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National Environment Summit in Christchurch 18-20

Thursday 17 June -

National Environment Summit in Christchurch 18-20 June

The national environmental summit of delegations from groups concerned with the environment and conservation will be held in Christchurch and at Living Springs, Governor's Bay this weekend, starting Friday morning at the Salvation Army Citadel, Victoria Square, 9..00am and then moving at 5.45pm Friday to Living Springs, Governor's Bay, Banks Peninsula for the rest of the weekend.

The conference, to be opened by Minister of Conservation and Local Government, Chris Carter and ECO Chair, Cath Wallace, will focus on key environmental issues including the attacks on the Resource Management Act, the government's plans to privatise fisheries management and research, moves to change water and natural resource allocation processes and South Island conservation issues. Antarctic conservation and the impacts of trawling in New Zealand waters and on the high seas will be canvassed.

"There is also intense concern about the government's growth and energy strategies. The conference will discuss smart strategies for moving forwards onto sustainable energy and sustainable development policies without simply steam rollering enviromental and social intererests, says ECO Chair, Cath Wallace. This is also the message that the government got from the Growth and Innovation Office Study so we hope that it will sit up and take notice.

Speakers include Fisheries Minister and Associate Environment Minister, David Benson-Pope; Greens co-chair Jeanette Fitzsimons; Environment Ministry CEO Barry Carbon; National Party spokesman for Environment and Local Government, Nick Smith, and many independent and environmental non-governmental leaders and analysts.

"ECO will be taking a close look at these issues, debating them and on Sunday considering a range of policy remits, says Cath Wallace

We see this as a key time: the government is listening and responding to business concerns but is paying precious little heed to environmental concerns. It is good to see Ministers and the Environment CEO turning up to speak - we hope they will also listen. There is widespread concern about some of the governments plans, particularly for the RMA, fisheries and energy.

ENDS

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