Pollution of rivers not a quick fix

During the leaders' debate on TV1 both leaders commented re the pollution of NZ rivers. This pollution did not take nine years – the National party's current term. Lots of the pollution occurred during the prior Labour term. Pollution of our rivers has been a continuous problem starting as far back as when farming first started in NZ.

Both parties bear equal amounts of responsibility for the current levels of pollution but not as much as the farmers, landowners and manufacturers, including freezing works, do. One cannot blame the farmers of the past because they were not aware of what they were doing, but the farmers and manufacturers and landowners of the past 30 years know full well that they bear almost the full responsibility for pollution in NZ, not any government or political party. Politicians are only guilty of not establishing some form of legislation and controls on stocking levels and run-off from farms. Local councils carry as much guilt for not controlling output from factories into waterways.

Sadly for New Zealanders, Labour can only see taxation as a way out of the predicament rather than controls and legislation. At least the current government has been working towards a solution without extra tax and we must allow time for results from what is being done today. We cannot expect over 100 years of pollution to be fixed in 10 or even 20 years.

A Bourne, Bethlehem (Abridged)


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