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

InternetNZ On Snowden Docs: Mass Collection Of Pacific Data Affects Kiwi Holidaymakers

The allegation that New Zealand has conducted mass data harvesting on its Pacific Island neighbours raises concerns about New Zealanders’ communications being collected, says InternetNZ.

“If the allegations are correct, then New Zealand would be mining data about everyone in the Pacific Islands named in the allegations. That’s everyone. Not just individuals who attract specific surveillance warrants, but everyone. This means local residents to visiting Kiwi tourists could be having their data collected." More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Teina Pora Wins Appeal: Gordon Campbell On The Privy Council Decision

The quashing of the convictions of Teina Pora for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in 1992 has shone a spotlight once again on a major gap in the New Zealand justice system... More>>

ALSO:

Urgent Bill Planned: MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news