A new survey shows strong support for commercial businesses, including dairy, to pay for the damage they cause the environment.
The Colmar-Brunton survey, commissioned by Fish and Game, reveals 71 percent of people surveyed think businesses should pay for their pollution.
Seventy percent of respondents think the dairy industry should not be treated more leniently than other commercial operations.
The survey asked 1000 New Zealanders if commercial businesses, including farms, should pay to mitigate any negative impact they had on the environment.
Fish and Game chief executive Martin Taylor said the poll showed farming had to stop trying to dodge responsibility for environmental damage.
“People are fed up with pollution, in particular by intensive corporate dairying. It has robbed them of being able to swim in their favourite rivers.”
He said strong, decisive action was urgently needed.
“How many waterways need to be toxic before we change what we are doing?”
Mr Taylor said the corporate dairy industry needed to stop defending dirty operators who were damaging the reputation of good farmers, and get rid of them.
The survey has a margin of error of 3.1 percent.