11 December 2014

Parliamentary Update December 2014

Dr Jan Wright, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment


Tēnā koe


With the House set to rise for the year, I would like to thank you for your interest in the work of my office. I have appreciated the opportunity to discuss my reports and submissions at Select Committee, and to provide briefings to MPs.

Towards the end of November I was especially pleased to release my first report on the science of climate change and sea level rise. I warned that flooding and erosion from sea level rise will have a large impact on many New Zealanders in their lifetimes. The sea will rise a further 30cm by 2050, which might not sound like much, but the impact will be very costly and we must prepare for it. Action taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is the only way to avoid larger rises beyond 2050.

Today I released an update to my 2013 report on longfin eels. In my 2013 report I found that the species was in trouble. Since then, there has been promising progress to better protect eels, both by Government and community initiatives often led by Maori. Longfin eels have an extraordinary lifecycle that makes them vulnerable. I will be keeping a close eye on the coming review of catch limits in particular to ensure this progress is followed through to ensure the survival of this iconic creature. 

2015 promises to be another busy year, with ongoing work on marine conservation, climate change, and state of the environment reporting. I anticipate I will also be submitting on Bills with an environmental focus, and I look forward to advising to MPs and select committees.

I hope those Members new to the House are well settled and enjoying their new roles. The New Year will no doubt bring fresh challenges for us all. Until then I would like to wish all Members and their loved ones an enjoyable, safe, and restful holiday break.

Ngā mihi o te Kirihimete me Te Tau Hou, 


Dr Jan Wright