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Labour not focused on waste management

John Carter MP
National Party Local Government Spokesman
Hon Nick Smith MP
National Party Environment Spokesman
17 July 2006

Labour not focused on waste management

Comments that Labour ‘continues to focus on effective and pragmatic approaches to managing waste in New Zealand’ are pure rubbish, say National MPs Nick Smith and John Carter.

The comments are in a recent report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment called ’Changing Behaviour: Economic Instruments in the Management of Waste’.”

The report criticises the lack of progress in obtaining national waste data deemed ’essential for designing effective policy’, despite Labour being aware of the shortfall since at least 1999.

“In lieu of that ‘effective policy’, we have Labour supporting the Green Party’s mad Waste Minimisation Bill,” says Mr Carter, National’s Local Government spokesman. “

“As it stands, this bill will do little other than ratchet up local rates and close down local businesses. In particular, the requirement on every single business and organisation to develop a waste minimisation plan is ludicrous.

“This would require councils to approve hundreds of thousands of plans,” says Mr Carter.

Dr Smith, National’s Environment spokesman, says the bill is typical Greens sledgehammer legislation that looks feelgood but is in fact total madness and a compliance cost nightmare.

He says the commissioner’s report does back up National’s view that prescriptive nanny-state regulation is simply not the way to go.

The two spokesmen say the Labour Government should amend faulty parts of the Local Government Act so councils have more choice about how to handle waste issues, rather than fostering a culture of “compliance cost creep”.

ENDS

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