We all know that New Zealand is blessed with one of the world’s most beautiful natural environments. We also know that this paradise is slipping away from us. Government after Government has ignored our most pressing environmental concerns. It is time for a new political party that champions a politics of sustainability, putting the environment first.
Sustainable New Zealand is neither left nor right wing but is focused on sustainability. We are able to work with parties of the left or right to get the best deal for the environment. Sustainable New Zealand’s approach is to work with business to innovate and to correctly price ‘externalities’. We will be led by the science when finding solutions and developing policy. Our future will only be sustainable with technological and scientific innovation.
Sustainable New Zealand’s focus is on being ‘practical environmentalists.’ We will work with rather than against our farmers. We favour a regulatory light-touch where possible but with a willingness to act decisively on core issues. We will foster innovation to transition our economy from one that relies on chopping down, digging up, burning or milking something for economic growth to one that is environmentally-benign and makes us all richer. We know that nothing is free. We need to be prosperous to ensure that we can afford to look after our people and our environment.
Our Top Priorities
1. Protect our Water.
We will improve the quality of water in our rivers and streams, and on our beaches. We will strengthen controls to stop run-off from farms polluting waterways and ensure that waste is better managed to stop plastic getting into our water and food chain. We will ensure that there is a long-term investment plan for water infrastructure across New Zealand.
2. Save our Native Plant and Animal Species.
We will fund scientific research into introduced predator control methods, including gene-editing technologies. We will fund initiatives for community groups and farmers to control introduced predators, protect waterways and set aside land for habitat.
3. Improve our Resource and Waste Management.
Waste is a resource. Our resources are finite and we must remove, reduce, reuse and recycle to make sure we have a future. Ultimately, we must transition to a circular economy; we would make this a core function of government.
4. Expand our Reserves and Protect the Ocean.
We will promote sustainable fisheries management, balancing the interests of commercial and recreational fishers. We will prohibit bottom trawling and purse seining (huge nets) in NZ waters. In addition to regulation we will ensure that we can protect what is important to us by investing in our navy and air force to defend our Exclusive Economic Zone.
5. Dealing with Climate Change.
We will work to establish a bipartisan approach to dealing with Climate Change. We support the approach of the Zero Carbon bill. We will establish a Climate Change Commission and follow their advice to reduce global emissions, including putting a fair price on emissions. We will always seek to offset any additional resource or pollution charges with a corresponding reduction in income and/or company taxes.