National has secured a select committee inquiry into Auckland’s beach water quality, National’s Associate Environment spokesperson Erica Stanford says.
“Chronic infrastructure failures are causing sewage to leach onto Auckland’s beaches, putting the public’s health at risk.
“I have strongly advocated for Parliament to investigate Auckland’s water quality issues as I believe systemic failures and a lack of transparency from officials are letting the city down.
“It might suit the Government to level the blame at rural New Zealand, despite considerable investment from farmers to protect our waterways. But the reality is Auckland has the worst levels of E. coli in the country and infrastructure failures have left our beaches un-swimmable.
“This week, National called for the Environment Select Committee to open an inquiry into Auckland’s urban water quality. Despite being part of a Government that claims to care about the environment, the Labour and NZ First committee members didn’t support an inquiry.
“Mayor Phil Goff also refuses to answer questions about the state of Manukau Harbour, and it seems some politicians in Wellington are following in his lead by looking the other way.
“The inquiry only happened after weeks of negotiation and collaboration by National and Green Party MPs. If the Government won’t take action to keep Aucklanders safe then we will.
“It’s time for Parliament to take the reins so we can learn the true extent of the issue.
“We can reverse the trend of Auckland’s declining beach water quality but only with greater transparency, accountability and a proper understanding of the problem.”