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“Our country’s natural environment has international significance and is a New Zealand First priority. Wise governments view the preservation and enhancement of the environment as sound economics.  All environmental policies will be proactive with a view to creating employment and sustainable wealth whilst improving one of our few competitive advantages. Serious environmental problems and risks need to be addressed. ‘100% Pure’ must not be empty words, but must be backed by effective environmental policies.”

— Rt Hon Winston Peters

KEY POINTS

  • Ensure that the state strikes a balance between economic progress and appropriate environmental goals.
  • Make rivers and lakes fully swimmable by town and country working together.
  • Take account of the views of key stakeholders when making environmental policy.
  • Support the extractive industries while ensuring core conservation values are maintained.
  • Make sure developers are responsible to their communities to avoid, remedy and mitigate adverse environmental effects.
  • Replace the Emissions Trading Scheme with a Carbon Budget framework.
  • Advocate for government at all levels to work with industry to address pollution.
  • Provide and promote conservation authorities with the necessary resources and legislative framework to ensure the protection of the only environment we have.
  • Remove race-based provisions from Resource Management Act.
  • Support an evidence-based approach to environmental issues.

CONSERVATION

  • Protect our historic heritage by amending legislation to clarify the protection of heritage sites, buildings, and objects.
  • Ensure local government uses Work for the Dole on conservation and weed and pest control activities and for environmental activities.
  • Ensure appropriate deterrents exist to deter poaching and trafficking of protected species.
  • Increase support 'threatened species' recovery programmes.
  • End race based Conservation like Ngā Whenua Rahui scheme and better support those entities that voluntary protect land and resources in private ownership.
  • Rationalise pastoral leases where grazing exists to promote ecologically sustainable land use, with special attention to 'protected natural areas’.
  • Encourage the development of 'eco-tourism' centres such as Kaikōura.

ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY

  • Ensure that wide public consultation occurs in the development of energy, sustainable land management and climate change policy.
  • Advance the development of alternatives to landfill disposal including better product stewardship to collect, manage and recover toxic but valuable electronic waste.
  • Ensure that the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is sufficiently resourced.
  • Phase out organo-chlorides and 1080 facilitating the development of safe alternatives.
  • Provide financial support for the development of water harvesting schemes that have met feasibility, viability, and environmental requirements such as storage dams.
  • Require protected customary rights, sites of cultural or spiritual significance to be either established or proven before they are written into policy to ensure 'no surprises'.

GENETIC MODIFICATION

  • Proceed with extreme caution, and only under secure confined laboratory conditions, with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as regulator.
  • Maintain stringent risk management of genetically modified organisms and ensure all new genetic engineering techniques continue to be regulated under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act.
  • Recognise that there are benefits from GM/GE, such as medicines like Herceptin and insulin. That said, we do not support GM/GE crop field trials unless plant varieties have been proven to be absolutely safe under strictly controlled conditions.
  • New Zealand First supports Country of Origin labelling, including, the labelling of food containing genetically modified material.

CLIMATE CHANGE

  • Exit the Emissions Trading Scheme and replace it with a UK/Norwegian style Climate Change Act.
  • Establish a new Parliamentary Commission for Climate Change (PCCC) as an Office of Parliament.
  • Make the PCCC legally responsible for reporting against both the Kyoto and Paris Agreements setting three-yearly ‘Carbon Budget’ designed to reach these commitments (first Budget to become operative in 2021).
  • Provide for the PCCC to provide independent advice to central and local government on meeting the Carbon Budget and preparing for climate change.
  • Fund the PCCC from current administrative costs for the Emissions Trading Scheme making it is cost neutral.
  • Redirect the $1.4 billion of annual savings from the ETS, as it winds down, into applied research and development and climate change adaptation.

COASTAL AND OCEANS

  • Protect and enhance our international reputation by balancing economic demands with the needs of the physical marine environment.
  • Oppose any attempt to privatise the Foreshore and Seabed.
  • Ensure that New Zealand maritime transport routes, ports and all shipping are aware of and fully compliant with our laws.
  • Introduce interim and permanent standards for drilling and exploratory work in New Zealand waters designed to meet New Zealand maritime conditions.
  • Make all drilling/exploration/extraction projects in New Zealand waters subject to public consultation.
  • Amend the Resource Management Act to provide for emergencies involving marine-based extraction industry.
  • Establish rapid response teams to deal with maritime environmental emergencies.

WATER RESOURCES

  • New Zealand First believes that by town and country working together and with good science, we can achieve fully swimmable rivers and lakes.
  • Hold that water is a common good and cannot be owned by any person, including the Crown, and that the Treaty of Waitangi does not confer rights to take or use water upon Māori which are greater or lesser than the rights of any other New Zealander.
  • Develop both a National Policy Statement on Water Resource Uses and a National Water Use Strategy that is consistent with New Zealand First’s policy approach.
  • Put public benefit before private benefit in the granting water rights.
  • Affirm that rights residing in any person must be established under the common law through existing legal processes.
  • Require domestic supply of water must prevail over all other takes and uses.
  • Place national needs in order of priority for the granting of commercial water rights as opposed to the current first in - first served approach.
  • Provide for sustainable outcomes in water for commercial purposes (including electricity and irrigation) in addition to meeting RMA requirements.
  • Ensure rights to take and use water must not be alienated to overseas persons or interests.
  • Reject the taxation of water used within New Zealand beyond the recovery of capital and the operational costs of taking, storing and reticulating it.
  • Introduce a Royalties regime for water exported as drinking water.
  • Protect the special character of New Zealand’s remaining wild and scenic rivers by clearly being identified with policies adopted for this purpose.
  • Establish a Crown Entity to hold all publicly owned water storage in trust for the people of New Zealand that will allocate and license water resources in accordance with the National Water Use Strategy.
  • Ensure surface water takes must not result in the degradation of major lakes and rivers and protect ground water from any practice or takes that are unsustainable.
  • Make consents for the use of water conditional upon the adverse effects of discharge of the water after use (including leaching), including both immediate and cumulative effects.