29 Aug 2017

Know your policy: Environment

From Election17 - Policy Comparisons, 11:13 am on 29 August 2017

Water quality and use are at the heart of most parties' environment policies this election.

Upper Rangitikei Ranges/Rangitikei River

Photo: RNZ / Hans Weston


  • From October 2018, international visitors to pay double the fee on the five most popular Great Walks 
  • International visitors would pay 50 percent more for the other Great Walks and back-country hut passes
  • More than double the amount of funding available through the Department of Conservation Community Fund, from $4.6 million to $10 million a year
  • Introduce national targets to increase proportions of swimmable waters to 80 percent by 2030 and to 90 percent by 2040
  • Staggered approach to excluding stock from most lakes, rivers and streams through to 2030
  • Boost Predator Free 2050 with $69.2 million of new funding over the next four years to ramp up the ambitious, world-leading pest eradication programme.


  • Ensure rivers and lakes are genuinely swimmable, without trickery around standards
  • Restore the health of waterways so that fish and invertebrates can thrive in them 
  • Ban farmers from intensifying their operations unless they have a resource consent
  • Introduce a royalty on commercial water use
  • Carbon neutral by 2050: - Agriculture would gradually be included in the emissions trading scheme (ETS) by the end of the party's first term, starting with giving the sector 90 percent of emissions free /- Emissions targets would be set in law and an independent body would look at how its zero carbon policy could be achieved.


  • Create a new marine mammal sanctuary off the Taranaki coast
  • Immediate 10 cent/litre levy on water bottling and exports and develop a fair way to charge commercial water users
  • Local councils expected to use that levy to clean up waterways, and protect drinking water sources and infrastructure
  • Interim ban on new resource consents for water exporting and bottling
  • Require 100 percent of the country's electricity to be generated from renewable sources by 2030
  • water bottle generic, water generic

    Photo: 123RF

  • Introduce a $20 Tourism Levy for international visitors, with three-quarters of that levy going towards the Predator Free 2050 Limited project
  • Set a target to get half of New Zealand's freight moving by rail and sea within 10 years
  • Introduce a plan to reduce the nation's greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and create a climate commission 
  • Would require environmental measures to be reported on alongside gross domestic product
  • Would introduce legislation to underground water sources a matter of national importance

New Zealand First

  • Make sure developers are responsible to their communities to avoid, remedy and mitigate adverse environmental effects
  • Oppose the Emissions Trading Scheme 
  • Advocate the government and industry work together to address pollution
  • Ensure the Resource Management Act is stringently applied to all fracking operations
  • Support 'threatened species' recovery programmes 
  • Encourage the development of 'eco-tourism' centres such as Kaikōura
  • Urgently advance work on the development of rubbish disposal alternatives 
  • Continue the phasing out of organo-chlorides and facilitate the development of safe alternatives
  • Approach GM/GE with extreme caution, and only under secure confined laboratory conditions
  • Establish a formal planning process to develop strategies to achieve fossil carbon reduction relevant to New Zealand
  • Water is a common good and cannot be owned by any person or by the Crown
  • Priorities for granting water rights must place public benefit before private benefit
  • Requirements for domestic supply of water must prevail over all other takes and uses


A child in a snorkel and mask peers into a river while swimming.

Photo: 123RF

  • Free markets, far from being incompatible with good environmental custodianship, are essential to it
  • Introduce better water management so that water rights can be traded 
  • Sell Landcorp and put the proceeds into a Sanctuary Trust 
  • Introduce pricing of road use to reduce congestion and emissions

Māori Party

  • Legislate to protect freshwater and give it the status of tāonga
  • Establish a Minister for Freshwater to give priority to addressing freshwater protection, rights and interests
  • Set up an annual Te Mana O Te Wai funding to support community projects such as planting riparian buffers and establish wetlands.
  • Make the freshwater standard ‘drinkable’ 
  • Support a levy on all tourists entering Aotearoa to improve infrastructure and impacts on the environment
  • Support research and development of a natural alternative to 1080
  • Enhance biodiversity within the marine area and prevent the extinction of the Māui dolphin and other marine life
  • Establish whānau friendly cities encouraging young people to have a voice in the design and planning of their cities starting with green spaces in urban centres
  • Develop grants to fund mentors to support whānau to develop alternative energy sources
  • Champion solar panels for government agencies, hospitals, schools and marae
  • Close all coal fired power plants by 2025
  • Ensure mana whenua are consulted on all oil and mineral exploration permits

United Future

  • Introduce a royalties regime that attaches a price to water when it is taken
  • Create a $10 million per year contestable fund for the purpose of funding innovative research into New Zealand's environment
  • Provide targeted funding for research into didymo with the intention of exterminating it from rivers 
  • Extend the powers of the Walking Access Commission so they can advocate for secure appropriate public access to resources such as rivers
  • Establish a Public Commission into long term pest control strategies and the use of 1080 
  • Fund community initiatives that seek to aid the Predator Free by 2050 strategy

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