A former All Black captain is throwing his weight behind a bid to protect New Zealand’s rivers.
Anton Oliver is calling for more water conservation orders (WCO) to be conferred on the country’s wild waterways.
The orders protect rivers by granting them national heritage status.
Oliver, who is completing a master’s in environmental policy at Oxford University, says clean rivers are a key part of New Zealand’s image.
He says the country needs to do more to protect its clean, green image on the world stage.
“In my opinion there is a large and growing discrepancy between the marketing clean green rhetoric and the reality of what’s actually happening on the ground,” Oliver says.
“My concern is that we are fooling ourselves if we think New Zealand’s natural world is pristine and untouched. It’s a concept that is difficult for us to accept because it challenges a part of our national identity.”
Oliver says he’s proud to front Fish & Game’s efforts to give more waterways WCOs.
He’s been an outspoken advocate for environmental issues in the past, most notably Project Hayes, which would have seen 176 wind turbines erected in Otago.