Australia, New Zealand, and Climate Change Politics

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, August 25th, 2018 - 37 comments
Categories: australian politics, climate change, Environment, global warming, International, jacinda ardern, sustainability - Tags: , , ,

The world’s most stable open society, Australia, as one of the world’s remaining strong, wealthy, and open societies, is having its democracy devastated by the politics of climate change.

New Zealand is already dangerously out of step with its (near) parent state on immigration. It is now well on its way to diverging on climate change policy too. We had better watch our next policy move.

It’s worth remembering why climate change remains the most important destabilising force in Australia.

Kevin Rudd’s 2007 victory took out John Howard’s 12-year reign of pretty cold government. The new Prime Minister signed the Kyoto Protocol. He identified climate as “the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time.”

His governments’  Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) was a cap-and-trade system. It was criticised heavily by industry as too hard and costly, but more importantly by the Greens as too soft and not worth it. After negotiating its measures down to get bipartisan support in November 2008, the Greens united with the Liberals to vote it down (even though Malcolm Turnbull crossed the floor to support it), twice. A double-dissolution election was called.

Due in no small part to his willingness to negotiate a bipartisan climate bill, the Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull was rolled right after the election and replaced by Tony Abbott. Tony Abbott called climate change science absolute crap.

Prime Minister Rudd, already wounded by the climate change debacle, then went hard against the Australian mining industry with a proposal for a Resource Super Profits Tax.

The energy and mining industries, the Liberal Party, and the Greens, united against him. He was rolled by Julia Gillard. She continued in power in 2010 with one Green and three Independents supporting.

In February 2011, the Gillard Government passed the Clean Energy Bill 2011. This was an emissions trading scheme in Australia to replace the CPRS, and the carbon price was to be introduced on July 1st 2012.

Kevin Rudd came out against this Act, and got the numbers to roll her. He was Prime Minister again for three months.

Labor have been out of power ever since. Australia is controlled at Federal level by the pro-mining and anti-climate-change-policy sections of society (they are also strongly anti-immigration, but that’s another story).

Tony Abbott was Prime Minister from 2013 to 2015, and on his first day he introduced legislation to repeal Gillard’s Clean Energy Act. At the Paris summit of 2015, the Abbott government committed Australia to reducing emissions by at least 26% from 2005 levels by 2030. Within a month he was then rolled by Malcolm Turnbull.

On August 14th 2018 the Turnbull coalition government created the National Energy Guarantee (NEG), which would oblige energy suppliers and retailers to guarantee a minimum amount of power at an average emissions level consistent with Australia’s commitments under the Paris agreement. It had a national energy mix between renewables and legacy generators (especially coal).

Yes, that’s less than two weeks ago.

A few days later, under intense pressure from his own MPs, Prime Minister Turnbull walked it all back and said there was not enough support for an emissions reduction bill to pass parliament, and it was clear some of his own MP’s would cross the floor to defeat it.

Holed beneath the waterline, for the next five working days he sought to avoid defeat.

By Friday the 24th of August, Malcolm Turnbull’s political career was stone cold dead.

The new Prime Minister is Scott Morrison. So far he has absolutely no desire to do anything about climate change. This, clearly, should not take anyone by surprise.

New Zealand is dependent on Australia for defence, immigration both inward and outward, foreign affairs, justice and corrections, and trade. Through CER the two countries are about as economically integrated as currently Britain and the E.U. Australia’s banks pretty much own us through mortgages, and their corporations dominate us. Diplomatic relationships between the two countries are also about as weak as they have ever been. For the above reasons, and more, we are in an intensely vulnerable position to Australia.

New Zealand’s government is currently seeking bipartisan support for its approach to climate change policy. We have full policy sovereignty in both mandate and in reality on this policy, but given that it’s this policy area that is continuing to destabilise its Federal government at the highest level, we might want to check in with Australia.

37 comments on “Australia, New Zealand, and Climate Change Politics”

  1. Jenny 1

    Wow! Australian conservative commentator argues that climate change must be solved globally, or not at all.

    Goodbye to the all pain, no gain carbon tax
    Sinclair Davidson – ABC News, July 17, 2014

    Opinion
    The carbon tax lacked democratic legitimacy, hurt the Australian economy, and did nothing to address global warming. Good riddance, writes Sinclair Davidson.

    The carbon tax has been repealed. While there has been a bit of kerfuffle and excitement around the repeal that will keep political junkies talking for some time, the voters will recall a promise made and a promise kept.

    The carbon tax was an unpopular impost introduced by an unpopular prime minister…..

    ……The repeal of the carbon tax should not be seen as bad politics stymying good policy. No doubt that is what carbon tax supporters will argue, but like WorkChoices before it, the carbon tax was bad policy on many levels. Ultimately both policies suffered from the same defect – a lack of democratic legitimacy……

    ….The second major defect – arguably the most important – is that our carbon tax was a local tax. If global warming is a problem, then it requires a global solution. A local tax will do nothing to address global warming, apart from imposing high costs on the local economy….

    …….In my view, carbon tax proponents treated people with contempt. While telling us that the costs of their proposals would be low, and that a better future beckoned, they vilified anyone who dared question their vision. This is best illustrated byan astonishing and ugly speechformer prime minister Kevin Rudd delivered to the Lowy Institute were he named and vilified so-called “climate change deniers”.

    There you have it, explained in a nutshell, why humanity will not act against climate change.

    Sinclair Davidson argues that humanity should act as one, to stop climate change, or not at all.

    John key espoused the same doctrine saying, New Zealand should be a “fast follower”.

    But as I have argued in these pages, for some time now, that is not how things change. They never have and they never will.

    You might as well try to get a herd of cats to head in same direction.

    The league of Nations never stopped the march of fascism, the UN which followed the LON and was founded to stop war, has been spectacularly unsuccessful in its mission.

    No, the march of fascism was stopped when one country went way out on its own to confront it. Even in his last years Britain’s war time leader Winston Churchill still griped about the two years that Britain faced the might of Nazism alone.

    No one wants to take the lead in moving away from fossil fuels. As is hinted by Sinclair Davidson, most countries express this, as not wanting to make themselves economically vulnerable by risking their competitive advantage, (against other countries that stick with way cheaper fossil fuels.) This idea of not wanting to lose international competitive advantage has been expressed by Sinclair Davidson, and John Key, and a long line of Australian and New Zealand politicians, but has been expressed most forcefully and openly of all, by the current US President, Donald Trump, who has pulled the US out of all international climate agreements, and canceled his predecessor’s (rather mild), restrictions on coal, and oil.

    Because no one country is willing to take the lead, no country will take the lead, and nothing will ever be done. And international agreements will continue to fail, one by one from COP 1, through to COP 21 signed in Paris in 2015, supposed to be the latest, greatest, bestest international climate change agreement ever, well at least until the next one. 

    This international paralysis needs a circuit breaker, one country to go way out in front and set the pace, one country that the populations of the world can point to and ask their leaders, why aren’t you doing that?

    As I have also argued for some time in these pages, I think that New Zealand is well placed to be that country.

    What we do here will have an effect in Australia, and will point away for them to get out of their current political morass.

    Latest polls, (reflecting similar earlier polls), show that 80% of New Zealanders want the government to do more on climate change.

    Our leaders need to run with this mandate, and face down the fossil fuel lobby.

    Repeal the Anadarko Amendment

    The first thing our leaders need to do, is repeal the Anadarko Amendment that prevents us protesting against deep sea oil. 

    No more pussy footing around: To paraphrase Churchill, give us the tools, and we will finish the job.

    (The Taitu the Greenpeace vessel crowd funded to fight deep sea oil drilling has been virtually impounded at the wharf on a good behaviour bond, on pain of $200,000 fines and long imprisonment for their crew. The situation has become so dire that Greenpeace New Zealand is having to consider selling their protest vessel and giving up on deep sea oil protests.)

    Currently the oil companies have enough current permits to continue to explore and drill up to and beyond 2050, in an area of ocean off our coasts as big as the surface area of the whole North Island. The government’s much trumpeted current ban on giving them any more new permits is a good start. But it is only just a start. The science demands that humanity stop all new oil and gas developments.

    We need to be free to stop them.

    The league of Nations never stopped the march of fascism, the UN which followed the LON and was founded to stop war, has been spectacularly unsuccessful in its founding mission.

    No the march of fascism was stopped when one country went way out on its own to confront it. Even in his last years Britain’s war time leader Winston Churchill griped about the two years that Britain faced the might of Nazism alone.

    On taking office Churchill promised the British people, “Blood Sweat Toil and Tears”  and then set about to deliver on that awful promise.

    That courageous stand became Churchill’s legacy, making him not just the most popular PM of all time but the most popular Britain of all time.

    Can our leaders step into those shoes?

    Prime Minister Ardern said that climate change is the Nuclear Free issue of our generation.

    She has the power to make it so.

    Repeal the Anadarko Amendment

      • Absolutely agree, Jenny

        What is happening to the planet is, in geological time, the blink of an eyelid, even if, for us, it appears incremental. Events we notice but don’t really take on board, or assign them their proper cause.

        The time for climate change denial [unless you’re an orange buffoon] is long gone.

        But how bad will it be? And how soon will it get really sticky? These are vexing questions. A simple answer: very bad indeed. But, of course, we can’t particularise the ‘bad.’ So all we can do is speculate and interpolate from what we know.

        But this post isn’t about warnings of doom. We’ve heard all that, even if we haven’t yet internalised it. More importantly, the billionaires know it too, which is why they’re buying bolt holes in New Zealand.

        And, dollars to donuts, members of our government are aware how dire the situation is, or they should be.

        An important fact is, if humanity is to emerge from the devastation of the next few decades, our little isolated country way down at the bottom of the world, may prove to be one of the few places likely to survive.

        But we mustn’t be caught unawares by the catastrophe about to engulf us. We must, as far as we are able, anticipate and prepare. [I know, I sound like a prepper/nutter from the States!]

        First: over the next few years/decades, most if not all of the Tropics will become uninhabitable. Wet bulb temperature will see to that. Which poses the problem: where will the millions of climate refugees go? Undoubtedly, many of those south of the equator will attempt to flee to Australia, some, perhaps many, will try to get as far as New Zealand. Tasmania may be the only habitable part left of Oz!

        Which raises another problem: how do we deal with these potential millions? Pragmatically, by sinking their boats far out in the Tasman? Or humanely, by accepting them so we can all starve together?

        Second: we also need to face the probability of the total dislocation of trade with the Northern Hemisphere, as the tropics heat up. Already, this government should be quietly discouraging imports of items we could make here, even if a little more expensively. In fact, we need to institute a CENTRALLY PLANNED ECONOMY, with the massive disruption climate change will occasion, in mind.

        Thirdly: we need to be talking about the concept of ‘SURVIVAL SOCIALISM.’ Many of us will not make it to the other side of the next few decades, but those who do will survive because of a collective effort and response, both by the government and the people.

        Survival socialism suggests that a) we need to be aware just how bad it could become, and b) collectively, as a single homogenous society [with no place for wealth or privilege] prepare to do our best to get through it.

        I don’t know if it is possible for any of us to make it; I do think we in New Zealand have some of the best chances of anywhere in the world.

        Further reading:

        http://redrave.blogspot.com/2016/11/climate-crash-case-for-survival.html

        http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/08/07/1810141115

        https://theintercept.com/2018/08/14/hothouse-earth-climate-change-neoliberal-economics/

    • dukeofurl 1.2

      Not really important for this topic, but the league of nations wasnt founded to stop Fascism nor could ever do so .
      Its remit was more ‘world peace’ like many beauty contestants say
      ” Its primary goals, as stated in its Covenant, included preventing wars through collective security and disarmament and settling international disputes through negotiation and arbitration. Other issues in this and related treaties included labour conditions, just treatment of native inhabitants, human and drug trafficking, the arms trade, global health, prisoners of war, and protection of minorities in Europe”- Wikpedia

      • Jenny 1.2.1

        ” Its primary goals, as stated in its Covenant, included preventing wars through collective security and disarmament and settling international disputes through negotiation and arbitration….”

        Yet was completely useless in preventing World War II, the most deadly conflict in human history.
        (Estimated death toll, 63 million)

        Just as Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, COP 1 through 23, have been completely useless at preventing climate change. And will continue to be completely useless.
        (projected, estimated death toll, 100 million)

        https://unfccc.int/process/bodies/supreme-bodies/conference-of-the-parties-cop

  2. Philj 2

    This is too important an issue for governments, obviously. They are getting in the way of real action. But, but, but…. Would you trust your child with matches?

  3. Siobhan 3

    I get the general points you are making, but seriously, calling it..’The world’s most stable open society, Australia, as one of the world’s remaining strong, wealthy, and open societies is having its democracy devastated by the politics of climate change.’?

    May I respectfully suggest its not just climate change at play here. Australia is simply a country reaping its just rewards.

    13th in Corruption; 18th in Press freedom; doesn’t even make it into the top 20 for gender equality; Wealth distribution it ranks 22 out of 35 OECD countries; and as for treatment of refugees, or NZers for that matter…..oh, and then there the Aboriginal experience..not exactly a shinning light by any measurements.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-22/australia-slips-in-global-corruption-rank/9472114

    https://rsf.org/en/ranking

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/maps-and-graphics/mapped-the-best-and-worst-countries-for-gender-equality/

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jan/22/top-1-per-cent-of-australians-own-more-wealth-than-bottom-70-per-cent-combined

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    “Think Globally Act Locally”, once a seemingly appropriate slogan for the Greens, is now a recipe for impotence. As the Oz commentator points out (Sinclair Davidson is the Professor in the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing at RMIT University in Melbourne) global warming – a global problem – requires a global solution.

    The track record of the UN in solving regional problems is abysmal. No sane person would expect the UN to solve any global problem – particularly when powerful nations prefer to adhere to tradition, competing instead of collaborating. Yet the UN process has been conducted to create the perception that it is trying to solve the global problem; presumably to prevent global panic. Active massaging of a problem does reassure people that it is being solved. Usually a false reassurance.

    Inasmuch as global warming has been primarily produced by industry, we could also look at the potential for corporate transformation. If food-producer corporates green their production methods, that will transform a primary driver of the problem into a part of the solution. Rod Oram discusses this here: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/@comment/2018/08/25/207056/rod-oram-time-to-transform-our-global-food-systems

    • Pat 4.1

      “If food-producer corporates green their production methods, that will transform a primary driver of the problem into a part of the solution. ‘

      If they do it will be nothing more than a greenwash….the corporate producers are hand in glove with those groups destroying what little remains of the undisturbed environment

      https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/sep/29/companies-zero-deforestation-pledges-agriculture-palm-oil-environment

      https://news.mongabay.com/2017/03/amazon-soy-moratorium-defeating-deforestation-or-greenwash-diversion/

      • Dennis Frank 4.1.1

        Along with that dark side of the coin, there’s a bright side: “there is growing hope for cross-sector partnerships, bolstered by the success of Brazil’s soy moratorium. The initiative between government, environmentalists and companies started in 2006 when soy buyers agreed not to purchase soy from deforested areas in the Amazon. The moratorium was extended indefinitely last year and, while it is not without critics, a recent study concludes the deforestation rate pre-moratorium was more than five times that post-moratorium.”

        That’s the final paragraph of your first link. In the old analogy of the locomotive driving the train towards the edge of the cliff, this is as if the driver of the locomotive has agreed that turning away from the edge is a good idea. If other corporate passengers lend their weight to the turning, momentum may not dictate the outcome for humanity. Yeah I know, leopards rarely change their spots..

      • corodale 4.1.2

        Don’t panic, go organic; is one of the few classic green slogans that still holds it’s own.

        It’s the offer of alternative and potentially local finance, that wil bring healthy growth rates.

        One major problem of the CC debate is the damage it does to the obvious solution of going organic. This is why rules to reduce methane are a back door for the chem companies. Cows are needed for nutrient recycling, but a methane limit per ha, could hold animal intensity at more biologically sustainable levels.

        This is solving locally, by modeling ecological systems, which can eventually be up-scaled through culture.

        • Pat 4.1.2.1

          it dosnt matter whether its grown organically or not when you require new hectares to meet the ever growing demand.

          ‘Dont panic , go organic’ is a meaningless meme

          • corodale 4.1.2.1.1

            Pat, your ecological ignorance is mind blowing. eg. Most of Africa is desert. If all the military in Africa used their resources for water conservation, irrigation, planting trees,…

  5. dukeofurl 5

    Im wondering how much of the detail is correct. There was no double dissolution election called by Rudd or Gillard. The most recent one was Turnbull’s just 2 years ago. After the 2010 election the Greens had the balance of power in the Senate and of course with labour and Coaltion having the same seats in the House(72) , Gillard was relying on the 5 independents plus 1 Green. The result was Climate change legislation that was more to the Greens liking. ( having the sole balance of power in senate being essential)
    Famously Gillard was caught by having a carbon price legislation passed which she and labour had campaigned against doing.

    The simmering dispute with the ‘Rudd faction’ whic.h resulted in the leadership change werent , as far as Im aware, over Climate policy
    The trigger was some shambles over ‘media law and extent of mergers’, not like the current situation which the ‘NEG policy’ was a trigger

    Im a bit baffled over your comments here:
    “Kevin Rudd came out against this Act, and got the numbers to roll her. He was Prime Minister again for three months.”

    before the election the policy was ‘Emissions Trading’ and during”lead up to the 2010 election, Prime Minister Gillard and Treasurer Swan gave assurances that no carbon tax would be introduced by a Gillard led government, but that a “citizens’ assembly” would be called to sound out public support for a price on carbon”

    After the election with labour depending on Greens in Senate and house a Carbon price Bill was introduced and passed in 2011. The legislation ( Clean Air Act) was for eventually it to become an emissions trading scheme
    Rudd became Pm again in 2013 and announced the ETS side was to come in sooner, but after the election 3 months away

    Rudd said ‘ His predecessor got it wrong by introducing a scheme based on ‘carbon price without a mandate’ which was true and was exploited by Abbott

    labour did get caught up in the politics of having indroduced a ‘fixed carbon price scheme ( which suited the Greens) which wasnt their election policy and Rudd
    proposed to revert it back , however Rudd lost to Abbott and he repealed the fixed price scheme.

  6. Andre 6

    I don’t understand why there is any linkage between our climate policies and the Aussie ones. There isn’t significant fossil fuel or any other energy or GHG trade between us that isn’t basically mediated through global markets. We can do our own thing here and they won’t notice, just like we really won’t be affected economically by whatever climate policies come out of their clusterfuck politics.

    The only business linkage I see of any climate consequence whatsoever is Tiwai Point. Sure there’s a few powerful Aussies that might get tetchy if we were to say we want to use that clean power domestically, rather than export for pennies in the dollar value as shiny bars, while at the same time buying back in that energy for gigadollars as filthy polluting black petroproducts.

    But a few grumpy aussies shouldn’t stop us doing the right thing. Particularly if it might spur them to do the right thing and put up solar farms so they can refine their alumina right where it’s produced. Which happen to be areas with very good solar resource potential.

    • corodale 6.1

      Yeah, its not so much that they are robbing us. Its more that they aren’t bloke enough to prove the security of our oil imports, with Navy patrols of the Persian Gulf. If they upset the Arabs during the crash of the US Fed bond market, it would be the time to take different paths.

  7. Bill 7

    I get what you’re saying/arguing Ad. But the “breaking news” is that no government anywhere is proposing anything even close to what’s required on the global warming front.

    And once we understand that the primary role of nation state governments is to keep some form of liberal capitalist economy rolling, and when we further acknowledge that no matter the will in the world, time constraints mean we cannot transition that economy away from its reliance on fossil in time to ‘miss out’ on seriously bad climate change…

    That leaves us one option with regards putting an end to global warming – destroy, collapse or otherwise neutralise the root cause of the warming – capitalism and its structures of governance.

    Failing that (and let’s face it, most people rail against that suggestion) better lay in your forest gardens, super-insulate your house or home, install as much as you can by way of autonomous utilities (water and power generation) and then….well, it’ll buy you more time than that to be had by those sitting back in suburbia believing there will be some “John Wayne riding out of the sunset/rise” moment.

    • Pat 7.1

      what do you think would happen if it was widely stated from both the political and scientific fields that the worst case scenario will happen in a lifetime…..do you think there would be any change?..a mass panic?…a doubling down on fossil fuel use?…what?

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2

        what do you think would happen if it was widely stated from both the political and scientific fields that the worst case scenario will happen in a lifetime…..do you think there would be any change?

        Absolutely nothing as the capitalists still own government and they need things to stay the same so as to maintain profits.

        The problem with capitalism is that profits are more important than anything else. The whole world could be dying all around them from their actions and the capitalists would still be doing the same things for more profit.

        ..a mass panic?

        Hard to say. Getting rid of the capitalists and the rich is absolutely essential but nobody wants to do that.

      • Bill 7.1.3

        if it was widely stated from both the political and scientific fields that the worst case scenario will happen in a lifetime

        Any such truthfulness on the part of politicians, scientists and policy makers would have to include the Lorax caveat “Unless…” 😉

        So, as we know, the “unless” is getting off of fossil fuel as fast as possible. And that’s where discussion and debate, underscored with a necessary sense of urgency would have to go. Change would have to be happening in conjunction with that conversation/debate – ie, free from that middle class wankery that insists there be discussion on discussions and meetings about discussions and boxes ticked, but not before the precise size of the box to be ticked has been agreed upon and international negotiations concluded on the question of whether the box should be placed before the statement it pertains to, or after the statement it pertains to….etc.

        “You gonna die!” [end] is much too fatalistic, hopeless and pointless. (Though not that much more so than the space we’re in at the moment)

        • Pat 7.1.3.1

          hmmm….The Lorax is an apt (and ignored) example.

          If I were a politician, especially one in a governing party (and with children) and I understood that which is freely available I would feel compelled to act in the most urgent manner possible….the fact that none are suggests they dont really believe their own rhetoric nor understand, for as KA says ‘we must change at all cost’…and yet here we are.

          • Bill 7.1.3.1.1

            …the fact that none are suggests they dont really believe their own rhetoric nor understand,

            Hmm. I think James Shaw does believe his own rhetoric (unfortunately). But I know he doesn’t understand what he’s basing his rhetoric on (eg – the whole IAM exchange I had with him)

            Then there’s Andrew Tait – principal scientist at NIWA (I had a longer exchange with him) He doesn’t believe the shit he spouts in public but also doesn’t seem able to grasp the nature of his field of expertise nor the broader picture (eg – he wouldn’t/couldn’t acknowledge that economic constraints are placed on models accepted by the IPCC and was of the opinion that RCP8.5 was extreme – going so far as to argue it didn’t represent “business as usual” )

          • Bill 7.1.3.1.2

            And here’s a wee piece I stumbled across that might interest you Pat (and others).

            The new report has been written by leading experts from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Manchester and Uppsala University in Sweden. It was commissioned by the umbrella group, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, and the environmental group, Friends of the Earth Scotland.

            For the first time the scientists worked out Scotland’s carbon budget under the international climate agreement made in Paris in 2015. They conclude that for Scotland to meet its global responsibilities it can only emit a total of 300 million tonnes more carbon dioxide – meaning it has to cut emissions by at least ten per cent every year starting now.

            And there’s a breakdown of the country’s top 20 sources of CO2. Number 8 and number 9 (according to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency) are….

            No. 8 – RWE biomass plant, Glenrothes / 438,000

            No. 9 – E.ON biomass plant, Lockerbie / 370,965

            • Pat 7.1.3.1.2.1

              The biomass power plants are interesting, assume they are relatively new…wheres the carbon capture?(lol) ….and Fonterra take note.

              I will be interested to see if our Climate Commission comes up with specific targets such as these …and PDQ….I suspect there will be a lot of vague statements.

              An annual sinking lid on emissions in the face of opposition is going to be vital….I doubt it will be applied

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    New Zealand is dependent on Australia for defence, immigration both inward and outward, foreign affairs, justice and corrections, and trade. Through CER the two countries are about as economically integrated as currently Britain and the E.U. Australia’s banks pretty much own us through mortgages, and their corporations dominate us. Diplomatic relationships between the two countries are also about as weak as they have ever been. For the above reasons, and more, we are in an intensely vulnerable position to Australia.

    Which only leaves us one option – kill that dependence.

    To do that means:

    1. Boosting our defence forces
    2. Banning foreign ownership (It really doesn’t do us any favours while making us all poorer)
    3. As it stands, I don’t think there’s anything that we can do about our relations. Once we become more independent we’d be in a better position to do something
    4. Stepping down our own international trade and developing our economy

    That said how are we dependent on Australia for immigration, foreign affairs, justice and corrections?

    We have full policy sovereignty in both mandate and in reality on this policy, but given that it’s this policy area that is continuing to destabilise its Federal government at the highest level, we might want to check in with Australia.

    Or we put in place legislation saying that a country must be doing as much as we are in regards climate change for us to trade with them without tariffs or even at all.

    • dukeofurl 8.1

      We arent dependent on Australia for defence. Thats the line they take, but is just absurd.

      Does Ireland go around saying ‘We are dependent on the UK for Defence.? Britain doesnt say it either and Ireland is a hell of a lot Closer to Britain and shares the same island with Northern Ireland
      Dublin is only 110km from Anglesey while Auckland is 2200 km from Sydney.

      Does Portugal go around ‘Saying we are dependent on Spain’ for Defence either.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        Considering our inability to defend ourselves brought about from the reliance upon our alliances to save us then I would say that we are dependent upon Australia and other Western Nations for defence.

        Of course, the way things are going, I doubt that those allies will lift a finger to save us when we find ourselves needing saving.

  9. aj 9

    I took a deep breath and watched aussie Sky News on Friday night, Credlin, Bolt, Paul Murray to just get a better idea of the nature of the hard right. Didn’t feel clean afterwards. Think of Hosking x 100. The hatred for Turnbull was unmeasurable, and I’m not sure if Morrison will be able to heal that party. They would be better off if the hard right all left and joined Banardi and Hansen. REally there seems to be a form of Trumpism in Australian politics which will be hard to peg back.

    • dukeofurl 9.1

      The Australian hard right is copying the US republican Tea Party faction. Even though they are large minority of the Libs they want to block completely anything they dont like
      The tyranny of the minority of the majority

  10. Dennis Frank 10

    Real leadership sometimes requires telling people what they don’t want to know. If Aotearoa had a leader who was acting on behalf of future generations, that leader would fire a cannon at Oz right now. Explain to the retards that the reason farmers in their outback keep killing themselves is not just because it’s eight years since it last rained in that region, but also because the prolonged drought is due to climate change.

    Add that climate change denial is the reason the Oz government keeps failing to link cause & effect, and being slow learners the past 20 years is way too long. Then ask if anyone in Oz has got the guts to face reality. Then tell the buggers it’s time to spit the dummy and tell the truth for a change. I’d deliver this to their top diplomat here, ask him to trot off to Oz & pass the message on, including the reassurance that “it won’t go public unless they wimp out”.

    • corodale 10.1

      Obviously the climate changes, but why? Global warming (fluctuating on which time scale), is what they don’t believe in. Lets be honest, guys like Ken Ring can make significantly accurate weather forecasts, and the average “climate scientist” would dismiss him as a tinfoil-hatter. There are plenty of things about the situation that don’t match-up.

      But we all agree that water, is still by far the most significant GHG in the atmosphere, ah. I quickly duckduckgo/startpaged a few b-grade reports, that didn’t even mention H2O on their GHG budgeting.

      Don’t panic, go organic. And get a plan regarding the global currency reset. QE driven austerity is killing us, at the planetary level.

  11. corodale 11

    Task Force Green?

    Dunedin have got the foundations in place already.
    OECD been doing Green task forces in East Europe, since decades ago.
    Finance for NZ nation-wide action?
    UK have a Green Investment Bank, NZ just has a small Green Infrastructure Fund, with policy goals tied to CO2 technocratics, bugger.

    But, alternative and innovative finance will be required, to break the orthodox banking strangle hold. Oh, so nothing will come from this Govt, KPMG report shows NZ Labour govt is truly just a UN project to impose agenda 21 austerity.

    https://dunedin-amenities-society.org.nz/tag/taskforce-green/
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/accelerating-green-finance-green-finance-taskforce-report
    https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/economic-policies/green-infrastructure-fund
    https://www.oecd.org/env/outreach/green-action-taskforce-mission.htm
    http://positivemoney.org/2018/05/new-report-green-bank-england/
    https://biv.com/article/2018/07/task-force-struck-study-basic-guaranteed-income
    https://home.kpmg.com/nz/en/home/insights/2018/05/budget–18—sustainability.html

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