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Alliance Conservation Policy Launched

'All political parties have a role to play to ensure that there is no more environmental damage done. No one party has a mortgage on protecting the environment,' Alliance deputy leader and leader of Mana Motuhake Sandra Lee says.

Today she launched the Alliance Conservation Policy in the Coramandel.

'A Commitment to conservation should not be seen as the sole responsibility of one department. The Department of Conservation can't do it on their own, and neither should we expect them too.

'A one-stop shop is not the answer. The Alliance's commitment to conservation is reflected across all polices areas: in our genetic engineering policy, in health, in local government and in our regional development policy.

'80,000 new jobs created through our Economic Development Fund will include new jobs in the area of environmental re-habilitation and pest control.

'We want to see proper consultation between local government, local iwi and hapu, DoC and central government to make sure a commitment to conservation involves everyone in the community.

'The Alliance will introduce an environmental auditing process, so that the full impact of new legislation on the environment is known from the outset.

'DoC must receive the money that it needs to do its job. For too many years it has suffered from chronic lack of support. We want to change that. A priority will be pest control and a boost for the Save the Kiwi programme.

'We will introduce tax and rate incentives to encourage private land owners and councils to protect native bush on their land, and to protect historical places and buildings.

'Native forests will remain in public ownership. There will be a transition away from native logging towards investment in new jobs and industries in those areas effected.'

The Alliance will create more marine reserves, including the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park proposal which will proceed with a stronger oversight body to ensure good management.'

Conservation concerns us all, and consultation between iwi, hapu and local government and DoC is vital. It is high time New Zealand's political leaders walked the talk. It's too easy to have a photo opportunity with a Kiwi and praise our country for being clean and green.

Political leaders have to make a commitment to protect the Kiwi, the green and the clean,' said Sandra Lee.

An environmental survey announced this week found that a Centre Left government with the Alliance as a coalition partner was the best way to guarantee protection for the environment.

ends

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