Freshwater For Life
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Freshwater For Life aims to independently report on the state of freshwater in New Zealand. We provide information on the main threats to good water quality and freshwater life.  We will provide actions we can take to improve our water quality for the health of people and the environment. Our goals are to safeguard and protect our freshwater, so present and future generations can enjoy what we all love.

Common myths the farming industry uses to justify their goals, and our reality on what is actually happening.

News on freshwater in New Zealand.

Background information to help you understand the freshwater situation in NZ.

A glossary for some of the terms used on this site.

Questions frequently asked.

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Polluted Inheritance

New Zealand’s Freshwater Crisis

By Dr Mike Joy, published by BWB Texts


The parlous state of our freshwater ecosystems is just one signal that we face a more widespread, and unprecedented, environmental crisis.

New Zealand’s dairy industry is big business. But what are the hidden – and not so hidden – costs of intensive farming? Evidence presented here by ecologist Mike Joy demonstrates that intensive dairy farming has degraded our freshwater rivers, streams and lakes to an alarming degree. This situation, he argues, has arisen primarily through governmental policy that prioritises short-term economic growth over long-term environmental sustainability. This BWB Text is a call to arms, urging New Zealand to change course or risk the wellbeing of future generations.”


‘Squandered’ E-book

The Degradation of New Zealand’s Freshwaters


Mike Joy“In this book I show how in the last few decades environmental protection was deregulated, allowing a few to profit by polluting on a massive scale, and how that has led to the destruction we see today. I also show how this reality is denied and covered-up so that relatively few are aware of the full extent of the damage.”