16 Aug 2012

Opposition warns Govt could put exports at risk

9:53 am on 16 August 2012

Opposition parties say the Government could put exports at risk by undermining the country's environmental reputation.

In its progress report on improving the country's export performance, the Government has again signalled it intends speeding up the approval process for investors.

Lifting the value of exports from 30% to 40% of annual economic output by 2025 is one of six key areas in the Government's business growth agenda.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says some tough choices will have to be made to achieve that goal including speeding up the planning process for investors.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman and Labour's economic development spokesperson David Cunliffe say that could hurt the export sector, particularly tourism, by undermining New Zealand's clean, green image.

Mr Joyce told Morning Report officials will have to be careful about the clean green image of New Zealand but other factors also have to be considered.

"You have to also be aware, if we knocked out all the industry in this country then she'd be a pretty poor place, and that's the reality of it.

"If you look back over the last few years we have really missed the opportunities taht the Australians have taken up because we had this planning and consenting paralysis that the previous Government had in place."