Focusing Aotearoa New Zealand’s environmental reporting system

07 November 2019

This report is a detailed review of how well Aotearoa New Zealand reports on the state of its environment.

The Commissioner has found that huge gaps in data and knowledge undermine our stewardship of the environment, and recommends concerted action and serious investment to improve the system.

Data gaps, along with inconsistent data collection and analysis, make it hard to construct a clear national picture of the state of our environment – and whether it is getting better or worse.

The Commissioner has a statutory role to comment on the reports produced under the Environmental Reporting Act, and the completion of the first full cycle of reports in April 2019 provided a timely opportunity to review the entire system.

Focusing Aotearoa New Zealand’s environmental reporting system critiques the approach to reporting set up under the Environmental Reporting Act 2015, and outlines steps the Government needs to take to improve the system.

The Commissioner recommends:

  • amending the Environmental Reporting Act 2015
  • adjusting the roles of the Government Statistician and the Secretary for the Environment
  • developing a comprehensive, nationally coordinated environmental monitoring system
  • developing a mandated strategy to prioritise and incrementally fill data gaps
  • determining the investment required to deliver the recommended improvements.

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Report – Focusing Aotearoa New Zealand’s environmental reporting system (PDF 7.24MB)

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FAQs – Focusing Aotearoa New Zealand's environmental reporting system (PDF 153KB)

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Media release – Focusing Aotearoa New Zealand's environmental reporting system (PDF 173KB)

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