Water quality is the biggest concern for Kiwis

A new poll has found that the number one pressing issue for Kiwis is the quality of the water in lakes and rivers. Not rapidly rising rents, not housing availability, not child poverty, not immigration, not the rising road toll… not even the quality of drinking water, for that matter. Nope. The state of the water in lakes and rivers is the most important issue to Kiwis.

This was the lead story on One News on Thursday night.

If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. Good quality, second hand, only one previous owner.

It is reported in Stuff of course. Where else? quote.

A new opinion poll has revealed pollution in New Zealand’s rivers and lakes is worrying Kiwis more than any other issue.
The?nation-wide Colmar Brunton poll conducted for Fish & Game New Zealand in December showed that???82 per cent of people surveyed were?extremely or very concerned about the issue. end quote.

I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe it. There are much bigger issues in the country today than the quality of rivers and lakes. The questions must have been deliberately skewed for an outcome like that. quote.

Freshwater pollution was also the top concern, beating living costs and the health system, which were 78 per cent and and 72 per cent respectively.??Four percent of the respondents said they were not that concerned with the pollution of lakes and rivers.
The health system was third with 78 percent, followed by child poverty 72 percent, education and climate change both on 70 percent and housing 67 percent. end quote.

Climate change features in a lot of conversations that I have these days, from plastic bags to coastal erosion, to the fact that it is summer and hot, therefore it must be caused by global warming. I cannot remember when I last had a conversation about the quality of river water. After that, the main topics tend to be Trump, the UN Migration Compact, Trump, migration, Trump, the cost of living, Trump and shortfalls in the health system. Not river quality. As you can see, Trump is a common feature in discussions in our household. But not rivers. Not ever. quote.

This is the second year Colmar Brunton has conducted the survey for Fish and Game. Last year, water pollution was in second place with 75 percent of people expressing concern.

It showed the depth of feeling New Zealanders have about their rivers, lakes and streams,?Fish & Game New Zealand chief executive Martin Taylor said.
“This opinion poll result shows they are fed up and want action on this issue.” end quote.

Of course, the fact that the survey is commissioned by Fish and Game probably tells you something, but it is claimed that this is a nationwide poll. Do people in Mangere really care about the state of our rivers? Or Porirua? What about the people in Hawkes Bay who cannot find rental accommodation? Or in Blenheim, where there are 70 applicants for each private rental?

Here is what it is really all about, of course. quote.

The dairy boom had resulted in most of New Zealand’s lowland streams are going to be unfit for swimming for food collection and for swimming.
“That’s what we have let happen.” end quote


This is nothing more than yet another attack on farmers. Everyone seems to forget that, when Bill English was Prime Minister, he pointed out that farmers had fenced the equivalent of the distance between Auckland and Texas. That sounds like a lot of fencing to me.

In other words, this is just another piece of propaganda. I’d bet that the Greens are behind this somehow. They hate farmers. Yet everyone seems to forget about how important agriculture is to our economy. We would be a much poorer country without it.

Farmers can never do anything right, but Fish and Game are stupid if they are trying to get onside with the Greens. Have they forgotten all about the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill, currently at the select committee stage? This is going to put a big dampener on angling as a sport, with certain species of fish likely to be removed from rivers all together because of the risk to ‘indigenous’ fish?

But, you know, people are stupid, as I have pointed out many times over plastic bags. If the question is worded correctly, they will simply follow the lead and forget about hospital waiting lists, rising rents, child poverty and climate change. They will simply say the right thing and behave like sheep.

Or possibly, like reef fish.