The environment was at the centre of this election campaign and, whatever the exact makeup, the new government needs to take action. And Greenpeace says it will be there to make sure they do.
“No matter what the final outcome of the negotiations to form a new government, the environment was at the centre of this election campaign,” says Greenpeace Executive Director, Dr Russel Norman.
“For the first time in New Zealand history, protecting rivers was one of the central issues in this campaign. It was significant that both Bill English and Jacinda Ardern spoke of the environment in their post-election speeches. This is the first time I can remember that happening.
“The environment was one of the top three issues this election. A continuation of a ‘business as usual’ attitude with policies of climate denial and river degradation is no longer an option,” says Norman.
He says 2017 has been the “Environment Election”, and people all over the country have spoken out against New Zealand’s growing carbon emissions and the systemic waterway degradation that’s been occurring over the past nine years.
“All four of the parties involved in the negotiations to form a government pledged in the campaign to improve New Zealand’s environmental performance. We expect them to deliver on those pledges in the negotiations. They could get rid of the half billion dollar irrigation pollution fund for a start,” says Norman.
“The environmental movement in this country is strong, and growing. If the Government won’t act, then the people will. Rest assured, we will see more protest and direct actions from New Zealanders to protect our rivers and climate, and Greenpeace will be at the forefront,” Norman says.