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Govt downplays Pure Advantage report

By AAP
08:49 AEST Thu Nov 15 2012
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The government says it's already acting on many recommendations in a new report that calls for greener growth in New Zealand, but opposition parties say there's clearly more to be done.

Pure Advantage's Green Growth: Opportunities for New Zealand was released on Thursday, described as the "first robust analytical assessment of New Zealand's green growth economic opportunities".

It identifies 21 ways the country can capitalise on a global shift to greener growth, and includes specific recommendations for forestry, electricity, transport, agriculture, fisheries and tourism.

Pure Advantage trust chairman Rob Morrison says it will now seek senior corporate sponsors to build business cases for action, independent of government involvement.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said the report makes a "useful contribution" but downplayed its significance.

"The government firmly believes that we must take advantage of all of our opportunities to grow our economy and Pure Advantage's proposals are a positive addition to the investment landscape. However, it is important that we don't pick winning industries and exclude others," Mr Joyce said.

"It is the willingness of industry and individuals to invest that is the true test of a viable industry, and the government is focused on reducing barriers and delays to those investment opportunities."

Mr Joyce says the government already has initiatives under way in many of the areas the report identifies.

Labour and the Greens say the government needs to give more consideration to the report.

Labour's economic development spokesman David Cunliffe said green growth must be an increasingly important part of New Zealand's economic development.

"Low carbon power, transport and building technology could be worth $3 trillion by 2050. These are huge potential export opportunities for New Zealand companies.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman described it as a "smart, win-win economic plan" the government should be supporting.

"Since taking office, the National government has unfortunately chosen to further exploit the environment for the sake of the economy, leaving both the poorer."