Comments On Air Quality Welcomed But Action Needed
The Green Party today welcomed positive noises from the Government on vehicle emissions and air quality but said the time for reports and research has gone and now is the time for action.
Green Party Transport Spokesperson Sue Kedgley last week wrote to Transport Minister Mark Gosche proposing a package of measures to reduce vehicle emissions. This morning Green MPs held demonstrations in Auckland and Christchurch during rush hour to highlight the issue.
"While we are pleased the Government is being spurred into some kind of action over this issue we are concerned that we appear to be no closer to concrete action," said Ms Kedgley.
"The causes of urban air pollution are well known. This is not a new problem, the solutions are obvious and we are concerned that progress will be delayed while yet 'more research' is conducted."
Ms Kedgley said while the Greens believed local authorities had a valuable role to play in cleaning up emissions, leadership from central Government was crucial in developing national standards and requiring emission tests to be included as part of a warrant of fitness.
"It is all very well to test imported cars for polluting emissions but new cars age and unless they are regularly checked they can quickly become part of the air pollution problem," she said.
Ms Kedgley said she was pleased Mr Gosche was taking on board Green concerns and hoped he would further examine the Green Party's proposals to make progress on vehicle emissions and public transport.
A copy of Ms Kedgley's letter to Mark Gosche and a background information sheet on vehicle emissions and transport are available on request.