I recently released a report titled Taonga of an island nation: Saving New Zealand’s native birds. The report is based on a vision – a vision of restoring abundant, resilient, and diverse native birdlife on the mainland of New Zealand. Today eighty per cent of our native birds are in trouble, with some nearing extinction.
Watch a presentation about the report on YouTube
My next (and last) report is on climate change – on how we might chart a pathway to meeting our Paris greenhouse gas target. This investigation has been prompted in part by the visit to New Zealand of Lord Deben, Chair of the UK Climate Committee, earlier this year. The report will include an examination of the UK’s Climate Change Act.
After more than a decade as Parliament’s Environment Commissioner, I am pleased to note the recent appointment of the Rt Hon Simon Upton as my successor in the role. Simon will take up the reigns in October, and I will be doing all I can to ensure a smooth handover. I am looking forward to seeing how he shapes the role, and I wish him all the best.
It is important that the incoming Commissioner has the flexibility to choose topics for investigation. Accordingly, some staff are busy scoping and preparing material on a range of topics that could become fruitful avenues for future investigation.
I look forward to further engagement with you during my remaining time, including appearances before the Local Government and Environment Committee. I will be in the role until the middle of October, and will always make time to discuss environmental issues with members.
Dr Jan Wright
Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment