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

 


Labour’s environment policy welcomed

28 August 2014 – Wellington

Forest & Bird media release for immediate use

Labour’s environment policy welcomed

The independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird says that overall the Labour Party’s newly released environment policy would go a long way towards protecting New Zealand’s natural heritage.

But Forest & Bird’s Advocacy Manager, Kevin Hackwell, says the organisation is concerned that some of the party’s policies do not go far enough. For example, Labour’s policy would not put in place a moratorium on fracking, while national regulations to properly control it were being developed.

“A transition to a high-tech, low-pollution economy that does not rely on fossil fuels is essential, and it is good to see that Labour has made that a priority,” Kevin Hackwell says.

“Labour’s promise to retain the purpose and principles of the Resource Management Act is also very welcome. This promise should be welcomed by all users of the RMA as it will protect the Act’s environmental core, and ensure that over 20 years of case law is not lost.“Labour’s policy commits it to strengthening or even replacing the recently-created National Policy Statement (NPS) on Freshwater Management. This is meant to provide bottom-lines for managing the country’s rivers, streams and lakes, but at present it is not nearly strong enough.

“There is also a promise to produce an NPS on native biodiversity, which would provide uniform minimum standards for protecting the country’s unique plants and animals,” Kevin Hackwell says.

“At the moment there is no such thing, and Forest & Bird believes this would be a valuable tool in making sure that there are no more extinctions.

“Likewise, an NPS that would give councils some direction in the consenting of onshore oil and gas exploration – as is being promised by Labour - would be a sensible step that would address the inadequate regional council controls on fracking,” Kevin Hackwell says.

“But, surprisingly, Labour’s policy does not include a moratorium on fracking until such regulations are in place.

“Given the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment said in her recent report that some councils treat oil and gas fracking wells no differently to water bores, this is a serious oversight.

“The commitment to improve the existing marine protection legislation - as a precursor to developing a comprehensive oceans policy – is important. But it would have been useful for voters to have been given a timetable for the introduction of such a policy. We would hope that would be introduced in the first term, if Labour was a part of the next government, given how long New Zealand marine habitats have gone without the protection of such a policy,” Kevin Hackwell says.

Forest & Bird also welcomes a potential mandate for the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to audit and monitor compliance with resource consents and plan conditions, and for polluters to be held liable for the clean-up of oil spills.

“Another promise to de-politicise appointments to boards of inquiry convened by the EPA – which preside over the conditions of consent for projects that are deemed to be of national importance – would also be a very positive step forward,” Kevin Hackwell says.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza?

As usual, Prime Minister John Key has busily tried to distance himself from the political fallout, even though he happens to be the main beneficiary of the Remuneration Authority’s generosity. Finance Minister Bill English says with a straight face that it would actually be very hard to give the money back...

Even if it were true, it would actually be very easy for English and any other guilty colleagues, to give the extra money away. There are any number of food banks or homeless shelters who would be able to put the money to good use. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

No Designers Or Visual Artists: Flag Panel Members Announced

The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour MP Stands Down From Portfolio: Comment From Carmel Sepuloni

The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday. I spoke to Andrew and we agreed there is a conflict of interest at the present time which means I will temporarily stand aside from the Social Development portfolio. It’s the right thing to do… . More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Whether NZ Troops Are The Least Of Islamic State’s Problems

Given that it has been politically packaged and sold as a training mission, the Iraq deployment announced yesterday by Prime Minister John Key seemed to be mysteriously short of actual trainers... The other wing of the argument is whether a troop deployment is (a) the only effective way and (b) the appropriate time to combat Islamic State. More>>

ALSO:

143 Troops, Possible SAS Deployment, Legalities Unsorted: PM’s Statement On ISIL

Mr Speaker, today I am announcing to the House the Government’s decisions about our contribution to the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL... More>>

ALSO:

Liu Saga: PM's Dinner With Controversial Donor

John Key must front up to New Zealand and say what he discussed with Donghua Liu when the disgraced businessman paid $25,000 for the Prime Minister to come to dinner at his Remuera home, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Roads: National MP 'Concerned' At Overseas Driver Crashes

Waitaki MP and Parliamentary Private Secretary for Tourism Jacqui Dean said she was concerned at the number of fatal crashes involving overseas licence holders and she really felt that the time had come for more to be done. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: Parole Bill Passes

A bill reducing parole hearings deemed to be unnecessary has passed. The third reading of the Parole Amendment Bill was completed by 104 to 16 with the Greens and Maori Party opposed. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news