New Zealanders should trust National as much with the environment as they do with the economy, and today’s launch of our first policy discussion document on the environment shows National has practical and science-based plans to meet New Zealand’s environmental challenges, National Leader Simon Bridges says.

"National's ambition is to be the party that is best able to deliver a clean environment with a strong economy. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. We know we can deliver a better environment without imposing a whole series of unneeded environmental taxes.

“We take climate change seriously. We are supportive of an independent climate change commission and we want to see New Zealand meet its Paris commitments, with the smart use of technology like electric vehicles and continuing growing renewable energy.

“We view infrastructure investment as critical to improving water quality and improving New Zealand's resilience to climate change. The Government has chosen to end support for water storage infrastructure whereas we will consider expanding support with a new Water Infrastructure Fund.

“New infrastructure is needed in cities to properly separate and better manage storm and wastewater, while in rural New Zealand sustainable water storage schemes are required to improve water quality and management.

“It is time New Zealand steps up its approach to reducing waste and litter. More responsibility should be put on industry to design products using modern concepts of a circular economy. The Litter Act should be updated to reflect this, and a timetable to achieve zero avoidable waste needs to be set.

“We introduced Predator Free 2050 to ensure the survival of the birds that define New Zealand, like kiwi. We continue to believe in that vision.  We take a different approach to this Government which has banned work on new biotechnologies. We are also proposing expanding New Zealand's national parks with a suggestion for a new 14th National Park in the Catlins.

“National is a hard-working, constructive Opposition focused on holding the Government to account and putting forward ideas to improve the lives of New Zealanders. As part of that we’re undertaking the biggest policy development process by an opposition in over a decade, and ensuring New Zealanders can have their say.

“Our eight policy discussion documents will cover issues including the economy, law and order, infrastructure, education and health. You will see us stick to our core principles like ensuring New Zealanders can keep more of what they earn and providing world class public services. We will also propose some new thinking for discussion, and take the feedback on board.

“We are doing the work now so that should we earn the right to govern again in 2020 we will hit the ground running.”

The ‘Our Environment’ discussion document can be found here

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