What does actually Nick have to do to get the arse?

Conservationists and the opposition say government’s changes to clean water standards are a “shambles” and “trickery”, after an official report found the new rules may weaken some regulations.

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) this week released its report into the government’s proposed changes to freshwater management policy.

It found although the new standards were tougher than the 2014 standards for boating and wading quality, they lowered the standard for the “minimum acceptable state” for swimming.

However, the report did note the 2014 swimability standard was “very high” – equivalent to an “excellent” grade under European Union standards.

Minister for the Environment Nick Smith on Tuesday said the government would be reopening submissions on the proposal to the public and extending the deadline for scientific reports on the details of the grading outlined by Niwa.

Somehow the whole idea seems to be that even naturally, all rivers should be pristine.  That’s patently impossible as well as absurd.  

Since the proposal was announced this year – with the aim of getting 90 per cent of lakes and rivers safe for swimming by 2040 – the government has denied the goalposts had been shifted, saying environmental groups were confusing different standards.

Smith said the Niwa report would help inform the plan going forward.

“The grading system has generated significant debate and these reports provide more information on how the grading system compares internationally and the level of precaution they are based on,” he said.

The reports also confirmed that changes to the National Policy Statement would allow a significant improvement in the microbiological water quality of waterways, he said.

If you don’t like the measurements, change the ruler.

NIWA are superb at that as well.


– NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.