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Source: New Zealand Labour Party

Cutting a third of the staff at Ministry for the Environment will undermine years of work to clean up our fresh water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and leave us unprepared for a changing climate.

“It shows the Government’s disregard for future generations,” Labour environment spokesperson Rachel Brooking said.

“More than 300 proposed job cuts at the Ministry for the Environment will leave us in the lurch as we try to become more resilient to the effects of climate change, as well as undo all the work done to ensure a healthy environment for future generations.”

The Ministry for the Environment leads work on reducing New Zealand’s emissions, adapting to a changing climate, dealing with waste, and resource management policy among other things. It is proposing to cut 303 FTEs on top of 200 unfilled vacancies.

“This is up to another 300 people who are paying the price so National can give $2.9 billion in tax cuts to landlords,” Rachel Brooking said.

“The cuts come as the Government is trying to push through fast track legislation that works against the environment instead of with it, make sweeping changes to the Resource Management Act that will allow destructive coal mining, and undo years of work to clean up our rivers. It’s clear they don’t understand there is no healthy economy without a healthy environment.

“In slashing jobs by one third, the National Government is demonstrating how it’s only interested in short term profit, and not the long-term health of our country.”

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