The Green Party today challenged the Government to take urgent to action to address our poor water quality given that New Zealand's ranking has dropped to 43rd in the Government's favourite environmental performance study, Yale University's Environmental Performance Index.
The Yale University Water Quality Index ranks New Zealand 43rd out of 132 countries with a score of 40.3 out of 100 for ecosystem vitality for freshwater. Additional information has seen the report shift to reflect more accurately New Zealand's poor freshwater quality. Countries with a similar ranking for Water Resources (Ecosystem Effects) to New Zealand were Panama, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Belarus, Cameroon, Tanzania and Kenya.
John Key again used the Yale University study in Parliament today, to justify his Government's poor environmental record. He appeared to be unaware of the massive drop in New Zealand's "Water Resources (Ecosystem Effects)" ranking.
"The Government needs to heed this report and improve our water quality. Clear rules for freshwater can help do that," said Green Party water spokesperson Eugenie Sage.
"There are numerous studies that highlight the relentless degradation of water quality in New Zealand.
"The 'canaries in the coal mine' for our waterways, our native freshwater fish, are under threat. Sixty eight per cent of native freshwater fish as well as the only freshwater crayfish and mussel species are now threatened with extinction.
"The Government must stop procrastinating and implement the recommendations of the Land and Water Forum to develop numeric standards for water quality.
"We need a national environmental standard which sets clear limits of on the pollution load which our rivers and lakes can handle," said Ms Sage.