National’s complete indifference to climate change

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 pm, December 18th, 2023 - 18 comments
Categories: climate change, local government, making shit up, science, simeon brown, spin, uncategorized, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

This is the only possible explanation.  As well as celebrating all things car National has a pathological hatred of cycleways and walkways and public transport.

The latest evidence comes from Simeon Brown’s instruction to Waka Kotahi to stop work on anything designed to cut transport greenhouse gas emissions.

From Marc Daalder at Newsroom:

The Transport Minister has told officials to stop work on policies that would provide transport alternatives to private cars.

On Tuesday, Simeon Brown wrote to regional councils to advise them of changes he was making to speed limit regulations. He also put out a press release about the move and touted it in Parliament.

But at the end of that letter, he also revealed he had ordered officials at the New Zealand Transport Agency, Waka Kotahi, to end work on programmes that would reduce the number of kilometres travelled by passenger cars through providing alternatives like public and active transport.

“I understand that some local authorities have been developing programmes with NZTA and other stakeholders to reduce vehicle kilometres travelled (VKT) by the light vehicle fleet, using funding from the Climate Emergency Response Fund,” Brown wrote, in a copy of the letter seen by Newsroom.

“I have given notice to NZTA to end its work on these programmes, and to not commit any further funding to local authorities (beyond existing contractual obligations) to develop these programmes.”

In legal terms the decision is very dodgy.  Under the Land Transport Management Act 2003 the Minister of Transport issues what is described as a Government Policy Statement on transport.  Waka Kotahi is then obliged to give effect to the GPS.  It does this by preparing and completing the National Land Transport Programme.  This is a carefully prepared document that sets out how the National Land Transport Fund is to be spent and feeds into all of the Regional Land Transport Programmes.  These have extensive input from Local Government into them.

And the current GPS is being consulted on.  There is no power for the Minister to direct Waka Kotahi to do anything let alone undermine an existing GPS.  And it is exceedingly bad form to send a directive out while consultation is happening.

This has not stopped Simeon from doing so.  But this sort of behaviour is intensely frustrating to Local Government.  Work streams take years to prepare and advance.  Chopping and changing like this just destroys the work flow and creates chaos.

And you have to wonder why they would do this.  After all I believe that we are in a middle of a climate crisis, even one that National has begrudgingly acknowledged is happening.

Walking and cycling have major roles to help the country meets its climate change goals.  We will not get there if there is not major investment in these areas.  Platitudes and thinking that charging stations will get us there is wooly thinking.

The problem is that National engaging in culture wars on cycleways may stir up support but it is totally retrograde, US Republican quality opposition to everything just for kicks and to rouse up the right wing base.  This is not what we need right now.  We need the adults in the room to set out what we have to do to do our bit to meet the climate crisis.

To meet our climate goals we are going to have to do it all, cycleways, walkways, compact cities, enhanced public transport, eating less meat, planting trees, engaging in less international travel, solar power, wind power, closing down coal generators, consuming less, making vehicles more fuel efficient, energy efficient light bulbs and shower heads and a host of other measures.  We do not need stupid debates about each of these measures.  We need to do all of them and more and then cross our fingers and hope.

The problem is that the right wishes to fight all of these measures for kicks.

The other problem is that without the wholesale acceptance of these measures the world is stuffed.

Over the past few years our emissions have peaked and have reduced.  The rate of reduction needs to be accelerated rapidly.  This Government is showing that it is not slightly interested in doing this.  And that it would be happy in the pursuit of culture wars to forgo these measures and to undermine them.

For political support.

And for kicks.

18 comments on “National’s complete indifference to climate change ”

  1. Bearded Git 1

    Nicely put Micky….

    Luxon really has no idea.

    • ianmac 1.1

      True BG. But I suspect that Luxon calculates that if he wafts pro climate change rhetoric, he can go ahead and do the opposite and no one would notice. He has a belief in just how clever he is compared to we peasants and anyway he has a supportive god in his ear.

  2. tc 2

    This is a bloke who happily admits to not reading reports or studies just plowing on ahead with the agenda.

    So we appear to have a boy racer mentality in our transport Minister combined with that born to rule arrogance in pushing their ideology.

    Good post Mickey.

  3. Thinker 3

    Some Nat-friendly people I know are waxing on about the mess the current government inherited and the consequent need to do the hard times before things come right again.

    Associated with that is the need to do all this other stuff, just to help get the train on the rails quicker.

    It amazes me how short some people's memories are.

  4. Ghostwhowalks 4

    Luxon will continue to talk out of both sides of his mouth- without admitting any contradiction

    Climate change targets wont change- Climate change reduction spending will end.

    Its not a bug , its a feature. Indeed he will personally benefit where possible

    Tesla electric government funding…check

    Te Reo tuition government funding …check

    Flying on government VIP planes …check

  5. Mike the Lefty 5

    It is a case of revelling in being in power, sticking it to those vegan lycra-clad greenie whingers who have had too much power over New Zealand's transport system for too long.

    But I bet it won't extend to lower petrol taxes or lower registration fees. In fact I reckon the next move will be to extend RUC to EVs and double the costs, along with vehicle registration fees.

    Someone has got to pay for all National's road, by-pass and tunnel pipe dreams and that someone is YOU, regardless if you will ever use them or not.

    It will happen in the first half of next year, I predict.

  6. Grey Area 6

    Yes Mickey hatred of cycleways and walkways and public transport does seem pathological with National. It's not rational therefore people promoting alternative modes of transport will get no joy from this crew. I doubt there will be any reasoned debate as some hope.

    National has been a bit more inclined to a wider view of transport, in words at least, in the past. I saw a reference yesterday to when Gerry Brownlie was Minister of Transport which surprised me.

    People point to Shonkey's promotion of a national cycling network as showing National aren't totally vehicle focused. But a cycle trail network is about tourism and has little to do with alternative transport choices.

  7. Chris 7

    That National doesn't care about climate change is the one thing the opposition needs to focus on highlighting because it might be the only thing people will have in common after the National-led culture wars set in.

    • Mike the Lefty 7.1

      Right but unfortunately there are a lot out there who don't give a continental about climate change, they are more concerned about what colour to choose for their next new Ford Ranger. And unfortunately their mates are in power.

      Climate change?

      Bah humbug.

      • Chris 7.1.1

        Yes, sure, but as time goes on and the evidence mounts…even the most hardened will have to begin to wonder…like seatbelts.

  8. Robert Guyton 8

    The rationale for acting on climate change is wasted on the people who want to cut arts from education; their driver is the same – fripperies, unnecessary indulgences and the stuff radical protesting, undermining, head-in-the-clouds Lefties fixate on.

    Appealing to reason is a waste of our time; they will always default to the same position.

    Oppose their decisions, yes, but expect a rational repositioning, a reasoned response to the case we present? Forget it.

  9. Chris 9

    That's a bit defeatist, isn't it?

    • Chris 9.1

      Sorry, this was meant to be in response to Robert Guyton at 8 above.

    • Robert Guyton 9.2

      I don't believe so, Chris. If we continue to hope that politicians such as Luxon and co. will "see the light" and change their ways as the result of our protestations and reasoned advice, we will be disappointed. Waiting for those leopards to change their spots will waste a lot of our time; time better spent making things happen. They may well sing another tune in time, but it won't be because they've heard our call; other factors, ones they respond to, will cause them to change.

  10. Ad 10


    – repealing the RMA replacement,

    – killing 3 Waters,

    – providing no alternative funding to local government,

    – putting a big 'review' through Kainga Ora or largest developer and landowner, and

    – reversing massive infrastructure contracts,

    National have essentially killed off New Zealand's large building and construction industry for most of this term. It takes several years to get the major projects up and running – a decade if they're not consented.

    If you were an investor looking for either real estate developments or major infrastructure to invest it, there is now no certainty to do so in New Zealand.

    National are pushing the GDP brake down hard.

  11. outofbed 11

    And forcing a new tunnel (cars only) on wellington. That will teach the bastards to vote green. It's all about mp,s getting to central wellington easily from the airport, the cynic in me thinks

  12. Jack 12

    Dose anyone have information about the percentage spend on cycleways compared to roads? My guess is that the cycleway spend is infinitesimal when compared to roading.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government focused on getting people into work
    Benefit figures released today underscore the importance of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and have 50,000 fewer people on Jobseeker Support, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Benefit numbers are still significantly higher than when National was last in government, when there was about 70,000 fewer ...
    3 hours ago
  • Clean energy key driver to reducing emissions
    The Government’s commitment to doubling New Zealand’s renewable energy capacity is backed by new data showing that clean energy has helped the country reach its lowest annual gross emissions since 1999, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. New Zealand’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory (1990-2022) published today, shows gross emissions fell ...
    4 hours ago
  • Earthquake-prone buildings review brought forward
    The Government is bringing the earthquake-prone building review forward, with work to start immediately, and extending the deadline for remediations by four years, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Our Government is focused on rebuilding the economy. A key part of our plan is to cut red tape that ...
    8 hours ago
  • Thailand and NZ to agree to Strategic Partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, have today agreed that New Zealand and the Kingdom of Thailand will upgrade the bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership by 2026. “New Zealand and Thailand have a lot to offer each other. We have a strong mutual desire to build ...
    20 hours ago
  • Government consults on extending coastal permits for ports
    RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Transport Minister Simeon Brown have today announced the Coalition Government’s intention to extend port coastal permits for a further 20 years, providing port operators with certainty to continue their operations. “The introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991 required ports to obtain coastal ...
    24 hours ago
  • Inflation coming down, but more work to do
    Today’s announcement that inflation is down to 4 per cent is encouraging news for Kiwis, but there is more work to be done - underlining the importance of the Government’s plan to get the economy back on track, acting Finance Minister Chris Bishop says. “Inflation is now at 4 per ...
    1 day ago
  • School attendance restored as a priority in health advice
    Refreshed health guidance released today will help parents and schools make informed decisions about whether their child needs to be in school, addressing one of the key issues affecting school attendance, says Associate Education Minister David Seymour. In recent years, consistently across all school terms, short-term illness or medical reasons ...
    1 day ago
  • Unnecessary bureaucracy cut in oceans sector
    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is streamlining high-level oceans management while maintaining a focus on supporting the sector’s role in the export-led recovery of the economy. “I am working to realise the untapped potential of our fishing and aquaculture sector. To achieve that we need to be smarter with ...
    1 day ago
  • Patterson promoting NZ’s wool sector at International Congress
    Associate Agriculture Minister Mark Patterson is speaking at the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Adelaide, promoting New Zealand wool, and outlining the coalition Government’s support for the revitalisation the sector.    "New Zealand’s wool exports reached $400 million in the year to 30 June 2023, and the coalition Government ...
    2 days ago
  • Removing red tape to help early learners thrive
    The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. The changes involve repealing the network approval provisions that apply when someone wants to establish a new early learning service, ...
    2 days ago
  • RMA changes to cut coal mining consent red tape
    Changes to the Resource Management Act will align consenting for coal mining to other forms of mining to reduce barriers that are holding back economic development, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “The inconsistent treatment of coal mining compared with other extractive activities is burdensome red tape that fails to acknowledge ...
    2 days ago
  • McClay reaffirms strong NZ-China trade relationship
    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon acknowledges legacy of Singapore Prime Minister Lee
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today paid tribute to Singapore’s outgoing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.   Meeting in Singapore today immediately before Prime Minister Lee announced he was stepping down, Prime Minister Luxon warmly acknowledged his counterpart’s almost twenty years as leader, and the enduring legacy he has left for Singapore and South East ...
    3 days ago
  • PMs Luxon and Lee deepen Singapore-NZ ties
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. While in Singapore as part of his visit to South East Asia this week, Prime Minister Luxon also met with Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and will meet with Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.  During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon ...
    3 days ago
  • Antarctica New Zealand Board appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has made further appointments to the Board of Antarctica New Zealand as part of a continued effort to ensure the Scott Base Redevelopment project is delivered in a cost-effective and efficient manner.  The Minister has appointed Neville Harris as a new member of the Board. Mr ...
    3 days ago
  • Finance Minister travels to Washington DC
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to the United States on Tuesday to attend a meeting of the Five Finance Ministers group, with counterparts from Australia, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  “I am looking forward to meeting with our Five Finance partners on how we can work ...
    3 days ago
  • Pet bonds a win/win for renters and landlords
    The coalition Government has today announced purrfect and pawsitive changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to give tenants with pets greater choice when looking for a rental property, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “Pets are important members of many Kiwi families. It’s estimated that around 64 per cent of New ...
    3 days ago
  • Long Tunnel for SH1 Wellington being considered
    State Highway 1 (SH1) through Wellington City is heavily congested at peak times and while planning continues on the duplicate Mt Victoria Tunnel and Basin Reserve project, the Government has also asked NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to consider and provide advice on a Long Tunnel option, Transport Minister Simeon Brown ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand condemns Iranian strikes
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have condemned Iran’s shocking and illegal strikes against Israel.    “These attacks are a major challenge to peace and stability in a region already under enormous pressure," Mr Luxon says.    "We are deeply concerned that miscalculation on any side could ...
    4 days ago
  • Huge interest in Government’s infrastructure plans
    Hundreds of people in little over a week have turned out in Northland to hear Regional Development Minister Shane Jones speak about plans for boosting the regional economy through infrastructure. About 200 people from the infrastructure and associated sectors attended an event headlined by Mr Jones in Whangarei today. Last ...
    6 days ago
  • Health Minister thanks outgoing Health New Zealand Chair
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti has today thanked outgoing Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora Chair Dame Karen Poutasi for her service on the Board.   “Dame Karen tendered her resignation as Chair and as a member of the Board today,” says Dr Reti.  “I have asked her to ...
    6 days ago
  • Roads of National Significance planning underway
    The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has signalled their proposed delivery approach for the Government’s 15 Roads of National Significance (RoNS), with the release of the State Highway Investment Proposal (SHIP) today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to ...
    6 days ago
  • Navigating an unstable global environment
    New Zealand is renewing its connections with a world facing urgent challenges by pursuing an active, energetic foreign policy, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Our country faces the most unstable global environment in decades,” Mr Peters says at the conclusion of two weeks of engagements in Egypt, Europe and the United States.    “We cannot afford to sit back in splendid ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ welcomes Australian Governor-General
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Australian Governor-General, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley and his wife Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley, will make a State visit to New Zealand from Tuesday 16 April to Thursday 18 April. The visit reciprocates the State visit of former Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy ...
    6 days ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves for Winter
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour has announced that Medsafe has approved 11 cold and flu medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Pharmaceutical suppliers have indicated they may be able to supply the first products in June. “This is much earlier than the original expectation of medicines being available by 2025. The Government recognised ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ and the US: an ever closer partnership
    New Zealand and the United States have recommitted to their strategic partnership in Washington DC today, pledging to work ever more closely together in support of shared values and interests, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “The strategic environment that New Zealand and the United States face is considerably more ...
    6 days ago
  • Joint US and NZ declaration
    April 11, 2024 Joint Declaration by United States Secretary of State the Honorable Antony J. Blinken and New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs the Right Honourable Winston Peters We met today in Washington, D.C. to recommit to the historic partnership between our two countries and the principles that underpin it—rule ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ and US to undertake further practical Pacific cooperation
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further New Zealand cooperation with the United States in the Pacific Islands region through $16.4 million in funding for initiatives in digital connectivity and oceans and fisheries research.   “New Zealand can achieve more in the Pacific if we work together more urgently and ...
    6 days ago
  • Government redress for Te Korowai o Wainuiārua
    The Government is continuing the bipartisan effort to restore its relationship with iwi as the Te Korowai o Wainuiārua Claims Settlement Bill passed its first reading in Parliament today, says Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith. “Historical grievances of Te Korowai o Wainuiārua relate to 19th century warfare, land purchased or taken ...
    7 days ago
  • Focus on outstanding minerals permit applications
    New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals is working to resolve almost 150 outstanding minerals permit applications by the end of the financial year, enabling valuable mining activity and signalling to the sector that New Zealand is open for business, Resources Minister Shane Jones says.  “While there are no set timeframes for ...
    7 days ago
  • Applications open for NZ-Ireland Research Call
    The New Zealand and Irish governments have today announced that applications for the 2024 New Zealand-Ireland Joint Research Call on Agriculture and Climate Change are now open. This is the third research call in the three-year Joint Research Initiative pilot launched in 2022 by the Ministry for Primary Industries and Ireland’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Tenancy rules changes to improve rental market
    The coalition Government has today announced changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to encourage landlords back to the rental property market, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The previous Government waged a war on landlords. Many landlords told us this caused them to exit the rental market altogether. It caused worse ...
    1 week ago
  • Boosting NZ’s trade and agricultural relationship with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay will visit China next week, to strengthen relationships, support Kiwi exporters and promote New Zealand businesses on the world stage. “China is one of New Zealand’s most significant trade and economic relationships and remains an important destination for New Zealand’s products, accounting for nearly 22 per cent of our good and ...
    1 week ago
  • Freshwater farm plan systems to be improved
    The coalition Government intends to improve freshwater farm plans so that they are more cost-effective and practical for farmers, Associate Environment Minister Andrew Hoggard and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay have announced. “A fit-for-purpose freshwater farm plan system will enable farmers and growers to find the right solutions for their farm ...
    1 week ago
  • New Fast Track Projects advisory group named
    The coalition Government has today announced the expert advisory group who will provide independent recommendations to Ministers on projects to be included in the Fast Track Approvals Bill, say RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Regional Development Minister Shane Jones. “Our Fast Track Approval process will make it easier and ...
    1 week ago
  • Pacific and Gaza focus of UN talks
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters says his official talks with the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York today focused on a shared commitment to partnering with the Pacific Islands region and a common concern about the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.    “Small states in the Pacific rely on collective ...
    1 week ago
  • Government honours Taranaki Maunga deal
    The Government is honouring commitments made to Taranaki iwi with the Te Pire Whakatupua mō Te Kāhui Tupua/Taranaki Maunga Collective Redress Bill passing its first reading Parliament today, Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “This Bill addresses the commitment the Crown made to the eight iwi of Taranaki to negotiate ...
    1 week ago
  • Enhanced partnership to reduce agricultural emissions
    The Government and four further companies are together committing an additional $18 million towards AgriZeroNZ to boost New Zealand’s efforts to reduce agricultural emissions. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the strength of the New Zealand economy relies on us getting effective and affordable emission reduction solutions for New Zealand. “The ...
    1 week ago
  • 110km/h limit proposed for Kāpiti Expressway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) will begin consultation this month on raising speed limits for the Kāpiti Expressway to 110km/h. “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and this proposal supports that outcome ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Awards – Winners announced
    Two New Zealanders who’ve used their unique skills to help fight the exotic caulerpa seaweed are this year’s Biosecurity Awards Supreme Winners, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard. “Strong biosecurity is vital and underpins the whole New Zealand economy and our native flora and fauna. These awards celebrate all those in ...
    1 week ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-04-18T00:55:26+00:00