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Published: 2001-06-05 00:00:00

Environment Waikato has won a Ministry for the Environment Green Ribbon Award for its State of the Environment Reporting.

The award was announced at Te Papa Museum in Wellington today by Environment Minister Marian Hobbs. Green Ribbon Awards in seven categories recognise individuals, organisations or businesses which protect, preserve and enhance New Zealand’s environment. The awards were a public acknowledgement of the initiative, dedication and sheer hard work individuals, communities and organisations had put into caring for this part of the world.

The State of the Environment reporting award recognises “good practice by regional, city, district and unitary councils in reporting on the state of our environment”.

Receiving the award, Chief Executive Barry Harris said it recognised the effort and commitment of the Waikato people to look after their environment.

“It is the job of Regional Councils to look after the environment for the current and future benefit of the community. New Zealand’s long term economic prosperity and well being depends on a healthy environment.

“It is absolutely vital to know the state of our environment, to monitor our air, water, land and coastal resources and the threats that may affect their health and to report the information in a way that people can understand.”

Environment Waikato was committed to regularly report on the state of the Region’s environment by measuring key indicators that revealed the health of air, land and water and whether things were getting better or worse. A new section of the Council’s website, www.ew.govt.nz provided environmental indicators.

He said more than 50 staff were directly involved in putting the report together, and reader feedback forms was extremely positive. There was clear evidence that people’s understanding of their environment was much improved, and further state of the environment reporting would show whether they had been able to make a difference.

Other awards were made for outstanding sustainable land and water management, contributions to urban sustainability, practical actions to protect biodiversity, raising environmental awareness, reducing business effects on the environment and a youth award.