The government's proposal to clean up the waterways has been met with some criticism.
The plan addresses the degradation of rivers and lakes and calls for tougher regulations and controls.
Farmers say they feel unfairly targeted, but University of Waikato Environmental planner Ian White told Tim Dower urgent change is needed.
White says despite scientists looking at water quality issues for years, it's not translating into good outcomes.
"Water quality indicators have been going down and this is an attempt to reset that."
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