EDS endorses Commissioner for the Environment’s report

Published: Thu 7 Nov 2019 02:40 PM
EDS endorses Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report
The Environmental Defence Society (EDS) strongly supports Rt Hon Simon Upton’s call for significant improvements to New Zealand’s environmental reporting regime.
The Commissioner’s report Focusing Aotearoa New Zealand’s environmental reporting system was released earlier today.
“Mr Upton is clearly underwhelmed by the quality of the reporting regime and wants to see a serious commitment from Government to make improvements,” said EDS CEO Gary Taylor.
“He restates the need for good quality data to inform policy-makers and allow New Zealanders to track our environmental performance and outcomes. This will require greater investment in the reporting required under the Environmental Reporting Act 2015.
“He has called on the responsible Ministers – Finance, Environment and Statistics – to focus on the budgetary allocation to resource the reporting regime. EDS supports that call and notes that the Minister of Statistics is also an Associate Minister of Finance, so well positioned to lead that consideration.
“Mr Upton has also recommended some reframing of the reporting regime with theme-based commentaries that would reflect current issues rather than a rotation of domain focused reviews. That makes sense and will provide more timely and relevant data rather than simply proceeding on a rota.
“He has made suggestions for changes to the Act and to the respective roles of the Secretary for the Environment and the Government Statistician which seem sensible.
“He has also suggested state of the environment reporting should be on a longer cycle to enable comparisons to be more clearly made and a requirement for a formal response from Government to each report.
“Overall we are concerned at the obvious deficiencies in our environmental reporting system identified by the Commissioner, most of which come down to underfunding. We can’t manage what we don’t know so Government really does need to get on with implementing the suite of recommendations,” Mr Taylor concluded.
The report can be viewed on the PCE website here.
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Environmental Defence Society
EDS is a not-for-profit environmental organisation committed to improving environmental outcomes within New Zealand.
The Environmental Defence Society (EDS) is a professionally run, independent environmental group that was established in 1971. It brings together the disciplines of science, planning, landscape and the law.
It operates as a think-tank, providing thought leadership on key environmental issues as well as representing the environment before councils and the courts.
EDS is located at the collaborative and business aware end of the environmental movement, seeking constructive engagement with all sectors, to achieve good environmental and economic outcomes for all New Zealanders. It has influence.
It also plays an education role, helping business, councils, community groups and iwi to better understand best practice resource management. EDS runs national and regional conferences and seminars on topical issues.
EDS is a registered charity and donations to it are tax-deductible.
Contact Environmental Defence Society

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