6 Sep 2008

National's environment policy released

12:19 pm on 6 September 2008

The National Party released its environment and conservation policies at a forum on Waiheke Island on Saturday, despite the release by a Government minister of copies he said had been leaked.

National Party leader John Key says the aim of the policy is better management of New Zealand's environment.

Initiatives include a 50% reduction in carbon equivalent net emissions by 2050 compared with 1990 levels, and the establishment of an environmental protection agency.

National went ahead with the launch despite Environment Minister Trevor Mallard releasing draft copies of the policies earlier in the week.

Mr Key says the papers had not been leaked. He suspects a copy was inadvertently left in one of the cafes around Parliament.

Mr Mallard released National's environment policy on Thursday and followed it up with its conservation policy on Friday.

Mr Mallard said it was clear Mr Key had now lost control of his party and he should be deeply embarrassed by the leaks .

He says he received the conservation policy on Friday morning and rejects National's suggestion the documents had been accidentally left in Parliament's cafe.

The leaked policy includes a boost in investment in pest control and improving the accountability of the Department of Conservation.