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Cuts to Environment budget explain the missing minister

Grant
ROBERTSON
Deputy Leader
Environment Spokesperson
26 May 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Cuts to Environment budget explain the missing Environment Minister

A significant cost cutting exercise within the Environment portfolio helps explain why Budget 2012 has come and gone without a sighting of Minister Amy Adams, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Grant Robertson.

“Environment has always been seen as the poor cousin by National, but in this budget it appears to have been kicked out of the family altogether. The Minister has not even bothered to issue a media statement to outline the details.

“A brief analysis explains why. There has been a baseline cut of $1.75 million across her portfolio, with most of it coming from areas such as resource management, water management, marine environment and treaty settlements.

“These are all identified as priorities in the Ministry for the Environment’s Statement of Intent. They are also all areas where there are significant issues for the future well-being of our environment,” Grant Robertson said.

“For example, the Land and Water Forum has just released its second report recommending major work be undertaken around sustainable and consistent water management. The Minister is putting that work at risk through these latest clawbacks.

“The Minister may be hoping that by keeping her head down she will get away with not having to explain the cuts. Unfortunately all it does is highlight the government’s aversion to making environmental issues a priority.
“Labour believes that a vital part of our future as a country is to protect and enhance the environment as part of sustainable economic growth.

“The budget was an opportunity for the government to show the same commitment. Instead, there’s been a deafening silence and funding has been cut,” Grant Robertson said.


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