Update from the RMLA President

Kia ora koutou e te whanau

This year will be busy one due to the Government delivering on its environmental work programme. Some developments are imminent and some will progress throughout the year. We will be seeking your input on all of these issues so please contribute through KnowledgeHubs, branch committees, Young RMLA or directly through our website.

At our conference last year we had a mixed response to our question of Transform or Reform?  For some, it depended on the specifics of what “different” looked like. This week EDS has released a report providing some concrete suggestions. As a community, I’m sure we’ll all be digesting that and considering how it influences our views on this question.

Finally, I welcome the EPA’s approach to increased transparency of its reports to government. Over summer I’ve been reading about the rise of Dataism – a way of thinking connected to the emerging significance of Big Data. In the environment space, the public is universally supportive of transparency.

We want to know who is discharging into rivers and lakes. As practitioners we need to get ready for more transparency even though there can be reluctance to share individual data.

Australia and many other countries have a register of top polluters and we don’t. The 2017 OECD report on New Zealand’s environmental performance encouraged our government to do more in this space and it seems that we are taking some baby steps in that direction. We will all need to examine the environmental data sets we use daily and consider how they’ll be shared in the future.

Noho ora mai