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Sustainability cornerstone of environment policy

18 July 2002

Sustainability cornerstone of environment policy

Sustainable development across all portfolios is the cornerstone of Labour's just-released Environment policy, Environment Minister Marian Hobbs said today.

"Sustainable development is all about considering the full environmental, social, cultural and economic opportunities and consequences of decisions affecting current and future generations," Marian Hobbs said. "It's the only realistic path for us and Labour will develop tools for central and local government to test their development policies.

"Our approach to the environment is based on partnership underpinned by strong government leadership, unlike the previous National government's hands-off attitude."

Labour would protect and enhance the environment with an active and coordinated approach to its policies. These include:

- Monitoring central and local government environmental management performance

- Improving the efficiency of the resource management process while protecting the integrity of the RMA

- Developing national air and water quality standards

- Meeting waste reduction targets

- Improving the sustainability of our cities

Marian Hobbs said the Labour led government is also turning the tide with its Conservation Policy.

"Our Biodiversity Strategy launched in 2000 aims to halt the decline in indigenous biodiversity and see net gains by 2020," Marian Hobbs said. "We approved $187 million over five years and will ensure the strategy continues to be funded.

"Labour will also protect the quality of outdoor recreation because we recognise that time spent in the outdoors improves physical and mental health, awareness of the environment and pride in our nation."

Policies can be viewed at: www.labour.org.nz

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