Research Outline

NZ Political Parties and the Environment/Trees


To provide an overview of the stance of each of the major political parties in regards to the environment, including any specific information on their efforts to plant or protect trees.

Early Findings

Labour Party

  • New Zealand's Labour Party has taken an official stance on protecting the environment. The party's stance is rooted in the belief that "all things are interconnected, and we are kaitiaki of land, sea, freshwater and air."
  • The Labour Party's official stance addresses the need to protect water resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to impact climate change, conserve New Zealand's natural environment, protect endangered species, address tge relationship between tourism and the environment and increase the use of renewable energy sources while decreasing dependence on fossil fuels.
  • The Labour party, in conjunction with the Kauri Dieback Programme, has made efforts to protect New Zealand's native kauri trees, which have been increasingly impacted by dieback disease. These efforts include the development of the National Pest Management Plan (NPMP), which includes "mandatory hygiene practices, consistent regulations that apply nationally, stronger governance and access to funding."
  • The Labour Party has also launched the One Billion Trees Programme, which aims to plant one billion trees by 2028. This program aims to make planting the "right tree, in the right place, for the right purpose" easier and to double the current rate of planting in the country to achieve its goal.
  • The One Billion Trees Programme includes $240 million in funding to encourage the planting of trees.

National Party

  • The National Party has taken an official stance on the environment. Their stated environmental priorities include "improved freshwater quality, cleaner air, a reduction in harmful waste, better management of our oceans and the facilitation of urban development."
  • The National Party claims to be working on science-based solutions to address environmental issues with all New Zealanders.
  • The National Party's stance on platform claims to be "delivering better management of our environment while ensuring we deliver a growing economy and more jobs."
  • The National Party's stance on the environment does not include any mention of planting or protecting trees.
  • A search of commentary, statements and policies published by the party uncovered some criticism of the Labour Party's One Billion Trees programme, but no mention of the National Party's efforts specific to planting or protecting trees.