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National committed to saving itself, not the kiwi

Labour
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"The only endangered species National is committed to saving is the National cabinet minister," says Labour conservation spokesperson Jill Pettis.

"Jenny Shipley's hypocritical claim today that 'conservation and the environment are a top priority for the National Party' will stick in the craw of every New Zealander who cares about our natural heritage."

"It is particularly rich that Mrs Shipley makes the claim on the West Coast, where National is committed to the environmental vandalism of native beech logging.

"Her pretence of a conservation policy contains nothing new except the vague and unfunded promise of five kiwi sanctuaries. With no extra money for these, funds will have to be diverted from other conservation areas. Kiwis in five areas might be more likely to live, while kiwis everywhere else will be more likely to die. That includes the West Coast forests, where National's native timber logging damages the kiwi's habitat.

"The reheated promises in Mrs Shipley's announcement only serve to highlight how little National has done for the environment in nine years. The biodiversity strategy, which still has no deadline, was promised eight years ago. Environmental performance indicators, now due in three years' time, were promised in 1994.

"Mrs Shipley promises action on greenhouse gases, but only last month New Zealand won a "Fossil of the Day" award from international environment groups for increasing CO2 emissions by 30% after promising a 5% cut. She boasts about creating marine reserves when they cover less than 1% of the coastline.

"Labour has already declared its commitment to tackling New Zealand's biodiversity crisis by strengthening the Department of Conservation. Threatened species programmes, habitat protection, weed and pest control and conservation advocacy will be our priorities for increased funding. Labour is also committed to retaining and strengthening the Resource Management Act and creating marine reserves to cover ten per cent of the coastline by 2010.

"National's feeble last-minute attempt to colour itself green comes nowhere close to Labour's comprehensive Green Agenda."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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