Introduction from the Chief Executive
Building a stronger foundation for the future was a feature of the Ministry for the Environment’s work in the year ended 30 June 2010.
The Government confirmed several significant changes to New Zealand’s environmental management framework. The Ministry is now focused on giving effect to those decisions.
The start of the Emissions Trading Scheme on 1 July 2010 introduced, for the first time in New Zealand, a mechanism to encourage reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Government agencies put a huge effort into developing the scheme’s regulations and systems. This effort will continue until all elements of the scheme are operating as planned.
Another big change was the establishment of an interim Environmental Protection Authority within the Ministry, while the Government considered where best to sit the authority long-term.
The Government’s decision has been to set up a new, independent Crown agency by 1 July 2011. This agency will incorporate some functions and powers from the Ministry for the Environment, Ministry of Economic Development and Environmental Risk Management Authority, including administration of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme.
Changes to the environmental management framework have been complemented by changing expectations of the Ministry and its work. The Ministry is now expected to lead thinking on the environment and the economy, and provide strategic advice on complex issues to do with New Zealand’s prosperity and success.
The Ministry is responding to this challenge through a focus on organisational development and capability building. This has included the launch of a new strategic direction to guide the Ministry’s development and assist with prioritisation.
Following a major review of the Ministry’s policy function, the focus is on building analytical capability and putting in place consistent frameworks to underpin a new approach to providing advice.
Dr Paul Reynolds