Plan calls for ‘pol­luter pays’ pol­icy

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - JAMES PASLEY

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.

RICHARD MAYS/FAIRFAX NZ

Choose Clean Wa­ter’s spokesper­son Marnie Prick­ett says at the mo­ment coun­cils and busi­nesses can pol­lute ‘‘willy nilly’’.

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