John Key Should Resign as Tourism Minister: Greenpeace

Press release - March 14, 2016
Key’s continued backing for intensive dairy irrigation schemes, which will increase pollution of New Zealand’s rivers and streams, means he is unfit for the tourism job, claims Greenpeace.

Genevieve Toop, Greenpeace’s agriculture campaigner, said:

“John Key should resign as minister of tourism. Any tourism minister worth their salt would be doing all they could to halt the pollution of our rivers and streams. But Key’s not.

“He should stop throwing millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money at these irrigation schemes right now, and bring them to a halt. That would be great news for our tourism industry, and to everyone who likes swimming in clean rivers and lakes.

“But his continued refusal to do so is threatening our huge tourism industry.

“Key’s failing to do his job as minister of tourism. He should do the right thing and resign the position immediately.

“Clean, green farming is much better for our finances, our farmers and our international reputation, on which our tourism industry relies. It’s this that the government should be backing, not irrigation schemes which pollute our rivers and threaten our economy.”

This morning the Tourism Export Council called for a five-year ban on new irrigation schemes.

The government currently has around $120million of taxpayers’ money sitting in a fund, called Crown Irrigation Investments, which is earmarked for controversial irrigation schemes designed to expand industrial dairy agriculture. The government hopes to increase the amount of taxpayers’ money spent on these schemes to $400million.