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Judith Tizard on Sustainable development programme

Judith Tizard on Sustainable development programme: Action has benefits for Auckland.

The Sustainable Development for New Zealand Programme of Action released by the government today has benefits for the Auckland region, said Minister for Auckland Issues Judith Tizard.

The initial focus of the programme, spearheaded by Urban Affairs Minister Marian Hobbs and Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton, is on four key areas: water, energy, sustainable cities and child and youth development.

"Under the programme of action for sustainable cities, the government will focus initially on Auckland," said Judith Tizard. "The challenges for sustainable development are greatest in this region, with its growing population, ethnic diversity and role as New Zealand's economic powerhouse.

"Sustainability is about looking at the long-term implications of decisions we make at central government level, getting better integration across the public sector and greater coordination with local government, so that we get the balance right between today's development needs and the needs of future generations.

"By focusing on a sustainable approach to the Auckland region's development, we are aiming to improve the health and wellbeing of Aucklanders and preserve Auckland's unique heritage and culture, whilst achieving growth and innovation," said Judith Tizard.

"In our first three years, we have already made headway by investing more in Auckland's transport infrastructure to get an integrated, sustainable and efficient system underway, and passing the Local Government Act 2002 which gives local bodies a new purpose based on sustainability principles.

"We are also supporting the Auckland Regional Economic Development Strategy, which provides the starting point for government action for Auckland.

"Now the challenge is to continue the work we have done on developing partnerships and facilitating innovation and competitiveness in Auckland. We are taking a whole-of-government, long-term approach to working with local authorities on Auckland's urban infrastructure, planning and housing needs, as well as addressing cross-cutting, hard to tackle social development issues."

The Sustainable Development for New Zealand Programme of Action's recommendations for developing the social wellbeing of the Auckland region include: -integrating social services for disadvantaged neighbourhoods, -improving housing conditions, -improving the participation of young people in education, cultural opportunities, training and employment, -improving settlement outcomes for new migrants and refugees.

"As Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister, I am also delighted that the programme recommends developing culture and heritage opportunities, which will contribute to positive urban transformation in Auckland and give Aucklanders greater confidence in their cultural diversity," said Judith Tizard.

"Auckland is a vibrant, unique region with some great challenges and enormous strengths. The sustainable development lessons we learn in Auckland will be relevant to all of New Zealand's urban areas.

"I will continue to work with the Mayoral Forum and support Cabinet Ministers Marian Hobbs, Jim Anderton, Pete Hodgson and Steve Maharey on achieving the goals of this sustainable development programme in Auckland and across New Zealand."

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