National turns new leaf on green attitude but still lost on agriculture and climate

Source: Greenpeace New Zealand

Greenpeace has welcomed some of the National Party’s new environment policy proposals announced at the annual Bluegreens Forum today, but is critical of the party’s failure to address climate change and agriculture.

Speaking from the Bluegreens conference in Raglan, Greenpeace senior campaign advisor Steve Abel says National’s proposals for new marine reserves and a new national park in the Catlins as well as a countrywide bottle deposit scheme to address plastic pollution are good to see, but National is lost on the greatest challenges of our time – climate and agriculture.

Greenpeace also says it’s vital that national park and marine reserve proposals are developed closely with iwi. “We love national parks and marine reserves but they must be formed with iwi and hapū from the start, rather than imposed on locals,” says Abel.

The environment heavyweight is also supportive of the National Party’s proposals for a countrywide bottle deposit scheme that would set targets of 90% recovery. “This idea puts the Nats a jump ahead of the current government who have not yet seized this obvious opportunity to hugely improve our plastic recovery rates,” says Abel.

However Greenpeace has slammed suggestions of a ‘waste to energy’ scheme which would see many kinds of waste burned to generate electricity. “Waste to energy schemes are a false solution backed by the likes of Exxon and Dow Chemical because they allow production of plastic to continue. Burning waste is energy intensive, creates dirty electricity, toxic emissions and is disastrous for the climate. And it also undermines efforts to reduce the volume of plastic produced at source which is vital to reducing plastic pollution.”

Greenpeace is also “unimpressed with the dearth of ideas from National on climate and agriculture.”

“The Nats are still looking for fictional future tech fixes for our agricultural problems when there are very practical solutions available right now if they would only seize the nettle,” says Abel.

“National is focussed on biotechnology as a silver bullet but these fixes are underwhelming add-ons that fail to address underlying problems, and are not what our export customers want.”

“People don’t want genetically engineered milk from New Zealand. Even Fonterra gets that and already markets their products as non-GMO.”

“National are still not willing to face the practical reality that to prevent industrial agriculture’s degradation of New Zealand’s waterways, soil and the climate we need systemic change. That means changes in land use, fewer cows, and a cut to damaging inputs like synthetic nitrogen, and shift to regenerative farming.

“National needs to become the party for all 40 thousand New Zealand farmers not just the party of 12 thousand dairy farmers,” says Abel.

“Perhaps the most disappointing takeaway from the Bluegreens discussion document is the National’s Party’s intransigence on climate change. National is still advocating for more oil and gas exploration rather than the huge opportunities that exist in clean solar and wind energy industries. The Party still wants to keep two of the most potent greenhouse gasses – Methane and Nitrogen Oxide – out the Emissions Trading Scheme.”

“But to end on a positive note, Scott Simpson’s opening remarks in the discussion document that the environment and economy should be seen as equals and, more importantly, that short term economic gain should not come at the cost of the environment, is a welcome change from the Key Government’s mantra that the environment and economy had to be weighed against each other as if in opposition.”

“This seems to be a new note of wisdom that takes a step towards recognising that we as a species are part of nature, – not separate from it. Our broadest societal goal must be for healthy life on Earth,” says Abel.

ENDS

MIL OSI

Single vehicle crash Far North – SH1 Okaihau

Source: New Zealand Police

Single vehicle crash Far North – SH1 Okaihau

Saturday, 23 February 2019 – 2:11pm

Northland

One man is in a serious condition and has been flown to hospital following a single vehicle crash today at 12.30pm

The crash was on State Highway 1, near Puketi Road.

The Serious Crash Unit has been advised.

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre

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Crash on East Coast Road Redvale – motorists to avoid area

Source: New Zealand Police

Two cars have collided on East Coast Road in Redvale north of Auckland at about 12.40pm.
 
Two people have moderate injuries and one person has serious injuries.
 
The road is completely blocked and will be closed for some time.
 
The Serious Crash Unit has been advised and motorists are asked to avoid the area.
 
ENDS
 
Issued by Police Media Centre
 

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Kiwi heard at Mt Te Kinga

Source: Department of Conservation

Introduction

DOC is advancing its knowledge of the distribution of roroa/great spotted kiwi with the use of technology that cuts down on time listening to forest sound recordings.

Date:  25 February 2019

The work has yielded the discovery of a female roroa living on Mt Te Kinga on the north shores of Lake Brunner on the West Coast of the South Island.

Darrell Haworth, Senior Biodiversity Supervisor for DOC in the Mawhera/Greymouth district says, “We are aware of kiwi being in this area as late as 1980 but this had not been confirmed in recent times. We’ll survey this area more thoroughly to find out whether there are more kiwi present.

“The confirmation of kiwi in this area is exciting and also a reminder to heed “no dog” signs in this area – dogs are a major threat to kiwi.”

The technology that “heard” the kiwi uses “listening” devices that gather raw data in areas where birds are believed to be. This data is then screened through a software programme which cuts out background noise – meaning it’s much faster for people to listen to the recordings.

Darrell says the technology makes it far more economical to conduct kiwi surveys.

 “Current understanding suggests the sub-alpine zones of North West Nelson, the Paparoa Range, and Arthur’s Pass are home to the roroa but as we are able to conduct more surveys, we hope to find roroa in even more places”.

“Because these kiwi can live at higher altitudes, where there are fewer predators, they have declined at a slower rate than kiwi at lower altitudes but we know that originally they were found at much lower altitudes and may be still present there in low numbers.”

Contact

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UPDATE – Skippers Canyon: status of injured

Source: New Zealand Police

UPDATE – Skippers Canyon: status of injured

Saturday, 23 February 2019 – 12:03pm

Southern

Police can now confirm no one was seriously injured in the jet boat crash.

Nine out of the 10 occupants have moderate to minor injuries.

All nine were helicoptered to Lakes District Hospital for treatment.

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre

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UPDATE 2: Serious crash, Hastings

Source: New Zealand Police

State Highway 2 has reopened following a serious crash at Poukawa, Hastings this morning.

The crash, involving a car and a truck, occurred about 7.30am.

The driver of the car was taken to hospital in a serious condition.

Police would like to remind motorists to take extra care on the roads this weekend, especially in areas where rain is forecast.

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre

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Update on boat crash in Skippers Canyon – Queenstown

Source: New Zealand Police

Police can now confirm that the boat that crashed is a commercial jet working in the Skippers Canyon.

Nine out of the 10 occupants have injuries, some have serious and some have moderate or minor injuries. 

All the injured have been helicoptered to Lakes District Hospital for treatment.

The Swift Water Rescue Team was on stand-by, but has been stood-down.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has been notified, along with Maritime New Zealand.

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre

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National ambitious for clean NZ environment

Source: National Party

New Zealanders should trust National as much with the environment as they do with the economy, and today’s launch of our first policy discussion document on the environment shows National has practical and science-based plans to meet New Zealand’s environmental challenges, National Leader Simon Bridges says.

“National’s ambition is to be the party that is best able to deliver a clean environment with a strong economy. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. We know we can deliver a better environment without imposing a whole series of unneeded environmental taxes.

“We take climate change seriously. We are supportive of an independent climate change commission and we want to see New Zealand meet its Paris commitments, with the smart use of technology like electric vehicles and continuing growing renewable energy.

“We view infrastructure investment as critical to improving water quality and improving New Zealand’s resilience to climate change. The Government has chosen to end support for water storage infrastructure whereas we will consider expanding support with a new Water Infrastructure Fund.

“New infrastructure is needed in cities to properly separate and better manage storm and wastewater, while in rural New Zealand sustainable water storage schemes are required to improve water quality and management.

“It is time New Zealand steps up its approach to reducing waste and litter. More responsibility should be put on industry to design products using modern concepts of a circular economy. The Litter Act should be updated to reflect this, and a timetable to achieve zero avoidable waste needs to be set.

“We introduced Predator Free 2050 to ensure the survival of the birds that define New Zealand, like kiwi. We continue to believe in that vision.  We take a different approach to this Government which has banned work on new biotechnologies. We are also proposing expanding New Zealand’s national parks with a suggestion for a new 14th National Park in the Catlins.

“National is a hard-working, constructive Opposition focused on holding the Government to account and putting forward ideas to improve the lives of New Zealanders. As part of that we’re undertaking the biggest policy development process by an opposition in over a decade, and ensuring New Zealanders can have their say.

“Our eight policy discussion documents will cover issues including the economy, law and order, infrastructure, education and health. You will see us stick to our core principles like ensuring New Zealanders can keep more of what they earn and providing world class public services. We will also propose some new thinking for discussion, and take the feedback on board.

“We are doing the work now so that should we earn the right to govern again in 2020 we will hit the ground running.”

The ‘Our Environment’ discussion document can be found here

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Serious crash, Kaikohe

Source: New Zealand Police

Two people have been seriously injured in a crash around Mangatoa Road and SH12, Kaikohe at about 9.40am.

The crash scene will be cordoned off while emergency services are at the scene.

Two helicopters are on the way to assist with the injured.

More information will be released as it becomes available.

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre

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Boat crash on Shotover River

Source: New Zealand Police

Police and emergency services are enroute to reports of a boat crash on the Shotover River, Skippers Canyon, Queenstown.

Initial reports indicate that there are 10 people on board, and some have injuries.

The crash occurred around 10am.

More information will be released when it becomes available.

ENDS

Issued by Police Media Centre

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