The outlook for New Zealand’s indigenous species is grim after a new report found the Department of Conservation has made few improvements in managing biodiversity, Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.
“The Auditor-General’s report Prioritising and Partnering to Manage Biodiversity found the Department has made limited progress in following up its 2012 recommendations.
The Government needs to stop now and analyse whether the proposed Wairarapa water storage projects at Tividale and Black Creek are a waste of millions of dollars, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker.
“The Wairarapa projects have all the hallmarks of another white elephant. $4 million of ratepayers money has already been spent on the planned dams with little to show for it.
Paris has delivered a landmark agreement to cut emissions from 2020 sending a strong message that more ambition and action is needed to combat climate change, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.
“More than 200 countries worked hard on the international negotiations and now it’s time for New Zealand to focus on the domestic actions required to meet its obligations.
“The inclusion to limit global temperatures to 1.5 degrees is more ambitious than many expected when the talks kicked off a fortnight ago. Credit has to go to our Pacific neighbours for the strong lobby they have put up to have this more ambitious target included.
“So far, the National Government have not met the emission reduction targets that they set. This needs to change. We can no longer get by on a wish and a prayer. We must get proper planning such as carbon budgeting in place or we face huge financial risk.
The Secretary for the Environment has admitted that the Ministry for the Environment gave no advice to Tim Groser about excluding agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from the review of the emissions trading scheme, says Labour’s spokesperson for the Environment David Parker.
“Vicky Robertson’s admission at the Select Committee review of the Ministry for the Environment follows the announcement by Tim Groser in November that the review of the ETS will exclude the growing half of New Zealand’s emissions which come from agriculture.
A Government bill to reform the RMA must not be used as a chance to tinker with its key role of protecting the environment, says Labour’s Environmental spokesperson Megan Woods.
“We will have to look at the proposed changes carefully as there are 200 pages in this Bill. We will be watching to make sure there is a decent chance for people to have their say through the select committee stage over what will clearly be a complex piece of legislation.