To: Ministry for the Environment

NZ Deserves Honest Swimming Standards

This campaign has ended.

We ask that the Ministry for the Environment and the Minister for the Environment honour the call from the public for a swimmable bottom line for our waterways, by writing the Ministry of Health's guidelines into the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.

We do not support the Government's worse swimming standards for freshwater.[1]

We support a return to the Ministry of Health's microbiological guidelines for New Zealand's swimming standards. This is where an acceptable swimming standard is an E. coli count of 260 per 100 mL of freshwater (95th percentile).[2]

Why is this important?

A recently released report from NIWA showed that the Government's proposed swimming standards were worse than those from the 2014 policy. Despite the Government claiming to have a goal of swimmable rivers by 2040, their policy weakened human health standards and only applies to 10% of the whole country's waterways.

This won't solve our problems. It will only make them worse.

Please use this form to make an official submission to the Ministry for the Environment's National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management. Submissions are open now until 5pm Thursday 25 May.

New Zealanders have asked the Government and the Ministry for the Environment again and again for a genuine swimmable bottom line for rivers & lakes. Aotearoa New Zealand has serious problems of freshwater contamination and polluted rivers and lakes. We must take steps to stop this situation from getting worse and to begin to turn this around.

The first step is to write strong protection for rivers and lakes into our country's freshwater policy. We can do this now and, in doing so, it will influence the work of local councils, industry and government to improve freshwater management so that rivers and lakes are protected for all New Zealanders.

The OECD wrote in its 2017 Environmental Performance Review that New Zealand is reaching environmental limits and that freshwater pollution is one of areas of degradation that threatens the health of our people, our environment and our economy.

As Sir Peter Gluckman, the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor said in a recent interview on his report on the state of the nation's freshwater, "The reality is we cannot keep going as we have been."

He's right and the public is right. We have to change and the first step for improving the health of our rivers and lakes is this freshwater policy. It is the document on which decisions around the country will be made. Let's make it the best and the strongest it can be for the sake of this beautiful country.

[1] https://niwa.co.nz/news/niwa-technical-background-report-for-mfe-clean-water-swimmability-proposals-for-rivers
[2] http://www.mfe.govt.nz/sites/default/files/microbiological-quality-jun03.pdf

Updates

2017-05-24 10:09:59 +1200

1,000 signatures reached

2017-05-24 08:57:57 +1200

500 signatures reached

2017-05-23 18:16:45 +1200

100 signatures reached

2017-05-23 17:51:32 +1200

50 signatures reached

2017-05-23 17:41:59 +1200

25 signatures reached

2017-05-23 17:38:25 +1200

10 signatures reached