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Environment Day chance to celebrate outdoors

Media statement
For immediate release
Thursday, 5 June 2008

World Environment Day a chance to celebrate New Zealand’s outdoor heritage

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne says World Environment Day is a chance to celebrate New Zealand’s outdoor heritage.

Mr Dunne, who joined Newlands College students at Nga Hau E Wha O Papaparangi Papakainga in a tree-planting ceremony, says there is much to celebrate in New Zealand’s love of the outdoors.

“Too often, we become far too grim and serious to appreciate what we have got in our country.

“Instead of hand-wringing angst about the state of the planet and how we can unilaterally save it, we ought to acknowledge the deep commitment of many New Zealanders over the generations to preserving our outdoors heritage, and promoting this message to those who follow us,” he says.

Mr Dunne says New Zealanders have always been proud of their environment and there are no signs that mood is diminishing.

“But New Zealanders are also hands-on people who want to be able to enjoy their physical surroundings.

“Locking the landscape up, or placing other unreasonable restrictions on people’s ability to enjoy the world around them cuts against the Kiwi grain.

“That is why while New Zealanders are more than willing to play their part in combating the effects of climate change as it affects our country, they have no desire to become the world’s policeman on the issue.

“The proper message of World Environment Day should be that every nation has to play its part in proportion to its size and contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, not take on the burden on behalf of other countries,” he says.


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