DairyNZ says the dairy sector takes its responsibilities to water quality seriously and has a range of work underway to continually improve the relationship between dairying and the environment.

DairyNZ's Environment Manager Aslan Wright-Stow spoke to The Country Early Edition's Rowena Duncum about how the organisation is committed to keeping New Zealand waterways clean.

"Public perception perceives water quality to be the primary issue in the environmental space," says Wright-Stow, which is why it is a key focus for DairyNZ.

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There is a lot of work focused on improving water quality by the dairy sector says Wright-Stow, from on-farm actions by farmers to research and development by DairyNZ scientists and sustainability specialists.

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Measuring and reporting on progress is a big part of the process as these goals help ensure the progress is real and evidence-based says Wright-Stow.

Programmes of work underway that are bringing positive outcomes include the Environmental Stewardship Programme and Good Farming Practice Action Plan for Water Quality, which are a "key pillars to the work we're doing in the environmental space," says Wright-Stow.

Most importantly for DairyNZ is that the vast majority of dairy farmers care about the land and waterways and appreciate being stewards of the land.