Harawira and Katene to cross the floor?

Written By: - Date published: 8:15 am, November 24th, 2009 - 13 comments
Categories: climate change, maori party, national/act government - Tags:

National wants to get its shambolic ETS through the House this week. It’s not quite clear what the hurry is; there’s no actual reason why it should be passed before the Copenhagen meeting in December, it’s just an artificial deadline that National have set themselves.
We already know the ETS will cost taxpayers hundreds of billions for subsidies to polluters and, because it will mean higher carbon emissions, will, according to Treasury, “come at a cost to the economy as a whole, by delaying the transition of the New Zealand economy to a carbon constrained world”. Nonetheless, John Key and Nick Smith are determined to push ahead to pass their ETS. This cack-handed legislative process is only going to make things worse.
A deluge of amendments, from technical stuff to the multi-billion deal with the Maori Party, will have to be slammed through under urgency late at night by a Parliament that will not be given the time to consider their substance. The result is going to be a legislative disaster. As Rod Oram notes “When Parliament has degenerated to such shoddy process in the past it has often made horrendous and expensive mistakes.”
National’s ETS is opposed by every other party in the House except the Maori Party (the party, you’ll recall, which didn’t vote for Labour’s ETS because it said it wasn’t strong enough). That gives the ETS 63 votes, a majority of 2. But only two of the five Maori Party MPs support it. What if at least Hone Harawira and Rahui Katene (the Maori party’s passionate environmentalist) cross the floor to vote against the ETS? That would leave Parliament hung on 61-61 – a tied vote means the law doesn’t pass.
Then things would get really interesting. Would National try to get the ETS passed with ACT or Peter Dunne abstaining? Or would Key do what he should have done in the first place – sit down with Labour and come up with a sustainable grand coalition to create an ETS that will actually reduce carbon emissions and put the cost of pollution on the polluters?

update: read Rod Oram’s SST piece, also Brian Fallow in the Herald and this Auckland University press release on the impact on Maori.

13 comments on “Harawira and Katene to cross the floor?”

  1. Lew 1

    Wouldn’t that be nice — but Katene is on NTN at present defending the decision.


    • toad 1.1

      Yeah, I don’t get it Lew. She wrote the Maori Party Select Committee minority report that slammed the Government’s approach.

  2. outofbed 2

    i guess shes has her price
    I see that federated farmers now thinks a Carbon tax is a good idea
    My goodness maybe the Green were right

  3. randal 3

    the fact that it is a subsidy to polluters is taking a large backseat to those who stand to gain from the taxes levied on everybody except those who do the dirty deeds.
    this is wonky to say the least and perfectly illustrates the schizophrenia at large in New Zealand where normal people hold two contradictory viewpoints but yet inist they are not mutually exclusive.
    I suppose it is a mass delusion from too much drinking and self will run riot.
    and if you criticise then we will send someone round to give you the bash now that that sort of behaviour is becoming if at least not acceptable then rife.

  4. tc 4

    One thing I’m pretty sure of is this is a defining moment for the MP and will probably splinter them one way or another.

    I don’t think it can survive this intact without creating a breakaway, led by Hone maybe, because after all this is said and done he is being left hung out to dry for doing alot less than Blinglish/Worth/Smith/Tolley have ever done.

    Time for the people who voted for the MP to find out if it’s got the mana or the moolah as a priority.

  5. illuminatedtiger 5

    Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t every bill that is passed into law effectively a vote of confidence in the government? What would happen if the bill failed to pass? Would they even vote on it if they didn’t know if they had the numbers for it to pass?

  6. Zaphod Beeblebrox 6

    Over 600 admendments dumped sight unseen and unreviewed on the house. Thats nice.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    It would be good if some of those in the MP, especially considering the MPs minority report on the Nationals ETS, crossed the Rubicon and voted against them.

  8. Scribe 8

    We already know the ETS will cost taxpayers hundreds of billions for subsidies to polluters

    Hundreds of billions?!?! I’d heard an estimate of as high as $110 billion. Did I miss some other costings that would support your statement, Eddie?

  9. pentwig 9

    If the vote is tied doesn’t the speaker cast a vote?

    If not Nact, would have no alternative but to repeal the original bill.

  10. Lew 10

    Fat lady hasn’t sung yet.


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