Plan calls for ‘polluter pays’ policy
A national freshwater plan is advocating for a ‘ polluter pays’ policy to be enforced in Auckland.
Earlier this month political parties were urged to adopt a seven-step plan to help address the country’s freshwater quality issues.
The plan, put together by tourism, science, health, recreation and environment organisations, recommended a ’polluter pays’ policy was adopted by councils, making organisations financially responsible for pollution.
Choose Clean Water was one of the organisations involved with the plan. Its spokesperson Marnie Prickett said there were not strong enough consequences in place to deter Auckland polluters.
’’At the moment if you can pollute willy nilly, there’s no incentive to innovate and change your infrastructure.’’
Auckland Council’s Healthy Waters strategy and resilience manager Andrew Chin said a polluter pays scheme would be difficult to implement because of the complexity around monitoring all pollution incidents, particularly if the activity did not require a resource consent or was from scattered sources.
While environment minister Dr Nick Smith said the Government would not adopt the plan, calling its proposals ‘‘simplistic’’ the Green Party’s water spokeswoman Catherine Delahunty said it supported the policy.
Choose Clean Water’s spokesperson Marnie Prickett says at the moment councils and businesses can pollute ‘‘willy nilly’’.