Government should harness some All Blacks pride for the environment

The National Government should aim to be as proud of the environment as we are of the All Blacks, the Green Party said today.

However, the release of last week’s dire Environment Aotearoa 2015 report shows the state of New Zealand’s environment under the National Government is nothing to be proud of.

“New Zealand is proud of the All Blacks’ persistence, determination, courage and compassion. All these qualities are sadly missing from National’s attitude to the environment,” said Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“If we were playing for the world cup of dirty rivers, we’d be winners – nearly half have enough nitrogen to trigger potentially toxic algal blooms.

“We have communities, farmers, school children, volunteers and iwi all over the country working hard to conserve our species, nurture our green spaces, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and clean up our rivers, while the Government undermines that by exploiting the environment for short-term gain.

“Findings in the Environment Aotearoa report are indicative of the Government’s hands-off approach to the environment, which has led to the degradation of our rivers, rising greenhouse gas emissions, and loss of many native seabirds and marine mammals.

“Minister for the Environment Nick Smith made ridiculous comments about his Government’s poor management of rivers, saying even before human habitation rivers in New Zealand were not safe for swimming.

“The report’s one win was in air quality – this is the result of a strong regulatory response by successive governments. If the Government were to apply this strategy to other areas of environmental concern, it can lift New Zealand’s performance.

“Agriculture is responsible for nearly half of our greenhouse gas emissions, which have risen in total by 42 per cent since 1990. Yet the Government has no plan to reduce emissions and is promising only weak reduction targets that will do nothing to prevent temperature rises.

“Only 55 Maui’s dolphins are left in the world, but the Government refuses to secure their habitat off the west coast of New Zealand.

“The Green Party will invest in pest control on conservation land to protect our species, and in more marine sanctuaries. We will tighten water standards, and stop the continued dairy intensification that is penalising our waterways.

“We have also created a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent of 1990 levels, the goal required to keep the earth’s temperature from rising to an untenable level,” Ms Sage said.

 

Action

Virtual Events

We have activists across Aotearoa / New Zealand who are working hard to build a brighter future for our kids and grandkids. This page lists upcomin...
Take Action

Action

It's time to pay our essential workers a dignified wage

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been...
Take Action

Action

Join our call to stop funding fossil fuels!

We need to remove all public money managed by the Government from climate-changing fossil fuel industries.
Take Action

Action

Support our Climate Action Plan for bigger bolder climate action

We agree with all five of the School Strike for Climate's demands. Read more and sign the petition.
Take Action

Action

Show your support to end housing inequality

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been undervalued and many barely....
Take Action

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public consultation

The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Managem...
Read More

Story

Strongest ever water reforms mean swimmable rivers within a generation

The Green Party says major freshwater reforms announced today provide the strongest ever protections of our waterways, to help ensure the next gene...
Read More

Story

Budget 2020: Huge investment in green nature based jobs jump starts sustainable COVID recovery

The Green Party says the $1.1 billion environmental investment in this year’s budget to create thousands of green jobs will help jump start a susta...
Read More

Story

Reducing waste and creating jobs - Minister announces 2020 Waste Minimisation Fund applications open, focus on COVID-19 recovery

Creating jobs in the vital waste reduction sector is the focus of the latest application round for the Waste Minimisation Fund, which opens today.
Read More

Story

COVID-19 recovery: Greens call for investment in people and nature

As Aotearoa starts focusing on the economic recovery from COVID-19 the Green Party is calling for an economic stimulus package fit for the 21st cen...
Read More

Policy

Environmental Protection Policy

Our kids have a birth right to swim in clean rivers, fish in the sea, and walk in pristine forests. Real prosperity means clean rivers, clean air, ...
See More