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NZ Farmers Welcome Water Policy

12 November 2013, at 4:24am

NEW ZEALAND – Water policy is going to be scientifically, culturally and economically informed for the first time, says Federated Farmers of New Zealand.

This follows amendments to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, released last week in Wellington.

Ian Mackenzie, environment expert for the producer organisation welcomed the proposals, which provide an accounting system for measuring water quantity and quality.

He welcomed the town and country aspect of the policy and the minimum standards imposed by it.

“It won’t be easy and will need some sacrifice from agriculture and urban communities alike,” said Mr Mackenzie.

Nevertheless, he said the country’s primary industries were up for the challenge.

He commented: “It is a framework which provides an accounting system for measuring water quantity and quality. This reduces much of the subjective emotion that has typified the discussion and sets bottom lines for water quality.”

“It is a challenge that rightly starts by giving communities the full facts. This is helped by input provided by 60 of New Zealand’s foremost freshwater scientists."

“While the framework is not complete and needs details to flesh it out, it and the consultation now underway, are important steps towards a more open and honest discussion about water,” he concluded.

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