Environment Minister warns regulation on its way for farmers denying dairy farming causes pollution of rivers

The Minister for the Environment has warned of regulation for farmers denying dairy farming causes pollution.

The New Zealand Labour Party campaigned strongly during the 2017 election on cleaning up New Zealand's rivers, providing healthy drinking water and ending dirty dairy farming, but concerns have been raised on whether the government can keep its promises without putting farmers out of business. 

Speaking to Corin Dann on TVNZ1's Q+A this morning the Environment Minister explained that reversing some of the environmental damage "does require changes in behaviour over time."

"But I don’t think it’s unreasonable for New Zealanders that their rivers in summer are clean enough to swim in, put their head under without getting crook.”

David Parker tells Q+A’s Corin Dann farmers denying pollution will need to be regulated to “do the right thing”. Source: Q+A

In order to bring about those changes in behaviour Mr Parker warned regulations will likely be required, for those not willing to improve practices voluntarily.

"We've fought an election on this issue, we've got a representative democracy, we've won the political battle and now it's about implementation."

"Most of the farming sector agree with that. There is the occasional outliers, one of the Federated Farmer heads from the Wairarapa during the last election denied that dairy farming caused pollution of rivers, so there are some people who are in denial.

"Those people will have to be regulated to do the right thing because they may not be willing to do it voluntarily."