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Where's the commitment to the environment?

Hon Marian Hobbs
Minister for the Environment

13 September 2005 Media Statement

Where's the commitment to the environment?

National lacks any commitment to the environment judging by today's policy announcement, Environment Minister Marian Hobbs said today.

"The environment policy cobbles together other National announcements and is so short on detail you've got to wonder why they bothered," Marian Hobbs said. "Environment is clearly an area to be chopped to pay for tax cuts.

"Their environment spokesman, Nick Smith was so concerned about lake water quality and pollution in 2003, he pulled a stunt for the cameras and called lakes near Rotorua 'an environmental disaster'. But where's the money for the environment? There's no mention of how they will improve our water quality - so much for his concern.

"Labour has committed funding to help clean up Lake Taupo and the Rotorua Lakes. No doubt this funding will be gone by lunchtime, and our beautiful lakes will follow.

"There is no commitment to reduce waste and no funding commitment to clean up contaminated sites. Residents of Mapua, Te Aroha near the Tui mine, and the more than 20 other places where we've put funding into cleaning up contaminated sites should be asking their local National candidates if that funding would be cut under National.

"Nick Smith has also forgotten that over 80 per cent of people live in cities. There's no mention of environmental policies for our urban areas.

"National talks about developing environmental standards. They did nothing in the eight years after the Resource Management Act was passed. It took Labour to introduce 14 air quality standards and we've got more work under way.

"National's missing environmental policies are an embarrassment."


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