Environmental group calls Government our most radical 'anti-environment' since 1980s

The Environmental Defence Society has called our coalition Government the most radical "anti-environment" Government since the early 1980s.   

The group's CEO made the claim while speaking at the 'Bluegreens' forum - an annual meeting of the National Party's advisory group on environmental issues.

The Prime Minister bowled up to the National Party's Bluegreens forum in Northland with the coalition Government's climate plans under the microscope.

"The 'what' is not for debate and discussion, it is still very clear, but the 'how we go about it' will be very different from the previous administration," Luxon said.

But one environmental group present today has called this administration the most "radical anti-environment" since the 80s.

"The wheel has gone full circle and I feel like I've woken up in 1979," Environmental Defence Society  CEO Gary Taylor said.

With the backdrop of recent extreme weather events, Taylor said he's concerned "negative environment policies" are going to take New Zealand backwards when it comes to climate change - and he's worried those decisions are too weighted in favour of ACT and New Zealand First.

"National in a sense has almost sub-contracted environmental management to the minor parties and needs to take control of the agenda again," he said.

"I disagree, I can tell you the Bluegreen movement within our caucus is really strong, and a number of us, Simon Watts, myself, Penny [Simmonds], Tama [Potaka], all of us as new MPs coming in in the last three years have been very very supportive of that agenda and continue to be so," Luxon countered.

The Prime Minister said a major focus will be attracting green investment through better regulatory settings, tackling agricultural emissions through technology, and smaller practical steps such as Friday's $5 million investment in fighting the exotic seaweed caulerpa.

On Saturday more than $6 million was allocated to clean up four historic landfill sites.

"Categorically we need to put in place the pathway and actions in order to achieve net zero target by 2050. The coalition Government are committed to achieving that goal," said Climate Change Minister Simon Watts.

And environmental advocates who were part of the Bluegreens forum today will be watching with interest.