web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Nats try ‘thinking green’ on for size

Written By: - Date published: 3:26 pm, July 29th, 2010 - 3 comments
Categories: Environment - Tags:

It’s taken me a few days to post on this opinon piece from Pattrick Smellie but it’s still worth reading! There are signs that Nick Smith is trying hard to improve the Nats environmental credentials, Gerry Brownlee notwithstanding. But Pattrick Smellie suggests it is not that simple:

The Greens over-reached themselves this week by claiming Environment Minister Nick Smith’s support for a 14-month moratorium on the Hurunui River was “the second environmental backdown” this week. Nice try. Tuesday’s U-turn on mining was a harsh lesson in political management, but the Hurunui decision is a sign it will try harder on the equally contentious politics of water.

It may even lend weight to wishful thinking among green lobbyists that the mining backdown shows a recalibration of environmental policy from a government it increasingly mistrusts. It would be wrong to conclude that.

The John Key-led Government is defined by its unashamed pursuit of higher economic growth rates, whether mining minerals or mining milk – which is effectively how water is used in the dairy industry, creating the biggest pressure on water use in the process.

In this context, the mining U-turn represents a political rather than an environmental policy recalibration.

However, there is some room for at least a little optimism:

There is a way through the political maze, and environmentalists who were starting to see the Land and Water Forum as a sop for the farming industry have taken heart from the signal implied by the Hurunui River moratorium.However, Dr Smith is right to tread cautiously. On this issue, a government impatient for growth may have no choice but to hurry up and wait.

Lots of people will be watching to see what comes out of the Forum which is due to report to government at the end of next month. I hope that some good cross-party discussion can be had, because this is one area where we don’t want to have pendulum policies.

3 comments on “Nats try ‘thinking green’ on for size”

  1. toad 1

    The John Key-led Government is defined by its unashamed pursuit of higher economic growth rates…

    I’m not so sure. The Key led Government to mee is defined by its unashamed pursuit of retaining political power. If the focus groups are saying a policy is electoral poison, the policy will go.

    The mining u-turn has shown the power that protest can have with this Government. We can do the same with water and industrial relations if we kick up enough fuss that the Nat polling and focus groups on these issues starts heading South on them.

  2. Ease up on the denigration of the South there Toadie!
    Don’t forget the lignite mines down their either – Mataura is going to need all the support it can get when Key announces the opencast future for that Southland town and surrounds.

  3. Shane 3

    Yes I think John Key likes his job too much to let things like policies and principles get in the way of staying in power. Privately most Greens understand that power is the main motivator for John Key – he is not an ideologue like some in his party – so we have no fear of him suddenly embracing sustainability…

Links to post

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government’s housing failure puts pressure on Reserve Bank
    The Government’s failure to take action on the housing crisis has put pressure on the Reserve Bank Governor who has to deal with a rampaging housing market and low inflation at the same time, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Labour wishes Russel Norman well
    The Labour Party wishes Russel Norman well in the future as he stands down as Green Party co-leader, Labour Leader Andrew Little said today. “Russel has made a significant contribution to New Zealand politics in his nine years as co-leader… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Russel Norman to stand down as Green Party Co-leader in May
    Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party's Annual General Meeting in May.Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM."After… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 hours ago
  • Russel Norman to stand down as Green Party Co-leader in May
    Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman has announced today that he will stand down as leader at the party's Annual General Meeting in May.Dr Norman will remain as Co-leader and retain his finance and climate change portfolios until the AGM."After… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 hours ago
  • UE bar hike denies access to thousands
    A Government rule change denying access to thousands of young Kiwis access to tertiary education is doing nothing to build a smart, fair future, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe said today.  “NZQA rules changed by the Government have reduced… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Progressive Rainbow rights? Yeah, nah….
    Legally, New Zealand is perhaps one of the more progressive countries when it comes to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights even though we have further to go on the last two. However, the latest Westpac’s Rainbow Acceptance… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • National’s back to the future on housing sell-off
    National’s newly announced state housing policy is simply a re-run of its failed ideologically-driven 1990s experiment, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “News articles from the mid-1990s uncovered by Labour shows this is just more of the same. ...
    1 day ago
  • National’s back to the future on housing sell-off
    National’s newly announced state housing policy is simply a re-run of its failed ideologically-driven 1990s experiment, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “News articles from the mid-1990s uncovered by Labour shows this is just more of the same. ...
    1 day ago
  • National’s back to the future on housing sell-off
    National’s newly announced state housing policy is simply a re-run of its failed ideologically-driven 1990s experiment, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “News articles from the mid-1990s uncovered by Labour shows this is just more of the same. ...
    1 day ago
  • Waihopai – years on, still the same
    On 24 January, I attended the Waihopai Base protest in my electorate.  It was attended by a great range of people who are all concerned about the direction our country is heading in.  Thank you to all of those who… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 days ago
  • Greens call for ring-fencing of state home proceeds
    The Government must ring-fence the proceeds of any state home sales and spend every dollar raised on more Government-built homes in order to address the housing crisis, the Green Party says.Prime Minister John Key has indicated that his first major… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    3 days ago
  • English breaks his $6000 wages promise
    Just one month into the new year Bill English has already rowed back on his election promise of real wage rises for New Zealanders, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “During the election campaign National promised Kiwis that the average… ...
    1 week ago
  • National fails to produce evidence justifying attack on RMA
    The National Government is misusing evidence provided in the Motu report on planning rules to justify gutting the environmental protections secured by the Resource Management Act (RMA), says the Green Party today. The Motu group's research into the impacts of… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    1 week ago
  • RMA changes won’t knock a dollar off the cost of a new home
    The Government’s proposed changes to the RMA won’t increase the number of affordable homes or knock a dollar off the cost of building a new house, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “Tinkering with the RMA will not solve National’s housing… ...
    1 week ago
  • What is the real ‘price of the club’?
    What price is too high to join a club?  According to the current the New Zealand Prime Minister, the lives of young Kiwi men and women are a part of the package. In his latest BBC interview, John Key fails… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • DOC debacle means hundreds may have missed out on fishing licences
    Hundreds of families and recreational fishers may have had their holidays spoiled by missing out on their fishing licences, with Conservation Minister Maggie Barry preferring instead to focus on more high profile portfolio priorities over the summer break, Labour’s Conservation… ...
    1 week ago
  • Rheumatic fever rates continue to soar despite millions spent on prevention...
    The Government’s $65 million spend on rheumatic fever prevention has made little impact on the alarmingly high rate of the disease among young New Zealanders, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Latest figures from ESR show there were 235 notified… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum in Quito, Ecuador
    I was honoured to speak to the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum, calling for cooperation and action on climate change. You can read my speech below. Greetings from New Zealand in our first language – kia ora nga mihi nui… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum in Quito, Ecuador
    I was honoured to speak to the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum, calling for cooperation and action on climate change. You can read my speech below. Greetings from New Zealand in our first language – kia ora nga mihi nui… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Government wipes off $5 billion in tax debt
    Since coming to office, the National Government has written off $5 billion* in tax debt owed by more than a million, Labour MP Stuart Nash says. "There are two sides to the New Zealand economy under the National government: the… ...
    3 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere