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


EPA Board members unlikely to protect the environment

EPA Establishment Board members unlikely to protect the environment

The former interests of members appointed to the Establishment Board for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) make them unsuitable candidates for the job, said the Green Party today.

"The Establishment Board will set the tone of the EPA and it is inappropriate for a former Chief Executive of Meridian Energy and the chair of the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) to be given this task," said Green Party spokesperson on the EPA, David Clendon.

Mr Clendon was responding to the announcement that the Establishment Board will consist of Dr Keith Turner, former Chief Executive of Meridian Energy, Richard Woods, Chair of the Environmental Risk Management Authority, Anake Goodall, retiring Chief Executive of Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, and chairperson Kerry Prendergast, former Wellington mayor.

"Given the pro-development stance of this Government, the selection of development sceptics to the EPA is critical if the EPA is to have an actual environmental protection role. Unfortunately this seems unlikely," said Mr Clendon.

"Major power companies will no doubt have future applications heard by the EPA, which given a loyalty to the industry, could influence ex-Meridian CEO Dr Turner's choice of who might be suitable appointees."

Mr Clendon was also worried that the chair of ERMA would recommend the appointments of people who would seek to retain rather than change the ERMA culture of 'approve anything', regardless of scientific uncertainty, ethical issues, and economic risk.

"There is already doubt about how much independence the EPA will really have from the Minister, given its status as a crown entity," said Mr Clendon.

Minister for the Environment Nick Smith, has said the Establishment Board is tasked with beginning the recruitment process for the EPA's chief executive and to give consideration to appointments to and terms of reference for the Maori Advisory Committee and Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Committee.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The RWC, And The Op Burnham Inquiry

Testimony was given that damning evidence had been culpably ignored, lost or (deliberately?) mislaid. The systems for handling secret material from our allies were – to be charitable – only loosely observed.

Moreover… vital evidence was only belatedly made available to the inquiry, and former NZDF officers later found to be central to the events under scrutiny were strangely missing from the original witness list offered by NZDF. In short, last week’s cross-examination of the military’s former top brass demonstrated in detail that the NZDF had consistently misled its Ministers (and the wider public) for years, over the impact of our military activities in Afghanistan. More>>


Guns, Lobbying: National Has Wish List For Arms Bill

National has today outlined the 13 changes we want to see in the second tranche of gun reforms before considering our support, National’s Police spokesperson Brett Hudson says. More>>


Call For Action On Expert Panel Report: Welfare System Needs Urgent Change

If we want New Zealand to be the best place in the world to be a child, the Government needs to increase benefits, remove sanctions, individualise benefits, and fix abatement rates now, says Child Poverty Action Group and ActionStation . More>>


First Data Releases: Mixed External Report On Census Fail Mitigation

The panel endorses the statistical approaches used to mitigate non-response... However, the unprecedented use of alternative government datasets to augment census data raises questions around ethics, social licence, cultural licence, and Māori data sovereignty. More>>


Aitches: Manawatū-Whanganui Region Spelling Corrected

The Manawatu-Wanganui Region will in future be correctly spelt Manawatū-Whanganui Region. The change also means the regional council will be known as the Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Council. Horizons Regional Council is the trading name for the council. More>>

PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>


Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>


Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>


Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>





InfoPages News Channels