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Ed Sheeran

Maori Party wants tougher water policy

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The Maori Party wants to introduce legislation giving freshwater the status of a taonga.

Releasing the part’s environment policy, Te Tai Hauauru candidate Chris McKenzie says water needs to be made safe for drinking, swimming and gathering food.

He says the party made a significant gain in Budget 2014 when the health of fresh water - Te Mana o Te Wai - featured clearly in the National Policy Statement on Freshwater.

Introducing specific water quality targets for water drinking, fishing and swimming is the next logical step.

Opposition parties said the National Policy Statement was a weak response to the problem, with the lack of specific targets a major flaw.

Mr McKenzie says the Maori Party also intends giving stronger effect to the role of kaitiaki by redirecting resources in the Department of Conservation to whanau, hapu and iwi, especially through treaty settlements arrangement.

Copyright © 2014, UMA Broadcasting Ltd

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