22 Sep 2011

Commissioner criticises Government advisory group

4:00 pm on 22 September 2011

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has taken a swipe at the Green Growth Advisory Group announced by the Government in January.

When the Green Growth Advisory Group was launched, senior Government ministers Bill English, Gerry Brownlee and Nick Smith said it would help both economic growth and environmental improvement.

But the commissioner, Jan Wright, says the concept is flawed, as its terms of reference are too narrow.

Dr Wright says that because it targets small and medium-sized businesses it cannot address large greenhouse-gas-emitting manufacturers that don't always meet the cost of their own emissions.

She is also critical of the fact that the group is prohibited from investigating plans to mine lignite in Southland, something she earlier condemned on environmental grounds.