14 April 2014

Environment Commissioner calls for significant changes to Environmental Reporting Bill

Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright is welcoming the intent of the Bill, but has raised serious concerns about some of the detail.

Submissions for the Bill close on Thursday (17 April) but Dr Wright has released her submission today to make her perspective on its wording clear to others.

"I welcome the legislation for regular environmental reporting and am comfortable with the review and commentary role set out for the Environment Commissioner," said Dr Wright.

"But having now had the opportunity to study the detail, I have significant concerns about some clauses."

Dr Wright said that one of the clauses in the Environmental Reporting Bill would compromise the ability of the Environment Commissioner and other Officers of Parliament to ensure the accountability of government officials.

Another clause allows Government Ministers to decide what is and what is not reported on.

"This undermines the independence that is vital for public trust", said Dr Wright.

ENDS

For further comment please contact: Dan Ormond 027 251 9849