30 July 2017
UnitedFuture leader, Hon Peter Dunne, has launched a policy package setting out a vision of New Zealand that seeks to deliver a better outdoors to all New Zealanders who wish to engage in it.
“We want to ensure that our children can go swimming in rivers that are healthy and full of life.
“We want to guarantee that the recreational interests of our fishers and hunters are not put aside for those who can simply pay more.
“And, finally, we want to make sure that our communities can retain access to our outstanding landscapes and conservation estate,” Mr Dunne said.
UnitedFuture is proposing major reforms to our freshwater regulatory regime and to how we manage pests in New Zealand alongside building on progress already made by UnitedFuture in Government on access to the outdoors and recreational hunting.
Freshwater and Fisheries.
“UnitedFuture considers freshwater is fundamental to the New Zealand 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 and we must ensure they remain available for future generations,” said Mr Dunne
- Introduce a coherent royalty scheme on water exports
- UnitedFuture would introduce a coherent royalty regime 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.
- Properly resource freshwater clean up
- UnitedFuture 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 clean up research.
- UnitedFuture would also provide targeted funding for research into didymo and other invasive organisms with the intention of exterminating it from our rivers and develop a rapid response unit to respond to future reported potential threats similar to didymo with the mandate to immediately ‘close’ a waterway from public use.
- UnitedFuture would also incentivise the riverside planting of trees and bush to help clean up our river ways around farmland.
- Support recreational fisheries
- 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 New Zealanders, 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;
“Our current targets on pest control are positive, but 1080 still receives significant public opposition for its collateral damage.
“UnitedFuture is proposing to allow communities to trial alternatives as well as have more readily available access to ways to help the pest control effort from your own home so that we can ensure we are pest free by 2050 or sooner,” said Mr Dunne.
- Public Commission into pest control strategies and the use of 1080
- UnitedFuture would establish a commission to help establish a consensus on long-term pest control strategies.
- UnitedFuture would propose a trial in a place to establish up a proper study where the use traps and other non-poison pest control options can be tested against 1080. This would provide a real scenario that the public could view to see the effects of each trial in direct comparison to 1080.
- Expansion of community based initiatives
- UnitedFuture would make funding available to expand the community initiatives that seek to aid out pest-free by 2050 strategy. We would ensure that local communities were properly resourced for:
- Community-based initiatives, such as bounty payments, to increase ground-based trapping of rats and mustelids;
- Initiatives to maximise possum trapping and exploit the fur and meat export markets that help local community economies
- Planning and executing an extensive monitoring and reporting programme of our threatened species and their predators during the period of the moratorium.
- Subsiding household pest traps to ensure that our towns and cities can easily engage in our pest-free strategy on a household-to-household level
“UnitedFuture has long been the friend of the outdoors because we care about protecting our environment and ensuring our communities can engage in it.
“We have achieved a lot as well, we established the Walking Access Commission and the Game Animal Council – the task now is to make sure we build on these successes.
“To do that, New Zealand must embrace a vision of our outdoors where community comes first.