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Greens commit to stronger urban tree protection, no new mines on public conservation land

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Green Party is the only party in Parliament which is explicitly committing to protecting public conservation land and the indigenous plants and wildlife which live there, from destructive mining.

Ahead of the final debates of the election campaign the Green Party highlighted its promises to look after nature.

"With the Greens in Government we’ve already ended new offshore oil and gas exploration, doubled the size of protected areas for Māui and Hector’s dolphins, achieved record investment in nature, and a $1.3b Jobs for Nature scheme at the heart of the COVID-19 recovery.

"Healthy nature is at the heart of our economic, cultural and social wellbeing. It’s at the core of who we as New Zealanders. We need to do all we can to look after PāpātÅ«anuku. That’s why this election is so important, so the Greens can continue to provide the strongest voice for nature in Government.

"We need to go further and faster to protect public conservation land from destructive mining, and to ensure oceans thrive and fish are abundant. The Green Party is committing to review the way fisheries are managed in the Quota Management System and phase out the most harmful commercial fishing practices, like bottom impact trawling and dredging," said Green Party environment and conservation spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

"The Green Party remains committed to protecting precious public conservation land, including stewardship land, from coal and gold mining. We are the only party in Parliament with an explicit election policy commitment to do so.

"We are also the only party in Parliament which has signed up to the protection of 30% of our oceans and to ban fishing methods which harm the seabed.

"There’s a clear choice this election. If New Zealanders want a strong voice in Government for nature and a stable climate, then it is important to ensure there is a big team of Green MPs."

Eugenie Sage discussed Green Party policies at the Canal Rd tree protest in Auckland today ahead of the Environmental Defence Society and the Resource Management Law Association’s Environment Election Debate. She also outlined the Green Party’s commitment to effective environmental protections in RMA reform.

"In many areas the RMA has failed clean water and failed nature, and also failed to enable enough affordable, quality housing. We need to ensure that RMA reform provides stronger and better tools to solve the biodiversity crisis, and that councils use these tools, and monitor and enforce plan rules. Development must deliver for people within the limits of what the planet can handle.

"RMA reform must create a step change for urban trees. Increasing urban tree cover, as cities such as Melbourne are doing, has many benefits. It increases urban amenity, creates shade, reduces heat island effects from a warming climate, and creates more space for nature in our cities and towns.

"The RMA reform must recognise the importance of urban trees and ensure tree cover increases; instead of allowing outstanding trees such as those at Canal Rd to be felled. The Green Party would ensure any changes to the RMA include tree protection, so big native trees like we see on Canal Road stay standing.

"Having a strong Green presence at the heart of Government will make ensure protections for nature are a priority and aren’t traded away in any RMA reform," said Eugenie Sage.

The Green Party has previously announced its environmentally focused plans for Thriving Oceans, Farming for the Future, to reduce transport and energy emissions, and to keep kauri standing.

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