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Teggtalk: Trump-Like Climate Science Meddling by NZ Ministers

Written By: - Date published: 10:36 am, December 22nd, 2017 - 29 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, global warming, national, nick smith, same old national, sustainability, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

Reprinted with permission from Denis Tegg’s blog Teggtalk.

If you think Donald Trump’s interference with, and denial of climate science is outrageous you will be shocked at the disturbing level of Ministerial interference under the previous government around the publication of a Ministry for the Environment expert coastal hazard and sea level rise guidance report for councils. Publication of the report was delayed for 364 days due to Ministerial meddling. Reporter Eloise Gibson from Newsroom has exposed “an almost farcical series of false starts. Many dates were penciled-in for the launch of the Guidance and then abandoned as it became clear – sometimes only a week or so beforehand – that ministers would not support the plan.”

I began looking into when the latest Guidance would be released to local authorities back in December 2016. Indications from the Ministry for the Environment website where that the release of the report was imminent. In fact, the report was initially scheduled for release in September 2016. In June 2017 I stumbled on a Waikato Regional Council website where a PowerPoint presentation was inadvertently published which summarised the key elements of the guidance. The New Zealand Herald ran that story. Subsequently, in the lead up to the election, the Greens published a leaked version of the report.

As the Newsroom story makes clear, Minister Nick Smith poked his political unscientific nose into the process. Smith insisted that the guidance report be referred to Cabinet, against vehement opposition from the Ministry’s climate change director and a current National Party MP Lawrence Yule, who was then President of Local Government NZ. Smith never presented the report to Cabinet before the election.

Smith has to take the blame for the year-long delay and the fact that this allowed Councils such as the Thames-Coromandel District Council to make some really dumb decisions to approve risky coastal subdivisions and other developments on low-lying land near the coast using the outdated guidance from 2008.

We poke fun at Donald Trump for his climate science denial and his ridiculous statements that global warming is a Chinese hoax. We cringe at the way in which he has tried to censor climate science reports on federal government websites.

The sad reality is that Ministers under the previous National Government are just as culpable. Nick Smith’s main concern was for wealthy coastal property developers and landowners rather than for Councils who were crying out for the latest guidance to be released, and potential purchasers of coastal land who were left in the dark about the risks from rising seas. Looking for a New Zealand Trump-like anti-science clown beholden to wealthy vested interests? – Here’s looking at you Nick.

For more on three dodgy Thames Coromandel coastal developments see Eloise Gibson’s reporting here –

29 comments on “Teggtalk: Trump-Like Climate Science Meddling by NZ Ministers ”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    I very much doubt the National Party could stop mimicking the Republican Party even if they wanted to.

    People whose entire belief system is founded on lies can be made to believe more lies. They’ll believe two lies that contradict one another at the same time, and deny the contradiction.

    In “the real world”, as they are so fond of calling it, we have a name for it: “fraud”.

    • ropata 1.1

      Also, lying shysters assume that everyone else is like them, when they have practised a lifetime of dishonesty they can’t distinguish the truth until they are drowning in it

  2. Pat 2

    Surfing this morning I came across this from 2007….a decade wasted by the previous National administration…or three if you look at the new governments target date of 2050.


  3. Sabine 3

    i would just assume that the National Party is bank rolled by the same guys that bank roll the Tea Party. The republican party died a long time ago.
    these guys at National Inc only do what they are paid for. 🙂

  4. As the Newsroom story makes clear, Minister Nick Smith poked his political unscientific nose into the process. Smith insisted that the guidance report be referred to Cabinet, against vehement opposition from the Ministry’s climate change director and a current National Party MP Lawrence Yule, who was then President of Local Government NZ. Smith never presented the report to Cabinet before the election.

    We need a law that makes such actions by the Ministers illegal and has two years of jail connected to it. In fact, we need a law that says that all government research and reports done are released to the public within one week of being completed and that ministers have no say in that.

    Make it so that this sort of BS by National cannot be done.

    • Chris 4.1

      Pretty sure if you actually read your own quote you might notice it isn’t “National”, but one dude in National.

      As an aside

      I don’t suppose the author of the article could post a quote from National denying climate change?

      Thought not

      • Tracey 4.1.1

        And Bennett

      • Pretty sure if you actually read your own quote you might notice it isn’t “National”, but one dude in National.

        I’m sure that there were back-room discussions between that one dude, the PM, the National Party caucus and C/T that ensured that the report was kept on the back-burner for that entire year. Just because it never made it to cabinet doesn’t mean that it wasn’t discussed between caucus members where we don’t get to hear about it.

        I don’t suppose the author of the article could post a quote from National denying climate change?

        Well, John Key did say that he didn’t believe in it. It’s in the list of John Key’s lies.

        Thought not

        It’s probably more that you thought you distract from the corrupt actions of National.

        • Chris

          Didn’t know about Keys statements. Thanks.

          Was a pretty stupid statement


          Why do I get the feeling the warnings from mods that say “Pretty sure” of accusations needs proof by the end of the day, or punishment will ensue, only imply depending on what party the subject belongs to?

          • Draco T Bastard

            Why do I get the feeling the warnings from mods that say “Pretty sure” of accusations needs proof by the end of the day, or punishment will ensue, only imply depending on what party they belong to?

            Probably because of your bias.

            They do pull everyone up.

      • Pat 4.1.3

        “On 3 News yesterday, Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee and Deputy Prime Minister Bill English both expressed doubt and reservations when asked if they believed in man-made climate change.”


        • Chris

          Man being the dominent cause of climate change and climate change are two different things

          • Pat


          • One Anonymous Bloke

            That’s true.

            However, the lines of evidence that suggest the current climate change we are experiencing is anthropogenic in nature are difficult to ignore, and very very difficult to explain without the human signature.

            How, for example, do you account for the trend in the atmospheric carbon isotope ratio?

            How do you account for the fact that every single one of the predictions Svante Arrhenius’ climate model made have come true?

            I can explain your denial of these facts a lot faster than you can refute them.

            • Chris

              I never said I agree with them. Think it is pretty obvious man has a massive affect and their view is a bit silly

              Just pointing out not believing man is the dominant cause of climate change is vastly different to not believing climate change is happening.

              Especially when trying to use it to imply they are the same as the stupid idiot in the US with the dodgey haircut

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                That doesn’t follow: it’s pretty clear that the objections to the Physics and observations are political, not scientific: a Gish gallop.

                The two groups you posit are practically identical.

                • Chris


                  Take me.

                  I think climate change is real

                  I think man is one of the dominant forces in unusual extreme climate changes we are seeing

                  This doesn’t change the fact I think NZ spending 10s of billions of dollars trying to negate our countries 0.12% global contributions to it while the big emmitting countries do Jack shit is utterly stupid

                  I don’t think this is me denying climate change

                  Everything has degrees

                  • Stuart Mathieson

                    Per capital NZ is right up there. Almost twice China per capita and 50% agricultural.

        • Ed

          Glad they no longer have control of the levers of power.

  5. Macro 5

    Denis – I like the idea of Idiot Savant. In his analysis on the deliberate delay by Nick Smith
    he said this:

    Of course, it took much longer than that, because Smith then refused to take the paper to Cabinet. In the meantime, residents groups worried that their property values would suffer if potential buyers knew the real risk of their property flooding lobbied hard, and managed to get a further delay for yet another round of consultation (they had already been consulted twice). Of course, consultation requires Cabinet approval, and Smith didn’t bother asking for that – in effect, burying the entire proposal. And in the meantime, councils screamed for guidance, while approving developments that should never have been approved, because they didn’t have something official they could point to to justify saying “no”. And the developers laughed all the way to the bank, having offloaded their risk on others, who will no doubt then demand compensation from councils when their homes flood in the future…

    Pretty obviously, we should present the bill for that to Nick Smith. Because the only reason this stuff was approved was him and his delaying tactics.

    That is if he is still around.

  6. eco maori 6

    national party were like ______in a trough they didn’t want to shear anything with the rest of us. And they would do anything to keep the troughs full. WHAT PRIMITIVE IDOITS so blinded with greed. One can see there greedy personality from pictures of them you don’t need to hear them talk. They would never have got into power if was not for that planted idiot shonky. He liked dick smith because he is a bullying bigot and would stoop to the lowest levels to achieve his farcical cover up on climate change one can tell after the CH. CH. QUAKE all the wealthy moved to Nelson they are the people who vote for dick smith all the people who put there money ahead of there grandchildren future. These wealth people are in the no they no what’s going on but they still wership money over humanity WTF ANA TO KAI

  7. Andy 7

    If people believe that 1.9 metres of sea level rise is plausible over the next 100 years, I’m prepared to bet my house that it won’t

    I don’t expect anyone will counter that. None of these pen pushing control freaks actually believe their own propaganda

    • Bill 7.1

      Pretty safe bet there Andy. 🙂

      What age you think people live to again?

      FYI. somewhere between 3m and 6m is already reckoned to be locked in… if comparisons between current conditions and those of the paleontological record are valid. They may not be though. Taking O18 isotopes as a proxy measure for ancient CO2 levels is, it seems, problematic.

      So, the 3m to 6m may well be a huge under estimate of what’s going to result from the current conditions we’ve created.

    • Stuart Mathieson 7.2

      So it’s the control us it? The need for regulation? Too socialistic? 😂

  8. Stuart Mathieson 8

    Exactly the same rubbish on the Carolina coast USA where houses have been falling into the ocean for 20 years. All for property sales and developers.

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