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

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014.

During his visit, President Xi Jinping met with Governor-General Jerry Mateparae, and held talks with Prime Minister John Key. The leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of common interest. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

China President Wishlists: Greens Welcome Xi, But Human Rights Need To Be On Agenda

“President Xi has made some progress on climate change, but he must also lift the Chinese government’s game on human rights issues,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said... It is important that our Government continues to urge the Chinese government to show restraint and respect human rights in both Tibet and the Xinjiang province.” More>>

ALSO:

Airport Security Breach: CAA Fines Minister

Minister Brownlee has been issued an infringement notice and is required to pay a $2000 infringement fine for breaching Civil Aviation Rule 19.357(b), which states no person may be in an airport security area without an appropriate identity card or document. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news