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Clash over future of Waituna Lagoon

Tuesday 6 Dec 2011 5:43 p.m.

Today the New Zealand Conservation Authority released a sobering report into the state of New Zealand's waterways.

It said the Department Of Conservation and regional councils are failing to safeguard rivers, and they must be protected by a single authority.

There are more than 1000 throughout New Zealand – just 16 are protected by a water conservation order.

So what happens when our waterways go without protection?

Six months ago we went to Waituna Lagoon. Three-and-a-half-thousand hectares of wetlands, half an hour from Invercargill.

Internationally recognised, and we were told, on the verge of collapse.

Those who feared for the lagoon's future blamed dairy farmers for polluting the water and called for tougher measures.

So six months on, has anything changed?

Watch the video for Jendy Harper's full report. 

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