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Blue Green vision a start - Greens

6 October 2006

Blue Green vision a start, but avoids hard questions - Greens

The Green Party today welcomed the National Party's launch of their Blue Green vision, saying that a contribution to the environmental debate from National was well overdue.

"National has moved on from denial, to discussion. That is great. The Greens welcome that contribution, but note that National has largely sidestepped the hard issues," Environment Spokesperson Nandor Tanczos says.

"This is an indication that National has woken up to the very real environmental challenges before us unfortunately their vision has a big blind spot in the middle.

"The elephant in the room they are failing to see remains the agricultural sector that is without doubt resolutely blue. The document acknowledges that farming is a significant source of water contamination and greenhouse gas emissions, but offers no solutions. The Nats clearly find it easier to focus on lesser targets that present no risk for votes.

"We are very happy to help the National Party fill in the missing bits of their Blue Green vision. We hope they follow through on their commitment to work towards a cross party agreement.

"However words are not enough to save the environment. People will be watching to see how National actually behaves on such things as my Waste Minimisation Bill and Jeanette Fitzsimons' Resource Management (Climate Protection) Amendment Bill.

"National's approach in the past has been largely knee-jerk antagonism to any proposal that tried to balance economic growth with environmental well-being.

"National has made some specific suggestions in the document - some with more merit than others - and these are welcomed. However much of the policy is still no more than worthy generalities and vague promises of cash. Even their Sustainable Investment Fund has a risk of becoming an eco-subsidy for National's corporate and farming 'base'.

"The nascent environmentalism that this document represents must be supported and encouraged, but I'm afraid they have a lot of catching up to do," Nandor says.

ends

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