Petition calls for package labels

Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker with Gibbston film-maker Niamh Peren before she presented her ‘...
Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker with Gibbston film-maker Niamh Peren before she presented her ‘‘Thumbs Up New Zealand’’ petition on the parliamentary steps on Tuesday. Ms Peren collected more than 46,000 signatures pushing for compulsory food and drink labelling systems in New Zealand.PHOTO: SUPPLIED
A petition pushing for a compulsory labelling system for all food and drink packaging in New Zealand has been announced to the House of Representatives.

Niamh Peren, of Gibbston, collected 46,165 signatures for her "Thumbs Up New Zealand" petition over the past year, just shy of her 50,000 goal.

She wants any packaging which is 100% recyclable in NZ, and made from recycled materials, to have two green thumbs up on the label, products that are 100% recyclable here, but not made from recycled materials, to have one horizontal yellow thumb, and any packaging that's not recyclable to be marked by two red thumbs down.

Ms Peren presented the petition on the steps of Parliament on Tuesday afternoon.

There to accept it were Green MP and Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage, Labour MP and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi, Environment Select Committee chairman Duncan Webb and member Jenny Marcroft and Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker.

She said it was "just a really special moment".

"It's pretty exciting because obviously waste doesn't discriminate, so it's quite a few parties represented on the steps, which can only be a good thing, right?"

The petition was announced by the Speaker on Wednesday and given to the Environment Select Committee to review.

It would then make a recommendation to the Government.

"I'm pushing urgency because obviously the numbers indicate an urgency," Ms Peren said.

"... also over half of our nation's district mayors signed letters of support, which is pretty huge, because currently they're our biggest stakeholders in the waste industry.

"All Government has to do now is action positive change by creating that legislation, which shouldn't be hard ... I mean, there are harder things to fix out there."

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