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August 9, 2014

Yesterday’s release of the Board of Inquiry’s final decisions on the regional plan provisions for the Tukituki River and catchment as part of the Ruataniwha dam project confirms that National’s favoured approach to bottom lines for water quality will not help our rivers.

August 9, 2014

The Board of Inquiry decision on the Tukituki regional plan confirms that National's approach to water quality rules will allow our rivers to become toxic, the Green Party said today.

"The Board's decision signals that the Government's favoured model for managing water quality doesn't stack up and will allow more water pollution," said Green Party water spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

The Board has said water quality should be managed to ensure rivers are ecologically healthy and not allowed to become toxic.

August 9, 2014

The Waste Minimisation Act was introduced in 2008 and it calls for every territorial local authority to have waste management and minimisation plans. These vary from place to place, so last week I visited Whakatane to see how that town deals with their waste.  Like most places in New Zealand their council provides a household waste and recycling kerbside collection which they contract to a large multi-national company. For Whakatane the waste is transported to another centre to end up in landfill and the recycling is trucked to Tauranga to be mechanically sorted and then on-sold.

August 9, 2014

The horrendous conditions animals are living in at a Canterbury pig farm are completely unacceptable and show that MPI are failing to do their job by putting economic interests ahead of animal welfare, said the Green Party today.

Footage obtained by Farm Watch and SAFE from a Canterbury farm, which featured tonight on TV One's Sunday programme, showed animals living in horrendous conditions and revealed how inadequate New Zealand's regulation of the pig industry is.

Julie Anne Genter MP
August 9, 2014

National's announcement that it intends to spend $212 million upgrading regional roads is not just a naked election bribe, but poor economics, Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter said today.

"National plans to pay for upgrading regional roads from the so-called Future Fund - receipts from the sale of state assets. National have essentially sold our profit generating state owned assets to pay for regular upkeep of New Zealand roads. Every householder knows that is disastrous economics," Ms Genter said.

Julie Anne Genter MP
August 9, 2014

Today the Government raised the petrol tax yet again. The reason it has had to raise the petrol tax is because there has been a deficit in the money that is coming into the National Land Transport Fund, because New Zealanders are actually driving less. They have been driving less consecutively for 7 years now. There is not enough money coming in to spend on what the National Government wanted to make a priority. When the National Government came in, I remember it very clearly, because I was working as a transportation consultant for the New Zealand Transport Agency.

August 9, 2014

Eugenie Sage: Tēnā koe, Mr Chair. Vote Environment for 2014-15 totals over $313 million, and 61 percent of that relates to the Ministry for the Environment's climate change responsibilities, and my colleague Kennedy Graham will comment on that. But 39 percent of the vote is for other aspects of environmental management, and a significant chunk of that covers freshwater. The Ministry for the Environment gets $14 million to provide advice and implement tools for water management. We live in a country that is shaped by more than 18,000 kilometres of rivers.

August 9, 2014

There was a sense of relief in the Christchurch Green Party office when word came through that the City Council changed their mind on the timeframe to complete the major cycleways project. It started off as a three year project, and then expanded to five years, then to eight years, and now it is back to five years. This is the right direction, though whether it is soon enough is debateable.

Gareth Hughes MP
August 9, 2014

I’m cautiously optimistic of news that the government-owned company Research and Educational Advanced Network New Zealand Ltd (REANNZ) has signed a $65 million anchor tenancy contract with Hawaiki Cable Ltd for its proposed new second internet cable.

August 9, 2014

Tēnā koe, Mr Chairman. This is the Government whose 2014 estimates contain a time bomb of fiscal deficit over the next two decades through a failure in carbon budgeting.

This is the Government whose climate policy is a mess. It has paltry targets with no plan to attain them. It has weak policy settings, so emitters have no incentive to change, and that, Minister, will kill the golden goose. But even worse is the failure to convey to the taxpayer the fiscal costs that its climate policy will impose on future generations.