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Greens Call For Ministry Of Urban Affairs

The Green Party has called for the establishment of a Ministry of Urban Affairs to develop policy and work with Local Government to achieve sustainable cities and towns.

Speaking to the Local Government New Zealand Conference today, Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald said, "The Green Party believes there needs to be a small focused Ministry which tackles the urban challenge.

"Over 85 percent of New Zealanders live in towns and cities. Sprawl in some areas and population loss in others creates social, environmental and economic pressures which are not being addressed adequately.

"The consequences of poor resource decisions often only become obvious in times of crisis. In 1994 Auckland ran out of water; in 1998 it ran out of power and every night it runs out of roads.

"The answer is not more water from the Waikato, more power from Huntly or more roads gobbling up more land.

"Sustainable solutions make better use of what we have by doing more with less for longer," he said.

The Green Party says central government should set targets for reducing car dependence and at the same time should improve public transport and provide more cycle facilities. A waste-free approach to production and consumption is needed. Water should be conserved and waste water recycled where appropriate.

The Party says it would develop a national policy statement on sustainable cities and towns under the Resource Management Act.

ENDS

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