The Green Party welcomes the report that calls for more sustainable tourism by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.
“We know that COVID-19 meant many New Zealanders had the opportunity to explore Aotearoa and its natural wonders,” Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said today.
“It is clear that to protect our natural environment, which is a taonga, we must take the opportunities laid out by the report to ensure tourism in Aotearoa is sustainable, so that our environment can be enjoyed for generations to come.
“The report sets out many positive policy changes worth seriously considering that would ensure our tourism sector is more sustainable.
“They include a departure tax to fund and accelerate climate action, and initiatives that ensures environmental consideration and consultation with mana whenua and communities.
“COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the tourism sector, and changes are required to ensure a sustainable future for both our environment and workers facing uncertainty. We also must ensure any change recognises the needs of Pasifika peoples returning to their homelands, particularly in light of the climate crisis.
“Environmental values must take priority in decision-making by Government – for the benefit of Aotearoa’s native species and pristine natural environment, and for the resilience of tourism in a changed world.
“We call on all parties of Parliament to engage meaningfully with the report.”