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MfE focus on sustainable development

11 September 2002 Media Statement

MfE focus on sustainable development

Sustainable development must be at the core of decision making according to the Environment Ministry's briefing for Environment Minister, Marian Hobbs, released today.

"Development must happen in a socially and environmentally responsible way," Marian Hobbs said. "The Ministry says to support growth and innovation, especially when our economy is so dependent on nature, we must place sustainable development at the heart of decision making.

"The environmental game is no longer just about regulation and cleaning up pollution. It is about influencing hearts and minds, tapping into people's willingness to act responsibly and their desire to live in a healthy environment.

"The ministry believes the emphasis of its work should change to support the creation of wealth and quality of life in an environmentally sustainable way. This would see an increasing emphasis on partnerships between central and local government and business creating a climate in which economic activity expands while we maintain and improve the quality of our environment.

"The ministry wants the economy to grow without pollution also growing. Other countries have done that and, while we have made progress, we could do much better."

The ministry says the Resource Management Act needs to be kept under review to ensure it enables rather than impedes, environmentally responsible economic innovation.

"The potential for best practice in processes under the Act has not yet been fully realised and the ministry will continue to work to improve the delivery of environmental results and lower the barriers of process and compliance costs," Marian Hobbs said.

The briefing is available on:
http://www.mfe.govt.nz/new/briefing-paper-26-07-02.pdf


ENDS

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