This report is a detailed review of how well Aotearoa New Zealand reports on the state of its environment. The Commissioner has found that huge gaps in data and knowledge undermine our stewardship of the environment, and recommends concerted action and serious investment to improve the system. Data gaps, along with inconsistent data collection and analysis, make it hard to construct a clear national picture of the state of our environment – and whether it is getting better or worse.

The Commissioner recommends:

  1. Amending the Environmental Reporting Act 2015.
  2. Adjusting the roles of the Government Statistician and the Secretary for the Environment.
  3. Developing a comprehensive, nationally coordinated environmental monitoring system.
  4. Developing a mandated strategy to prioritise and incrementally fill data gaps.
  5. Determining the investment required to deliver the recommended improvements.
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