Close down farming and NZ lives on what? Oh that's right we become the Switzerland of the South Pacific as promoted by Saint David back in the 1980s.
Close down Tourism? as humans present far and away the greatest health risks, but much of this activity is farm related.
When North Otago is reverted to nice Manuka Scrub and The Kakanui is still too polluted for swimming from what we know is Seabird Dung in a gorge region of its pathway to the sea, I suppose it will still be a stubborn old farmer somewhere's fault
Then there is the inconvenient truth around urbanised activity that with no media coverage puts tons of various pollutants into waterways and that is no problem at all.
As an example where do the nutrients in Arthurs Pass waste water end up, no dairy, in fact no farming, do the good burghers bottle it and cart it to where? pray tell.
That is the Waimmakariri a river that has issues since for ever, particularly abattoir and soap making along with fell mongering and other now closed down industries.
There is a right royal sh*t fight brewing in the Akaroa Harbour environs as the "insinkerator system is to be closed down and the effluent needs a new home. So far the only solutions to be on the horizon seems to be pump it to be dealt with at either Takamatua or Robinsons Bay where it will miraculously be safe from causing offense to all the rest of the people. Too bad about the poor buggers who have chosen to live there.
Meanwhile Rapidly growing Duvauchelle continues to separate solids to be trucked to Bromley in the city, and sends the partially treated liquids out to sea at the head of the harbour to slosh about on the tides. Sending Akaroas waste water to the sea at the ocean doesn't seem a good idea, no idea why.
As a child I swam in many waterways with nary a dairy cow in sight, zero nitrogenous fertilizer use, minimal Phosphate spreading and there was slime for Africa, particularly in dry summers.
c1950s and it was well known that Lake Forsyth was toxic from algal blooms only it was never stated as the cause.
Never knew the Selwyn at SH 1 to ever have water visible. The Ashley was nearly dry at its main rd bridge, The Waipara less water only a trickle to be a just a little greater flow than the Selwyn.
One can't make an omelet without breaking eggs, so stay with the education, incentivise better regard for all waterways by all, including Palmerston North City who regularly spill effluent into the Manawhatu. Then tell Local Palmy resident SJW, Mike Joy and his nutters to devise an economic strategy to replace the massive income the nation gains from dairying.
When it is attractive enough he had better get out of the way before entrepreneurs wanting to invest knock him over in their rush to get on with it.