Scathing review of Government's environmental record

News 18/04/2019

New Zealand is far from transformative in their approach to the environment, says Forest and Bird CEO Kevin Hague.

A report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ is due to be released on Thursday morning, detailing the state of New Zealand's natural environment.

Hague said he thinks Kiwis will be surprised by how poorly the Government is doing.

I would say we're a one or a two out of ten

"That's probably shocking for New Zealanders," he told The AM Show.

He said the Government's response to the current environmental crisis is far from adequate or what was promised.

"In freshwater, in climate change, we've heard good rhetoric from the Government so far, but actually in this year of delivery we need to see transformative action from them."

He said marine areas were actually doing worse, pointing at stalled plans to put cameras on fishing boats to reduce irresponsible fishing.

The Government said the environment was going to be a major focus, but Hague said he's not seen much evidence of that.

"Successive Governments have really not touched the issue and so now we need transformative political action, not just twiddling the dials."

New Zealand needs to act before it's too late, which it may soon be for many of the country's native species, Hague said, "people might think I'm exaggerating" but he continued to explain the weight of the situation. 

We are literally living in the midst of an environmental crisis that we have to turn around.

"We've got you know 4000 species that are in trouble or in serious trouble, that's the highest proportion of our native species."

The AM Show / Newshub reporter Katie Fitzgerald