As any good Kiwi knows, New Zealand’s clean green image is what sets us apart from the rest of the world.
For years we have been doing our best to market our little corner of the world as natural, beautiful, and unmodified by man’s cruel hand; much like a young Rachel Hunter, before she upped and moved to Los Angeles.
Sadly, the reality is a little bit different. We really aren’t as clean and green as we may portray, but if all goes to plan, National could have us moving back in the direction of where we naively like to think we already are.
By mid 2012, National plans to launch a new green scheme called Building a Bluegreen Future. According to Dr Nick Smith, minister for the Environment, the goal is to combine strong economic policies with a greater appreciation for our natural surroundings.
Unbeknownst to most, the Bluegreens were formed at the end of the last century, but only gained serious backing and consequent momentum in recent years. Since the build up to the elections last year, this caucus has grown significantly, and is now one of National’s most active policy advisory groups.
National’s 18-strong Bluegreen caucus has put together a bill with more tree hugging goodness than you could shake a stick at. It covers everything from climate change and fresh water, to transport and outdoor recreation, with hopes to improve almost every aspect of New Zealand’s environmental problems.
Plans are in the mix for making a serious contribution to the lowering of emissions and waste produced by local companies.
One of the major goals to come out of this new initiative is to see that by 2025, 90 percent of our national energy is produced from renewable sources – an increase of more than 15 percent from 2010. As ambitious as this may sound, the major energy providers are already well on their way to seeing that this dream becomes a reality, with consent for renewable electricity generation well up over the past decade.
It could be argued that maybe National could be biting off a bit more than it can chew, and it may have been more effective to focus on a handful of serious issues at one time rather than trying to rid New Zealand of all of its problems in one almighty swoop.
Regardless of what you think about the government's plans, and where you stand on the political scale, nobody can deny that they’re giving it a good crack.
It seems National may be showing its true colours. Who knows, next election National's billboards may have a slightly more aqua hue than we’re accustomed to.