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Expert Reactions

OECD rates NZ’s environmental performance – Expert Reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on March 21st, 2017.

The OECD’s latest report on New Zealand’s environmental performance warns that the country’s growth is starting to show environmental limits, including increased greenhouse gas emissions, freshwater contamination and threats to biodiversity. The third OECD Environmental Performance Review of New Zealand made 50 recommendations and noted the country has the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions […]

Toxic algal blooms in NZ – Expert Q&A

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on February 27th, 2017.

UPDATED: Last week, the New Zealand Government announced its intention to make 90 per cent of NZ’s waterways ‘swimmable’ by 2040. Yet with Summer hitting its peak, rivers and lakes are across the country are being closed to swimmers due to toxic algal blooms. The SMC asked Cawthron Institute’s Dr Susie Wood about whether these […]

Govt plan for swimmable rivers by 2040 – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on February 24th, 2017.

The Government plans to ensure 90 per cent of New Zealand rivers and streams are “swimmable” by 2040, but critics have said to achieve the goal it has changed what qualifies as swimmable. The target, announced yesterday, is estimated to cost the Government, farmers and councils $2 billion over the intervening 23 years. Other additions […]

Climate change already at work in NZ – Report – In the News

John Kerr posted in on April 19th, 2016.

The impacts of climate change are already visible in New Zealand and will get worse unless drastic action is taken to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases, warns a new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand. The report identifies key areas of risk including: coastal margins; flooding from rivers; availability of and competition […]

New measures for managing freshwater – In the News

John Kerr posted in on February 22nd, 2016.

Stronger rules on farm pollution and a $100 million for cleaning up lakes and rivers are among new initiatives put forward by the Government to improve freshwater management. The measures were announced at the Bluegreens Forum in Tekapo, with a consultation document titled ‘Next steps for fresh water’ released by Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith […]

Freshwater national standards set – experts respond

Dacia Herbulock posted in on July 3rd, 2014.

New standards for freshwater announced today for the first time set quantitative limits for water quality. Incorporating the national “bottom lines” for water quality put forward for consultation last year, the new standards will take effect from 1 August 2014, with a deadline for implementation by regional councils moved forward to 2025. A high-level summary including infographics on freshwater quantity […]

Ruataniwha irrigation dam decision – expert responds

Dacia Herbulock posted in on April 16th, 2014.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted resource consent to a proposed irrigation dam that will be the largest built in New Zealand for over 20 years. The Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme, led by the Hawkes Bay Regional Council, proposes construction of a major irrigation dam in the Tukituki River catchment. Extensive modelling and environmental impact […]

LAWA site gives clarity to water quality

John Kerr posted in on March 20th, 2014.

Freshwater quality data from rivers all over New Zealand have been brought together in one place with a simple, user-friendly website. The Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) website, launched in Wellington this week, is a collaboration between New Zealand’s 16 regional and unitary councils, the Ministry for the Environment (MFE), Cawthron Institute and Massey University. […]

Commisioner calls for clarity on clean water proposals

John Kerr posted in on February 5th, 2014.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment is calling on government to pick up its game on water standards. Current proposals for freshwater management are not adequate for protecting water quality to even existing levels in New Zealand, according to the Commissioner. Dr Wright outlined her concerns in a submission on Government’s proposed National Objectives Framework […]

Freshwater scientists call for urgent action

Dacia Herbulock posted in on December 10th, 2012.

Experts in freshwater quality, management and biodiversity have signed on to a series of recommendations, released today, they say are critical to turning around New Zealand’s worsening record on water quality. Polluted waterways, invasive pests and weeds, waterborne illness and the absence of legal protection for critically endangered freshwater species are among the problems highlighted […]

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