Fresh Water

Fresh water ecologist Dr Mike Joy is profiled in the first film and podcast in the ‘Water—Rapuhia, kimihia: Quest for knowledge’ documentary series.

"New Zealand has completely failed its fresh water," says ecologist Dr Mike Joy in the first film in the ‘Water—Rapuhia, kimihia: Quest for knowledge’ documentary series.

“It's blatantly obvious, why don’t we admit that we’ve completely failed and start again?” says Dr Joy, a Senior Research Fellow in the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies in Wellington School of Business and Government at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington.

‘Fresh Water’ follows Dr Joy as he tests for nitrates in the tributaries that flow into Lake Wanaka, some of the most pristine fresh water in New Zealand—and then see the readings rise as he tests further downstream. By the time he gets to Ashburton, what will the readings show—and how close are they to levels associated with colo-rectal cancer?

In the film—and especially its accompanying podcast—there is personal insight into Dr Joy’s character as we travel alongside him on his crusade to convert scientific knowledge into demonstrable action.

“I’ve always said that if nitrate turned rivers red, we would not have a problem,” he says. “It’s only because you can't see it.”

Episode 1: Fresh Water