Govt criticised for axeing environment reports

18:39, Oct 30 2012

The Government's decision to scrap five-yearly "state of the environment" reports is an attempt to hide its "pro-irrigation, anti- climate, and pro-mining policies", the Greens say.

Environment spokeswoman Eugenie Sage also said stopping the report kept "New Zealanders in the dark about what is happening to the environment and what the problems are".

Responding to a parliamentary question from the Greens, Environment Minister Amy Adams confirmed yesterday the Environment Ministry-authored report, due in December, would not be produced.

Instead, the ministry was releasing simple report cards on what Ms Sage called "a patchy, ad hoc and occasional basis".

Labour environment spokesman Grant Robertson said the decision was "a major step backwards for the health of New Zealand's environment". New Zealand is the only OECD country that does not have legislation requiring national reporting on the state of the environment.

Ms Adams defended the decision, saying regular report cards raised the standard of reporting. The ministry tracked performance through the National Environment Report. It gives report cards on 22 core environmental initiatives.

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