You might be aware that New Zealand has run an extensive worldwide campaign saying we're 100% Pure, which has cost us millions of dollars. This claim is of course untrue. 90% of our low land River’s and 50% of our lakes are highly polluted. You’re likely to be afflicted with sickness if you swim or drink from these polluted waters, something John Key is not aware of as exposed in this BBC Hardtalk interview. Talk about being divorced from reality.
That report, covering the 2009 to 2010 summer period, is not good reading for many regions. Of 206 rivers, lakes, lagoons and estuaries tested regularly by local councils, only 57 per cent were found to be safe for swimming most of the time.
John Campbell ran a good story the other night concerning the Waituna Lagoon, a renowned Ramser site of international significance. It’s close to flipping, which means it’s on the verge of collapse. Everything will die because of a lack of viable functioning ecological systems. It’s being decimated by cowshit, something the spokesman and CEO for Dairy NZ, a Dr Tim Mackle does not accept as a fact. In this interview, the mealy-mouthed denier tries to protect dirty dairying:
Did we hear you right Dr Tim… Did you just say that you’re not convinced the Waituna Lagoon pollution is a result of effluent runoff from farms? For fucks sack man. I realise you're paid the big bucks to try and protect your farmers, but please don’t lie to the public about a serious problem that has to be addressed. It's a sad fact that profitability is increased by utilizing polluting procedures, something Farmer's wont give up without a fight.
If Dairy NZ does not think the huge amounts of effluent in our waterways is a problem, Council's are complacent about the pollution and the Government is half heartedly addressing the issues; there’s not much hope that NZ will ever clean up its act. Just in case you might believe what Dr Tim Mackle is saying, here are some facts about dirty dairying:
|Click image for large map of Waituna.|
Many of our major rivers, even the apparently pristine Motu, are unsuitable for swimming, a Niwa study revealed. The “swimmability” of 77 of the country’s main rivers for which water quality monitoring is regularly done, shows the Motu, the Waipaoa, the Waikohu and the Mohaka Rivers in the East Coast area plus many others are degraded. Analysis has been carried out as part of the National Rivers Water Quality Network programme by the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Science. Niwa says the Waipaoa River at Kanakanaia is the worst on its list and is totally unsuitable for swimming.
The report showed that one in nine freshwater swimming spots, including popular west coast lagoons, often had too much faecal matter to be safe for bathing. The Niwa report says data from 1989 to 2007 shows an overall degradation in the water quality in New Zealand’s major rivers. It says nitrogen and phosphorus, key plant nutrients added to fertilisers increased strongly at many sites. These, plus faecal microbes and sediments, are key contaminants and many waterways in dairy land are among the most polluted.
The report also says monitoring shows that diffuse pollution from land use is overwhelmingly the main cause of water quality degradation. Did you understand that Dr Tim Mackle?
Even the Minister of the Environment Nick Smith said the Government and Environment Southland had been slow in providing the necessary controls to properly protect water bodies such as Waituna Lagoon.
|The Internationally renowned and now polluted Waituna lagoon.|
"I also think Environment Southland must take some responsibility in that it has chosen not to use powers available to it under the Resource Management Act to better manage farm intensification,” said Dr Smith.