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Environment - Policy Summary

Eugenie Sage MP
Eugenie Sage MP
eugenie [dot] sage [at] parliament [dot] govt [dot] nz (Email)
Russel Norman MP
Russel Norman MP
russel [dot] norman [at] parliament [dot] govt [dot] nz (Email)
Read the whole Environment Policy.

We love Aotearoa and we want to protect it. Our kids have a birth right to swim in clean rivers, fish in the sea, and walk in pristine forests.

Our Environment Policy protects New Zealand's natural heritage from exploitation of finite resources for short term profit, such as industrial dairying & open-cast mining.

Real prosperity means clean rivers and air, rich biodiversity, protected marine areas, and a GE-free New Zealand.


A society that lives within the limits of the natural world, where people understand the impacts of their way of life on the environment, and are involved in decision making about sustainable development. Sustainability will take precedence over growth in GDP, and will be measured and reported.

Green Achievements:

The Greens have achieved budget funding for environmental legal aid, environment centres, environmental education and organic farming and improved legislation including the RMA.

Policy highlights:

Rivers and freshwater

  • Control pollution of lakes and rivers from urban stormwater and agricultural runoff through a National Policy Statement and National Environmental Standards under the RMA
  • Require regional councils to have integrated catchment management plans for all their significant rivers
  • Require resource consents for intensification of land use on sensitive soils
  • Establish a contestable fund to support sustainable land management practices on farms, paid for by a levy on nitrogen and phosphate fertiliser matched by government funding.

Genetic Engineering

  • Maintain New Zealand's current GE Free environment and food production - no release of GE organisms outside a contained laboratory

Air quality — vehicle emissions

  • Set comprehensive emission standards for all ages and classes of vehicle
  • Prohibit the import of vehicles older than 7 years unless they can demonstrate they meet strict emissions standards
  • Introduce a range of mandatory emissions tests as appropriate for different types of vehicles

Education for Sustainability

  • Increase funding and capacity in colleges of education and schools so that environmental education can be delivered in all schools, and develop cross-curricula achievement standards.
  • Emphasise the understanding of ecosystem function and human impacts, through direct experience.


  • Uphold the core principles of environmental protection and public participation.
  • Ensure better enforcement of consent conditions by councils.
  • Support local decision making with National Policy Statements and Environmental Standards.

The policy also includes sections on Sustainable Development, Climate Change, Waste, Product Labelling, Antarctica, and International Agreements.

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