National restarts logging in West Coast forests

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The chainsaws stopped in native forest on public land in 1999 after a strong campaign by non-governmental organisations such as Forest and Bird and Native Forest Action (NFA), supported by the Green Party. Immediately after the 1999 election, the incoming Labour Government directed SOE and government forestry company, Timberlands West Coast Ltd to end its […]

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Councils need to better protect our drinking water

Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to the proposed Land and Water Plan and I popped along to listen. Variation 1 covers […]

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Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere

In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for Fresh Water: New Initiatives Fund. This was “to address the problem of poor freshwater quality […]

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The Waitaki River needs our help

Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing a major change to the Waitaki Catchment Water Allocation Regional Plan. This change would reduce the river’s minimum flow by a third (from 150 to 102 cubic meters per second) for periods over the summer. A lower minimum flow risks even poorer water quality, more didymo infestation, increased predation of braided riverbed birds nesting […]

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Greener Christchurch

I am so proud to stand alongside my caucus colleagues and Green Party Christchurch candidates to announce our Greener Christchurch policy for this election. We held the launch at the beautiful new Visitor’s Centre at the Botanic Gardens, where we announced our commitment to smart transport solutions, a greener rebuild, a return of local democracy and […]

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Silver Fern Farms fails the Waimakariri River

[UPDATED] Silver Fern Farms Ltd’s recent application to Environment Canterbury to discharge treated meatworks waste(3500 cubic meters per day) including fat and faecal matter into the Waimakariri River highlights why we need change of Government . We need the stronger national bottomlines for water quality and a network of protected rivers as the Green Party […]

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Tukituki Plan decision bad news for Government’s weak water quality rules

Yesterday’s release of the Board of Inquiry’s final decisions on the regional plan provisions for the Tukituki River and catchment as part of the Ruataniwha dam project confirms that National’s favoured approach to bottom lines for water quality will not help our rivers. The Board of Inquiry for the Tukituki Catchment Proposal rejected the Government’s […]

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Is Canterbury all right?

Last week the fantastic ‘All Right?’ campaign in Christchurch released results of their ‘Are we all right?’ project – their latest research into how Cantabrians are doing. The ‘All Right?’ campaign is a brilliant local initiative that reminds us to check in on how we and the people around us are feeling. They’ve used creative […]

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Conflicts of interest in regional councils’ management of water

Judith Collins failed to recognise the conflict of interest in having dinner with a Chinese border official and the CEO and director of the Oravida company on which her husband is a director. An equally troubling conflict of interest is occurring in regional councils. Water is a common property resource which regional councils manage on […]

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Big defects in Environmental Reporting Bill

Government introduced its long promised  Environmental Reporting Bill (ER Bill) last week. It reneges on its previous election commitments for independent state of the environment (SOE) reporting and instead proposes a poorly designed halfway house. This would see the Ministers for the Environment and of Statistics choosing what topics the reporting should cover, the Ministry […]

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Water quality will get worse under Government’s policy proposals

New Zealanders want our rivers, lakes and streams to be clean and safe for swimming and to support healthy fisheries. They don’t want them to be the equivalent of urban or farm drains. The Government’s response to public submissions on its proposed national objectives framework (NOF) and amendments to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater […]

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Help save our rivers – make a quick submission

New Zealanders are worried about our rivers and lakes. They want them better managed with less farm run-off.   In Lincoln University’s 2013 survey of perceptions of the state of the environment  respondents said freshwater management was the most important domestic environmental issue facing New Zealand, just as they did in 2010 and 2008 . Some […]

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Swimming on the Wellington waterfront

Wellington’s waterfront dive platform is an inspired piece of inner-city architecture that draws huge crowds on a hot day. Where else in the world can brave jumpers thrill onlookers in the middle of a city? The big problem – and this is quite a basic one – is that the harbour water below is highly […]

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Proposed Northland re-organisation would take the local out of local government

Northland is at the frontline of the National Government’s proposals for a brave new world of super-sized councils – big new unitary councils – as part of its agenda to centralise local government decision making, concentrate power, and weaken local democracy. If recent public meetings in Dargaville, Whangarei, and Kerikeri which David Clendon and I […]

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CERA finally listened to Cantabrians on central city transport

After a year of waiting, last week the Accessible City Transport Plan for Christchurch was released. Many Cantabrians had submitted on what kind of transport infrastructure they would like to see for the city, and it’s great to see the difference that those submissions made. Christchurch citizens have overwhelmingly called for a city designed for […]

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Monorail project risky for environment and investors

There has been a spate of media articles about the proposed $200 million Southland monorail recently after its Riverstone Holdings director and Bob Robertson gave journalists a promotional tour and helicopter ride over the area. The company is engaged in a heavy PR campaign by claiming public support for the proposal. Save Fiordland’s 20,000 strong […]

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Open Streets Christchurch a Success

Christchurch’s recent Open Streets Cyclovia event was a wonderful success.  Central city streets were closed to cars for a day last Sunday, transforming them into a safe haven for cyclists and pedestrians. Residents of all ages took to the central streets on a variety of non-motorised wheeled contraptions to celebrate Christchurch’s potential as New Zealand’s […]

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Sir Geoffrey Palmer on what’s wrong with National’s proposed changes to our environmental law

The NZ Fish and Game Council recently asked former Environment Minister and RMA architect Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC to analyse the Government’s proposed changes to the Resource Management Act, one of our most important environmental laws.  Sir Geoffrey’s 65 page report is well worth reading. We hope current Environment Minister Amy Adams considers it carefully […]

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Fair offer needed for Quake Outcasts and owners of bare land

The recent High Court ruling that found that the Government’s offer to purchase uninsured properties and vacant land in quake-affected parts of Christchurch was not done according to the law is a huge breakthrough for a group of red-zone land owners. They have felt so alienated and disenfranchised by Government decisions that they called themselves […]

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National’s RMA changes weaken our environment law when we should be strengthening it

At the moment when New Zealand is the focus of international attention over Fonterra’s botulism scare, the National Party seems intent on sabotaging our economy and environment by weakening our environmental laws attacking the Resource Management Act (RMA). National’s changes will make the RMA an economic development act at the expense of nature and local […]

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