• Nick Smith

Conservation Minister Nick Smith said Labour's Conservation Policy is short on detail, and if their previous performance is anything to go by, conservation will again be relegated to the margin of all talk and no action.

"The last time Labour held the purse strings, they let Department of Conservation over-spend by $10 million, then made them pay it back out of future budgets and finally cut their budget in 1990. Under National, there have been consistent increases each year in the conservation budget."

"The absence of any specific undertaking to increase resources speaks volumes about Labour's low level of commitment to conservation. In their conservation policy, there are 13 pages of words. Not one of these are backed up with a single funding commitment. In 1990, their funding commitment to possum control was $380,000. National has increased this annual expenditure to $13.5 million."

"In Labour's last time in Government they established one marine reserve, National have established 13 so far, with consultation underway for another eight. National have done more to protect our marine environment than any other Government. National is firmly committed to establishing the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, where was Labour? When the crunch came, Labour walked away from its commitment to marine protection."

"Labour are promising increased funding for conservation. No-one would argue with that, but exactly how much, exactly when and exactly where is it coming from?"