On the release date of an international documentary that claims to expose New Zealand's fresh water pollution crisis, Green Party MP Eugenie Sage has said the deteriorating health of our rivers is being dealt with "not nearly enough" urgency.
Speaking to Hilary Barry on TVNZ 1's Breakfast today, Ms Sage would not go so far as to say that New Zealand's "clean green" image was fraudulent, but did say it had to become "real".
"We've seen with the increase of intensive agriculture, increasing water pollution, rivers that aren't swimmable, increasing nitrate in our aquifers, we can change that but we need to treat the issue with urgency," Ms Sage said.
"Seventy per cent of our exports depend on our our 'clean green' brand, our tourism industry does, we've got to make that image real, we've got to treat our water crisis with urgency."
The comments come as international news network Al Jazeera will this morning release the first of a two part documentary, called Polluted Paradise, about what it describes as New Zealand's "fresh water crisis".
The documentary could reach an estimated audience of 40 million across the Arab world.
Polluted Paradise follows a similar documentary that debuted at the International Film Festival focusing on water quality issues in seven Canterbury rivers.