National's policy change is a result of recent media coverage on New Zealand’s highly polluted waterways. Although it's a step in the right direction, in my opinion the clean up is simply window dressing to make it appear that National gives a damn about the environment and is finally going to do something about the many years of abuse it has endured. When put into context, $11.6 is a pitiful amount, which will do little to remedy the 90% of lowland waterways that are highly polluted.
Although Environment Southland and the government is partly responsible because they were slow to even accept the problem exists, remiss at enforcing the Resource Management Act and negligent at ensuring intensive farming practices were not problematic, it shouldn’t be the taxpayer who foots the bill.
The clean up of New Zealand's waterways should be funded by those industries that have directly benefited from the years of environmental damage they've caused. After all, it's not as if the public receives any kind of discount from them.