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

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news