|Andrew von Dadelszen
Former Regional Councillor
It has been my privilege for the last eight years to chair the Bluegreens, which is an environmental policy advisory group for the National Party.
Each year, we have an annual forum and our 13th forum was held last weekend at North Shore, Auckland, with more than 100 attending, including the Prime Minister, three Cabinet Ministers and 10 MPs.
The Bluegreens believe the environment is too important for adversarial politics, and we invite participation and debate from all sides of the political and NGO spectrum.
The Prime Minister launched ‘Building a Bluegreen Future’ – an environment policy paper reporting on the progress of the National-led Government during the last three years and setting out the next steps to be taken in this term. For those interested it is available online, visit https://www.national.org.nz/bluegreens/Bluegreen_Future.pdf
The Bluegreens Forum had an outstanding array of speakers, and the highlights for me were the sessions on ‘Greening New Zealand’s Growth’ and also ‘Protecting our Oceans’. Phil O’Reilly, chief executive of BusinessNZ, released the report of the Green Growth Advisory Group, and that session was supported by presentations from Sir Peter Gluckman (chief science advisory to the Prime Minister), Sir Stephen Tindall (The Warehouse, and Trustee of Pure Advantage), and Andrew Fisher (general manager of Eco-Stock). Phil O’Reilly commented that it is about “greening growth, not green growth”. He emphasised this is not about a “big bang” approach (picking winners, as Labour and the Greens advocate), but looking for win-wins across a broad range of SMEs (small business enterprises). Sir Peter Gluckman supported the Bluegreens bottom-line principal that decisions need a strong science base, and not based on raw emotion – and as such, it is essential that we receive good science-based research so we make good decisions in environmental and economic management.