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Gentle Footprints book disgraceful waste of money

Nick Smith MP
National Party Environment Spokesman
24 May 2006

‘Gentle Footprints’ book disgraceful waste of money

The Environment Ministry book 'Gentle Footprints' out today to mark the retirement of chief executive Barry Carbon is a disgraceful waste of public money on public relations spin, says National’s Environment spokesman, Nick Smith.

“New Zealanders do not need an 80-page glossy book costing $120,000 to mark the retirement of an Aussie public servant of four years,” says Dr Smith.

“The book is described as his ‘parting gift to New Zealanders’ but the bill is being paid by the Kiwi taxpayer. In Kiwi culture, a gift is paid for by the giver and not the receiver.

“This book is an insult to the intelligence of New Zealanders. Platitudes like ‘Beauty in New Zealand is everywhere, Freshwater is important to our health, We love all types of cars’, and ‘We all enjoy the beach’ make this report nothing more than public relations spin.

“The tragedy of this report is that New Zealand’s environmental reporting is woeful. We have not produced a proper state of the environment report since 1997, while most OECD countries have produced reports five yearly.

“We do not need this sort of shallow spin on the environment. We need solid and robust reporting so New Zealanders know the true state of our environment.”


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