HB Dairy farms “91% pure” – let’s do better

The Green Party has released a list of Hawke’s Bay dairy farms that breached resource consent conditions in 2006/7, and renewed calls for action to protect public rights to fish and swim in rivers.

“The list of dairy farm consent compliance in the 2006/7 year shows that 9% of Hawke’s Bay dairy farms did not comply with their consents even when minor non-compliance is excluded and 11% breached monitoring and reporting requirements”, said Tukituki candidate Quentin Duthie. …

“9% non-compliance differs from the Clean Streams Accord: Snapshot of Progress 2006/2007 report released in February, which said 7% of Hawke’s Bay dairy farms were non-compliant.

An October review of the actual data by Forest & Bird and Fish & Game not only found the report data flawed, but that water pollution from dairy has worsened since the Accord was signed!

The Clean Streams Accord – a voluntary agreement between Fonterra, Government and Councils – aims for fairly mild targets to improve water quality, but even these are not being achieved.

“Far from nearing the 2003 Accord target of immediate 100% compliance, 14% of NZ dairy farms breached consents in 2006/7 in a more-than-minor way.

“Hawke’s Bay is better than the national average, but 9% of farms letting the side down and contributing to our worsening water pollution is still too many.

”I hope the 2007/8 figures, which will be available soon, show a considerable improvement.

Yesterday the Green Party released its plan to clean up New Zealand’s rivers, lakes and aquifers to:

· Set firm target dates for councils to ensure rivers are swimmable again

· Encourage a requirement for consents to convert new areas to dairy and limit run-off

· Establishing a dedicated fund to support sustainable farming

· Measure and charge for commercial water use to encourage efficiency

· Allow councils to impose moratoria on water-takes for over-allocated catchments

Full statement on Dairy pollution

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