02 December 2009

Green New Deal a good deal for wilding pine problem – Environment Commissioner

"I welcome the release of the Green Party New Deal. It provides useful ideas on some of the environmental issues confronting New Zealand. In particular, I am pleased that they have picked up on my recommendation to sort out the wilding pines problem," said Dr Jan Wright, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

The Commissioner was referring to the proposed Green New Deal programme released by the Green Party this morning. The programme draws on an investigation by the Commissioner released earlier this year, Change in the high country: Environmental stewardship and tenure review, which identified wilding pines in the high country as a problem of national importance.

In her report, Dr Wright recommended the government provide additional funding to the Department of Conservation for a sustained wilding pine eradication programme in the South Island high country. This idea has been taken up in the Green New Deal programme which proposes funding of $95 million over ten years.

"In addition, I fully support their proposal to incentivise new forestry planting, something New Zealand needs. I am also pleased with their plans to boost new indigenous forestry. I will look forward to seeing how these suggestions progress with interest."

Copies of the Commissioner's report Change in the high country: Environmental stewardship and tenure review is available here.