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Published: 2000-10-16 00:00:00

Environment Minister Marion Hobbs has congratulated Environment Waikato for taking a public stand to protect the water quality of Lake Taupo.

“I think you are being brave and doing the right thing in explaining to the public the risks to water quality in the lake from intensifying land use, and working towards setting clear standards,” she told the Council last week.

She said that Lake Taupo was a national icon, highly valued, and it was vital that degradation was prevented.

“It is very important that land use in the catchment is managed in a sustainable way for two reasons. Firstly, we must protect the environment. For Lake Taupo, this means maintaining the clear clean water and preventing increases in nitrogen and algae and weed growth.

“Secondly, if we want to continue trading, many markets in the world are now demanding proof of clean production. So environmental outcomes are aligned with trade opportunities.”

She said she had recently visited Europe, and was amazed at the high environmental standards being set, particularly for agriculture. These countries were beginning to expect similar standards from the countries they traded with.

“I know the issues are difficult but I commend you for facing up to the issue and working with the community to raise awareness and find acceptable solutions”.