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

 

OECD Report – Pathways for improvement

Wellington – Tuesday 21 March 2017

OECD Environmental Performance Report – Pathways for improvement

The OECD international peer review of New Zealand’s environmental performance shows we are doing much less than we could to improve the environment, the Environment and Conservation Organisations of NZ said.

“The OECD review gives some valuable advice about how to do better,” says Cath Wallace, who is the policy Vice-chair of ECO.

“The OECD is diplomatically polite and conservative, but makes it clear that the government’s growth strategy is faulty and should be abandoned”, says Wallace, herself an economist and public policy expert.

“The Review is clear that the policy of expanding primary production and largely disregarding the impacts of agriculture and irrigation on water quality, on climate change and on biodiversity is misdirected, inadequate and environmentally damaging,” says Wallace.

The OECD recommends decoupling economic growth from increasing resource use. This is an idea that has been accepted elsewhere for decades, and is much more inclusive of the recognition of the environmental and economic costs of pollution and biodiversity loss than New Zealand’s approach.

An important recommendation is that biodiversity protection should move to whole of ecosystem and habitat protection and that individual species protection makes protection of biodiversity more difficult. ECO recently made this point in submissions on the proposed Kiwi Recovery Plan.

Co-chair of ECO, Barry Weeber, noted that “the government’s roading fixation is also criticised as misdirected – something most of us already know. The lack of attention to public transport and the failure to charge or price greenhouse gas and environmental harms of transport and agriculture is underscored by the OECD which recommends pricing transport emissions and other costs.”

The need to support (but not over ride), local government and to restore public participation in resource management, are both highlighted in the Review. The Review notes the tiny 4% of resource consents that are publicly notified and clearly finds this unfortunately small.

“The government’s contradictory and environmentally lax approach to water and air pollution control, to waste management, and to greenhouse gas emissions are noted.

Suggestions include pricing pollution and resource use but also regulations, for instance of dangerous fine air particle emissions. Higher standards for many aspects of our environmental limits are recommended.

This Review does not comment on Nick Smith’s recent debasement of water quality definitions and measurement – it was clearly written prior to that.

“The Review for some reason says little about our marine and fisheries management. Many of the criticisms of the disregard for environmental consequences in New Zealand primary production management apply there too”, says Barry Weeber.

The government’s policy failures identified also include subsidies to irrigation and the failure of the government to implement most of the Land and Water Forum’s recommendations.

The government’s lack of commitment and policies of subsidising irrigation were important reasons that ECO withdrew from LAWF in November 2016, and other groups including Fish and Game, Forest and Bird and Federated Mountain Clubs withdrew from the LAWF process.

This OECD Review is important for its attention to problems of the government’s growth strategy and policies and particularly ECO welcomes its suggestions to tackle these.

“We see here a call for a rethink of our economic growth strategy of more primary production and disregard of environmental costs and the erosion of public participation. “

“The report gives very explicit advice for controlling environmental harms. Central to this is reversing the incentives so that environmental harms have to be faced by those who do them”, says Cath Wallace.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On (Not) Taking Responsibility, Terrorism Porn, And Dylan’s 76th

So Martin Matthews, our current Auditor-General wishes he could have detected “earlier” the fraud that occurred on his watch at the Ministry of Transport. Hmmm. But he could have detected it earlier, surely? That’s the point.

Reportedly, some junior members of his staff had been trying to tell him and his senior colleagues in management for years about the fraudulent actions of Joanne Harrison... Not only were those internal alerts apparently ignored. Some of the whistle blowers were allegedly punished by losing their jobs, as Harrison and her colleagues in management took revenge on them... More>>

Auditor-General's Statement: Standing Aside for Review of Appointment
Yesterday, I wrote to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and requested an independent person review my suitability for the role of Controller and Auditor-General... More>>

 

NGOs Pleased: Govt To Halt Collection Of Client Data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and national manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through. More>>

ALSO:

Gosh: Blasphemy Law Repeal Struck Down

Chris Hipkins, the MP who tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to add our Blasphemy Law to the Statutes Repeal Bill, said this was a "sad day for freedom of speech, tolerance, and leadership". More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Navy’s Dealings With Fat Leonard, And Twin Peaks

At an official level, our “she’ll be right” attitude routinely spills over into a keen resentment of anyone who suggests the outcomes may be less than satisfactory… The Navy has now gone one step beyond. It won’t even ask itself whether it did a good job. More>>

ALSO:

NZDF: Fifth Rotation Of Troops Heads To Iraq

The fifth rotation of New Zealand Defence Force troops left today for a six-month mission training Iraqi soldiers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Demonising Of Iran

Will New Zealand still be willing to pursue its recent trade overtures to Iran, now that US President Donald Trump has used his speech in Riyadh to single out Iran as the main source of terrorism and instability in the Middle East? More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Budget Offers: Green Party’s New Plan Puts Kiwi Families First

The Green Party has a plan to help all Kiwi kids have a great start to life, by giving parents more financial support and more flexibility at work. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

Opening The Election Supporters

 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election