Environment to be treasured

Environmental restoration efforts have been lauded by the Green Party. Photo: SRL files
Environmental restoration efforts have been lauded by the Green Party. Photo: SRL files
Good environmental practice is something that should be encouraged and the work done needs to continue in this area, Clutha-Southland candidates say.

New Zealand First candidate Mark Patterson said the party recognised good environmental practice was also sound economics.

''New Zealand First are behind efforts to clean up our water ways but accept that we must use good evidence-based science and produce practical and simple solutions.''

Mr Patterson said the issue was something that needed to be addressed by both urban and rural sectors.

''The cash injection from our policy of returning GST from international tourism back to the region in which it is generated will assist local councils' ability to improve their wastewater infrastructure.''

Labour candidate Cherie Chapman said no longer were the environment or issues such as climate change things to be looked at from a distance.

''We have to roll up our sleeves now and tackle things head on. Small personal changes matter, but so do national, regional and global strategies.''

Ms Chapman said she wanted to go forwards, not backwards, back to basics.

''Electricity, renewable energy, clean water, rail ... Labour is committed to significant change.''

National candidate Hamish Walker said New Zealand's environment was at the core of the country's quality of life, national identity, and competitive advantage.

''We enjoy some of the most pristine and accessible natural beauty in the world. Good environmental practice is not only important to protect our natural heritage, but is crucial in securing the sort of future we want for our children.''

National was investing record amounts into conservation and recently announced that international tourists would pay double for the Great Walks, which would generate another $5million, he said.

''This will be invested back into the environment.''

Greens candidate Rachael Goldsmith said if we wanted to remain a nation renowned for our pure, green image - particularly in Clutha-Southland, known for some beautiful tourist spots - we needed to act now, not in 2040.

It was about moderation, effective regulation, environmental responsibility and investing in recovery, prevention and protection, she said.

''I'm so proud of the many farmers in Clutha-Southland who have embraced best practice and environmental protection and restoration efforts and want to encourage you to keep leading the way in your communities.''

The party would double the amount of Department of Conservation (Doc) staff, and increase the Doc budget, as well as use a tourism levy, an additional $20 increase on the existing border charges for international visitors only, to keep New Zealand beautiful, she said.

Conservative Party candidate Lachie Ashton said New Zealand needed better management of the environment through ''goal-driven investment in research and development and a far more unified and holistic approach to managing the economy in harmony with the environment.''

Past governments had left councils and regions struggling to provide essential services from a small revenue base, despite the economic wealth the regions produced, he said.

The problem was these past governments the environmental horse had bolted, and there were now all sorts of environmental issues to deal with, he said.

''We [the Conservative Party] are ... committed to healthy soils, clean, breathable air, and thriving oceans.''

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