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Government Needs To Be Tough On Polluters, Dunne

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Nov 26 NZPA - Government and local authorities need to crack down on polluters, United Future leader Peter Dunne said today.

His statement followed the Manawatu River bring called one of the most polluted in the Western world, according to a report by Cawthron Institute, a sustainable management researcher.

"Far too long fertiliser run-off and effluent discharge has gone unpunished in this country, immediate action is needed by both central government and local authorities if we wish to give our children rivers and lakes they can fish, swim and drink from," Mr Dunne said.

"I fully support imposing tough limits on fertiliser use and waste discharge, as I do not believe industry self-regulation and best practice guidelines are strong enough incentives for many polluters."

The Manawatu is contaminated with industrial waste, treated sewage and farm runoff.

It landed at the top a measurement of 300 rivers and streams across North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, The Dominion Post newspaper reported today. "The shocking report on the state of the Manawatu River highlights the urgent need for action," said Mr Dunne.

"New Zealand can no longer afford to rest on its laurels as a clean, green nation, because that concept is beginning to sound a little hollow."

The Manawatu had the highest reading by far, under a system measuring oxygen changes in water, almost twice as much as the second worse.

It measured at 107, when anything over 8 is considered an unhealthy river ecosystem.

"The research highlighting the sorry state of the Manawatu River is more than just another wake-up call," Mr Dunne said.

"Government and local authorities have for a long-time talked the talk, it's now time to walk the walk."

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