Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Not about protection

Today National's Environmental Protection Authority Bill will receive its first reading. The bill will achieve one of National's long-term goals: gut the Ministry for the Environment (which they don't trust) by shifting most of its functions to a new "Environmental Protection Authority". From its name, and National's "blue-green" spin on the issue, you'd expect that a core function of such an agency would be protecting the environment. But you'd be wrong. Instead, its objectives are to:

(a) [contribute] to the efficient, effective, and transparent management of New Zealand's environment and natural and physical resources; and
(b) [enable] New Zealand to meet its international obligations.
So there you have it: thanks to National, we're going to get an Environmental "Protection" Authority which isn't actually interested in protection. Instead, its about "efficient management", which means rubber-stamping coal mines. Just another example of how National pretends to care about the environment, while in fact enabling its destruction.