Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Changes needed to Air Quality Standard

Changes needed to Air Quality Standard

Hundreds of businesses and thousands of jobs will be put at risk if changes are not made to the unrealistic and unfair air quality standard adopted by the previous Government, Environment Minister Nick Smith says.

Dr Smith today released a discussion document proposing amendments to the National Air Quality Standard.

“The existing standard of only one exceedance a year is unrealistic and would require banning home log burners and industries in communities where air quality is generally very good. This decision by the previous Government was against the Environment Ministry’s recommendation of five exceedances per year,” Dr Smith said.

“The Technical Advisory Group has recommended the standard be increased from one to three exceedances a year, which is consistent with the World Health Organisation Air Quality Standard. This still means substantial work will be required in 15 airsheds covering 45% of New Zealand’s population where exceedances are as high as 91 per year.

“The existing standard is also unfair in severely punishing businesses when the vast bulk of pollution comes from home fires and motor vehicles. The current regulations prohibit any new consents or consent renewals for industry after 2013 in airsheds that exceed the standard which the Ministry for the Environment estimates would put at risk 233 businesses employing more than 17,000 staff. We are proposing putting forward the date to a more realistic 2018 and a compliance regime that does not unfairly penalise business.

”These changes are about improving air quality but in a pragmatic and realistic way. It will ensure we do not put thousands of jobs at risk or unnecessarily ban home burners and open fires in areas with only occasional air quality problems.”

An independent Technical Advisory Group established by the Government in June last year reviewed the air quality standard and recommended it be changed. The review was a National Party election promise and a key initiative out of last year’s Job Summit.

“I am today releasing this advice and the Government’s proposals for amendments to the air quality standard. This includes requiring mandatory public reporting by councils. This would allow me as Minister to monitor progress in problem areas, and if none is being made, use my powers under the Resource Management Act to force action by councils. The Government wants a standard that achieves material improvements in air quality without imposing unnecessary costs on businesses and communities.

“This proposal sees central government setting a credible baseline standard but provides enough flexibility for councils to find local solutions to local problems. We look forward to public submissions on the discussion document by 9 July 2010 before making any final decisions.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Yesterday’s Big Parliamentary Air Kiss To China

In order to obtain support from the two major parties, Act Party deputy leader Brooke Van Velden twice had to soften the language of her parliamentary motion yesterday condemning China’s persecution of the Uighurs. The key word “genocide” was deleted. Evidently, the kind of resolution passed by a conservative government in the UK proved to be far too tough for a centre-left Labour government and a centre-right National opposition to countenance. Yesterday, the two major parties were united in their fear of retribution from China... More>>


Government: Fair Pay Agreements To Improve Pay And Conditions For Essential Workers

The Government is delivering on its pre-election commitment to implement Fair Pay Agreements which will improve wages and conditions, as well as help support our economic recovery, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. More>>


Public Services: Government Sets Pay And Workforce Expectations For The Public Sector

The Government’s Workforce Policy Statement issued today sets out its expectations for pay and employment relations in the Public Sector, the Minister of Finance and Minister for the Public Service say. “New Zealand has had an exceptionally successful ... More>>


Government: Budget 2021 Reprioritises Nearly $1 Billion

Hon Grant Robertson Deputy Prime Minister Minister of Finance The Government’s strong pandemic response and the better than expected economic recovery means not all the money allocated in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has been spent, ... More>>


PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>


PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>




InfoPages News Channels