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Baldock: Putting a cap on environmental overkill

Baldock: Putting a cap on environmental overkill

Conservation Minister Chris Carter's immediate 'lock up the hinterlands' reaction to the near-disastrous Milford Sounds diesel spill gave a worrying insight into the Government's "fear-based" approach to conservation issues, United Future's Larry Baldock said today.

"The answer here is lockable fuel caps on boats travelling in these waters, not restricted access," Mr Baldock, United Future's environment and conservation spokesman, said.

"And even if it was in a gut reaction, it was a worrying one.

"This is fear-based conservation and, unfortunately, it is typical of the way the issue is approached in this country.

"What we need is a cooler assessment and open minds as to how best to handle our wild lands and waterways.

"We need a clean, healthy and well-protected natural environment for the future health and the social and economic well-being of all New Zealanders, but this must be based upon robust common sense environmental policies.

"United Future believes that humans are part of the natural environment and have a right to be in the environment and to use it appropriately in various areas.

"Of course we have to be sensitive and sustainable in our approach as a nation to the outdoors, but we have something to add to the whole picture with our technology and science.

"In fact, without a healthy economy and ongoing scientific and technological advances, environmental damage will only increase," Mr Baldock said.

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