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Environment Report A Wake-Up Call - Greens

Today's Wellington Regional Council report showing the Wellington environment under stress is a much-needed wake-up call to all Wellingtonians said Green MP Sue Kedgley.

The 152 page report by the Wellington Regional Council is the first environmental stocktake of the region since the Resource Management Act was introduced in 1991. The report shows that despite Wellington's breeze the city has an air pollution problem, it's biodiversity is threatened, little is known about the region's soil quality and the city is producing unsustainable amounts of waste.

Ms Kedgley, who is an ex-Wellington City Councillor, said disturbing trends included the fact that Wellington has more car parks per head than any other New Zealand city and water consumption had increased by 25 per cent in the last 20 years.

It also showed that urgent action is needed to monitor the air and soil quality of the region and to halt the declining diversity of the region's plants and animals, she said.

Ms Kedgley said the report should jolt Wellingtonians out of their complacency about the environment and show that change was required at all levels. "The Regional and City Councils should now prepare annual environmental reports alongside their annual financial reports," she said.

"The environment must become central to policy making and all planning decisions instead of being relegated to the margins," she said. "For too long the Wellington City Council has been concerned primarily with the economic implications of decisions rather than the implications on the environment.

"Measures are also needed to reduce the amount of waste we dump. It is both bizarre and appalling that the city could fill it's new stadium with waste twice a year," she said.

"Parts of Wellington are currently environmentally unsustainable and it is up to the Regional and City Councils to finally provide the leadership which the people of this city urgently require," she said.

Ends

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