4th August 2017

Speech – Lewie Foggin


Topic: The illusion of New Zealand being a clean and pristine place.

More than half our lakes and rivers are polluted. We have less than a quarter of our forest cover left but there’s no need to worry because we still have a 100% pure environment.How does this work? New Zealand is said to be one of the most beautiful and clean countries in the world however this is all an illusion. We are tricked into thinking that New Zealand is a place where everything is pure and pollution is a thing of the past. Many people are brought to New Zealand because of our countryside and the species that live among it. Many tourists are amazed by how little pests we have but what they don’t know is how we got to this stage. The tourists are given the illusion that we got here naturally but we actually got here by using extremely toxic pesticides to wipe out entire pest species not caring about what else was taken with it. This is not environmentally friendly at all which proves our 100% pure slogan is all just an illusion.


One of the main industries in New Zealand is our Dairy Industry. This generates billions of dollars for our country every year but it is also destroying our 100% pure slogan. In New Zealand there are over five million cows. One cow can produce up to 25 litres of urine per day. This comes out a total of 125 million litres of urine produced every single day. A lot of this urine is going straight into our rivers and streams and eventually into our lakes. This is one of the leading causes for 62% of our rivers and lakes being polluted by e coli and other bacteria. Yet still we have a 100% pure environment. The government came out and said that most of our rivers are now cleaned and safe to swim in. They actually didn’t do anything to help but instead they upped the standard. The previous amount of e coli allowed into our rivers and streams was increased considerably. . This is simply the government creating the illusion of clean rivers and lakes but in reality nothing has changed in a positive way. This has only caused negative consequences. Instead of increasing the amount of swimmable waterways they have increased the amount of people getting sick due to dirty waterways.


Since 1954 we have been using a pesticide called 1080. This pesticide is deemed to be the most safe and effective way to kill pests in our country. What we aren’t told is it doesn’t only kill the pests but it also takes everything else with it. The sad thing is that it isn’t even working. The predators still proceed to thrive and kill off our native birds and insects. We are all fooled into thinking that 1080 is a breakthrough in ways to kill the pests but this is in fact all an illusion. 1080 is banned in many countries because of the killing power it has and every year 20000 deers are poisoned by this pesticide. A study was done on the corpses of native birds and 19 different species were found with traces of 1080 in them.

If we want to maintain our 100% pure slogan then we need to come up with ways to reduce the amount of damage we are doing to our country. To reduce the amount of pollution caused by Dairy farming we can plant trees on slopes next to rivers and streams. These trees will absorb a lot of the cow effluent and reduce the amount of pollution considerably. This is called riparian planting. This process will not only help to stop the pollution of our waterways but it will also make our waterways look nicer. Another way we can make our 100% pure slogan become reality is if we use more environmentally friendly ways to kill our pests. One effective way of killing pests is using traps. This is used worldwide and is an environmentally friendly and humane way to kill the pests.

Our 100% pure slogan is either going to have to be changed or we are going to have to implement these kind of ways to get rid of this illusion before it’s too late. Dairy farming is slowly but surely ruining our waterways. 1080 is killing off our natural animals and countryside. If we keep on using our country the way we are using it then the future generations will be brought up in the polluted hell hole we call New Zealand.  The illusion that New Zealand is a clean and pristine place is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain and before long the truth will be out. We need to break this illusion by actually doing something that will help to restore beauty to our environment before it is too late.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Lewie, I love this idea. It is so relevant and topical at the moment. Way to bring our theme to life!

    As we discussed in class, look to develop another point about how we destroy this “pure” image.
    We also talked about you coming up with some solution for this problem- do we break the illusion or turn it around? How do we do either of these things?

    Good Luck!!


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