A Wairoa farmer has been using social media to highlight water quality issues.

James Jarden, who works on a 650ha sheep and beef farm, posted a video of himself drinking water from a stream on the farm earlier this month to show that most farmers are doing their best to protect the country's water.

Since posting on July 6, the video has been viewed more than 12,000 times and has been shared more than 60 times.

Jarden said he decided to make the video in response to Prime Minister Bill English stating that farmers needed to show they cared about water quality which would be an election issue.


He wanted to prove that his water was fine to drink and show that, while not all farmers were perfect, most did their best to protect nearby water and there were many other causes of pollution.

"We're not as bad as people think we are, there are a lot of other factors that are overlooked such as physical properties and waterfowl."

Shallow water was much more likely to be polluted and water birds were a big part of the cause, he said.

"Water that is still or shallow heats up a lot quicker and you get the algal bloom."

He also believed that some water testing methods were not accurate.

"We all have to stand up.

"We're looking at it the wrong way, everyone points the finger at farmers but it's not just farmers, I'm not saying we're perfect."

In the footage he asks a couple of his friends to make their own video and nominate others in the hope that people will "step back and look at the big picture".


There has been a good response with a few other farmers around the country filming themselves tasting their water and more than half the response on his own Facebook page was positive, he said.