Update from the President

Tēna koutou katoa

In my last update I included our press release about the recent synthesis Environment Aotearoa report that MfE is obliged to prepare. The report paints a picture of a significant pressure on our unique native biodiversity, degraded land, pollution, reduced water flows, and a large amount of emissions from livestock and road transport. Many members tell me that it isn’t news to them.

MfE’s CEO, Vicky Robertson, has been very candid about the report at a launch event this week. She admits it makes grim reading and notes that it doesn’t even take into account the lag effect of activities in the last decade or so. She referred to the changes to our economy in the 1980s as an example of the scale of redirection needed and the importance of considering ripple effects of system change. This comment made the older people in the room pay particular attention and means our members will remain focused on what system reform could look like.

The diverse group of organisations in the room were talking about pricing externalities, educating people and the inevitably of environmental regulation tightening. An new environmental organisation was also introduced: Aotearoa Circle. It has leaders from the public and private sectors committed to reverse the decline of our natural resources; see here for some information about their goals.

This discussion highlights the importance of getting the right information for discussion. The RMLA has called for more regular release of data; meaningful indicators; and more quality debate. In the meantime we should all have a look at what is available now – you can read the short version of the report here

Heoi anō tāku mō nāianei (that’s all for now)