Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Govt's oceans plan sinks the environment

27 June 2008

Govt's oceans plan sinks the environment

The Labour Government has yet again let down New Zealanders and the environment this time by back-tracking on its promise to protect New Zealand's oceans.

Today the Government announced a plan to regulate some activity in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), but this is a far cry from the "integrated and comprehensive framework" giving effect to the "vision of healthy oceans, wisely managed" that they promised the country last election, Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons.

The Greens obtained under the Official Information Act a 2003 draft of the Oceans Policy, which better balanced the protection of the oceans with resource demands. Today's announced plan bears no resemblance to that document.

"The Minister this morning admitted that the Government's intention is now primarily to provide greater certainty for industries that operate in the EEZ - it is disappointing that protection of the marine environment has taken a back seat.

"Despite the Greens' relief in finally seeing a tangible proposal after seven years of delay, what is proposed is a massive back-down on the Government's election promise.

"Our oceans are being pillaged by overfishing, precious marine mammals and birds are being slaughtered as by-catch, the sea-floor is being bulldozed by bottom-trawlers, unique seamounts are being demolished for chemicals and minerals, and demand for oil and gas raise the spectre of a large scale oil-spill disaster. Most of these activities are ignored by this plan.

"What is needed is an integrated policy that considers the cumulative effects of all marine activities, and one that fully protects sensitive areas and marine species and ecosystems - like what was promised. For example, it is embarrassing that we still have no marine reserves in the EEZ.

"Yet again the Ministry tasked with protecting the Environment has been beaten into proposing a policy that is at best environmentally weak, and at worst facilitates more exploitation of our precious oceans," Ms Fitzsimons says.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>




Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>


Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>


Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>


(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election