to let this get to my head. They gave me their business cards and said to call if I needed their help, even for campaigning. Well, I was feeling pretty chuffed, and as I walked away they wished me well and said: “God bless you, Su’a William Sio.” True story—true story.

But at that first caucus meeting the advice for new MPs was to work the electorate; you will be measured on those first 3 years—and so will you, son—and especially that first year. And, as you do, I set about attending every school fair, prize-giving, Rotary club dinner, and sports club function on offer. It also allowed me to listen to queries, hear opinions, and receive feedback. I enjoyed the work and I reminded myself that this was what public service was about: dealing with the issues of people in need.

In my maiden speech I spoke of the nature of public service and of servant leadership. My mantra in public service, as many of my staff will attest to, is that I wake up each day asking what I can do and what our team can do to improve the lives of New Zealanders and their well-being, and also how to better serve their needs. I believe that if you help one New Zealander, you have had a successful day; if you help thousands, you have had a stellar day and you can retire. I knew that if I could do that with vigour and compassion that I would be re-elected with an increased majority. Serving in Maungakiekie required a lot of patience, active listening, care, and compassion. I would see some of the pain and suffering and abuse that are sadly a part of our society.

I remember doing human hoardings at Panmure roundabout one morning just before the 2011 election. An elderly woman approached me. She said to come and visit a family who were living in her garage. I visited them that afternoon where I met a teenage mother who was living in a garage with her 1-year-old son. She was heavily pregnant and her son, who had a heart condition, was running around half-clothed on the concrete floor. As I went home to my family that night to celebrate my birthday, that sad family image was burnt into my consciousness and I was determined to do something about it. My staff and I worked with Housing New Zealand and other agencies to ensure that her needs were met. Thankfully, by election day I had increased my majority in my seat and, more importantly, this mum and her two kids had found a new two-bedroom apartment to call home.

I joined the National Party because I believe in the power of families and communities to care for our own, unencumbered by the Government. However, I believe, like many New Zealanders, that, when absolutely required, the Government can and should provide assistance and help. I want to thank my electorate staff at this point—most of you are here: Jenny, Josh, Ali, Pua, and Darrell—and there are literally hundreds more stories where we have improved the lives of the many that we have served through that office. Fa’afetai tele lava.

Looking back over the last 10 years, I was proud to launch the new blue recycling bin service. This initiative was done by our local council when I first got into council and it reduced the waste to landfill by about 20 percent—not bad, I thought, for a few months’ work in the council. I had become a blue-green by accident, but I was proud of what we had done on the council. Then, on the council, I advocated for the restoration of the Onehunga foreshore. This was an example of how, with the cooperation of the Onehunga Business Association and The Onehunga Enhancement Society, both Auckland Council and the New Zealand Transport Agency provided the first significant access to the foreshore since the 1970s. That 7 hectare park now provides beaches, picnic areas, and open spaces for families, and, crucially, it will provide them for generations of New Zealanders to enjoy. After first advancing this project as a councillor, I was finally honoured to help cut the ribbon in 2015 as a Minister of the Crown.

Last year also saw the replanting of trees back on to Maungakiekie, or One Tree Hill. It was an issue that meant a lot to many in my local community and one that I had championed and worked through with our Treaty negotiations Minister—and I salute you, sir. Through those settlements with local iwi and hapū and via the support of Auckland Council we were able to do that. The ceremony was witnessed by hundreds, and I had the honour to plant one of the tōtara trees, which I hope and pray will survive the rigours of the weather to once again stand tall on my maunga, Maungakiekie. Sometimes such public symbols divide, but I believe that these trees will unite my community, our city, and this nation.

Finally, in our local area we have seen the rise of the Tāmaki Regeneration Company. This is the first large-scale transformation project in New Zealand and it will deliver over 7,500 quality homes. But for me it is more than that. Its vision means partnerships with mana whenua, local residents, businesses, and service providers. I tell you these achievements not only because I was involved in a small way but because they involved local people, their views, opinions, and, most importantly, it involved their aspirations.

On 17 January 2014 I received a call that all MPs long to receive, and covet. I got a call from Prime Minister Key that I would be a Minister in his executive. I remember taking it while spending precious time with my daughter, Hope, at Potters Park. Getting an unexpected call from the Prime Minister like that is either one of two things: there is trouble on the horizon and you may be forced to resign or you have done well enough to get promoted. Thankfully, it was the latter.

However, trying to have a conversation with the Prime Minister while doing water play during a gale in a park full of kids was really hard, but having to explain to a 3-year-old why you were interrupting her daddy-daughter date was even more challenging. I want to thank Sir Toalesavili John Key for the opportunity. It was a huge honour to serve with him and other Ministers in this National-led Government.

Taking on the Pacific people’s portfolio and becoming Associate Minister of Local Government were a natural fit. I am particularly proud of the work that was completed by the ministry in implementing the Pacific Employment Support Services scheme. It is a scheme that focuses on motivating, training, and matching young Pacific people to jobs. It had an 83 percent success rate in terms of placement into jobs or further training. That is simply stunning for any job or training scheme.

Later that year I got another call. This time I was on a beach, following the 2014 election. I got the call from Sir John, who told me that I was being elevated to Cabinet. Hope and Jules started dancing in the background, and then Jules asked me: “What portfolios?”. I said “Corrections.”, and she said “Jeepers! What did you do wrong?”.

Some would see Corrections as a poisoned chalice. I believe it was a true honour. To the 10,000 men and women who serve in Corrections, some risking their lives every day—I salute you. It was a privilege to be your Minister, despite the challenges—and there were many—in that portfolio. I was proud of what we achieved. I recall visiting Rimutaka Prison one day. I sat there with six prisoners. They were about to be released, and I asked them—I said: “Look, what one thing would make a difference in your lives?”. One fellow said: “Actually, two things.” I said: “Two—OK.” He said: “Two things—a pack of cigarettes and a chocolate ice cream.” “But seriously”, I said. To a man, they said: “What we really want are jobs—we want jobs.” That was the key to getting out and staying out. That is why it was important to set up four more working prisons, host an employers’ summit alongside the Prime Minister, and double the number of educational learning places in prisons, while launching a secure online learning service.

I was also honoured to be the Minister for Ethnic Communities. I spoke in my maiden speech about the ethnic diversity of Maungakiekie and of New Zealand. This role allowed me to engage with the many faces of New Zealand’s ethnic communities, often through celebrations of culture, language, faith, and heritage. As a migrant to Aotearoa myself, I empathised with their plights and understood many of their issues and their ambitions.

Finally, in my health portfolio I was pleased I was able to pass the standardised packaging legislation. Of course, this was initiated by Dame Tariana Turia. Smoking kills, and it prematurely kills up to 4,500 to 5,000 New Zealanders a year. Standardised packaging is proven to reduce smoking rates, and I am glad that this Parliament supported that bill.

Of course, a ministerial office is a difficult place, where people are expected to serve under the most extreme of conditions. My staff did that, and more. I want to thank my staff for their contributions—and some of them are here today—especially Mark, Margaret, Gay, Lucy, Jess, Gail, Moa, Salote, and Colleen. I also want to acknowledge Caron, Alisi, and Luaipou.

I want to wind up this speech by giving thanks to the people of Maungakiekie for putting your trust in me to serve for the past 10 years. I believe I have left it in a better place, but you will be the judge of that. I know a lot of that progress is due to your resilience, your determination, and your spirit. I know that Peter, Amanda, and Sheryn are in the crowd today—thank you. I also leave knowing you are in capable hands with Denise Lee. She is one of us, a local—compassionate, hard-working, with a heart for people and public service.

From Parliament and all the people who make this institution a paragon of democracy to the over 700 people who serve this nation alongside us, the MPs, who often serve with very little kudos—thanks to the security staff, IT, Parliamentary Service, all the support staff, and, yes, even my favourite people, the press gallery.

To my parliamentary colleagues, this is said to be a caustic and a harsh place, but I have made many friendships across this Chamber. I will not name and shame you today, because I know some of you are seeking re-election. But I do want to wish you and your families well. To my caucus colleagues, you are a team of talented and gifted people whom I am proud to have served alongside.

We have had three terms because we have been focused on the things that matter to New Zealanders—jobs, affordable and accessible healthcare, quality educational services, and safer communities. We have been successful because we have been united in our resolve to serve New Zealanders of all hues. To gain a fourth term, you need to maintain that trust and confidence that comes with engaging with people for every hour of every day until 23 September.

May I acknowledge our leader, “the rock”, our Prime Minister Leuluaialii Bill English, or William Simon English—you are someone I admire and are one of my role models in this place, and I want to acknowledge you. You are a rock, and you are more stable and dependable than a rock star, I can say. My distant cousin, the original Rock, Dwayne Johnson—[Interruption] That is right. The Rock had a saying. He said: “Can you smell what The Rock is cooking?”. On 23 September I hope “the rock” is not cooking that pizza, but that you are cooking up a fourth term for the National Party.

May I thank a few mentors—Michael Bassett, John Sax, Tino Pereira, Sir John Graham, and Tim Edney. These people offered me sage advice, as well as caring about me as a person. A special thanks to my church family at Royal Oak Baptist Church. I know some of you are here today. To Edith, Indrani, Erik, and Karen—your prayers are always felt. To my men’s group—Nick, Rob, Steve, and Ben—your support has been immense.

To old friends, Leilua Winston, Lilomaiava Yvonne, Jo, and Ngawati, Malia, and Sailauama—you have all believed in me from the beginning, and you are even more supportive of me at the end.

Finally, to family: my siblings Lolita, Brigitta, Ken, and Julie. Thanks so much for supporting and tolerating me these past 10 years. Thanks to my parents for your sacrifice, your dedication, and your love. We miss you today, Dad, and I know you are watching with Samaria up there. To my Uncle Aiga—after Dad left you stepped up as my go-to guy. Thanks, uncle.

To the Iiga, Sio, Mailo, Kasupene, and Stevenson families, thank you. To Mum Stevo—she is up there somewhere—well, you are the gold standard for mothers-in-law, I can tell you; fakaue lahi for all your love and support. To Luka, my son—ah, my son—you arrived last year. He has only got two speeds, as you have heard. It is either full speed or asleep, and he is due for a sleep. Hope, the apple of my eye and the passionfruit of my heart. I will never forget—I told you last December that I was leaving Parliament. It was priceless. You said: “Gee, thanks, Daddy. It’s about time.” You have taught me that public service starts at home. I love you, Tiges.

To Jules, my eternal love: well, we started this journey together, as you know. I proposed to you at the end of my first Auckland Marathon, and I said I was ready to run the marathon of life with you. Well, today I propose that I am ready to do an Ironman. What does that mean? Well, I suggest one thing. I suggest that we pursue one of your dreams and make it one of ours. I love you, bubs.

Finally, I want to thank God. Yes, it is unfashionable to talk about faith in the public square, but every day I thank God for life, family, friends, and the privilege to serve here and live in this wonderful country that is Aotearoa New Zealand. I thank Jesus for his sacrifice and the Holy Spirit for his counsel.

I want to end my speech with a Māori proverb and a quick Samoan farewell.

[Authorised Te Reo text to be inserted by the Hansard Office.]

[Authorised translation to be inserted by the Hansard Office.]

It means: “To all members, be a champion for what you believe is right and, in doing so, be strong, but whatever you do, do it with love.” Finally:

Ia alofagia e le atua le moata nei

maua se tofa mai le Atua aua le fofoga fetalai ma sui mamalu o le Palemene,

ae ou ola I le alofa o le Silisili-ese.

Soifua ma ia manuia.

Thank you, and God bless.

Pese


Irrigated areas most swimmable

August 17, 2017

IrrigationNZ has shot another hole in Labour’s water tax policy:

IrrigationNZ is further challenging Labour’s plan to tax water used for irrigation to fund the clean-up of rivers after an analysis of the latest Ministry for the Environment data on water quality showed rivers in areas with irrigation are more swimmable than elsewhere.

The analysis undertaken by IrrigationNZ has compared irrigated area with river quality data for swimming by region. Graphics and maps can be found here. . . 

“By far the region with the least swimmable water was Auckland where 62% of rivers were graded as poor. Auckland was also the only region to have no rivers graded as good or excellent for swimming. The rivers with the worst quality were located within or close to the city’s urban area,” says IrrigationNZ Chief Executive Andrew Curtis.

“Labour was clear that money from this tax would not be used to fund urban waterway improvements so will the tax actually result in improvements where they are most needed?”

Over 80% of New Zealand’s irrigated land is located in Canterbury, Otago, Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay. However, only 4% of Canterbury rivers and 8% of Otago rivers have poor river quality for swimming.

One of those is the Kakanui River where it’s seagulls, not irrigation or farming, which are responsible for the poor quality.

This drops to 1% for Hawkes Bay and Marlborough. In fact all New Zealand regions with high levels of irrigation had fewer rivers graded poor for swimming than the New Zealand average. For example, Marlborough has New Zealand’s third highest proportion of irrigated land, yet has very clean rivers – with 90% of rivers graded as excellent or good for swimming.

By contrast, the country’s least suitable rivers for swimming are located in areas with the least irrigated land. After Auckland, Northland and Waikato had the highest percentage of rivers graded poor for swimming. In both regions less than 1% of their land area is irrigated.

Will tax result in improved rivers?

“Labour has clarified that the irrigation tax would be spent within the same region it is collected from. We would question whether the tax would raise enough money in areas with poor river swimmability to make the improvements promised,” Mr Curtis says.

“For example if $64 million was raised nationally from the tax, Canterbury would receive $41 million of this to spend in its region. However Northland would only receive $700,000 yet it has some of the least swimmable rivers in New Zealand, with 48% of rivers graded poor for swimmability, and only 4% of rivers classified as good or excellent.”

Poorer quality rivers not generally correlated with irrigation

IrrigationNZ also looked at data from the Ministry for the Environment on a range of other key measures of river health including clarity, nitrogen and phosphorus concentration and macroinvertebrate scores and compared these to irrigated land by region.

“When you look at the data it shows that poorer quality rivers are not generally correlated with high irrigation areas. There are a number of locations throughout the country such as Auckland, Waikato and Southland which have low amounts of irrigated land but poor river health. The exception to this would be nitrate levels in Canterbury which are high, but they are also high in a number of other locations with low irrigation,” Mr Curtis says.

“We acknowledge that irrigated land use is one factor which can impact on river health and irrigators are working hard to reduce the impact of their activities meeting strict new requirements such as nutrient discharge limits, irrigation efficiency, riparian protection – through the implementation of audited Farm Environment Plans.

Farmers are doing this themselves with their own funds. They neither need nor want money taken as tax, filtered through central and local government to have what’s left given back to them.

Worse, this tax would take money from farmers who have already done everything necessary to protect waterways and give it to those who have not.

If any farmers aren’t doing what they should be doing, it’s up to regional councils to make sure they do, at their own cost. That doesn’t need a new tax.

However, overall the data simply doesn’t support the idea that irrigation is the sole driver behind poor river quality,” he adds. “This is a misperception that has been heavily promoted to the New Zealand public that is simply not true.” . . .

That’s the sad reality. Anti-irrigation, anti-farming and anti-dairying propaganda has led to the belief that irrigation is the only cause of degraded waterways.

It’s not and it can help improve water quality and ecosystems by maintaining flows during dry weather.

The Ministry for the Environment Our Fresh Water 2017 report has more information on water quality.


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