Will your party support measures to monitor water health, including, oceans, rivers, streams and underground tributaries, and will this data be publically available?
Labour believes that high quality data is essential for effective environmental management, including of freshwater. Decision-makers need robust and consistent data sets to make informed decisions about managing and allocating water, and that data should be available to the public.
Greater monitoring of freshwater quality is required by our new National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020. Greater real-time reporting of water use by water permit holders is also required.
Labour intends to improve New Zealand’s environmental reporting system, informed by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s 2019 report, Focusing Aoteoroa New Zealand’s environmental reporting system.
Yes. From the maunga to moana, water is a taonga which must be protected, but too many rivers, lakes, and wetlands have been polluted over the years, and river flows have fallen below healthy levels. At the same time, climate change disrupts rainfall patterns, putting rivers at risk from both drought and flooding. Accurate, publicly available data about water quality is an essential part of the solution to cleaning up our waterways.
Work has already begun to more accurately and frequently monitor the health of our waterways. Stats NZ’s new Indicators Aotearoa New Zealand programme, initiated by the Green Party in government, includes water as a key element of environmental reporting, with work underway to ensure the collection of this information is useful and widespread and results are publicly available.