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Budget- significant cuts to environmental education and sustainability initiatives

Dear Green Drinks Supporter,

On the 28th of May the Government announced in the 2009 Budget significant cuts to environmental education and sustainability initiatives funded by both the Ministry of Education and the Ministry for the Environment.  The NZAEE Auckland Branch who coordinate Green Drinks believe these funding cuts to be short-sighted in the context of a global shift towards environmental protection and sustainability, and also reckless in these times of recession when education, training and upskilling is vital and community demand for support initiatives is intensifying. As a supporter of Green Drinks, we know that you will care about these funding cuts as well.

The 2009 Budget includes cuts to the following programmes and initiatives:

  • The Enviroschools Foundation (who coordinate the Enviroschools programme nationally involving 670 schools)
  • Education for Sustainability Advisory Services (EfS Advisors who provide curriculum support for teachers)
  • Matauranga Taiao (EfS support for Kura Kaupapa Maori)
  • The Environmental Education Guidelines Review Project (technical EE/EfS support for teachers in schools)
  • Adult Community Education (provision of community-based life-long learning classes – ie “night schools” – which fund sustainable living skills courses)
  • Householder Sustainability Programme “What’s your next step?” (coordinated by the Ministry for the Environment)
  • Public Place Recycling Programme (funded by the Ministry for the Environment)
  • Govt3 Programme (coordinated by the Ministry for the Environment to deliver leadership in sustainability practices by government agencies)
  • The Sustainable Business Network (part-funded by the Ministry for the Environment)

These are small funding cuts in a financial sense, but will impact hundreds of thousands of people across the country, as well as severely compromising New Zealand’s own “Clean and Green – 100% Pure” global brand.  NZAEE think it is simply crazy that a government who supposedly believe “New Zealand’s environment is at the core of our quality of life, our national identity, and our competitive advantage” [National Party 2008 Environment Policy] and who care about business achievement and a knowledge economy, would go ahead and cease funding to programmes and initiatives that would make New Zealand a global leader in sustainability and safeguard continued trade and tourism advantages derived from our natural environment.

We believe it is time to take action and let the government know how we feel

As supporters of Green Drinks we know you and your organisations care about the sustainable future of New Zealand – our people, our businesses, and our environment. It would be fantastic if you would take some action to show how much you really do care.

1. Distribute this message as soon as possible to anyone you know who believes in a healthy, prosperous and sustainable future for our people and country – family, friends, business leaders, neighbours, community groups, schools – and encourage them to take action.

2. Write a letter or email ASAP urging the government to continue to support these programmes. Please use your own words and make your correspondence positive, focusing on the what our environment and a sustainable NZ means to you, your family, your business, your organisation.

3. Write to:
a. Your local paper
b. The New Zealand Herald (short and to the point)

4. Go and visit your local MP to discuss your letter/email. We all know that talking with people one-on-one can be very effective at communicating your message.

Thank you for taking action.
The Green Drinks Team & NZAEE Auckland Branch