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March 24, 2014 | by  | in News |
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Environmental Politics

If you were able to enact or repeal one law to improve the environment, what would it be and why?

Amy Adams, National

As a government, we are constantly passing laws and making changes to improve the environment. For example, we have committed more than $350 million to clean up historical contamination of our iconic waterways, created the EEZ Act, distributed nearly $100 million to help communities minimise waste, passed regulations to require significant water-takes are metered, implemented a National Policy Statement for Freshwater, proposed national standards for freshwater, and made important changes to the Resource Management Act. We are currently in the process of progressing the Environmental Reporting Bill, which will give New Zealanders access to high-quality environmental information.

Moana Mackey, Labour

Labour understands that our economy and environment are two sides of the same coin. If we want future generations to be able to benefit from the environmental wealth upon which we have built our country, then we have to respect the natural limits of our environment and stop making unsustainable decisions. Labour will legislate to future-proof the New Zealand economy by transitioning away from our heavy reliance on fossil fuels to an innovative, low-carbon economy. An economy that takes full advantage of technologies and solutions that are available right now and renewable resources which will never run out.

Gareth Hughes, Greens

I have a Member’s Bill to create the world’s largest marine reserve around New Zealand’s Kermadec Islands, and it would be great to see this proposal pass alongside modern marine reserves law. Creating this reserve would overnight lift the percentage of New Zealand’s waters protected in marine reserves from less than half of one per cent to 15 per cent. The Kermadecs marine reserve would become our only marine reserve to protect an entire ecosystem, and it would protect incredible species such as whales, sharks and turtles, and would send the world a strong message New Zealand is serious about marine conservation.

Andrew Williams, NZ First

New Zealand First would ensure legislation provides conservation authorities with the necessary resources and legislative framework for effective protection of the environment. Such legislation would require consultative debate taking account of the views of all stakeholders on the issue of extractive industries, ensuring that key conservation values are maintained. We would make sure developers are responsible to their communities to avoid, remedy and mitigate adverse environmental effects. This legislation would recognise that our country’s natural environment has international significance, is a New Zealand priority, and that it is wise to view the preservation and enhancement of the environment as sound economics.

Tariana Turia, Māori Party

The Māori Party seeks to ensure our natural resources and environment are healthy for current and future generations, and acknowledge the role of hapu and iwi as tangata tiaki over our natural resources as an important part of this. We support a nuclear-free and GE-free Aotearoa, and want to see improved public transport that reduces emissions. We believe there should be affordable, sustainable and renewable energy services for all New Zealand families, including subsidies for solar heating. We are committed to the environmental principles of the Resource Management Act which must be upheld to ensure that environmental issues are not outweighed by economic priorities.

Jamie Whyte, ACT

Our environment is not suffering from a lack of laws. Improving the environment requires property rights and prosperity. Property rights are needed because the best incentive to look after the environment is to own it. Prosperity is required because wealthy people can afford to look after their environments, whereas poor people often can’t afford not to trash them: compare our efforts to save the kakapo with elephant-hunting for ivory in Africa.

Peter Dunne, United Future

To promote the planting of native trees and bush along or close by all inland waterways where practical, in order to act as carbon sinks, limit soil erosion and reduce agricultural runoff.

Such riparian planting has numerous effects including the improvement of water quality, reducing erosion into our rivers and streams, and reducing the associated effects that come with excessive erosion, the creation of safe routes for native birds between larger patches of bush, and improve the freshwater fisheries around New Zealand.


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Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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