Looks like the Maori Party has decided to stand by their principles and oppose weakening the Emissions Trading Scheme. Their stinging minority report rules out supporting any weakening of the already too weak ETS and calls for a far greater commitment to the environment from government:
The Maori Party continues to oppose the introduction of an ETS on these grounds, and would do so more strongly if a replacement scheme were to be less effective and more inequitable…We remain unconvinced that the market is the best mechanism to set a price on carbon. The continued rise in oil costs from pending peak oil production and global shortages of fresh water alert us to the fact that the world’s economy is not so much in a temporary recession as in a state of major change, and that the current mode of living in developed countries is simply not sustainable into the future.
Rahui Katene followed that with a strong press release: “The time is past for scheming and trading – we want an Emissions Reduction Programme. We want a regime that is transparent and fair, and requires polluters to pay.” Awesome.
Pity they tried to weasel out of it first. Pity they wanted to zip their mouths and swallow those fine words.
Last week they were screwed on the Maori seats in Auckland. A few days later, National was begging them to support weakening a climate change law they already thought was too weak. They should have slammed the door in Key’s face straight away. Instead, they were prepared to make a bargain, as Katene admits: “we offered to withdraw our minority report, in an effort to maintain open dialogue with National on issues of concern to the Maori Party”. I’m thinking the bargain went something like: ‘we’ll help you turn a blind eye to climate change, if you promise us a better deal on the foreshore and seabed. The failure to bury their minority report put that idea to bed. It’s one thing to obviously be sell-outs. It’s another to have the proof right there, written in your own hand.
Now though, deal’s off and the Maori Party can pretend they never entertained selling out Papatuanuku for the right to grow a few mussels. Instead, they stand tall and stand up for the environment.
Hopefully, they’re learning that ‘compromise’ with the Nats is a one-way street. If they haven’t learned yet, I’m sure they will when the Government screws them over the foreshore and seabed.