The state of some of the country’s waterways have gone beyond a tipping point – according to a report from the Prime Minister’s chief scientist.
Some will take more than 50 years to recover and even then they will never get back to their original state.
The report said the science was clear: New Zealand’s fresh waters were under stress because of what we did in and around them.
While some water bodies were in a good state – others have been significantly compromised by agricultural intensification – urban expansion and industrial pollution – hydroelectric development or the effects of drought.
Sir Peter Gluckman said his report was designed to explain the complexities of the issue – as well as the multiple trade-offs and decisions that were needed.