The Government's latest Business Growth Agenda is long on
rhetoric and short on substance, despite several ministers
being involved in the release yesterday of the Building Natural
The report set out the 49 initiatives the Government says it
is taking to improve the way New Zealand uses and manages its
Finance Minister Bill English and Economic Development
Minister Steven Joyce said in a statement the report
encouraged businesses to find ways to become more innovative
to get the best results for the economy and the environment.
Building Natural Resources highlighted how recommendations
from the Green Growth Advisory Group were being integrated
into the Government's wider growth agenda, Mr Joyce and
Environment Minister Amy Adams said.
However, in a separate release from Mr. Adams entitled
''Progress update on Greening New Zealand's Growth
recommendations'', most of the recommendations were
accompanied by a progress update that just confirmed the
Government was either currently investigating, reviewing or
agreeing to - rather than doing.
Mr Joyce said the report set a vision for ensuring
environmental outcomes improved over time while still
achieving the growth needed to lift New Zealand exports to
40% of GDP.
''New Zealand has abundant natural resources. We rank eighth
in the world for our overall natural capital and first ... on
renewable resources per capita. Our resource base is a
significant source of wealth and competitive advantage."
The Building Natural Resources report was released on the
same day as Energy and Resources Minister Phil Heatley
awarded the Block Offer 2012 exploration permits.
Mr Joyce said the Government was taking a hard look at how
all resources were managed so the economy could grow while
the environment was looked after.
Labour Party deputy leader and environment spokesman Grant
Robertson said the Government should be embarrassed by its
lack of action on green growth.
''The response the Government has given today to its own task
force is a pathetic attempt, full of waffle and devoid of
''From the gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme to the
vague and weak rules in the Exclusive Economic Zone
legislation, to the cuts in funding the Department of
Conservation and the lack of action on water quality, this
Government has shown disregard for the importance of our
environment,'' Mr Robertson said.
Political lobby group Straterra said the Government's vision
to build growth and jobs in New Zealand through sustainably
using New Zealand's natural resources would be great for the
industry if supported by a fair, stable and competitive
''To achieve this, Government needs to ensure its continued
reform of the Resource Management Act is done in coordination
with a raft of other reforms coming through which will impact
on our industry,'' Straterra chief executive Chris Baker
The Sustainable Business Council said the resources report
was a critical part of the Government's business growth
agenda. Council executive director Penny Nelson said getting
a large scale increase in export growth while steadily
improving the quality of the environment was the goal.
''Better dialogue among businesses and communities leading to
decisive, responsible development of our resources will help
bring the goal to reality,'' she said.