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Home arrow Articles by Topic arrow Agencies arrow Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment
Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment PDF Print
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Articles - Agencies
Written by The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment   
Wednesday, 21 February 2007

About the PCE

Image of New Zealand parliament buildings

"We aim to provide independent scrutiny, advocacy and advice for a better environment."

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) aims to maintain and improve the quality of New Zealand's environment. The central focus is on environmental sustainability - how we can live within the ecological limits of the planet today and into the future.

As an independent Officer of Parliament, the PCE has wide-ranging powers to investigate environmental concerns. 'Independent' means independent of the government of the day, so the PCE reports not to a Government Minister but to Parliament through:

  • the Speaker of the House
  • the Officers of Parliament Committee.

The Commissioner is quite separate from the Ministry for the Environment (MfE). The Ministry is a government department, responsible to the Minister for the Environment. But as an Officer of Parliament, the Commissioner's job is to hold the Government to account for its environmental policies and actions.

In a practical sense, MfE is a policy adviser and part of the system of agencies that manage the environment. The Parliamentary Commissioner is a policy reviewer outside this system and reporting on it.

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