Labour and National fail environmental test
New Zealand's two biggest political parties have failed the environment test, put to them by two major New Zealand
Greenpeace and ECO (1) surveyed all parties on a range of pressing environmental issues facing the country.
"We asked the political parties to commit to 25 policies that would tackle climate change, clean up New Zealand's
rivers, save our oceans, protect natural heritage and exercise environmental leadership. Both major parties refused to
make clear commitments," said ECO spokeswoman Cath Wallace.
"A Labour-led government may do more for the environment than a National-led one, but, judging by their commitments,
the main parties will need the influence of the Maori Party and the Greens if they are to make real progress.
"We were surprised by how poorly both the two major parties scored. Neither seems to have what it takes to keep New
Zealand clean and green."
Each of the eight main Parliamentary political parties were asked to confirm their commitment to the 25 environmental
policies with a yes or no, and given space to clarify their answers. Of the seven political parties that responded, only
National and Labour refused to answer "yes" or "no".
"National scored abysmally. They refused to sign up to any of the policies, but they picked up 27% for making some small
steps in the right direction.," said Wallace. "Worryingly, along with United Future, National had the worst response of
any party on responding to climate change (4/20) and had the weakest approach of any party to cleaning up New Zealand's
freshwater (2/20). ACT refused to even respond.
"Labour also refused to commit fully to any of the policies, but their comments on the survey show they're willing to do
more than National for the environment. They scored 45% overall. Their strongest commitments were in saving our oceans
(12/20) and saving New Zealand's natural heritage (12/20). Labour made few commitments to clean up New Zealand's
freshwater (5/20) or to show environmental leadership (5/20)
"United Future gained 53%, scoring well on cleaning up New Zealand's freshwater, but did very badly on tackling climate
change (4/20) and protecting New Zealand's natural heritage (3/20).
"Jim Anderton's Progressives scored 60%. Their strongest commitments were on saving the oceans (14/20), protecting New
Zealand's natural heritage (17/20) and environmental leadership (14/20).
"New Zealand First and the Maori Party scored far better than expected given their voting record in Parliament, where
both parties have opposed environmental legislation. New Zealand First gained 76% and the Maori Party gained 87%. Both
parties scored well on environmental leadership and the Maori Party scored the best of any party on cleaning up New
Zealand's water ways."
"The Greens scored the best of any political party and were the only party to score 20/20 for tackling climate change."
For further information contact Cath Wallace on 04-463-5713(w) or 04-970-8696 (H). Kathy Cumming - Greenpeace
communications and media - 021 495 216
Information on the survey can be downloaded at: http://www.environmentvote.org.nz/party-ratings.asp
The voting record of political parties over the last 3 years can read here at:
For information on the issues and policies that we used in our survey read:
Vote for the Environment is supported by Greenpeace and ECO. It is registered as a third party under the Electoral
Finance Act 2007.
The response from each party that did respond can also be found on the www.environmentvote.org.nz website
Note to editors
(1) http://www.eco.org.nz/groups.asp ECO (Environment and Conservation Organisations of Aotearoa) is an umbrella group
of over 60 environment and conservation organisations in New Zealand.
www.greenpeace.org.nz Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and
behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace has over 50,000 supporters in New
Zealand and globally around 3 million people are active supporters.