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New Zealanders are being asked to have their say on the environmental science priorities facing the nation.

Date:  15 July 2016

New Zealanders are being asked to have their say on the environmental science priorities facing the nation, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry say.

A discussion paper released today will lead to a conservation and environment science “roadmap” identifying priority areas for scientific research during the next 20 years.

“A well co-ordinated science strategy on environmental issues is a key part of the Government’s BlueGreen policy agenda. We need good science to help identify the issues that pose the greatest risk to New Zealand’s clean, green environment and international reputation. Science is also pivotal to finding the solutions that will enable us to best protect our environment while ensuring we have a successful and growing economy,” Dr Smith says.

“We want the public to be involved in the production of the roadmap alongside the science and innovation sector. The discussion paper is an excellent opportunity to get feedback on our direction.”

The roadmap will build a cohesive and strategic approach to environmental science in New Zealand, help core government departments set research priorities and influence future funding proposals.

“Robust science and evidence underpins good decisions about how we care for our nature,” Ms Barry, who is lead Minister for the project, says.

“We need to be thinking ahead to what issues we’re going to face, and also take a fresh look at how to deal with problems like introduced predators and weeds.”

An independent Strategic Advisory Group, led by the Prime Minister’s chief science advisor, Sir Peter Gluckman, helped develop the paper alongside Ministry for the Environment and Department of Conservation staff.

The discussion paper, along with an online consultation tool and more information, can be found on the Ministry for the Environment website

Consultation will close at 5pm on 7 September 2016.

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