Hon Dr Nick Smith
Minister for the Environment
21 March 2017
OECD environment report welcomed
The Government has welcomed today’s release of the OECD 2017 Environment Performance Review, saying it highlights New
Zealand’s green credentials and the strong progress we have made over the past decade, as well as the challenges we need
to address, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says.
“This report highlights that New Zealand fares well in terms on environmental quality of life. We have good air quality,
an exceptionally high proportion of renewable electricity, easy access to pristine wilderness and an advanced and
comprehensive natural resource management system,” Dr Smith says.
“This report shows how far we have come over the past decade. We introduced environmental pricing on waste in 2009 and
on greenhouse gas emissions in 2010. We have introduced new national policy statements in areas of freshwater
management, urban development and coastal management, as well as national environment standards on air quality. We have
also made important institutional changes with the creation of the Environmental Protection Authority, new laws
regulating activities in New Zealand’s huge EEZ and the new Environment Reporting Act 2015.
“We also concur with the OECD assessment of New Zealand’s future environmental challenges of climate change, freshwater
management, biodiversity, reducing the complexity of urban planning and transport funding reform. This report reinforces
the importance of the significant work programmes the Government has under way in each of these areas.
“This environmental report card will help us sharpen our future direction and environmental aspirations, as well as
learn from the experiences of other countries. I thank the OECD reviewers and the examining countries of Australia and
the UK for their contribution to this thoughtful report.”