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Hobbs Speech - Environment Institute of Aust/NZ

· Marian Hobbs Speech - Official launch of Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand, Te Papa, 11.45am Fri May 9
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· Noon: Karakia, Welcome
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· Dignitaries:
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· Australian High Commissioner Mr Robert Cotton Principal New Zealand Environment Court Judge J.R. Bollard Assistant Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Helen Beaumont EIANZ President Mr Simon Molesworth Wellington Waterfront Limited Chair, Hon. Fran Wilde
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· Thank you for inviting me here today. I am very pleased to help launch the New Zealand Chapter of the Environment Institute.
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· I know Barry Carbon, the Environment Ministry's CEO, addressed the inaugural meeting of the New Zealand chapter in Christchurch in February at which the local committee was formed.
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· We've just marked the 20th anniversary of Closer Economic Relations with Australia. With the establishment of this Institute I guess we can say CER also stands for Closer Environmental Relations.
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· There's lots of co-operation and rivalry between our nations and we derive considerable benefit through the exchange of personnel. Barry Carbon, as you must be aware, is an Aussie and we're very pleased to have him here.
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· I'd like to use this occasion to acknowledge and congratulate Barry for the honour the Australian Government recently bestowed upon him. He was awarded a Centenary Medal for services to the environment. The commemorative medal was created to honour living people who have contributed to society or government in Australia's first century of federation.
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· The Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand is an important new body for us. It's the first umbrella professional association for our environmental practitioners.
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· The Institute's principal objectives are to promote environmental knowledge and advance ethical and competent practice whilst facilitating interaction amongst environmental professionals.
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· This is an important step forward for the environmental profession in New Zealand. Environmental management is an increasingly recognised and important part of our landscape. It’s vital that we have people with the professionalism and skills to solve the problems we face – and to take the opportunities that are out there. I’m also pleased to see cooperation with environmental practitioners in Australia being a key part of this Institute. The knowledge and experience we can draw on and share will be a benefit to all of us.
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· You will know that the Ministry for the Environment is undergoing substantial change at the moment. In the past ten years the Ministry’s focus has been on achieving sustainable management through the development of better policy statements and plans and efficient management.
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· The Ministry for the Environment is seeking to broaden that mandate by developing partnerships with industry and the community to achieve sustainable development. The Ministry also seeks to improve integration of environmental management between government departments and across local government and industry and to ensure that social, cultural and economic concerns are given equal weight in managing environmental matters.
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· I think this change reflects the way environmental management is changing. It is becoming more organised, more focused, more ‘customer’ focused, and more effective. It is also more active – it does not just suggest a range of solutions. It now goes out and once it has the players together, they create and carry out the solution.
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· The Ministry is leading whole-of-government programmes on climate change and oceans, is committed to improving environmental decision making, is working with local government, business and the community, and is determined to provide national leadership through environmental standards.
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· An excellent example of the Ministry’s leadership is its work on waste. The Reduce Your Rubbish Campaign, together with our policy work and the implementation of the NZ Waste Strategy, shows us the importance of an all-encompassing approach to an environmental issue – and the importance of working with environmental professionals. Work at community level – schools, campaigns Work with local government and their landfills Work with specific industries and their specialised wastes – oil/rubber
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· The Ministry is committed to working collectively and to thinking in new ways – as is your Institute. The Government is also committed to this – and we are committed to growth and innovation through sustainable development– development that meets present needs without compromising the needs of future New Zealanders.
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· The government is taking leadership and prioritising action – action to remove barriers to growth, action to improve liveability, and action to improve the international competitiveness of our cities. We need to keep lifting our economic growth rate so we can fund good public services. But economic growth must be environmentally sustainable and socially beneficial.
The Programme of Action for Sustainable Development recognises that we all have a role to play and that there are many areas where the best results will depend on collaborative action.
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· Government processes are changing across all government departments to ensure that how we develop is understood in the delivery of all government work programmes be it immigration, car imports, housing corporation designs, primary health care, hazardous substances regulations. – "No man is an island"/ all our actions have effects – this is being hammered home in the 'breaking out of silo campaign'.
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· Obviously, government can’t do this by itself. We need you as well. I want to make it easier for government to hear the issues and for you to be part of the solutions. I want to hear from the Institute about the issues you, as a profession, think are important, and the areas we can make changes in.
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· Just one area of work I know we can work together on is the development of a package of National Environmental Standards – designed to protect human health and the environment. They can be used to place limits on discharges to air, water and land. National environmental standards will establish environmental bottom lines around air, water, and noise for urban places.
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· It is this collaboration between government and professionals that gives us the opportunity to make real changes and to make a real difference to the environment. Having skilled people who can think outside their immediate areas and who can work across the community is vital. The Environment Institute will play a real role in leading this, in taking the issues into the public arena in an informed, non-lobbying manner. This Institute is important because it allows you to stop working and thinking in professional or departmental boxes.
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· Thank you again for inviting me to this launch and for giving me the opportunity to meet with you. Together, we have much to do, and I congratulate you on this initiative.
·
Exchange of native trees with Australian High Commissioner. The Trees will eventually become part of the Wellington Waterfront project. (Later in the programme, there will be a talk about this project.)

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