EPA sets out its ambitions for environmental leadership
A greater emphasis on ensuring businesses, importers and manufacturers are following environmental rules, and engaging with communities to identify common environmental concerns and solutions are two goals that feature prominently in the Environmental Protection Authority’s four-year business plan, published today.
The EPA’s Statement of Intent 2019-2023, sets out the organisation’s ongoing ambition and commitment to proactive regulation.
Chief Executive Dr Allan Freeth says: “Our journey to become a proactive environmental regulator, providing leadership on key challenges and acting to ensure compliance with the rules is well underway.
”Over the next four years we will shift from our current focus on processing applications and related work, to giving more emphasis to compliance monitoring and enforcement.
“Changes to the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996, which came into force in December 2017 gave us new powers to enforce the requirement for hazardous substances to have an official approval for import, manufacture, supply and use in New Zealand.
“It means we have more muscle to address environmental issues that matter to all New Zealanders, and to think ahead to identify future concerns, using risk and evidence-based data.
“We believe the most successful businesses of the future will be those that continually look for ways to lighten their operating impact on the environment. By encouraging the development of more environmentally-friendly chemicals or practices or approaches, we want those businesses to view the work they do in these areas as an opportunity to do good.
“At the same time we want to build stronger relationships with community groups and organisations across New Zealand, to hear their concerns and jointly identify areas where we can work together to reap both social and economic returns.”
Dr Freeth added: “The targets we have set ourselves in our Statement of Intent have been developed with our staff: it’s their drive, passion and belief in them that is paramount to achieving success.”