National MP Stuart Smith said looking at how much National was investing on freshwater clean-ups compared with the previous government, the record was clear on who took fresh water seriously.
‘‘We are moving to a system which requires councils to improve the swimmability of their rivers and lakes over the year,’’ he said. ’’Under the new proposal, over 50,000 kilometres of waterways will be improved for swimming.’’
The plan was backed up by national regulations, Smith said.
The Green Party aimed to strengthen regulation to protect the sources of drinking water and reduce risk of contamination, candidate Richard McCubbin said, would put an immediate levy of 10c per litre on bottled water exports, and reinstate the drinking water subsidy .
‘‘When we came to Waikari in 1986 my kids could swim in any river and we could trust that the water from the tap was safe. Now we can’t .Our health and overseas