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Greens to Nats - Tourism depends on environment

28 October 2008


Greens to Nats - Tourism depends on the environment

The Green Party is reminding the National Party that our tourist industry is 100% reliant on our natural environment. And hence National's plan to gut the already-weak environment protection legislation, the Resource Management Act, will destroy our tourism industry by leaving our environment unprotected from National's developer and agribusiness mates.

This follows the release of National's tourism policy today and John Key's announcement that he will take on the tourism portfolio.

"It may seem strange to National's shadow Tourism Minister, John Key, but people come to New Zealand to experience our beautiful natural environment, not to look at endless coastal subdivisions and rivers full of cow faeces," Green Party Co-Leader Russel Norman says.

"When tourists see that our rivers are so polluted it's dangerous to swim in them, they are shocked because our advertising tells them that we are 100% Pure," Dr Norman says.

"When WWF publishes information showing that New Zealand has one of the biggest per capita environmental footprints in the world, it undermines the 100% Pure advertising campaign being run by Tourism NZ.

"National's plan to gut the Resource Management Act so that developers can destroy the natural environment even faster than they currently are will result in more environmental degradation than we've seen already.

"If National gets their way, so that developers get the go ahead to put in endless coastal subdivisions and knock over indigenous bush and drain wetlands, so that industrial dairy farms can take even more water from rivers and pour in even more effluent, then say goodbye to our clean and green reputation.

"And if National weakens the Emission Trading Scheme even further, our increase in emissions will further damage our green reputation.

"We need to strengthen our environmental laws not weaken them. Labour have been bad for the environment but National are promising to make it worse."

ENDS

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