Labour aims for clean rivers, more jobs

Last updated 21:18 05/05/2014

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Labour is promising to shift the Department of Conservation's focus on to the regions and towards advocating for the environment as part of a policy it says will deliver more jobs and cleaner rivers.

In a move to draw together the environment and economic development - the latter a key concern of outgoing MP Shane Jones - deputy leader David Parker said it was important to explain how Labour's policies would boost growth and wages and protect the environment.

He said a strong economy and a clean environment were closely linked.

As well as "rebalancing" DOC, Labour would also improve the Resource Management Act and Environment Court processes while keeping core principles in place.

"We will make the national policy statement for freshwater work properly so that our rivers are safe to swim in rather than polluted. We will also introduce a national policy statement for estuaries," Parker said.

He said he was "blowing the whistle" on National's environmental performance, pointing to Justice Minister Judith Collins' interview at the weekend.

Speaking to 3News, she said: "Go and find someone who actually cares because I don't" when asked about the environmental impact of Oravida Kauri, a company linked to her husband, taking ancient kauri from swamps.

“Labour knows we can have a strong economy and a beautiful environment. National doesn’t understand that,” Parker said.

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- Fairfax Media

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