Environment

Alliance Party Environment Policy

Preamble

  • A core belief of the Alliance is that all economic and social policy for New Zealand and New Zealanders should be working towards a sustainable future for the country and the planet.

  • The Alliance stands for the right of people to live in a clean, safe and healthy environment. We will work with other socialists and environmentalists both internationally and within New Zealand, to campaign for global action to protect the planet and its natural resources. We recognise that economic growth is not the same as human development, and that unlimited growth is not sustainable in a finite system.

  • The Alliance opposes private control of essential services and utilities, such as water and electricity that are basic to life.

  • The Alliance vision of a socially just, non-violent and healthy society cannot be attained without an awareness and commitment to protecting the natural environment.

We stand for the following policies:

  • Make links: Raise political consciousness of the role of capitalism in environmental degradation; include environmental issues in the school curriculum and encourage community environmental projects.

  • No user pays: Though user charges may help conserve resources, they impact most on the poor (particularly large working class families); we would regulate the provision of water, electricity and gas to domestic consumers to ensure that no New Zealander is denied access to these basic necessities because they cannot afford to pay.

  • Sustainable development: Take into account the full impact of new projects and current service delivery to ensure sustainable development; strengthen the Resource Management Act and open up public debate on all developments of significance.

  • Good public transport: Reduce pollution caused by too many cars by investing in buses, trains and ferries, but first bring these back under public ownership and control; support electrification of Auckland suburban rail.

  • Zero waste: Promote strategies to minimise and eliminate waste by encouraging recycling, promoting the reduction of packaging and consumption, and ensuring that products are made to be reused, repaired, recycled or composted.

  • Good housing: Inadequate, poorly insulated housing and overcrowding causes preventable diseases among our children, such as meningococcal disease and TB; we oppose the winding down of the Environmental Efficiency Conservation Authority under the last National Government and would strengthen this agency.

  • Efficient and renewable energy: New power generation must be planned as part of the Government’s overall energy strategy; this must include use of renewable energy sources to achieve long-term efficiency and sustainability; planning must prioritise the environment.

  • Nuclear free: Active promotion of New Zealand’s anti-nuclear status; promote an end to all nuclear dumping in the Pacific and a ban on the dumping of chemicals and explosives at sea.

  • Renewables: Government investment in research and provision of sustainable forms of energy.

  • Not for Sale: Ban absentee and foreign investors’ ownership of New Zealand land and coastal property to preserve our natural heritage – now and for future generations.

  • Foreshore and seabed: We support the common ownership of foreshore and seabed, river banks and lakes, but we also recognise collective forms of Maori ‘ownership’; our position on the Foreshore and Seabed legislation was that it should prevent sale into private hands, guarantee public access, and include protection for the environment.

  • GM: The Alliance in Government introduced legislation to require the mandatory labelling of Genetically Modified food and we consistently opposed field trials until such trials were proven to be safe. We support a cautious approach to Genetic Modification to protect people’s health and New Zealand’s ‘clean, green image’. The precautionary principle is the best approach.

  • Opposition to field trials and the commercial release of Genetically Modified crops because of serious concerns about environmental impacts and food safety. Adequate testing and labelling of food.

  • Climate Change: Climate Change is one the greatest threats to our natural environment. We need to act now. We would promote research to reduce methane gas emissions (which account for 54 percent of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions).

  • New Zealand should be a world leader in the equitable mitigation of Climate Change. We would aim for carbon neutrality by 2030.

  • The fight against Climate Change cannot be successful without international solidarity. We fully support the international fight against Climate Change based on the principle of equity.