Well, I think that this *West Coast Wind-blown Timber (Conservation Lands) Bill is certainly an exercise in pork barrel politics in trying to get votes for the National Party's candidate on the West Coast, but I wish it was just a cheap political stunt. It is much more than that because it has very serious consequences for our conservation legislation—even in clause 10 of the bill with a very different test that this is imposing on the *Director-General of Conservation for how he is going to evaluate these applications to log on conservation land.
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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.
I would like to take another call to talk a bit about the regulatory impact statement, because this is a very honest regulatory impact statement. It makes it very clear that the initiatives for this legislation, the *West Coast Wind-blown Timber (Conservation Lands) Bill, is totally and utterly the *Minister of Conservation's, and that the Minister has very clear objectives about the amount of timber that is going to be recovered.
With real sadness, I have decided to withdraw from the Green Party’s list for the 2014 general election and not seek a second term in Parliament. I will stay on as the Green Party candidate for Hutt South to campaign for the Party Vote in my community
DAVID CLENDON (Green): We are debating Part 1, the purpose, of this unfortunate piece of legislation, the West Coast Wind-blown Timber (Conservation Lands) Bill. Of course as soon as one sees the statement of purpose, it is to allow the director-general of the Department of Conservation to authorise the removal of timber. The process that we are undertaking tonight to endeavour to embed this legislation is an offence to the democratic process.
Green Party MP Holly Walker has decided to withdraw from the party's list in the upcoming election and will not seek a second term in Parliament. Ms Walker was number 12 on the Green Party list.
"Unfortunately, a recent unexpected change in my family life has made it very difficult for me to continue as a Green MP. Under these circumstances, I have chosen to put my family first and withdraw myself from the Green Party list," said Ms Walker,
The failure of the Primary Production Committee to include any measures to address public concerns around unnecessary animal testing in the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill is extremely disappointing, said the Green Party today.
The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill, as reported back from the Select Committee, fails to include any measures to protect animals from unnecessary animal testing.
"The Green Party put in two very simple amendments on animal testing to address public concerns," Green Party Animal Welfare spokesperson Mojo Mathers said today.
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.
New Zealand needs more initiatives aimed at reducing our prison population, Green Party justice spokesperson David Clendon said today.
Today JustSpeak a non-partisan network wanting to change New Zealand's criminal justice system released a report on how they consider New Zealand's prison system can be improved. The report is entitled Unlocking Prisons: 'How we can improve New Zealand's prison system'.
Over 1000 New Zealanders including Gareth Morgan and Maisey Rika have signed on to the campaign to ensure New Zealand's rivers are clean and safe for swimming, the Green Party said today.
"We know that New Zealanders love our rivers and want to be able to swim in them," said Green Party water spokesperson Eugenie Sage.
"The Environment Minister is currently considering the submissions of thousands of New Zealanders who called for our rivers to be swimmable. The decision should be easy," said Ms Sage.