The Green Party has slammed the government's axing of a five-yearly environment report card, saying it's a ploy to keep the public in the dark about anti-environment policies.
In response to a written question from Green MP Eugenie Sage, Environment Minister Amy Adams said the Ministry for the Environment would not be producing the State of the Environment report that was due this year.
Mrs Adams said the ministry was instead measuring 22 core environmental indicators - the same indicators used in the 2007 State of the Environment report - and releasing so-called report cards when the data was available.
She said that means the data is reported in "a timely, efficient manner and at a frequency relevant for the indicator, rather than arbitrarily every five years".
Her response failed to appease the Greens, who say the government "does not want people to know how it has undermined the environment with its pro-irrigation, anti-climate, and pro-mining policies".
"People who want to know what is going on will have to trawl through individual report cards and hope to find the most up-to-date accurate information instead of being able to access a single comprehensive document," Ms Sage said.
"The new report cards don't cover all of New Zealand. There is no freshwater data from regions such as West Coast, Tasman, Auckland in the recent [Ministry for the Environment] report cards on recreational water quality," Ms Sage said.
In a statement to NZ Newswire, Mrs Adams hit back at the Greens' criticism, saying "waiting five years to measure the state of our environment might be good enough for the Green Party but not this government".
"The indicator reports cover the same information as a state of the environment report but we don't wait to put them out as a single compiled report, but release them as they are available."