Water pollution in New Zealand made a splash on UK television in 2011 when Prime Minister John Key stumbled over criticism of the polluted state of New Zealand’s freshwater, and whether that lined up with the 100% Pure image we peddle to tourists. This is not an issue that is likely to go away while New Zealand continues to pursue a policy of dairy intensification, along with other industrial developments.
So it’s heartening to see the nation’s cleantech entrepreneurs rising to this challenge. Hydroxsys, started by engineer Daryl Briggs, is developing a thin film membrane that could save up to 80 per cent of the energy used in water filtering and radically improve the results.
And Auckland-based Stormwater 360 has created an innovative range of stormwater management systems.
Greg Yeoman, director at Stormwater 360, reckoned government support for companies like his had improved in the last few years. His firm had benefitted from research and development funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and now Callaghan Innovation.
He says: “Water pollution prevention and re-use of water as a resource is rapidly becoming a major focus globally with increased population and industry, and declining water quality.”
The contents of a Queen Street drain, as rescued by ocean charity Sustainable Coastlines. Photo: supplied.
Greg Yeoman of Stormwater 360.