Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Minister Disappointed At EMA Stance

14 May 2001

The Minister for the Environment, Marian Hobbs, is disappointed members of the Employers and Manufacturers Association are making a last minute attack on compliance costs of the new health and safety environment law due to operate from July 2.

"They have ignored the fact that there are provisions to do low-cost, rapid assessments for some hazardous substances," Marian Hobbs said.

"They have also not taken into account that approvals can be given for groups of hazardous substances rather than individual new products, which could reduce the costs per product in such a group to a tiny fraction of what the EMA would have businesses believe."

Marian Hobbs said she is working with her colleague, the Minister of Commerce, Paul Swain, on compliance cost issues.

The Minister said the hazardous substances regulations under the HSNO Act had undergone a six-year programme of consultation.

"This included exhaustive review by experts selected by, among others, the industries named in the media release by the Employers and Manufacturers Association," Marian Hobbs added. "The Government has also sponsored an amendment to the Act which was recently passed by Parliament to implement changes suggested by industry. I am very disappointed to find that some of these same industries are now attacking the law as it is about to come into force.

"Responsible businesses will already have in place good safety procedures and tracking systems if they are working with hazardous substances. If industries need ‘vast new control systems’ as reported, one might well ask what they have been doing until now. "

Marian Hobbs said the law is not just about the environment.

"It is also about people’s health and safety in the workplace and at home," she added. "The present system for managing hazardous substances is inadequate for protecting health and safety and our environment, and it is not consistent with good international practice.

"Decisions have been made in the past about introducing new potentially dangerous chemicals with little or no examination by government. While it is true that this has meant little cost to business, it has meant substantial risks to health and the environment. "

The Minister urged business to attend one of the seminars being sponsored by the EMA explaining the Act.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>

 

BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>

ALSO:

Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>

ALSO:

State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages