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State of Environment New Zealand report welcomed

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister for the Environment

31 January 2008 Media Statement
Embargoed until midday

State of Environment New Zealand report welcomed

See also Trevor Mallard's speech to the launch at www.beehive.govt.nz/mallard

The report Environment New Zealand 2007 provides a timely check up on the health of our environment and charts New Zealand’s journey towards sustainability, Environment Minister Trevor Mallard said at the report's launch today.

The report on the state of New Zealand's environment looks at the physical well-being of New Zealand’s land, water, air, plants and animals. It measures the impact of every day activities and identifies trends and some pressures on our natural resources.

"This report, which will be produced every five years from now on, is an incredibly valuable tool. As a nation we value our clean green environment as part of our lifestyle and national identity. We recognise the importance of New Zealand’s clean green reputation to our international markets – as it is critical to our present and future economic well-being as consumers the world over seek out environmentally friendly and climate friendly products and services," Trevor Mallard said.

"Our primary production and tourism sectors are the bread, butter and jam of our economy. This report is a valuable measuring tool which will guide us in policy work and decision making so we can continue to leverage off our valuable natural resources and maintain the kiwi lifestyle, in a way that is sustainable and internationally competitive.

"This report shows that together we have made significant improvements in some areas. But there are areas where we need to do other things better, to protect our clean green reputation. We simply cannot afford to be complacent.

"That is the point of reports like this – they enable central and local government, communities and business to work together to target policies, and work programmes towards the emerging areas of concern while ensuring we continue to gain rather than lose ground on areas where things are tracking well.

"The Labour-led government is already taking leadership in this area. A substantial work programme and range of initiatives is in place to help us reduce or mitigate our impact on our environment – from the proposed emissions trading scheme, support for households' energy efficiency and solar heating, waste reduction and recycling initiatives, environmental standards on air and water through to the multi million dollar funds for research into sustainable primary production and for sustainable land management.

"A full list of the government's work programme set against the indicators of the report is also released today in the Cabinet paper on the report," Trevor Mallard said.

The report, the cabinet paper and other information is at www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/ser/enz07-dec07/index.html


ENDS

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