Water pollution ranks as a top concern for Kiwis

by RNZ / 08 January, 2018
RelatedArticlesModule - water quality

River and lake pollution has been been ranked as one of the country's top concerns in a public opinion poll. Photo / Jessie Chiang

A new poll finds water quality is outranked only by the cost of living as a concern for New Zealanders. 

River and lake pollution has been ranked as one of the country's top concerns in a public opinion poll.

The Colmar Brunton poll surveyed a thousand New Zealanders, 75 percent of which said they were extremely or very concerned about the pollution of waterways.

The cost of living was the only issue which trumped river and lake pollution, worrying 77 percent of those surveyed.

Fish and Game chief executive Martin Taylor said over the past year alone concerns had grown and would continue to stay relevant to the New Zealand public.

"When you can't swim in Lake Taupō because of the toxic alert it remains in front of the public eye.

"When you have to cancel an international sporting event in Taupō because of water quality when Lake Ellesmere is so toxic that it's going to kill your pet - it will remain in the public eye," he said.

Mr Taylor said 2018 needed to be the year of change from both the government and the corporate dairy industry.

Signs warning of algae bloom in Taupō Lake last year. Photo / Rebekah Parsons-King

"Fonterra and Dairy NZ should take note of these results. They show the tens of millions of dollars they've spent on slick PR to try and change people's minds isn't working," Mr Taylor said.

But a Fonterra spokesperson refuted Fish and Game's comments.

"Our farmers are working extremely hard to improve the country's rivers. That includes investing around a billion dollars to fence 98 percent of significant waterways, plant riverbanks, build wetlands and install effluent management systems that help prevent nitrogen leaching," they said.

Fonterra said while some of the countries rivers were in a good state, some had been negatively impacted by agricultural intensification, urban expansion and industrial pollution.

"We want to be part of the effort that puts that right," they said.

Fonterra has also announced plans to improve 50 of New Zealand's freshwater catchments.

This article was originally published by RNZ.

MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

Climate change: New study finds worst case scenario might not be as bad
85994 2018-01-18 08:27:48Z Environment

Climate change: New study finds worst case scenari…

by Charlie Dreaver

Global warming's worst case scenario may not be as bad as previously thought, a new climate change study says.

Read more
The science of sibling rivalries
85949 2018-01-18 00:00:00Z Science

The science of sibling rivalries

by Sally Blundell

Who was the favourite? Who got the most? Sibling relationships set up patterns that last a lifetime.

Read more
The Post – movie review
85900 2018-01-18 00:00:00Z Movies

The Post – movie review

by Peter Calder

Meryl Streep shines in Steven Spielberg’s thrilling Nixon-era newspaper drama.

Read more
Homegrown rosé: The best of New Zealand's pink wine
86039 2018-01-18 00:00:00Z Wine

Homegrown rosé: The best of New Zealand's pink win…

by Michael Cooper

More people are reaching for a home-grown tinted tipple of rosé.

Read more
MetroLOLs for January
85710 2018-01-18 00:00:00Z Humour

MetroLOLs for January

by Metro

This month's LOLs include: Things your office is planning to implement in 2018 to “cater to millennials”.

Read more
Ending solo mum sanction could cost govt $25m a year
85960 2018-01-17 13:14:44Z Social issues

Ending solo mum sanction could cost govt $25m a ye…

by Craig McCulloch

Officials warn the cost could blow out "considerably" if the plan encourages more mothers not to name their baby's father.

Read more
Confessions of a shoplifter
85914 2018-01-17 07:11:11Z Crime

Confessions of a shoplifter

by Anonymous

A sticky-fingered habit finally catches up with a young Kiwi crim, who discovers the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Read more
Tidy Kiwis? We generate 734kg of waste each per year - and it's growing
85908 2018-01-17 06:59:32Z Environment

Tidy Kiwis? We generate 734kg of waste each per ye…

by Nita Blake-Persen

The government is vowing to cut the amount of waste New Zealanders create, which is estimated to be among the highest in the developed world.

Read more