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Environment watchdog bows out

Dr Jan Wright stepped down from her role as Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment in October.

After a decade at the forefront of some of New Zealand’s fiercest debates, Dr Jan Wright steps down from the role of Environment Commissioner today.

During her two terms, Wright led investigations into the use of 1080, water quality, mining in national parks, the future of our native birds and the lack of protection of stewardship land.

She has become known as the calm and rational voice in the midst of these fractious debates, reporting without fear or favour.

Looking back, she says about 60 per cent of her recommendations have been adopted – her advice to Upton is to be patient.

“You can’t achieve things instantly,” Wright says. “It takes time and determination. It is a long game.”

In the next issue of Wilderness, out October 23, Wright reflects on the battles won and lost in her 10 years as NZ’s environment watchdog.