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

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Household Living Costs hit poorer Kiwis hardest
    Standards of living for the poorest and most vulnerable New Zealanders are being eroded by rising prices for basic living costs, while National has stood idly by, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Statistics New Zealand data released today is ...
    11 hours ago
  • The clock is ticking
      Labour strongly supports the latest report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment to have carbon emission targets set in legislation, carbon budgeting and an independent climate commission says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Megan Woods.  “Dr Jan Wright’s ...
    12 hours ago
  • Public support keeps Healthy Homes Bill on track
    The strong call from the public for warm, dry, healthy rentals has helped the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill to pass its second reading, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    15 hours ago
  • More proof National not delivering for New Zealanders
    The Ministry of Social Development’s latest Household Incomes Report is more hard evidence of the growing poverty in New Zealand, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National claims to be delivering for New Zealanders. This report puts the lie ...
    2 days ago
  • Strong support from medical community for Healthy Homes Bill
    More than a thousand medical professionals, medical students, and other New Zealanders have shown their support for Labour’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour will fund Buller Health Centre
    A Labour Government will fully fund the Buller Integrated Family Health Centre in Westport, confirming its commitment to the people of the West Coast and the role of central government to fund essential public services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s affordable promise for Auckland more smoke and mirrors
    The 26,000 additional houses National plans to build in Auckland on public land over the next decade include fewer than 5,000 affordable homes, while more than 60 per cent will be available for speculators to buy, says Leader of the ...
    3 days ago
  • National out of touch over immigration
    National’s abrupt backflip on their recently-announced changes to immigration shows they never understood the problem and just came up with a confused knee jerk response, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Regional communities and businesses were quite right to ...
    3 days ago
  • English out of touch on homelessness
    Bill English’s comments that he doesn’t know why people are complaining about the blowout in the number of homeless families the government is putting up in motels just shows how tired and out of touch National is after nine years, ...
    4 days ago
  • All Kiwis to have same standard of cancer care
    Labour is promising that all New Zealanders will have access to the same level of cancer care no matter where they live in the country, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “As someone who has survived cancer I ...
    4 days ago
  • Infrastructure announcement too long coming
    “What took you so long?” is Labour’s response to the Government’s announcement of a new infrastructure investment vehicle. Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says Labour announced its policy in 2015 to debt-finance infrastructure and service that debt with targeted ...
    4 days ago
  • Time for a breather on immigration
    National has no idea how to house the record number of people entering New Zealand, let alone cope with the pressure on health, education, and transport from this record population growth, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour to invest $4 billion in education
    Labour’s Education Manifesto will bring positive change across the education sector and is backed by a massive investment, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Labour’s plan will see an extra $4 billion invested over the next four years. It’s organised ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s shame: worst homelessness in the OECD
    National’s legacy is a housing crisis that has given New Zealand the worst homeless rate in the developed world, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour taking action on school donations
    Labour will end so-called voluntary school donations for the majority of parents across the country under its $4 billion plan to revitalise the education sector, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Labour has always been committed to a world-class free education ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour to work with Queenstown to build more houses
    Labour will work with Queenstown-Lakes District Council, iwi, and the Community Housing Trust to build the modern, affordable housing Queenstown desperately needs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats blow the Budget on motels after bowling state houses
    National is spending $140,000 a day putting homeless families in motels, the legacy of nine years of selling off and knocking down state houses, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • New revelations in Joanne Harrison report
    The State Services Commission’s report into the treatment of whistle-blowers by Joanne Harrison has revealed new accusations against the convicted fraudster, says Labour MP Sue Moroney.  “The report found that four staff inside the Ministry of Transport who had raised ...
    1 week ago
  • Snafu at Princess Margaret
    Jonathan Coleman has to stop the stalling over a new building for mental health services in Christchurch to replace the quake damaged Princess Margaret Hospital, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “The Government must accept that Christchurch is still recovering ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s fiscal plan to build a fairer New Zealand
    Labour will re-build our housing, health and education while responsibly managing New Zealand’s finances, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.  “Under Labour’s Fiscal Plan we will deliver big investments in the services we all need and care about, invest ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats show they’re the tax dodgers’ best friends
    The government is taking the knife to IRD at a time when we need a highly skilled department to ensure that multinationals and speculators don’t get away with dodging tax, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour secures the future for NZ Super
    A Labour Government will secure the future for New Zealand Superannuation so we can continue to provide superannuation to those retiring at age 65, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “One of the first things a Labour-led Government will ...
    1 week ago
  • Multinationals must pay fair share of tax
    A Labour Government will crack down on multinational companies that are dodging paying their fair share of tax, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “New Zealanders are missing out by hundreds of millions according to the IRD because multinational companies can ...
    1 week ago
  • ACT’s approach to children backward and ill informed
    Act’s new deputy leader’s claim that Labour’s support for families could “extend the misery of child poverty and even child abuse” is ill informed and offensive, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Canterbury hatchet job a disgrace
    The Government’s glib acceptance of advice that the Canterbury District Health Board doesn’t need more money is a hatchet job and a disgrace, says Labour’s Health Spokesperson David Clark. “To claim that the DHB was using tactics to leverage more ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Quality for Kiwi kids at ECE
    After more than a decade of rapid growth in the number of children participating in Early Childhood Education (ECE), it’s time to take stock and map out a clear plan for the future, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to boost ECE quality
    Labour will ensure kids get the best start in life by boosting funding for Early Childhood Centres to employ 100 per cent qualified and registered teachers, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour will stump up a million dollars for Maniototo Hospital
    A Labour led Government will make a million dollars available to rebuild the Maniototo Base hospital in Ranfurly, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.  “This will be a much needed boost for a long overdue rebuild that has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • No vision for the West Coast
    The West Coast welcomes any Government investment in our region but the lack of any real alternative vision for the West Coast’s economy is disappointing, says Damien O’Connor Labour’s West Coast-Tasman MP.  “The establishment of a Mining Research Unit will ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s youth work scheme too little too late
    After nine years, National’s belated attempt to provide work opportunities for unemployed youth should be seen for what it is, a half-hearted, election gimmick from a party that’s ignored the problem till now, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis won’t fall for Joyce’s spin
    Steven Joyce’s embarrassingly obvious spin on Labour’s Families Package won’t fool anyone, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour prioritises families and public services
    Labour’s Families Package delivers a bigger income boost to more than 70 per cent of families with children than Budget 2017. By not spending $1.5 billion a year on tax cuts, Labour is able to do more for lower and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis can’t sleep in your ghost houses, Nick
    The Government’s housing infrastructure announcement is another Nick Smith special – over-promising with no detail on delivery, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour helps older New Zealanders and low income families with winter heating bills
    Labour will further boost its commitment to warm, healthy housing with a Winter Energy Payment for superannuitants and people receiving main benefits, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Everyone deserves a warm, healthy home to live in. But that’s ...
    2 weeks ago