26, Oct, 2017

New Ministerial line-up welcomed

Category: ECO Inc

The new Ministerial team in the Labour, NZ First and Greens government has been welcomed as an encouraging team for the environment by ECO (the Environment and Conservation Organisations of NZ) as strong and well-matched to their portfolios.

“The new ministers have the opportunity collaboratively to tackle pressing environmental issues including climate, deteriorating water quality and losses of native species.” 

“We now have an Executive branch of government that will promote conservation, environmental sustainability and social justice while shifting the economy to a sounder basis and focusing on employment,” says Cath Wallace, for ECO. 

 “It is very encouraging that the new government seems to understand that we need to look after environmental processes and to maintain ecosystems functions and to take conservation seriously.  These are the basis for human wellbeing, healthy people, society and for an economy that maintains these long into the future.

 “The allocation of portfolios for Ministers, Associate Ministers and Under Secretaries shows the vision of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s collaborative approach and desire for resilient government.   Her wish for joined-up thinking is apparent.  The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals underpin the Greens- Labour agreement.   This is very welcome,” says Wallace.

“David Parker has the Environment, Economic Development and Trade and Export portfolios.  He has an opportunity to ensure that economic activities are consistent with environmental and social goals.”

“James Shaw as Climate Minister, Megan Woods as the Minister of Energy and Resources and of the Research, Science and Innovation portfolio, and Julie Anne Genter who is Associate-Transport Minister can collaborate to lower New Zealand’s greenhouse emissions.”

“ECO welcomes Eugenie Sage as Conservation Minister and Minister of Land Information.  With more funding for DoC, and as Minister of Land Information, she will be able to refocus DoC  on its conservation goals.  Protected areas contribute to human health and well-being, to the environment itself and to the economy.”

“Eugenie Sage will also be able to bring marine conservation and conservation advocacy in statutory processes back in line with conservation needs.”

“Damien O’Connor has both Agriculture and Biosecurity.  His biosecurity work is to help us all protect New Zealand from invasive species.  This will help to protect crops, native ecosystems, forests, marine ecosystems and agriculture from invasive species.  A new programme of work, Biosecurity 2025, is already in development.”

 “In Agriculture O’Connor could tackle water quality, agricultural greenhouse emissions, sedimentation and could accelerate moves to much more sustainable agriculture."

Stuart Nash with Fisheries could oversee much more environmentally focused fisheries management.   The Sustainable Seas Science Challenge and some fisheries reform work could contribute to this.

Nanaia Mahuta has the Local Government and Maori Development portfolios.  There are synergies there  with the environment and with the Employment Ministry that Willie Jackson will lead. 

Clare Curran with the State Services Open Government sub-portfolio will be poised to make a difference to public sector transparency.  “Her main ministerial responsibility for Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media will tie in well to her Open government work.”

The Greens are not in Cabinet, reflecting their Confidence and Supply agreement.  This makes their tasks more difficult than those Ministers from Labour and New Zealand First who are in Cabinet.

The new line up and the sharing of Ministerial responsibilities with Associate Ministers and Undersecretaries shows a clear strategy aimed both at resilience of government and collaboration.

“The new government can now apply sustainability thinking and social justice and well being ideas that have been around for a long time but have been disregarded.”

“We can have much greater well being for far less damage to the environment“ .

“We look forward to working with this government for a much more positive future for the environment, society and a more sustainable economy.”

Previous page: Current Events