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 What John Key Should Be Asking Joe Biden

No doubt, US Vice-President Joe Biden will be updating Prime Minister John Key on the chances of a TPP vote taking place in the ‘ lame duck’ session of Congress that’s held between the November’s election and the inauguration of a new President in January. More>>

ALSO:

Make NZ Make Again: Greens Will Establish A Minister For Manufacturing

The Green Party announced today that it will establish a Minister for Manufacturing in Cabinet, to better represent the interests of manufacturers and ensure they thrive. The Minister will be inside Cabinet and have responsibility for the long-term interests of the manufacturing sector. More>>

ALSO:

Cannabis Party: Treasury Figures On Cost Of Criminalisation

Figures released by Treasury prove the economic viability of The Cannabis Party's policy, while destroying the credibility of police claims about cannabis harms. More>>

ALSO:

Green Party: Investigation Into Mental Health Facilities Shows Disarray

The Health Minister must urgently launch an inquiry into mental health services, after serious issues with the standard of care at mental health and disability facilities around the country were revealed today, the Green Party said. More>>

ALSO:

Apparently He Means 'Years 0-8': Seymour Announces 4th Partnership Schools Application Round

“The continuing growth of this policy reflects the achievement of the eight existing Partnership Schools, and the strong levels of interest educators and community leaders are showing in the Partnership Schools model and what it offers students and their families,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

Trust Directors: Urban Māori Win Case Against Te Ohu Kai Moana

The National Urban Māori Authority (NUMA) and Te Waipareira Trust have succeeded in their claim over a $20 million trust set up for the benefit of urban Māori, meaning all directors of the trust must represent Māori who are not affiliated with an iwi. More>>

New Model: Carbon Tax Could Lower Emissions And Boost Economy

A carbon tax targeting emissions-intensive industries, along with a revamped Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), could boost economic growth, with the extra tax generated used to cut GST from 15 percent to 12.5 percent. More>>

ALSO:

Budget Docs Release: ACC Sought $158mn In Budget 2016, Got $26.4mn

The Accident Compensation Commission requested an extra $158 million in funding for 2016/17 from the government ahead of Budget 2016, but Treasury instead recommended an interim payment of just $26.4 million be funded to tackle demographic changes, papers published by the government show. More>>

ALSO:

Submissions Sought: Māori Party Joins Opposition Housing Inquiry

People who are homeless, those who were once homeless, those working with the homeless and concerned New Zealanders are being asked to share their experiences and solutions to this growing issue with the Cross-Party Homelessness Inquiry. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news