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Clean-Up New Zealand Week

17 September 2000 Media Statement


This week is Clean Up New Zealand Week (18-24 September) and the Minister for the Environment, Marian Hobbs, says it provides an important opportunity for New Zealanders to show that they care for their environment.

“We have a reputation as an environmentally aware country,” the Minister said. “Let’s get out there and show that this is true. Environmental awareness should be reflected in our concern for our everyday environment, as well as in our national parks and our stand against whaling. Visitors to New Zealand certainly expect this.”

The Minister, along with staff from the Ministry for the Environment, will be introducing the week with a clean-up and planting at Wellington's Otari nature reserve. Funding to help promote Clean Up New Zealand is being provided through the Ministry’s Sustainable Management Fund as well as by corporate sponsors.

“With more than 200,000 people expected to join in the activities, Clean Up New Zealand 2000 will be a huge environmental cleanup,” Marian Hobbs said. “Every council in the country is involved, as well as many businesses, voluntary organisations, and individuals. I applaud all those who are putting time and effort into this event.

“But, I think cleaning up New Zealand needs to be our focus all year, not just for one week. We need to clean up the run-off and stormwater that is polluting many of our rivers and beaches. We need to clean up our poorly sited and badly managed landfills and our management of hazardous waste. In some places like Auckland and Christchurch we need to clean up our air.”

The Minister said that this was a challenge not only for central government but for local government and communities.

“The litter and rubbish that volunteers will collect this week is just the most visible sign of the growing mountain of waste in New Zealand,” the Minister said. “The government is committed to finding ways to cut back the waste that households and businesses produce.”

The Ministry for the Environment is working with local government on the most effective ways of reducing New Zealand’s waste, and how it can best be managed to avoid contaminating the environment.

“Cutting back our growing mountain of waste is going to call for action from all of us,” the Minister said.


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