Speed up the clean up! We won’t wait decades to fix our water

11 Oct 2016 by The Million Metres team Auckland Council Auckland

A report from the Waikato Regional Council suggests it will take 80 YEARS to clean up the Waikato and the Waipa. Do you want your great, great grandchildren to be the next generation to be able to go for a swim there safely?

To say the Waikato clean-up plan will succeed over our dead bodies isn't a criticism; it's just a statement of fact. Can that really be an accurate assessment of the scale of the challenge? Or is the council dragging its feet?

The plan certainly seems to have been attacked from all sides. Representatives of the region’s farmers have expressed concerns about meeting the costs. Local environmental campaigners think the plan doesn't go far enough or fast enough. Dr Mike Joy, senior lecturer in ecology and zoology describes it as ‘a disgusting cop out’.

One thing is for sure – we at Million Metres aren’t going to wait that long for New Zealand’s waterways to be clean again. Together there must be a way to make much faster progress on this.

At least everybody agrees something must be done. As a nation we now have to agree exactly what that is, and get on with it, fast.  


Million Metres will do its bit by protecting waterways with native trees and plants. This will begin the process of protecting and restoring our waterways. It will form a basis for the more extensive nationwide work to come.