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NZRA sees good and bad in new swimmable rivers target

NZRA sees good and bad in new swimmable rivers target
February 24, 2017

The New Zealand Recreation Association has welcomed yesterday’s announcement that the New Zealand Government will work towards ensuring 90% of New Zealand's lakes and rivers reach swimmable water quality standards by 2040.

However, it has criticised the lowering of the standard itself.

NZRA Chief Executive Andrew Leslie said it was fantastic to see New Zealanders’ recreational interests in rivers and lakes featured so prominently in the government announcement.

Leslie explained “swimming is the second most popular form of recreation in New Zealand, with more than 30% of our population taking a dip every year, while fishing is our fifth most popular recreational pursuit.”

NZRA’s submission to the ‘Fresh Water: Next Steps’ consultation document, released last year, emphasised the vital importance of changing the freshwater quality target from ‘wadeable” to ‘swimmable’.

He added “we are pleased that our suggestion has been taken up. It is critical that as a country, we have ready access to clean natural places in which to go for a swim or fish, so it is great to see that the terminology has been changed.”

However, Leslie did express concern about the change in the Government’s definition of ‘swimmable’, and urged people to exercise a level of caution before jumping in boots and all in support of the new target.

He concluded “while the emphasis on recreational use is very positive, simply adopting a lower standard of what is acceptable is somewhat of a let-down.”

Image: Swimming in the Karamea River.

23rd February 2017 - NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES PLANS TO MAKE 90% OF WATERWAYS SWIMMABLE BY 2040

16th January 2017 - ADVOCACY GROUP CALLS FOR AN END TO THE EXPLOITATION OF NEW ZEALAND’S RIVERS

28th December 2016 - HORIZONS REGIONAL COUNCIL INCREASES MONITORING OF POPULAR SWIM SPOTS 

20th December 2016 - NEW ONLINE GUIDE TO SAFE SWIMMING LAUNCHED 

12th November 2016 - NZRA ANNOUNCES 2016 AWARD WINNERS

24th October 2016 - BEST PRACTICE AQUATIC INDUSTRY GUIDELINES FROM THE NZRA

22nd April 2016 - FRESH WATER VITAL TO NEW ZEALAND’S GREEN TOURISM BRAND

2nd February 2016 - NEW ZEALAND TO DEVELOP NATIONAL FACILITIES BENCHMARKING TOOL

29th January 2016 - TOURISM INDUSTRY WANTS IMPROVED PROTECTION FOR NEW ZEALAND WATERWAYS


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