NZ rivers far from 100 percent pure - report

By 3 News online staff

Only one in five New Zealand rivers could be safe to swim in, according to a new report.

Opposition parties are questioning New Zealand's '100 percent pure' branding after a Ministry for the Environment report card said 52 percent of monitored swimming sites on our rivers have "poor" or "very poor" water quality.

Another 28 percent were rated as "fair", with a risk of illness for those who go in the water, and only 20 percent as "good" or "very good".

The report looked at 210 freshwater beaches and 248 coastal beaches. Lakes and beaches on the coast were generally cleaner and safer than rivers, with 60 percent rated as "good" or "very good".

The ministry says because the monitored sites are chosen based on their popularity and susceptibility to risk factors that could make people sick, the report is not indicative of the overall health of our swimming spots, reports the New Zealand Herald.

"It shows what a fake marketing image 100 percent pure is, and we need to take action to make that image real," Green Party spokesperson Eugenie Sage told the paper.

"By undermining the credibility of the brand, people will wake up to that internationally and see there's a major gap between the marketing image and reality."

Environment Minister Amy Adams said only having one in five spots safe was not good enough, but that our water was good by international standards.

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source: newshub archive