National’s clean water policy is laudable, but they’re getting beaten up

Government?s commitment to strengthening national policy requirements for swimmable lakes and rivers is great news for the community, Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey says.

Doocey said the Waimak?s unique set of circumstances – of rapid growth, mix of urban and peri-urban areas, and its regeneration – made water management a key part of the Waimakariri success story.

“Water usage is an important topic for this area; in Waimakariri, freshwater is in our name and our economic and recreational success is linked to our water usage,” Doocey said.

“When I attended the local community water usage talks last year I was impressed by the collaboration between Environment Canterbury, the Waimakariri District Council and other partners, including local iwi and the community. Their evidence-based approach demonstrates the ability for issues to be managed at a local level.”

Doocey also brought Associate Conservation Minister Nicky Wagner to Waimakariri last year to be briefed on the work being undertaken by the Kaiapoi River Rehabilitation Group to rehabilitate the Kaiapoi River.

“It?s important to me to be an effective MP by bringing Ministers into the electorate to hear our views on how things can be improved. I know the group appreciated the opportunity to speak directly to the Associate Minister. Government?s commitment to have 90 percent of our rivers and lakes swimmable by 2014 demonstrates we have been heard,” Doocey said.

National has done more to try and clean the waterways and lakes than any other party, but now that they are setting standards for improvement, all that Labour and Green are doing is saying that National is “too slow”, “just talking” and I even heard one Labour MP saying that the only thing National did was to change the goalposts.

They did. ?In the sense that before National set standards, there weren’t any.

But that is lost on the public who just hear the media harping on about how “under National, not one river has been improved to meet its own standards”.

In short, National are getting minced over what is essentially a Green policy.

Of all the political capital National could be spending on improving New Zealand, why they gave gone to the left of Labour to compete for Green party votes is beyond me.

In the meantime, they’ve turned provincial New Zealand into the enemy. ?Heartland National voters are not hearing anything that will value their vote. ?Instead, they are under further attack from a party that has been their traditional home.