Polluted waterways issue widens town and country divide

The contentious issue of our polluted waterways is deepening a country and town divide, with many farmers saying they are being unfairly blamed by city folk.

"We get lambasted by these allegations for polluting the rivers when in Canterbury we have very few polluted rivers whatsoever," Canterbury dairy farmer Willie Leferenk said.

Further north sheep and beef farmer Lydia Murchison has noticed that townies seem to have lumped all farmers together.

"If you get a rogue teacher or a rogue doctor or something, everyone in New Zealand doesn't suddenly decide, oh, every teacher and doctor must be like that," she said.

TVNZ1's Q+A was invited to an Ashburton Water Zone meeting where farmers and local authorities are working together to try and solve pollution issues.

"Rural has got it all over urban in terms of fixing water. I think we'll be done and dusted in the next ten years and some urban will be just be starting to address the issue," Ms Murchison said.