MIL-OSI New Zealand: Politics and Environment – OIA reveals Department of Conservation advised against scrapping freshwater protections – Greenpeace

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Source: Greenpeace

Email correspondence obtained by Greenpeace through the Official Information Act reveals that the Department of Conservation advised against the coalition Government’s proposal to scrap critical freshwater protections.
In response to a draft cabinet bill on proposed changes to the Resource Management Act through the Resource Management (Freshwater and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, the Department of Conservation (DOC) wrote, “Overall, we consider that the proposed changes are a step backwards for fresh water, and will impact adversely on New Zealand’s image and primary sector marketing. Other approaches to addressing costs for some farmers have been and should be preferred.”
Greenpeace spokesperson Sinéad Deighton-O’Flynn says, “This is further evidence that the Luxon Government is pursuing its war on nature despite advice from its own Government departments. It appears that dairy industry profits are being prioritised over environmental interests, and that’s unacceptable.”
“All New Zealanders should be able to swim in clean rivers and safely drink the water from their kitchen tap. However these policies will lead to more unswimmable rivers and drinking water contaminated with nitrate.
“The advice also highlights a rushed consultation timeframe, meaning that even environmental advocates within Government departments are struggling to provide detailed advice on the anti-nature policies being thrown at them,” says Deighton-O’Flynn.
The advice, dated 26 March 2024, states that DOC was given “limited opportunity for input” and so could “only note that the additional adverse effects of the proposed changes may be significant for some catchments, protected areas and species.”
Greenpeace has been calling on the coalition Government to scrap the proposed Resource Management reforms. Nearly ten thousand people have signed Greenpeace’s petition calling on Christopher Luxon to ‘keep his hands off freshwater protections’, and the March for Nature over the weekend drew more than twenty thousand people in opposition to the Government’s wider anti-nature policies.

MIL OSI New Zealand News