Greens secure two more important bills from ballot

New measures that will sit alongside GDP to chart the nation’s progress, as well as compulsory country-of-origin labelling on food, will be debated in Parliament following today’s Member’s Bill ballot.

The Green Party had two bills pulled from the ballot today: Co-leader James Shaw’s Public Finance (Sustainable Development Indicators) Amendment Bill, and MP Steffan Browning’s Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill.

“GDP is a highly imperfect measure of our country’s progress,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“My bill will add new environmental indicators to our national set of accounts relating to changes to our biodiversity, air and atmosphere, water quality, land use, energy use, waste, and population.

“GDP has been increasing recently, yet this one measure of progress conceals declines in our overall prosperity and quality of life, like the rapidly diminishing state of our rivers and lakes, or the increasing levels of carbon pollution in our atmosphere.

“The way we define and measure progress goes to the very core of how we run our economy. If we change the measure, we’re likely to change the outcome for the better,” said Mr Shaw.

“My Consumers' Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill will ensure that New Zealanders will more easily be able to see where their food comes from,” said Green Party food safety spokesperson Steffan Browning.

“Knowing where food comes from enables you to make informed decisions about what you’re buying and how it was produced.

“For example, Kiwis would be surprised to learn that more than half of all pork on our supermarket shelves comes from overseas.

“We already have mandatory country of origin labelling for clothes and shoes; there is no reason why we can’t extend this to food. Country of origin labelling is the norm overseas.

“New Zealand’s food producers want it, New Zealanders want it — the time for country of origin labelling is now,” said Mr Browning.

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