13 Apr 2017

Plea to govt to strengthen 'swimmable river' policy

7:16 pm on 13 April 2017

A Canterbury regional councillor wants the government's plan to make 90 percent of rivers swimmable by 2040 strengthened.

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An aerial shot of the Waimakariri river in Canterbury. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The plan has been criticised by environmental groups who argue the government has lowered the threshold for what qualifies as the best quality waterway.

Today at a full meeting of councillors, Lan Pham asked that the council's submission on the plan be changed to reflect the need for environmental standards to carry equal weight with economic benefits.

She wanted ground water quality to be taken into consideration, and she was calling for toxic producing cyanobacteria levels to be measured.

"That is one of the key limitations on achieving swimmability, but currently there's nothing set out in terms of future research, money from government to actually set out how we might incorporate cyanobacteria into our swimmability models."

Ms Pham and other councillors would now work on changing the council's submission.

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