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All New Zealand stands to gain from addressing the waterways challenge

ANZ sees improving sustainability standards to internationally recognised levels as crucial to meeting the demands of global consumers and securing the long term future of many of New Zealand’s export categories and tourism.


For these reasons ANZ New Zealand’s submission to the Ministry for the Environment’s Action for Healthy Waterways discussion supports the broad intention to stop water quality in getting worse and set the country on a path to better freshwater in a generation.


“Adopting environmental and social principles shows the world how committed to sustainability New Zealand and New Zealand businesses are”, said ANZ Managing Director of Commercial & Agri, Mark Hiddleston.


“There is a real opportunity for New Zealand to lead the world in sustainable business practices and continue to thrive as a premium food producer and destination.  Where there is innovation and world-class standards in place we promote further innovation, encourage investment and most importantly attract and grow talent.”


ANZ also urges analysis of the effect to the proposed changes.


“All communities will be affected and will need clarity on the economic and social impacts and the cost of change.  Rural communities in particular will need time, advice and expertise.  Overall, New Zealand must ensure all its communities are well supported to adapt to and thrive within the policy proposals.”  Mr Hiddleston said.


The Action for Healthy Waterways opportunity


1. Potential to lead the world in sustainable food production

Implementing a sustainable healthy waterways framework creates the opportunity for New Zealanders to participate in growing sustainable food supply chains and lead the world on sustainable food production.


Improved standards are imperative to secure the long term future of many of our export categories including both the primary sectors and export earnings.


New policy provides an opportunity for our food producers to benchmark their environmental performance and demonstrate progress against robust standards. This allows these attributes to be used to market our food products to the growing population of environmentally conscious consumers.


2. Attracting tourism

In a related area, tourism is a major growing export earner for New Zealand due to earnings from international tourists attracted to New Zealand’s outdoor story. Earnings from international tourists in 2018 was $16.18 billion, slightly more than the export earnings from the dairy sector.


Export earnings from these two industries have grown at a similar pace since the turn of the century. There is opportunity for an improved international image to increase tourism earnings and tourism opportunities such as sustainable food tours and water activities.


3. Attracting investment

Where there is innovation and world class standards in place, New Zealand businesses will have the opportunity to attract foreign investment promoting further innovation and positive economic outcomes for New Zealand as a whole.


4. Leading innovation

With public and private support and investment, New Zealand has the opportunity to lead innovation in environmental practices, sustainability infrastructures (both on farm and within food supply chains) and in goods and services.


5. Attracting talent

Where New Zealand is a world leader in innovative sustainable food chains and environmental frameworks it has the potential to attract global talent and retain its own talent in these areas. Premium human resource in these areas can promote exponential growth in innovation and productivity.


Read ANZ’s full submission