"A couple of weeks ago, Federated Farmers was saying that they wanted to make all rivers swimmable," says Choose Clean Water spokesperson Marnie Prickett.
"Now they are against attempts to limit water use and they are supportive of public spending on irrigation schemes that would put more pollution into already suffering rivers and lakes. Their protests make no sense."
"Water charges are all about encouraging farmers to use water wisely."
The group says Federated Farmers’ idea that water charges would cripple the industry is alarmist as no Government would ever introduce charges at a rate that would cripple one of our major industries.
"Many farmers, and others in the Agriculture sector, now realise that dairy farming has taken too much water out of rivers and put too much pollution back into them. And New Zealanders all over the country have said that this must change. So why does Fed Farmers attack every concrete proposal for making things better?"
"Our rivers and lakes are in a desperate situation. Labour’s water policy is a response to the 83% of New Zealanders who say the Government must do more to more to reduce water pollution, in order to protect our people from swimming in faecal contamination and stop algal blooms from choking waterways."
"Federated Farmers want business as usual but that won’t rescue New Zealand’s rivers."