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Vote for nature the call from Forest and Bird

Nov 9th, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

FOREST and Bird wants political parties to prioritise environment and conservation policies ahead of the election.

With the recent Rena oil spill and the controversy over National considering mining national parks, the independent conservation organisation thinks it is important to make the environment an election issue.

It has launched a campaign called Vote for Nature, which includes drafting a list of policy goals and trying to get political parties to commit to them.

These include issues like stopping Mokihinui River from becoming a hydro dam, preventing Mackenzie Country tussock lands being converted into pasture, and protecting Denniston Plateau from open-cast mining.

Forest and Bird has polled the Green Party, Mana Party and United Future on their environmental policies, and are waiting for responses from Labour and National.

Forest and Bird communications officer David Brooks hopes that all parties genuinely see the need to prioritise the environment through policy.

“The aim of the Vote for Nature campaign is to remind political parties that the environment is one of the most important issues for voters.”

Forest and Bird conservation advocate Nicola Vallance says the results of a recent TV3 poll in which New Zealanders rated the environment as the top political priority reflected this.

“This poll shows that New Zealanders are ready to Vote for Nature,” she says.

Mr Brooks says Forest and Bird is not aligned to any party and is not trying to encourage the public to vote for any specific party.

“We are focusing on the policies, rather than the parties that are proposing them,” he says.

He acknowledges that the independent conservation organisation and the Green Party share similar values, but says the campaign is not about promoting any one party.

“Clearly, the aims and policy positions of the Greens would often be similar to ours, but we don’t have formal links with them, or endorse them as a party.”

Forest and Bird will work with whatever party gets into Government after the election, Mr Brooks says.

“We are keen to work with any political party that supports any of the policy aims we have.”

Forest and Bird encourages the public to visit and print out and put up the posters and placards on their property.


POLITICAL POSTERS: The Vote for Nature posters that are available on Forest and Bird’s website PHOTO: Supplied
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is a Whitireia Journalism graduate working at Presstige Community Newspapers for the Northern Courier and Petone Herald.
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