Friday, November 04, 2011

The Greens' conservation policy

The Greens launched their conservation policy today, promising higher funding for DOC and greater protection of native species. They're both good ideas. DOC has been an easy target for the government, which has starved it of funds and demanded it "do more with less". But it has enormous responsibilities, managing a third of the entire country as well as 33 marine reserves. And it needs to be funded to do this properly. The Wildlife Act changes [PDF] seem to be a sensible response both to smuggling and the need to protect and preserve our native species.

Neither of the main parties has released their conservation policy yet - its just not a priority for them (National doesn't even list the environment on its policy page, which shows how much they care; Labour has a high country policy with significant conservation components). Both of them will likely promise extra national parks without addressing the core question of funding. But I'm expecting at least some of the Greens' policy to be implemented eventually, either through an explicit support agreement, or the slower process of transmission through Labour.