National’s Blue Green Environmental Policy Lacks Any Credibility
The National Party’s “Blue-Green” environmental policy document lacks integrity and credibility says an outdoor recreation council.
Andi Cockroft, chairman of the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of New Zealand (CORANZ) said it was inevitable that comparisons would be made with the National Party’s track record when in government between 2008 and 2017.
“Those nine years showed a disregard, often arrogant from its environmental and conservation ministers, for both common-sense conservation and public opinion,” he said.
He cited National ministers Nick Smith and Maggie Barry as deriding growing public opinion against widespread and haphazard use of 1080 and also said the National-led government’s action in sacking Environment Canterbury’s democratically elected council and replacing it with “puppet” commissioners was arrogant and draconian. There were other examples also of a disregard for conservation. Environment Minister Smith also downgraded the standards for New Zealand waterways, contributing to their degradation.
“CORANZ is not anti-development but wholesale exploitation is not conservation, which CORANZ defines as a wise use of resources,” he said.
Prior to every election, CORANZ produced an environmental charter which was sent to all political parties and MPs for responses.
“Disappointingly virtually each election over those nine years of National’s tenure as government, it failed to respond in time and had to be badgered by CORANZ to reply. Even then National’s answers ranked low and last on environmental awareness. Therefore when CORANZ sees the Blue-Green policy trotted out when National’s in opposition, it’s understandable there’s some scepticism and cynicism about the Blue-Green’s sincerity,” he added.