The Green Party welcomes the release of the implementation plan for Te Mana o te Taiao Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy and calls on the Government to act faster to protect our oceans.
“Aotearoa New Zealand’s environment is at breaking point and so we’re delighted to see a clear pathway for meeting the strategy’s goals,” says Eugenie Sage, Green Party spokesperson for conservation.
“Te Mana o te Taiao the Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy was developed by the last Government so communities and governments can work together to make New Zealand a place where ecosystems are healthy and resilient, and people embrace the natural world.
“With the support of the Greens through the cooperation agreement we are delighted that this Government is picking up the baton and getting on with the essential work.
“However, an implementation plan is only as good as what follows it. The Government needs to get on with this vital work so nature can thrive for its own sake and as the basis of human wellbeing. We cannot afford any further delay, including for our oceans.
“As part of the last Government, the Greens made sure to include within the biodiversity strategy a goal of establishing marine protected areas in priority areas. Because of this, establishing marine protected areas is a key part of the Government’s Oceans and Fisheries Work Programme. But progress has been too slow. The implementation plan needed to provide more certainty than simply saying that work is ongoing.
“Back in March, the Minister for Oceans and Fisheries told Parliament that the Government was doing its 'utmost' to establish new marine protected areas at Rangitāhua and on the South Island's south-east coast by the end of the current parliamentary term.
“The implementation plan was the ideal place to provide a firm commitment to making it happen, as well as clear timeframes for banning bottom trawling and establishing marine protected areas in the Hauraki Gulf,” Eugenie Sage says.