Greens applaud great start by Government over Kermadecs

The Green Party is excited by the news that the Government is creating an ocean sanctuary at the Kermadecs and hope that more is to come.

“We’re delighted the Government has picked up the Kermadec ocean sanctuary concept that has been in a Green private member's Bill drafted by Gareth Hughes several years ago,” said Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“The 620,000 square kilometre sanctuary just announced is great news for the seascapes, underwater volcanoes and diverse wildlife that call that area home. In one fell swoop the Government has lifted marine reserves in our territorial sea plus EEZ from 0.4% to 15%.

“The Green Party has plenty of other great initiatives and ideas and we’re more than happy to work with any party to get the best outcome for New Zealand and its people.

“Conservation and environment groups such as the Pew Foundation, Forest and Bird, and WWF deserve congratulations for their work in promoting marine protection for the Kermadecs. It has been a long campaign.

“While the announcement is positive for the Kermadecs, it doesn’t cover up the Government's poor track record on other environmental issues and climate change. We’ve still got the Maui’s Dolphins to protect, water quality to improve, and National is taking an embarrassingly weak proposal on limiting New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions to the Paris Climate Change Conference.

"That said, good start National Government. We certainly want to see Nick Smith's discussion document on marine protection include provision for other large scale no-take marine reserves in the Exclusive Economic Zone,” said Ms Sage.