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

Parliament Kicks Off: Carter Re-Elected Speaker

The 51st Parliament held its commission opening today with MPs sworn in and David Carter elected Speaker.

The day began at 11am with the three Royal Commissioners – the Chief Justice, the Court of Appeal President, and the Chief High Court Judge – declaring the new Parliament open.

After the Commissioners left the Chamber the swearing in of MPs took place in alphabetical order. Unlike some previous openings all MPs managed to swear on the bible or affirm their oath without any hiccups... More>>

 

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:


Roy Morgan Poll: National Slips, Labour Hits Lows

The first New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll since the NZ Election shows National 43.5% (down 3.54% since the September 20 Election). This isn’t unusual, National support has dropped after each of John Key’s Election victories... However, support for the main opposition Labour Party has crashed to 22.5% (down 2.63% and the lowest support for Labour since the 1914 NZ Election as United Labour). More>>

ALSO:

In On First Round: New Zealand Wins Security Council Seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term. More>>

ALSO:

TPP Leak: Intellectual Property Text Confirms Risk - Jane Kelsey

The US is continuing its assault on generic medicines through numerous proposed changes to patent laws. ‘These are bound to impact on Pharmac if they are accepted’, according to Professor Kelsey... Copyright is another area of ongoing sensitivity... More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith Plans Reform To Ease Urban Development

Newly appointed Environment Minister Nick Smith has announced Resource Management Act reform to foster urban development, where high land prices and expensive resource consents are blocking efforts to provide affordable housing. More>>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On New Zealand getting involved (again) in other people's wars

Apparently, the Key government is still pondering how New Zealand will contribute to the fight against Islamic State. Long may it ponder, given the lack of consensus among our allies as to how to fight IS, where to fight it (Syria, Iraq, or both?) and with whose ground troops, pray tell? More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On child poverty, and David Shearer’s latest outburst

The politicisation of (a) the public service and (b) the operations of the Official Information Act have been highlighted by the policy advice package on child poverty that RNZ’s resolute political editor Brent Edwards has finally prised out of the Ministry of Social Development. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On the government’s review of security laws

So the Key government is about to launch a four week review of the ability of our existing legislation to deal with “suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters, and other violent extremists.”

According to its terms of reference, the review will consider whether the SIS, GCSB and Police are sufficiently able right now to (a) investigate and monitor suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters… More>>

ALSO:

Labour Davids: Lisa Owen Interviews David Shearer

David Shearer still mulling whether to stand for Labour leadership but says his family doesn’t think it’s a good idea. Declares that it will be “incredibly divisive” for the Labour caucus if David Cunliffe returns to the role of leader. More>>

ALSO:

Taser Use & False Evidence: Timaru Officers "Failed To Follow Good Policing Practice"

The Authority found that even if Mr Reuben’s contact with the officer was deliberate it amounted to only a minor assault. While it found the use of the OC spray was justified, the use of the Taser was not a proportionate response... More>>

ALSO:

Little Surprise: Andrew Little To Contest Labour Leadership

I have decided to contest the Labour Party leadership. There are three immediate issues to deal with: creating greater cohesion across the caucus, rebuilding the relationship between caucus and the Party and, most importantly getting the process under way to listen to the voters who have abandoned us... More>>

ALSO:

Two Fewer Votes In Recount: "Positive Result" - Harawira

When I applied for a recount of the votes from the Tai Tokerau election, I made it clear that this application was not aimed at overturning the election result, but ensuring that all votes cast by Maori were treated with due respect, regardless of whether those votes are for Labour, Maori Party or MANA. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news