Hello and good afternoon on this fine kiwi afternoon in the afternoon. My name is Nick Smith and I am a minister. I’m not just any minister though. No. I’m Minister for the Environment. That’s a pretty big task when you think about all of the environment out there. There is loads of it and I am the minister.
Anyway… enough about me. Let’s talk about the environment that I’m the minister of.
This week, next to a West Auckland creek, I and my government announced plans to make 90% of our waterways swimmable by the time I’ve been dead for 17 years. Unfortunately there has been some confusion regarding the announcement and I wish to just clarify a few things about it.
Some people are actually suggesting that the government is just paying lipservice to this plan because we are not going to test all of the rivers and waterways around New Zealand. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes it is true that we are not testing some waterways that kiwis might swim in but that doesn’t mean we aren’t serious. We are deadly serious.
I’m not explaining myself very well. If we target 90% of rivers to be swimmable by the year 2040 we have to start measuring. We can measure everything so let’s say we measure 10% of our waterways at the start. 90% of that 10% isn’t very big so we’ve taken the 90% figure and just repeated it a lot because it makes us sound like we’re doing something.
When people say we aren’t aiming for 90% that is just plain false. I myself have said the words ninety and percent hundreds of times in the past week. So it must be true.
Please get in touch if you are still confused by me or anything associated with me.
Nick Smith is minister in the National government with responsibilities for the Environment and Making Overly Grand Announcements that Quickly Fall Apart Under Any Level of Scrutiny.