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Bluegreen approach key to clean environment

Hon Dr Nick Smith
National Party Environment Spokesman

6 October 2006

Bluegreen approach key to clean environment

A clean environment and a strong economy can and must go together, National's Environment Spokesman Nick Smith said in releasing the discussion paper "A Bluegreen Vision for New Zealand" with National Leader Don Brash at Karori Wildlife Sanctuary today.

"This paper is about New Zealand living up to its 100% pure marketing image. It takes a fresh approach by advocating the use of incentives and greater sector engagement in finding environmental solutions that work."

Key policy proposals include:

* Capping carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation and introducing a tradable emissions permit system to encourage forest plantings.

* A contestable sustainability investment fund offering $1 billion over 10 years.

* National standards and transferable water permits to ensure lakes, rivers and streams are swimmable and fishable, and the resource is allocated efficiently.

* Stopping unsustainable forestry and ensuring imported wood comes from sustainably managed forests.

* Creating new national parks at Waipoua in Northland and the Waitakere Ranges.

* Tighter car emissions standards for noise and pollution.

* Giving hunters and fishers more say in managing their recreation.

* Backing community conservation projects with funding to save New Zealand's unique native species.

* Instant deportation for visitors who deliberately breach New Zealand's biosecurity laws.

* Providing financial incentives for recycling and introducing a national system of recycling bins.

"There is fertile ground for these sort of policies," says Dr Smith. "The Government has lost credibility on the environment with its many policy failures on issues like climate change, energy, oceans, waste and biodiversity. People are looking for new leadership.

"The debate on these proposals starts this weekend with National's Bluegreens Forum in the Waikato. We have scheduled more than 20 public meetings all over New Zealand before Christmas to get the public's feedback.

"All this will help refine this package into a firm environmental policy to take New Zealand forward. National has also put the paper on the party's website - www.national.org.nz - for feedback."

ENDS

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