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Working to improve water quality and ecosystem health
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Environment Aotearoa report reinforces pressures on our freshwater
Today the Environment Aotearoa 2019 report was released by the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ.
This report highlights the most pressing environmental issues Aotearoa is facing – across our ecosystems and biodiversity, our land, our freshwater and marine resources, and our climate.
This report reinforces what we learned from the Our Freshwater domain report in 2017 – and what we hear every day from New Zealanders all over the country - Our waterways are under pressure.
Key facts from the report include:
What we’re doing about our freshwater
The pressures on our freshwater raised in this report make up the agenda for our Essential Freshwater work programme that is currently underway.
We are making rapid progress on developing policies that are intended to set us on the path to healthier freshwater and a fair and efficient freshwater management system. The intention is to put proposals forward for public discussion, likely in July.
We are grateful for the ongoing hard work and thoughtful input of the members of Te Kāhui Wai Māori, the Freshwater Leaders Group, the Science and Technical Advisory Group and the Regional Sector Water group. These groups represent a broad spectrum of New Zealanders. Every member of every group has shown their determination to take this opportunity to limit freshwater pollution and protect this precious taonga.
Te Kāhui is focused on the importance of Te Mana o te Wai as an overarching framework for freshwater care that underpins policy, practice and decision-making.
The Freshwater Leaders Group has been providing input on all aspects of the policy programme, with a focus on how the elements interact to achieve the goal of healthier freshwater.
The Science and Technical Advisory Group members have advised the Ministry on a wide range of science topics, including managing all aspects of ecosystem health.
The chair of the Regional Sector Water group, Waikato Regional Council Chief Executive Vaughan Payne says improving freshwater is a high priority to the regional sector (regional and unitary councils across NZ).
Alongside our work on freshwater, the Ministry for the Environment is also working with others on comprehensive reforms that address the full range of issues highlighted in the Environment Aotearoa 2019 report.