08 August 2013
Environment Reporting a much needed tool – Environment Commissioner
Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright, has reiterated the need for a system of national state of the environment reporting in a speech to the Environment Defence Society's National Conference this morning.
Dr Wright says New Zealanders need this reporting if they are to make informed decisions about protecting and preserving their environment.
"A state of the environment report should fundamentally be a diagnosis of the health of our environment so that the people of New Zealand, and those who govern on their behalf, can make informed decisions about where resources should be directed to do the best for the environment that we can.
"The environment is hugely complex and environmental issues can be very difficult to get perspective on especially in relation to each other, which is why I think it's vital that there is a regular independent assessment of where New Zealand stands.
"It is this requirement for independence that has led to calls for the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment to be tasked with the job of environment reporting. But whoever does it, independence is important for transparent and trusted reporting.
"Ours is the only country in the OECD that had no legislative requirement for regular environment reporting."
Dr Wright's speech is available in full here. Her 2010 report, How clean is New Zealand? Measuring and reporting on the state of our environment, is available here.