Photo: National's Bluegreen Ministers: Hon Scott Simpson (Associate Environment), Hon Nicky Wagner (Associate Conservation), Rt Hon Bill English, Hon Maggie Barry (Conservation) and Hon Dr Nick Smith (Environment). Missing: Hon Paula Bennett (Climate Change)
The Bluegreens are the National Party’s advisory group on environmental issues.
New Zealand’s environment is at the core of our quality of life, our national identity, and our competitive advantage. We enjoy some of the most pristine and accessible natural beauty in the world. Good environmental practice is not only important to protect our natural heritage, but is crucial in securing the sort of future we want for our children. That is why National founded the Bluegreens in the 1990s and it continues to grow in strength and numbers. It is one of the most active of National’s Policy Advisory Groups and now works closely with a strong Caucus group chaired by Scott Simpson MP.
The Bluegreens believe:
- Environmental issues are too important to be left to the fringe of politics and should be a mainstream issue for all New Zealanders.
- New Zealand’s environment and our national heritage – our soils and oceans and the imagery that surrounds our biodiversity and wilderness outback – hold the key to our nation’s future prosperity.
- There is a need for an independent band of environmentally conscious people to constantly remind the National Party that sustainable development is the way to prosperity.
The Bluegreens approach is underpinned by five principles that we are now applying in Government to the broad range of environmental challenges facing New Zealand:
- Resource use must be based on sustainability
- Economic growth and improving the environment can and must go hand in hand
- Good science is essential to quality environmental decision making
- People respond best to change when engaged and given incentives
- New Zealanders have a unique birthright to access and enjoy our special places
Our Bluegreens caucus has grown from the two founding members in 1998 to the current diverse team.