Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Government Investment in Nature Welcomed: ECO

The government’s funding package to protect New Zealand’s environment, the "Biodiversity Package" announced today by the Ministers of Environment, Conservation and Fisheries was warmly welcomed today by the national alliance of organisations with a concern for the environment, ECO.

"This area has suffered serious under-funding and neglect for a decade: so there is a lot of catching up to be done," says Cath Wallace, spokesperson for ECO. "We see this package as a significant improvement – but we also see the need for further investment if New Zealand’s natural endowment is not to be lost irretrievably.

"The total over five years of $14.1 million on improved understanding of the marine environment is very welcome. It is regrettable that this area has been neglected for so long that this will not go very far – more will be needed.

"Much more is needed to be spent on understanding, and in particular controlling, the damage done by bottom trawling, dredging and other fishing methods to the marine environment. Fisheries earn $1.4 billion per year and cause huge damage to the marine environment, so the $1.5-2-9m per year earmarked for the next three years is still fairly small - but at least in this package we have a start.

"Spending on marine and land biosecurity – protection from, and control of diseases, invasive pests and weeds, is very, very welcome – particularly the marine spending since these threats to the marine environment been ignored up until now. It is good to see funding for a Biosecurity Strategy for New Zealand: our treatment of this problem has been haphazard to date.

Spending of $11.5m foreshadowed on marine reserves is also both overdue and much needed. Like some of the other funding, some of the serious money is in years beyond the next election – we hope that when the time comes, whichever government is in power honours these commitments. Marine reserves are needed for fisheries protection, protection of invertebrates and the marine life systems and for recreation and tourism.

The total of $2.5 million for an integrated oceans management strategy suggests that the government is not fully understanding the size of the task ahead on this: we think it will need at least $5m and probably $8 million to do a proper job. We hope the government is not aiming too low on this. The marine environment administered by New Zealand is 15 times the size of the land area – it still needs far more attention and investment in its protection than it is getting. It is sobering to notice that the $18 million in this package for this year is still only one-sixth of the $120million package promised to the West Coast .

Over-all though, if this package is truly new money, then the government is starting off on the right track and it is very welcome.

--------------- ENDS ------------

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news