“The Greens’ socialist wealth grab won’t save the planet, but in fact will make it harder,” says Simon Court, ACT’s Environment Spokesperson and candidate for Te Atatu.

Mr Court was recently ranked number 5 on ACT’s list, an electable position according to recent polling. He is a civil and environmental engineer and former Green voter.

“I once supported the Green Party to save the planet, not to destroy the economy. It’s wealthy countries that can afford to look after the environment. Any policy that makes the country poorer is a step backwards for the environment.

“As a civil engineer in New Zealand and overseas, I have been intimately involved in waste and wastewater management. I can tell you, punishing wealth creation will not clean up the sewerage on our beaches. Becoming a wealthier country would help.

“The current Greens are ‘watermelons’, with a thin green rind, and a deep red flesh. The weekend’s announcement of hard left, European-style socialism will be a disaster for the environment.

“The Greens have abandoned their pragmatic conservation and environmental base, and are now the party of tax and spend government.

“The Greens’ ‘environmentalism’ now consists of counterproductive bans and massive bureaucracy.

“The oil and gas ban and the Zero Carbon Act will impoverish New Zealanders and actually increase global emissions by pushing economic activity overseas.

“We should be encouraging New Zealanders to invest in technology and innovation to fix our environmental problems, but the punitive taxes on assets and investments proposed by the Greens will deliver the very opposite.

“We need to instead trust communities and businesses to lead the way with innovation, like farm environment plans based on real soil science and specific land use, and agreed with local councils.

“At a time when we need to get New Zealanders back to work, the Greens want to suck the life out of the economy by taxing successful people harder and creating even more welfare dependency. This kind of European socialism will only prolong the economic pain.

“Increasing taxes to pay every person a benefit is an insult to hardworking New Zealanders who support their families by their own efforts and people who give up their free time as unpaid volunteers in their communities.

“We need to look at our trade partners in Asia to see that fixing the environment becomes possible only once a country can pay for the basics like health and education.

“Once a Labour-Green government has taken the 30 or 40 cents in the dollar it costs central government just to keep the lights on, and paid out what’s left in benefits, there will be nothing left over to invest in our future, let alone our environment.

“ACT has a plan for the environment. We will remove the outdated regulations that stand in the way of a cleaner environment, like bans on waste to energy, and restrictions on the use of greener building materials.

“ACT is proud to be the party for pragmatic environmentalism.”