Key grilled over NZ's clean, green image
Tue, 10 May 2011 2:58p.m.
By James Murray
Prime Minister John Key and New Zealand’s environmental record have been put under the spotlight in an interview on the BBC programme Hardtalk.
Mr Key found himself having to defend New Zealand’s ‘100% Pure’ slogan as BBC journalist Stephen Sackur grilled him about whether New Zealand really is as clean and green as the tourism campaign would suggest.
Mr Sackur cited Mike Joy, a leading environmental scientist at Massey University, who recently said “we are delusional about how green and clean we are”.
“That might be Mike Joy’s view, but I don’t share that view,” said Mr Key when Mr Sackur presented him with the quote.
Mr Joy made the comment while pointing out that many New Zealand species are facing extinction and more than half the countries lakes and low-land rivers are polluted.
“I’d hate to get into a flaming row with one of our leading academics,” said Mr Key, “but he is offering his view.”
Mr Sackur then pointed out that Mr Joy was a scientist and would have based his comments on research.
Mr Key replied:
“Well he’s one academic, and like lawyers I can give you another one that will give a counterview.”
The Prime Minister said that in comparison to the rest of the world New Zealand is ‘100% Pure’, but Mr Sackur disagreed, saying; “100 percent is 100 percent and clearly you’re not 100 percent. You’ve clearly got problems with river pollution, you’ve clearly got problems with species facing extinction.”
Mr Sackur said Mr Joy blamed decades of poor New Zealand government policy.
“I don’t completely agree with that position,” said Mr Key.
“For a start, yes of course the population is getting larger and that causes some pollution and yes we have a large agricultural base. So as we have intensified our dairy operations, that has had an impact on our river quality. The Government has been demanding much higher environmental standards.
“But for the most part you jump in any New Zealand river or stream, you breathe the air or walk up a mountain. I’d argue that if you don’t believe it is clean and green you need to show me a country which is cleaner and greener.”
Mr Sackur then brought up New Zealand’s commodity relationship with China, suggesting New Zealand were mirroring Australia’s mineral exports to the Asian powerhouse.
“Are you happy to see China buying into New Zealand agriculture?” asked Mr Sackur.
Mr Key replied that he was happy to have China as a “big market”.
He said New Zealand was a master of its own destiny and he had welcomed investment from China.
China was New Zealand’s second biggest market with two-way trade figures at “$12 billion heading to $20 billion”.
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18/09/2012 12:04:01 p.m.
Jake, 100% is 100%, you can't be more or less 100% than somebody else. And Wilbur, someone who doesn't support National isn't automatically a Labour supporter, there are other political parties in this country. National are being criticized because they now have the power to help protect other animals and the environment but are failing to do so. They aren't even trying, everything is about the economy with them, while the actual planet we live on is being destroyed.
30/05/2011 11:38:51 a.m.
Well we can't swim in our river anymore it is disgustingly polluted. Waiongana stream Lepperton.
24/05/2011 9:22:40 a.m.
100% pure is marketing. It doesn't even say what we are 100% pure of. It could be 100% Pure New Zealand, ie the only place in the world you will find like New Zealand. As for Green, NZ has a high amount of renewable energy usage and are ahead of the EU in terms of renewable energy usage. Take Germany which is upheld as so clean using Kyoto Protocol measure with its heavy CO2 pollution that exceed about everywhere else in the world for CO2 pollution as measured by air quality of CO2 emissions per sq km! Germany has almost no renewable energy production while NZ is mostly renewable. If use a net carbon emmision figure and give NZ full credit for its better growing envrioment for trees than many places in the world our net man made carbon emissions is a carbon soak, but since our forrestry industry is pre 1990 it is excluded from Kyoto measures, plus the EU growth rates are used vs NZ growth rates when our trees grow almost 4x faster. So go on net carbon emissions and what countries are greener than NZ? We are cleaner than many of the socalled 'green' countries in the EU and have lower CO2 concentrations than the EU.Take green policies on man made global warming and you see the reports are selective and full of garbage. Eg we have the recent report from Austrailia which does its usual 'Your not accepting the truth and man made global warming is scientifically proven .... beyond reasonable doubt ... and over the last 30 years the temperture has risen 0.17C annually. What! 0.17 degrees C x 30 years is over 5 degrees of temperature rise. Where is this data? I haven't seen it and I think like 7 billion other people in the world haven't seen it either so who is not accepting the truth when the 'Man Made Global Warming Faction' has to manufacture such garbage data?
16/05/2011 2:54:07 a.m.
Well im sure New Zealand is whole lot 100% pure than bloody England where the reporters from. N.Z is clean got to india or asia and then you'll notice the difference
12/05/2011 10:42:50 p.m.
CO2 isn't a pollutant. So many propagandized sheep.
11/05/2011 9:54:53 p.m.
NZ is rather black than green. When I moved to NZ in 2005, NZ just started doing recycling, double glazing, insulations, solar power and so on. NZ is 20-30 years behind the EU and it has to catch up. There is lots of potential especially with solar power, lots of sun down here in Nelson.
I know it is a small country with not much money, but it should not represent itself of being green, when it is only green when you see it out of space (or you are tramping in the bush). Sorry Kiwis I do not mean it bad, you are an awesome nation!!!
11/05/2011 7:19:54 p.m.
Indigenous RIGHTS wrote:
I am indigenous of this nation. We never have a say when it comes to the white man taking over our world and destroying our land and oceans that my people have been looking after for years. John key has a lot of balls to try and protect the label of 100 percent pure. To be honest it is far from that. We need to change the slogan. I think this reporter is great. He went straight to the point. He even laughed at the stupidity of words that came out of John Keys mouth. Thank goodness that a reporter has made a fool out of John Key. Well actually John Key made the fool of himself. This was a really good interview. I like to see what happens with elections this year. National has lost my vote. Esepcially if we have dimwits like that running the country!
11/05/2011 7:11:32 p.m.
lovin it wrote:
I can give you a country that is 100 per cent pure and also not in a lot of finacial issues because they have a better environment. My country switzerland! Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft
11/05/2011 3:04:46 p.m.
It is a shame so many people post on here that are bviously of low IQ. A Fraud Dale? Grow a Brain! John Key actually answered the questions put to him and looked better than any other politician you could name doing it! Why are the enviromental types suddenly blaming everything on National? They've been in power less than two years. Labour and the trade unions systematically allowed, in foact encouraged, Fonterra and Dairy Farmers to steal our lakes and rivers for their own gain....Yet Nation gets the blame? Retards!
11/05/2011 1:58:37 p.m.
Pedro Garcia wrote:
Who needs stand up when you have John Key?
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