Govt missing in action on helping protect communities from sea-level rise

The National Government and Minister for the Environment Dr Nick Smith have been missing in action in failing to provide local authorities with clear national direction on how to plan for sea-level rise, the Green Party said today.

“With sea-level rise inevitable, the Government needs to provide national direction under the Resource Management Act (RMA), so New Zealanders in low-lying areas such as Napier and Dunedin South aren’t left with uninsurable and uninhabitable homes,” Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage said.

The comments come on the back of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s (PCE) report on preparing New Zealand for sea-level rise, which was released today.

“The National Government has a weak stance on reducing climate pollution. It’s also failing to show leadership in how New Zealand prepares for the impacts of climate change such as sea-level rise.

“The Green Party called for a National Policy Statement under the RMA as early as 2010 to provide clear and consistent policy direction for local councils responding to climate change.  We strongly support the Parliamentary Commissioner’s recommendations that the Government needs to do more to help.

“Without consistent national direction as recommended by the PCE, the Government is abandoning councils and low-lying communities such as Napier and Dunedin South to deal with an uncertain future on their own.

“Sea-level rise is starting to affect people’s homes and businesses, and billions of dollars’ worth of property and infrastructure. It needs to be treated as priority issue by the Government.

“Unlike the Christchurch earthquakes, we have time to prepare, and we can adapt in ways that are fair and that don’t tear communities apart.

“A National Policy Statement and other national policy direction recommended by the Parliamentary Commissioner would ensure a consistent approach across New Zealand. It would give certainty to local government and help councils make hard decisions about development in at-risk areas.

“We support the Parliamentary Commissioner’s call for a working group to investigate what support can be given to people whose homes and properties are at risk from sea-level rise,” Ms Sage said.

 

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

Govt trashing nature for its industry mates

The Government’s repeal of the Natural and Built Environment Act is rushed, ideologically motivated, and will be hugely damaging to the health of o...
Read More

Story

Green Party calls for stronger action by Auckland Council to protect urban trees and native forest

The Green Party is calling on Auckland Council to do more to protect urban trees and housing developer Aedifice Property Group to restore and repla...
Read More

Story

You *wood* not believe it: Greens secure win for urban trees

The Green Party’s advocacy has secured an amendment to the Natural and Built Environment Bill at a crucial stage of the Parliamentary process to en...
Read More

Story

Forestry sector must compensate for slash damage

The Green Party welcomes today’s release of the report of the Ministerial Inquiry into slash and sediment, and are clear that the forestry industry...
Read More

Story

Greens launch petition to protect conservation lands from mining by Mineralogy International Limited

The Green Party has today launched a petition calling for conservation land to be protected from mining by big overseas companies such as Mineralog...
Read More

Story

National's drought of ideas won't help farmers facing climate change

Christopher Luxon and the National Party have once again presented another lazy, back-of-the-napkin policy to Aotearoa.
Read More