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

 

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Parliament
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news