Letter to The Ministry for the Environment on Freshwater

In February, the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry of Primary Industries released the “Next Steps for Fresh Water” discussion document and called for submissions for the plan therein.

NZRA made a submission on behalf of the Outdoor Recreation sector. The NZRA submission outlined the numerous benefits of recreation – in terms of health, the economy and our general quality of life. Accordingly, NZRA strongly opposes any policy or regulation that impinges upon recreational usage of freshwater. We argue that recreation should be given much greater prominence in the Government's freshwater reform programme.

Subsequent to our submission, we have identified that public access to freshwater for recreational purposes is really important. Having an abundance of pure freshwater is no good unless we can get to it for a swim, kayak or fish!! To that end, NZRA has written to the Minister of Environment, Hon. Nick Smith. We have asked that when the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management is next revised, it would be simple matter of utilising the excellent provisions for public access encapsulated in Policy 19 of the New Zealand Coastal policy Statement to be inserted. It is our view that this would ensure improved regard for public access to freshwater recreational opportunities, as it has done for coastal waters.

We look forward to the Ministers reply.

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