Just as it takes many, many drops of water to create a river, it takes many, many people to create change.
Here in New Zealand, we're passionate about the quality of our water. We drink it, we swim, surf, fish and play in it, we gather our kai from it; it's our waiora (our life). We're surrounded by water and it's the backbone of our stunning country.
And it's been in decline. As our population has increased over the last two centuries, we humans have had an impact on waterways. We've changed the land use, we've cut down trees to make way for houses and productive land, planted gardens, grown livestock to feed us, and built dams, cities and infrastructure.
For the past few years, dairy farmers have been working hard to minimize the impact of farming on land, soil and water. Things like fencing off waterways, planting natives, restoring wetlands, and many other environmental, scientific and research initiatives are all starting to make a difference.
But we can't do it alone. At the heart of all New Zealanders, we want our
land and water to be healthy. We all share a clear vision for change.
That's why we've launched The Vision is Clear movement. We're doing it to raise awareness about all the great things happening for our waterways across the country - but that's just the beginning. We want to inspire all New Zealanders to get involved and help improve the water quality of our rivers, lakes, beaches and streams.
And that's why we're going big! We're encouraging every Kiwi to make some small changes at home, or when they visit a river or beach, to play a role in improving their local waterways.
Because, whether everyone does a little or a lot, it all adds up healthier waterways.
Why is DairyNZ doing this?
We've been talking about water quality, we have some of the best research minds working on water quality, and we have a clear vision for change.
You see, dairy has been on this journey for some time, and the 12,500 dairy farmers in New Zealand live and breathe the need to balance land, water and soil priorities every day; alongside those of healthy animals and people.
We openly acknowledge the role we play in improving water quality in New Zealand. 20% of the length of rivers runs through a dairy farm and we're working hard to protect those waterways. What happens up and down stream, and on the other 80% of rivers, is also just as vitally important – and we believe we can all do this together.
That's where The Vision is Clear movement comes in. We want water quality to be better across this great country - in our cities, towns, coastlines and rural areas. Dairy has a vital role to play, and we're asking every other sector, every other land user and every other person, to play their part too.
We're the first to admit that undertaking a movement of this scale is a bold step. We know there will be skeptics: however, we're doing this for all the right reasons and we hope that New Zealanders will understand this. After all, we all share the same vision of cleaner, healthier waterways for everyone.
New Zealanders have a long and proud history of getting together to make amazing things happen. Just as it takes many, many drops of water to make a river, it takes many, many people to create change. We hope you'll all join us and get involved in the movement.
The Vision is Clear: let's work together to improve our waterways – for all of us.
Watch the video here