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OECD to review NZ's environmental performance

1 June 2005

OECD to review NZ's environmental performance

A team from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will be here this month to review New Zealand's environmental performance over the past 10 years, Minister for the Environment Marian Hobbs said today.

"The review is like an environmental report card," Marian Hobbs said, "and is a good opportunity for New Zealand to take stock of our progress on the environment in general, and in some specific areas of environmental management."

The OECD last reviewed New Zealand in 1995/96. The reviews are designed to help OECD member countries improve their environmental management with the goal of achieving sustainable development.

"These results are assessed against the country's – in this case New Zealand's – own stated intentions, international commitments and the aims of the OECD's environmental strategy for the 21st century," Marian Hobbs said.

The review will focus on water and waste management; biodiversity; sustainable development; agriculture and forestry; and international co-operation and commitments. The Ministry for the Environment – which is leading the review – has worked with other agencies to provide the OECD with background information on these areas.

"The OECD is increasingly focused on how well a country's environment policies are integrated with its economic and social programmes. This review will be a good opportunity to showcase New Zealand's progress on sustainable development," Marian Hobs said.

The review team is drawn from the OECD Secretariat and experts from other member countries and will meet central and local government officials and representatives from industry groups, trade unions, iwi, environmental groups and independent environment speciliasts. The reviewers will visit Wellington, Canterbury and Hawkes Bay to view examples of environmental work.

The ministry is hosting sessions with interested groups and individuals to ensure they are able to feed their views into the review process.

The review team's findings will be presented to a working party of all the OECD member countries, including New Zealand, for a formal peer review examination, after which a final report will be presented to New Zealand mid-2006.


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