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The Government's environmental agenda is about rolling back Nanny State regulations and achieving better environmental outcomes through financial incentives, says Environment & Climate Change Minister Nick Smith.
Dr Smith today addressed the annual Bluegreens Forum in Taupo outlining the Government's environmental approach and achievements since taking office last November. The Bluegreens are the National Party's advisory group on environmental issues.
"There is no debate that New Zealand needs to use energy more efficiently, reduce emissions, protect our biodiversity and clean up our waterways. The Government is changing the way we tackle these issues, " Dr Smith said. "We are about treating New Zealanders as adults, sharing with them good information, and providing financial incentives to help the environment.
"The old style environmentalism was not working and alienated many New Zealanders from changes needed to improve the environment. We have implemented financial incentives of $1000 per household from December 2008 for solar water systems, 42c/l from 1 April for sustainable biofuels, $1800 per household from 1 July for home insulation, a $10 per tonne levy for waste to landfill from 1 July and, from 1 October, exempted full electric cars from road user charges - a saving of 6 cents a kilometre.
"Added to these, the improved emissions trading scheme will from 1 July next year introduce an incentive of $25 per tonne for planting trees and $12.50 a tonne for reducing emissions across the economy.
"These measures are all about growing the New Zealand economy.
"This weekend we're launching the biggest ever energy savings campaign with The Energy Spot, a year-long, three nights-a-week television campaign that will give helpful information on how homes and businesses can save energy.
"Another facet of our new style of environmental governance is the Land and Water Forum initiative which has brought a wide range of partners together to try and build a consensus on a way forward for water management in New Zealand.
"Our balanced approach aims for New Zealand to be both environmentally and economically sustainable."