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

 


Environment reporting must be independent from Ministers

20 February 2014

Ministers need to be hands off for environment reporting to be independent

National has broken its 2011 election promise to have fully independent state of the environment reporting, the Green Party said today.

"In 2011 the National Government promised to have the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) independently report on the environment every five years. Now the PCE will only have rights to comment on the data that others have collected,” said Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“New Zealand’s independent environmental watchdog, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, should be in charge of our environmental reporting, not Ministers.”

Ms Sage was responding to the Environmental Reporting Bill which was introduced to Parliament today. The Bill makes environmental reporting the responsibility of the Ministry for the Environment with the Government Statistician collecting the data and the Parliamentary Commissioner having a commenting role on the report.

“The Government has retained the power to determine what environmental data is collected and thus can deliberately not collect data which it knows will paint a poor picture of our environment,” said Ms Sage.

“If the reporting is to have any integrity, Ministers need to be hands off in terms of what indicators are used and what is monitored.

“The Green Party will be seeking changes to the Bill to provide more transparency and independence in decisions about what indicators are monitored.

"You don't get to mark your own test in school, and the Government shouldn't be allowed mark its own report on the environment.

“We have a history in New Zealand of governments seemingly manipulating environmental reporting for political means.”

Ms Sage explained that the Ministry for the Environment suppressed the thirteenth and final chapter in the 2007 State of the Environment report because it made the politically unpalatable assertion that pastoral land-use intensification was 'arguably the largest pressure today on New Zealand's land, freshwaters, coastal oceans and atmosphere'. The thirteenth chapter only saw the light of day when the Green Party released it, Ms Sage said.

“The National Government is breaking their promise to have fully independent environmental reporting because the Government is keen to cover up the environmental degradation that it has overseen,” said Ms Sage.

"The public deserve to be told the truth about the state of our environment, even if it is politically inconvenient for the government of the day.”

Reference:
2011 National Party policy on state of the environment reporting

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

TV3 Videos: Key's Flip-Flop Over Whale Oil Texts | Slater
Reaction: Greens | More
Dim-Post Link: The Very Odd Slightly Left Of Centre

Gordon Campbell: On Government Arrogance

Right now, National is ramming anti-terrorism measures through Parliament. This legislation will grant the SIS the power to carry out 48 hour bouts of surveillance on anyone without a warrant, and will bestow on government the power to unilaterally revoke anyone’s passports and thus deny them the freedom to travel.

Ludicrously, the public has been given exactly one day to make submissions on these major infringements of their civil liberties. Despite Finlayson’s misleading signals on RNZ that these are only stopgaps until next year’s full review of our security laws, the measures in question will not, in fact, expire until 2018.

Why the insane rush? Good question. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Key Texts With Whale Oil Released: PM Can’t Be Trusted Over Dirty Politics Defence - Greens

John Key’s answers to questions about dirty politics can’t be trusted, after he was forced to admit that he had misled journalists and Parliament about contact with attack blogger Cameron Slater, said the Green Party today.. More>>

ALSO:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

White Ribbon Day: Govt Resumes Sexual Violence Trial Proceedings Work

Justice Minister Amy Adams has asked the Law Commission to resume work on proposals for better supporting victims of sexual violence through the criminal process. The Law Commission will revisit its previous work on alternative pre-trial and trial processes to identify options for improving complainants’ experience in court. More>>

ALSO:

"New Faces, Wise Heads": Andrew Little Announces New Labour Line Up

Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Rick Ellis As Te Papa’s New CEO

The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial goals as he did at TVNZ, while similarly neglecting the serious cultural side of his mandate. More>>

Passport Cancellation, Surveillance: Draft 'Foreign Fighters Legislation' Released

The final draft of the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill contains proposals previously announced by Mr Key in a major national security speech earlier this month. More>>

ALSO:

Related

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news