To: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon

Hands off the water protections

Christopher Luxon, keep your hands off the current freshwater protections to ensure safe drinking water and swimmable rivers for all

Why is this important?

Everyone has a right to know that the water coming out of their kitchen tap is safe to drink. We should all be able to take a dip in our local river without getting sick. 

But across Aotearoa, the health of lakes, rivers, and drinking water is worsening – and one of the worst contaminants is nitrate, coming from the intensive dairy industry. 

Now Christopher Luxon’s government plans to get rid of the only freshwater protections in New Zealand. They want to see more cows living in mud, polluting rivers with more sediment and cow effluent. 

And they’re removing Te Mana o Te Wai – a policy that puts the health of freshwater ecosystems first, the health of people second, and commercial use of water last. They are giving commercial interests free reign to pollute with no regard for the health of nature or people. 

This will put rural communities across the country, as well as entire cities like Christchurch, at risk of unsafe levels of nitrate contamination in their drinking water. And it will lead to more unswimmable lakes and rivers. 

New Zealanders may have voted for a change of Government, but they did not vote for unsafe drinking water. They didn’t vote for lakes and rivers to be treated like open sewers.

For the sake of all New Zealanders, Luxon must keep his hands off the freshwater protections.

Release: Government repeal of Te Mana o Te Wai condemning rural communities to unsafe drinking water, Greenpeace