Science Media Centre

Science Media Centre

Q&As

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 […]

More work needed on environmental reporting – PCE

John Kerr posted in on June 30th, 2016.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright,  has released her commentary on a wide-ranging ‘State of the Environment’ report published last year, saying that the Ministry for the Environment needs to give more direction to policy makers. The Environment Aotearoa 2015 report, released by the Ministry and Statistics News Zealand last year, covered […]

What can be done to stop lake snot? – Dr Marc Schallenberg

John Kerr posted in on June 20th, 2016.

We need to fund more research into an algae clogging southern lakes says University of Otago’s Dr Marc Schallenberg on Stuff.co.nz. An excerpt (read in full here): What can be done to stop lake snot? Scientists need more funding to understand the degrading phenomenon of lake snot, now spreading through our southern lakes. MARC SCHALLENBERG explains. […]

Environment ‘report card’ – In the News

John Kerr posted in on October 23rd, 2015.

The ‘state of the environment’ report Environment Aoteoroa 2015 has received extensive media coverage. Released Wednesday, the report focuses on five areas (air, atmosphere and climate, fresh water, land, and marine) and presents the most reliable and up-to-date statistics. You can read more about the report, including extensive expert commentary collected by the SMC, here. […]

Forestry scheme reboot – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on May 12th, 2015.

The Government is restarting a forestry scheme that will pay landowners to plant forests, aiming to prevent erosion, improve water quality and mitigate our greenhouse gas emissions. This week the Government confirmed the Afforestation Grant Scheme will invest $22.5 million in forest planting over the next 6 years. The scheme provides grants of $1,300 a […]

New Zealand’s ‘blue economy’ – Dame Anne Salmond

John Kerr posted in on September 23rd, 2014.

Dame Anne Salmond, patron of the Te Awaroa 1000 Rivers Project, writes about the country’s ‘blue economy’ in the New Zealand Herald. An excerpt (read in full here): Dame Anne Salmond: Keep our wealth flowing Thorough analysis of our waterways essential if we’re to preserve our blue economy. Look at those extraordinary images of the […]

Election 2014 – SMC science Q&A with political parties

John Kerr posted in on September 8th, 2014.

The Science Media Centre put questions on key science-related issues to the political parties ahead of the General Election scheduled to be held on September 20.  This page has now been updated to include responses from the Maori Party. Please click on the links below to find the answers from responding political parties (or download […]

Dominion Post: Government efforts on water “shallow”

Peter Griffin posted in on July 11th, 2014.

In its Wednesday editorial, the Dominion Post tackles the issue of freshwater quality in New Zealand, and last week’s release of the Government’s compulsory minimum standards for freshwater ways. “The Government still isn’t serious about cleaning them up,” the editorial concludes.   An excerpt: (read in full here) Unfortunately, the bottom lines are too timid. […]

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 […]

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