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Environmental result pleasing

Environmental result pleasing – but no room for complacency

The Government welcomes a report released today that ranks New Zealand first in the world for environmental performance.

The 2006 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) produced by a team of experts from Yale and Columbia Universities rated New Zealand first out of the 133 countries they surveyed.

"The report reflects well on our commitment to a green clean environment," says Environment Minister David Benson-Pope. "However, I would caution against complacency."

The report compares New Zealand on a range of indicators including water and air quality, wilderness protection, sustainable use of resources and energy efficiency.

"While New Zealand scored very highly on many factors, there is still clearly room for improvement," says the Minister.

He sited the areas of energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy as two areas where New Zealand could make significant gains. The government is undertaking work in these areas.

"Overall, these results are great news for New Zealanders because it means we are enjoying a clean and healthy environment. It also enhances New Zealand's reputation in the world as an attractive place to visit or to do business," said Mr Benson-Pope.

The Minister has asked the Ministry for the Environment to check and analyse the report to see what lessons it can provide for improving our environmental performance still further.

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