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Forest & Bird welcomes the Action for Healthy Waterways discussion document but considers that significant changes are required to achieve Ministers’ intention to make real change as quickly as possible.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s unique freshwater animals are dying because of the state of our water and loss of habitat. An international assessment of New Zealand’s freshwater flora and fauna concluded that New Zealand has “one of the most endangered freshwater habitats in the world”. Nationally, 76 percent of freshwater fish species are threatened with extinction, which is double the global average; and things are getting worse not better, with some species on the brink of extinction.

Our submission makes comment around the following themes: 

  • integrated management of water quality, water quantity and freshwater habitats
  • timeframes for achieving targets
  • managing land use as part of effective freshwater planning
  • equitable and efficient nitrogen allocation
  • consideration of receiving environments
  • scientifically-derived national bottom lines 
  • wetlands
  • no sector exclusions
  • better drinking water protection.
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