Walk The Environment TalkAssociate Minister for the Environment
New Zealanders need to make the country's clean, green image a reality, the Associate Minister for the Environment, the Hon Marie Hasler said today.
"While New Zealand promotes itself as clean and green, consumers in other countries and visitors here are becoming more discerning," Ms Hasler said in the opening address to the 10th annual WASTEMINZ Conference.
Speaking to some 200 delegates at the Rotorua held conference Ms Hasler said New Zealanders needed to make sure the reality of clean and green lives up to the image being advanced.
"Now is the time to start thinking about how we reduce our waste, rather than how we dispose of it.
Ms Hasler said a Ministry for the Environment survey conducted by Auckland University showed waste minimisation is not receiving the focus or attention it requires.
"I think this reflects the common view that 'they' should be doing more about it. 'They' usually being the Government.
"In some cases Government is not always the answer.
"The key to good waste management lies not with regulators, but with industry and the public.
"Regulators can provide the right environment and incentives, but unless business makes lasting changes to its waste management practices we will have no success.
"Too many companies have a negative mind set when it comes to environmental issues. They see environmental reporting and other environmental issues as ones to be set aside until they can be afforded.
"We need to move forward from this position in New Zealand. We can not afford to place the burden of poor environmental management on future generations."
NB: WASTEMINZ (Waste Management Institute New Zealand Incorporated)