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Government needs to explain contradiction

Government needs to explain contradiction and release chapter

Green Media Release – 11-2-08

The Greens are calling on the Government to explain the contradiction between the statements of the Minister for the Environment, Trevor Mallard, and the Ministry for the Environment Spokesperson as to why the thirteenth chapter of the ‘State of the Environment’ report was not released.

Trevor Mallard is saying that the ‘chapter had been scrapped because it made a series of conclusions that were not strictly supported by the facts’.

The Ministry for the Environment Spokesperson is saying that the chapter wasn’t published because the report was ‘just getting too repetitive and too long’ and there is no ‘significant difference’ with the other twelve chapters.

“Either the chapter was redundant, because it repeated statements reported elsewhere in the Report, or it was novel but wrong, because it made conclusions not strictly supported by the facts, but it can’t be both,” says Dr. Russel Norman, Green Party Co-leader.

“If the Government is going to say that there was no cover-up and no interference then it should get its story straight. Either the chapter was dropped because it said nothing new, or it was dropped because it came to new ‘wrong-headed’ conclusions. But it can’t be both.

“The truth is that the thirteenth chapter came to a series of correct conclusions based on the evidence contained in the rest of the report.

They concluded rightly that:

-intensification of agriculture is the biggest pressure on the environment and we need national environmental standards;

- increased car use is a major pressure on the environment and we need to invest in public transport more than we are doing currently;

- there is a danger to our economic future because of our current poor environmental performance. “The Government should now release the chapter so that everyone can see what’s in it. The Greens are having to be careful about releasing our copy of the chapter because it may have identifying features that we are unaware of that will mean that MfE can identify the source.”

ENDS

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