The OECD’s report released today on New Zealand’s environmental progress tells us nothing we didn’t already know, Federated Farmers water spokesperson Chris Allen says.
The report congratulates New Zealand and New Zealanders for having an economy which has grown faster than the OECD’s as a whole since 2000, thanks to sustained exports and construction activity.
It also says New Zealand fares well in terms of environmental quality of life, highlighting our ability to enjoy "easy access to pristine wilderness".
"The report goes on to say that there is tension between sustaining economic growth and maintaining our environmental credentials, which no Kiwi would be surprised to hear.
"It makes some suggestions about how we can manage this in the future, and overall, supports the efforts already being made," Chris says.
One of the major areas discussed in the report is fresh water management. The report encourages the use of innovation and research to develop better water management tools.
"The fact is 80% of New Zealand’s waterways have stable or improving water quality. We need to prioritise our efforts around the remaining 20%, supported by real, not modelled data."
The report also acknowledges the pressures on the environment are not just from primary production but also from urban growth and transport. It highlights the immense pressure the development of Auckland is placing on the environment.
"This is an area that the whole country needs to focus on. It is a major problem for New Zealand and farmers understand that Auckland ratepayers need time to tackle their housing, infrastructure and water quality problems," Chris says.
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