What are our values?

United Future recognises the social, cultural, recreational and economic benefits of keeping our rivers, streams, and lakes full of clean water for current and future generations. UnitedFuture believes that the environmental value of our freshwater must be considered paramount. This is the only way to assure both the future health and wealth of our nation.

United Future considers the amenity value of freshwater is fundamental to the Kiwi way of life. Our rights to swim, fish, gather food and enjoy all of our rivers and lakes in their natural state are essential. These waters belong to the people of New Zealand. However, if left unchecked, increasing agriculture intensification, private ownership schemes, insensitive land practices, and increasing urbanization will pollute and dewater our rivers, streams, and lakes to a point whereby they will degrade to being no more than toxic drains.

UnitedFuture wants to see innovative responses to problems like didymo and will ensure that research into solving those problems is boosted to preserve the integrity of out waterways.

What will we do?
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We would introduce a coherent royalties regime put in place that would attach a price to water when it is taken (like there is for oil and gas). That way we can ensure that our water resources are not being just given away. We would also introduce a clear national policy developed about water exports. For too long there has been a complacency that water will always be abundant in New Zealand, and while that is generally true, recent developments show we can no longer take it for granted. Dirty and dried up rivers, and contaminated aquifers are not what we have usually been used to, nor do we want them to become the norm. Especially, if at the same time, we have to sit and watch the ships sailing away with millions of liters of our pure water for which they have paid virtually nothing.

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We would introduce a $10 million per year contestable fund for the purpose of funding innovative research into New Zealand’s environment. This could be used to fund projects such as river cleanup research. Moreover, we would provide targeted funding for research into didymo with the intention of exterminating it from our rivers and develop a rapid response unit within Biosecurity New Zealand to respond to future reported potential threats similar to didymo with the mandate to immediately ‘close’ a waterway from public use. We would also incentivise the riverside planting of trees and bush to help clean up our riverways around farmland. Environmental issues like didymo not only pollute our waterways but cost us millions every year.

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We would seek to re-balance the rights of recreational fishers.  We would do this by extending the powers of the Walking Access Commission so they can advocate for and, if necessary, secure appropriate public access to, public resources such as rivers. We would create “helicopter -free“ zones on selected wilderness rivers to protect the quality of fishing and access by Kiwis, to be administered by Fish and Game NZ. We would make it easier for recreational fishers to access information pertaining to their daily catch limit and the penalties for non-compliance through more numerous and comprehensive information boards at boat ramps and popular on-shore fishing spots.

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