Election 2011 - Party Policies - Environment

Election 2011 - Party Policies - Environment

Environment

Biosecurity Conservation
Genetic Modification Global Warming
Waste Disposal  

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  • Continue pushing the government to dump the Emissions Trading Scheme.  The ETS takes wealth away from other uses, including other environmental protection initiatives, for negligible environmental benefit;
  • Continue pushing the government to introduce road pricing as a way to reduce congestion and emissions on our roads.
  • Continue pushing the government to introduce more market pricing of water.
  • Continue supporting onshore and offshore mineral exploration; mining decisions should at least be informed by sufficient information.
  • Acknowledge the role of voluntary groups in maintaining our environment.  (more here)

  • Ensure that sustainable development will take priority over growth in GDP as a national goal.
  • Develop a National Policy Statement on water under the RMA and Setting a National Environmental Standard with targets and time frames for water quality. Key objectives would be to control the intensification of land use, including dairying, on sensitive soils and prevent further loss of wetland habitat.
  • Prohibit the import of vehicles older than 7 years unless they can demonstrate they meet strict emissions standards
  • Uphold the core principles of environmental protection and public participation [in the RMA]. (more here)

  • Labour will urgently strengthen the NPS on Freshwater Management 2011 in line with the draft NPS proposed by the board of inquiry.
  • Labour will rigorously uphold the key principle of the draft freshwater management NPS that economic activity cannot proceed if it comes at the continued cost of the quality of ground and surface water quality.
  • Labour will adopt and implement national water quality standards, with targets for them to be met by.
  • Labour will support regional councils in setting clear and enforceable limits on nutrient limits and minimum flow regimes on major waterways.
  • Labour will engage with representatives across all aspects of farming to develop water allocation models on the basis of best use rather than „first-come-first-served‟, in order to ensure we encourage and maintain a mix of farming and land uses across regions.
  • Labour will implement a resource rental mechanism and seek expert advice on its design parameters, with details to be developed in partnership with industry, local government, Māori, rural and urban communities and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Labour will ensure that the revenue from any such rental will be used to improve New Zealand‟s water management systems for the future. (more here)

  • Environmental wellbeing is critical for the wellbeing of people and our economy.  Successive governments in Aotearoa have failed to recognise that Papatūānuku has limited resources that need to be used respectfully.
  • Lands, air, coastal areas, and waterways have become more and more degraded as a result of prioritising economic growth ahead of the environment.  Instead, maintaining and protecting the integrity of the environment needs to be at the centre of all decision-making.  Māori practices of kaitiakitanga have a key role to play in this and need to be better enabled to do so.
  • Give hapu and iwi decision making powers equal to government and local government in developing environmental policies relating to biodiversity, prospecting, the management of coastal areas and RMA plans so they can exercise Kaitiakitanga over lands, coastal areas and waterways.  Action Section 33 of the RMA which allows local authorities to hand over functions, powers and duties to iwi. (more here)

  • Expand the mandate of the Environmental Protection Authority to include crown minerals and freshwater.
  • Transfer the role of kaitiaki back from the Department of Conservation to mana whenua.
  • Retain and resource the Enviroschools / Kura Taiao.
  • We will subsidise organisations to undertake environmental impact assessments to support businesses becoming more environmental friendly.
  • Develop iwi environmental monitoring and evaluation on the quality of water in our rivers, lakes, seas and rural water supplies to homes and marae; and develop options for improving the water quality as a result.
  • We will ensure that iwi, as Treaty partners, are involved in the governance, management and decision-making on freshwater within their rohe. (more here)

  • Advance our Fresh Start for Fresh Water programme.
  • Pass a new Environment Reporting Bill.
  • Pass Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) legislation, which has already been introduced to Parliament, by 1 July 2012.
  • Make the new Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) responsible for consenting, monitoring, and enforcing activities that impact on the EEZ, such as petroleum exploration, seabed mining, deepwater aquaculture, and marine energy development. (more here)

  • We understand that if people want to use the environment for outdoor recreation, economic development, or to simply admire and appreciate it, then it must be used in ways that do not cause permanent widespread damage or compromise the needs of future generations to meet their own needs – i.e. in ways that are sustainable.
  • The law must explicitly acknowledge that all outdoor user organisations have equal rights to practice their individual pursuits and promote their own interests.
  • Seek greater use of multi-stakeholder decision-making processes and voluntary agreements over all aspects of environmental management (including on the Conservation estate).
  • Support the ‘Friends of the Court’ system for Environment Court hearings. A ‘friend of the court’ provides independent and objective advice to assist the court in making a decision. This makes it easier for community groups and NGOs, relieving them of the cost of court proceedings and having to employ expert consultants.
  • Provide additional funding to Regional Councils for a program to clean up all of New Zealand’s lakes and rivers that are suffering from accumulated pollution such as agricultural runoff;
  • Continue to ensure that the Resource Management Act is a balanced piece of enabling legislation by requiring a biennial review of its operation with regard to the costs, delays and uncertainty faced by users. (more here)

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