Wellington, Feb 2 NZPA - Embarrassing pollution at Waitangi Day should act as a wake-up call for the Government to introduce clean water rules, the Green Party says.
Northland health authorities this week warned people not to eat shellfish collected in the region this Waitangi Day weekend, after heavy rain and flooding caused sewage spills and storm water to contaminate waterways.
The warning would remain in place for 28 days.
Greens co-leader Russel Norman said the pollution was disgraceful the Government needed to introduce clean water rules.
"As if the conflict between Hone and the Maori Party isn't going to be enough of a sh*tstorm, participants at Waitangi commemorations will also have to cope with human and animal faeces in the water," he said.
"This is simply unacceptable and, given all the international visitors at Waitangi, it is frankly embarrassing."
Dr Norman said clean water rules were ready to go in the form of a National Policy Statement (NPS) on Freshwater Management.
"All they need is Environment Minister Nick Smith's signature, but he is sitting on his hands," Dr Norman said.
"This shameful disruption to Waitangi Day is a line in the sand. Enough is enough. We need clean water rules without delay."
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