22 Nov 2011

Greens focus on water quality ahead of polling day

9:08 am on 22 November 2011

The Green Party says cleaning up New Zealand's waterways is the key environmental issue this election.

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Co-leader Russel Norman has been paddling waterways up and down New Zealand to draw attention to the state of the country's fresh water.

On Monday, he kayaked along the Waikato River near Mercer to highlight the polluted state of the lower reaches of the waterway.

Dr Norman says National and Labour have put forward water clean-up plans, but neither is as comprehensive as the Green Party's in addressing the causes of pollution.

He says the Greens want minimum standards of water quality and standards around intensive agriculture.

Dr Norman says intensive agriculture is basically unregulated and, given the serious impacts it is having on waterways, the volume of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus coming from farms should be regulated.