“As predictable as a Tui billboard ad…..” Mr Groser’s characterisation of his climate change policy

The 18th UN annual climate change conference commenced on Monday.  I’ll be attending the 2nd week, and will blog from there about its dynamics and outcome.

Meanwhile the Key Government, with breath-taking timing, has taken two decisions in the run-up to Doha, both resulting, intentionally or otherwise, in seriously weakening New Zealand’s climate change credentials internationally.

Two weeks ago it pushed through its amendment bill, deferring almost every provision that might produce some behavioural change in reducing emissions.  And days later, it rejected a second commitment for legally-binding cuts under the Kyoto Protocol.

Increasingly on sensitive policy issues, this Government makes strategically-timed, short and terse announcements, truncates the parliamentary process, and hunkers down to weather the inevitable criticism.

A blithe form of arrogance, characteristic of a government under strain.

Among other negative consequences, the gutted ETS promises to wreak special havoc on the forest sector – check the recent NZ Farmers Weekly.  So I asked the Minister about this in the House.

Mr Groser acknowledged he had not received any formal advice on specific projections for the forestry sector, since it “is impossible to quantify at this moment”.  This is an odd remark for a cabinet minister, since both the ETS advisory panel (2011 report, p. 22) and the Ministry for Environment (annual report 2012, p. 10) have published New Zealand’s projected net emissions curve three to four decades out which necessarily factors in our forestry sink.

So this Government, in the knowledge that net emissions are projected to increase over the next four decades, has further weakened the ETS without calling for an analysis of the net effect on emissions, and particularly on forestry as the chief sink (and temporary ‘saviour’ of New Zealand’s carbon accounting).

A blithe form of arrogance, characteristic of a government under strain.

Is he concerned by reports that foresters are no longer planting trees? The Minister reports, dead-pan, that 3000 hectares were deforested in the past year.  No concern expressed. We do not deal in emotion here.  The bottom has fallen out of the international price, not the ETS, whose ‘structure remains fully in place’.

This is akin to the captain of the Titanic explaining to those around that the reason the ship is sinking is because its hull has fallen away.  Yes, Minister.

Does Mr Groser have any kind of plan on how to get to its own (conditional) target of 15% off our 1990 level?  Plan?  Plan? The plan is to stick with the ETS, which the Government has decided ‘not to accelerate at this point in time’.

Is the Government concerned that New Zealand received two ‘fossil awards’ on Day 1 of the UN conference in Doha?

Hah! “We receive these Fossil awards at every single ministerial conference.  It is about as predictable as the punch-line to a Tui billboard ad.”

A blithe form of arrogance, characteristic of a government under strain

Postscript:  On Monday at the UN conference, Pacific island countries described New Zealand’s decision against a 2nd Kyoto commitment as one of the obstacles to the conclusion of a global agreement on climate change.  

40 thoughts on ““As predictable as a Tui billboard ad…..” Mr Groser’s characterisation of his climate change policy

  1. Maybe next time Mr. Key is ‘swanning’ around the world, promoting Aotearoa/NZ (at our expense) he should consider a new slogan : “100% Pure B-S & a Clean, Green Dream” Shame on this Govt. for joining the ranks of climate change deniers & those who obviously just don’t care whether man-made emissions are effecting the climate, as long as they are getting rich as a result ! “Frack them all”

    Kia-ora

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 8 (+4)

  2. No nation will succeed without facing challenges that is in front of it. No child will be delivered without the mother experiencing some pains, but when the child see the light of the world, his mother easily forget the pains. We must face our challenges in order to lead the world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2 (+7)

  3. We have a government comprised of a treasonous Prime Minister whose allegiance is to the banking sector he came from, not to the country he is misgoverning, an ignorant Finance Minister whose comprehension of money and its relationship to everything else, is as defective as the Prime Minister’s loyalty and a group of uncivilized barbarians servicing the owners (both foreign and domestic) of the country at the expense of every person who actually works for a living IN this country.

    Expecting honesty from this government is less productive than expecting blood from a stone. They have their agenda and they WILL stick with it until they are booted, and they will destroy the country, AND the planet if they can… for the money.

    There is little I can add. You’ve said it all. They are too broke (morally bankrupt) to pay attention.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 7 (+7)

  4. They have their agenda and they WILL stick with it until they are booted

    You are aware they’re here until 2020…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1 (+3)

  5. http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/

    Noting that the IEA expects us to hit +3.6 C now, and the estimates of other organizations are HIGHER.

    There isn’t any good news anywhere to be seen. Except that Key is young enough that he may still be around to be prosecuted for treason when Mother Nature proves less easy to fool than the voters of New Zealand.

    As for 2020, I would not be so confident of it. If the Arctic keeps going, and the weather keeps getting weirder, the wingnuts are going to find it harder and harder to distract people from the truth. We aren’t Labour… we’re Greens… and we side with Mother Nature, and as a result we eventually WILL win.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4 (+6)

  6. A country gets the leader it deserves…….and elects and in my opinion John Key was always a bad choice. A banker turned politician, he, like many Kiwis, is ruled by the dollar and has scant regard for the environment, global or otherwise.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3 (+3)

  7. we side with Mother Nature, and as a result we eventually WILL win.

    Well, nature bats last and so will “win” – nature is always there. Whether the Greens will be happy with the results of nature’s actions is another matter.

    There isn’t any good news anywhere to be seen.

    Absolutely right. If the weather is getting wild at 0.8C now, what will even 1C look like, never mind 3.6C? 2C is a largely political target informed by climate science as it was a decade ago. Things have moved on and 1C is looking more like what 2C looked like then but the politicians don’t move their targets because 1C is definitely baked in and 2C looks just about baked in but they can still think there is a chance of keeping within that (but only a chance).

    Kevin Anderson’s recent talk is well worth a watch.

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  8. BJ

    and we side with Mother Nature, and as a result we eventually WILL win.

    What will “we” win? Who are included in the “we”?

    Any prices for guessing what the “win” entails?

    ;-)

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  9. The win is, because we are a political party, largely political. It involves having the political power to unseat and unsettle the all too comfortable idiots and traitors who currently wield it, and possibly even to bring them to the dock for their actions and inactions as futile as such a gesture seems to me… The public will by then be quite wroth with their former darlings.

    Fickle foolish public.

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  10. Fickle foolish public.

    “Why wont they see the light” the Greens must be asking themselves.

    Democracy is such a burden to the those who don’t get picked to be winners.

    Maybe taking away the ability of the populace to vote for those “idiots and traitors” is an Greens objective?

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  11. Didn’t say that Gerrit, and you KNOW you are wrong to be going there.

    What I said was that “we side with Mother Nature”.

    in other words We side with reality.

    … and the obvious meaning is that the public will suffer enough of the delusional lies of denialists that it will vote intelligently. “Bringing the traitors to the dock” is something that some will demand. Others, knowing the mob’s methods, will want to simply have them executed.

    useless

    Your insinuation is, given our efforts on the part of MMP and actual democracy in NZ, quite insulting as well as being wrong. Not like you at all.

    Are you sure you’re you?

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  12. bjchip Posted November 29, 2012 at 7:11 AM

    “we side with Mother Nature”.

    Sorry, but I havn’t seen much evidence of this BJ.

    It is natural for parents to chastise their children, but the Greens promoted making this illegal
    It is natural to have Darwinian culling of the human herd, but the Greens promote significant support of the can’t sby the cans.

    Two examples are enough I think. What the Green Party (not the people who support environmental nutrality but those who finance and support the plotical party) prove time and time again is that nature is not what they side with, but rather constant appeals, through bread and circuses, to the masses to vote for them and let their approach to socialism ensure that more tax-payers cross the waters to other lands which, while not so pure, do at least reward toil.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6 (-5)

  13. dave, first you confuse the natural environment upon which life on the planet depends with behaviour of life on the planet. Then second you use the fact that the Green party is a political party rather than just an environment lobby group to call into question their “purity” on the latter.

    The irony is that while many voters criticise the economic cost of Green Party pro environemnt stance, your problem with the party is not really the fact that it has a wider policy platform than just the environment it’s that it has a concern for the whole of (underclass included) in society.

    That is in fact the point – there is a philosophic link between being on the side of the “whole” and looking at the economy in wider connection to the environment and society.

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  14. SPC
    Sorry mate, you’re totally off base there!

    “Mother Nature” must embrace the behaviour of all flora and fauna (including homo sapiens,) as well as the inanimate (soil, rock, gasses, etc., ) for there to be any claim to understanding her (of Gaia, or whatever label you chose to use for what is ‘natural’ on this planet. If you don’t, then I’m afraid your views on it do not interest me at all.
    THere is also the fact that, as either a political party or a political party, if you chose to establish a platform based on “Mother Nature” (as BJ did,) and at the same time refuse to acknowledge the entirity of that concept you are being as disingenuous as any other group that has hypocracy within the core premis of its existance.

    If you “side with Mother Nature” you must side with ALL of her, including the cycle of life, the natural environment, evolution and survival of the fittest, erlse you are just another bunch of hypocrits – a label you are all too ready to put on other points of view.

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  15. dave, how do you explain the fact that the politicians who demonstrate policies most in accord with survival of the fittest (being anti-“socialist”)do not care much about protecting the environment?

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  16. SPC
    I don’t, I’m not an appologist for anyone other than myself.

    If you go back to my comment:-

    dave stringer Posted November 29, 2012 at 1:29 PM
    bjchip Posted November 29, 2012 at 7:11 AM
    “we side with Mother Nature”.

    Sorry, but I havn’t seen much evidence of this BJ.

    I am not comparing BJ’s statement to that of any other party or person, just reflecting on his comment. I don’t feel the need to explain what others do or don’t do, though I reserve the right to comment on their actions if they either post them in a public forum or are paid from the public purse. I assume (yes ass/u/me,) you prefer to do something different.

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  17. dave, is the question too pertinent for you (given your National Party background)?

    Your comment on bj chip’s post was a device to attack the Green Party – and you think that debate should not go off message by discussing that criticism in the context of the consistency of the positions of other parties (that might not be flattering to them).

    You do realise that the topic here is the National government’s position …?

    “It is natural for parents to chastise their children, but the Greens promoted making this illegal It is natural to have Darwinian culling of the human herd, but the Greens promote significant support of the can’t sby the cans.Two examples are enough I think. What the Green Party (not the people who support environmental nutrality but those who finance and support the plotical party) prove time and time again is that nature is not what they side with, but rather constant appeals, through bread and circuses, to the masses to vote for them and let their approach to socialism ensure that more tax-payers cross the waters to other lands which, while not so pure, do at least reward toil.”

    You mean that you will vote for a party that rewards some with more and thus
    would leave others in greater poverty, than one that protects our environment better.

    Or is that an assumption on my part?

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  18. “let their approach to socialism ensure that more tax-payers cross the waters to other lands which, while not so pure, do at least reward toil”.

    Interesting. Is that why all the Kiwi’s are going to Oz, The Indians Filipinos and Russians coming to NZ etc etc.

    It seems to me that most people are trying to move from countries that have less social welfare, union power and socially provided infrastructure to those that have more.

    The opposite of your claim.
    Don’t see many wanting to move to less socialist countries.

    And Australia, one of the worlds most socialist countries, with the strongest Unions left in the western world, rewards honest toil infinitely more than “free market” Philippines, modern Russia, or even the USA.

    Don’t see many of our overpaid managers wanting to move to tax free Somalia.

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  19. I know a few recent migrants.
    New Zealand’s stability, cheap high standard, education, effective health services, lack of people living in cardboard boxes on the streets, and high union influenced wages are the big draw cards.

    Other than the draw card of getting residency to get to Australia which has more of the same, AND higher taxes.

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  20. The fact is right wing “free market” low tax paradises are not functional.

    They only exist as repressive dictatorships with collapsing economies.

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  21. SPC
    your statement that

    Your comment on bj chip’s post was a device to attack the Green Party

    is incorrect, in that it was not a “device” of any kind, it was an up-front criticism.

    However, your comment

    given your National Party background

    is worse than incorrect, as it truly makes as ASS of U and, (by insinuation) ME!
    No matter how hard you may search, you will never find any evidence that I am, or ever have been, a member of the National Party. Indeed, the ONLY germain fact that you might find is that way back when Harold Wilson was Prime Minister of England I lived in his constituency and was a member of his party by dint of paying a membership fee.

    As for your comment

    You means (sic) that you will vote for a party that rewards some with more and thus
    would leave others in greater poverty, than one that protects our environment better

    is also a gross assumption, in that you believe they are the only choices I have. Voting for a party that rewards “toil” (work, labour, grind, hardwork, high-effort, etc.,) does not show a preference (I presume you meant to include the word “rather” at the beginning of the second clause of the quoted sentence,) over better protection of the environment. Rather it suggests that, in a three year cycle, it is more likely that people who are well rewarded for their ‘toil’ will be better inclined to do “the right thing” for the environment than those who labour for poor reward.

    As has been pointed out to me on several occasions by environmentalists, it is easier to do the right thing when you can afford it than when you’re broke – that’s why countries with high standards of living (e.g. Germany) are able to have recycling programmes far in advance of places like New Zealand.

    For my views on recycling, you might see my post on another thread, that talks about recyleable glass bottles for things like milk, soft drinks, etc., than the ‘made from oil’ plastic bottles that have become de-rigour in our pleasant land. But then again, we didn;t have the green thing back when I was a lad!

    In summary, PLEASE stop assuming what I mean and read the words I write. As a jurist of my acquaintance likes to say, the meaning is within the four corners of the paragraph, not hidden somewhere in the writer’s mind, otherwise why would they say it?”

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  22. Oh dear Kerry. Just look at how many have tried to leave The Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in recent times. If you don’t like that example, look to the masses trying to find domicile anywhere outside of Greece, where socialist values and social welfare have led to bankruptcy and civil disillusionment.

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  23. So I guess this is the other John Stringer I confused you with – the one who posts on kiwiblog with the same lower case name and has this site calling themself a 25 year member of the National Party and candidate in 1999 and worker for the Conservative Party in the UK?

    http://conzervative.wordpress.com/about/

    So the anti-socialism comes from no favour for the right wing politically?

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  24. promote significant support of the can’t sby the cans.

    Y’know it took me WAY too long to work out what sby meant and where the cans were tied to the bumper.

    Someone at the bottom can work hard and still never get above water. Luck has a lot to do with it… though not working is a pretty certain path to the bottom, and talent/ability at the things the techno-society values is important too.

    The thing about a society Dave, is that it is built out of people.

    First Questions:

    Is social darwinism is an appropriate answer… ever?

    Is a diverse social fabric more flexible than one built on Asperger’s syndrome and capitalist competition?

    What do we mean by “civilized”?

    … and I think you can see where I am going with this. I do NOT want a society of clones of myself. Too much gets left out. I do not want a society made up of clones of Tana Umaga either… too much gets left out. Clones of… no I won’t go there either… though I would enjoy it, it wouldn’t be all that healthy ;-)

    The confusion here is that we developed and created our social structures to enhance our survival as individuals. That IS a darwinian development. What you may wish to argue is that we’ve overdone it, but the selection you appear to advocate isn’t natural either… it can no longer BE natural. It is economic within the context of a very distored economic system. I might allow your argument some validity IF we had an undistorted monetary system and something like an economic science to back up the current mess… but those things just ain’t so. The markets are so broken that it isn’t even a matter of a bad joke… yet you are effectively handing them the power of life and death.

    Greens are fighting THAT and you call it socialism and evil… and yet the GINI keeps going up because we have a debt based currency and a free market system and those two together will ALWAYS force greater inequality even among near equals, until it becomes total and unless there is a strong progressive tax system in place.

    Which we ain’t hardly got.

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  25. dave, you wrote that “that more tax-payers cross the waters to other lands which, while not so pure, do at least reward toil.”

    I don’t think it an assumption to conclude from that a preference for greater emphasis on reward for toil here than care for environment as your preferred policy mix. After all, if these other lands are wealthier they can afford better environment standards than us can they not? If they are not so pure they have chosen not to do so.

    I just don’t see any difference between the opinions you express on this issue than those of the National Party.

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  26. It is natural for parents to chastise their children, but the Greens promoted making this illegal

    You should realize that:

    A. That wasn’t the Green PARTY that made that an issue, it was a private members bill.

    B. That bill very nearly fractured the party. If you go back to when it happened you’ll find that I argued very hard for a more explicit and less intrusive law to accomplish the legitimate purpose. ( Remember what I said about professional evaders of responsibility? NZ Parliament’s drafting of legislation in general leaves an awful lot of power in the hands of police officer’s on the scene, judges, commissions, anyone but parliament… rather than spelling out what is and isn’t against the law… and I am not describing “just this law” now. )

    C. That bill still pisses ME off because it is still used against US even though it was voted in by ever party in parliament… exactly as I predicted it would be. It wasn’t even OURS.

    So I am still pissed off. But I am also still a Green. Noplace else to go because no other party recognizes the actual problems or has the long term view that is required to get sustainability in anything… and because I agree in principle with *almost* everything the party actually does try to do.

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  27. Funny how people keep mentioning Greece. An example of where workers worked longer hours for less money than most of Europe and tax dodging by the rich was a national sport. Didn’t that have more to do with their problems than their social welfare which was a lot less generous than Sweden, Norway, France and Germany. And, A legacy of decades of right wing dictatorship.

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  28. BJ
    FIRST I MUST APOLOGISE

    Y’know it took me WAY too long to work out what sby meant and where the cans were tied to the bumper.

    Shows you what hell a space can cause! Truly sorry am I that such pain were you put to.

    Now,

    Is social darwinism is an appropriate answer… ever?

    Absolutely NOT, nor did I ever (I hope) suggest it was. My comment was that survival of the fittest is “natural” throughout all of nature, therefore it is a part of the Mother.

    Is a diverse social fabric more flexible than one built on Asperger’s syndrome and capitalist competition?

    Hmm, two very different attributes, which are not, I think, mutually requisit. I believe competition is good, calling it capitalist is a little bit of a S T R E T C H in my view, as I have always, and to a degree successfully, encouraged my children and grandchildren to compete, in both sports and academic prowess, but I don’t believe any of them (8 all under 8) should be labelled as a capitalist, they have yet to cast their minds to such human perversities as politicsI!

    However, I do believe in the need for a diverse, flexible, social fabric; I also believe that everyone should play their part in contributing to that society, and, let’s be honest here, there are far too many like … …. …… … …. who believe living on others and contributing nothing should be an acceptable life-style choice.

    What do we mean by “civilized”?

    Therein the 64cent question! If we are to believe a dictionary (OED) it refers to it as “the stage of human social development and organization which is considered most advanced. Using that as a definition doesn’t do us much good, yet it is the authoritative definition. “http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/civilization?q=civilisation”

    The markets are so broken that it isn’t even a matter of a bad joke… yet you are effectively handing them the power of life and death.

    I am now as befuddled as you were earlier! I give the markets no more credence than someone trying to sell me London Bridge in the belief I’d mistake it for Tower Bridge. :-)
    To believe in survival of the fittest, and a contributory society, is not to give the markets and power at all – since the end of the gold standard I have viewed fiat money as just another useless form of specie. However, we live in a system that I have tried for over 60 years to make adjustments too, and failed, so I’m passing that baton on to the next generation, in the certain belief that they, like us, will make it worse before they make it better.

    The markets are so broken that it isn’t even a matter of a bad joke… yet you are effectively handing them the power of life and death…….
    Greens are fighting THAT and you call it socialism and evil…

    If I have put together the correct “THAT” and subsequent statement that refers thereto, then I regret that The Green Party is not doing a good job of explaining its position, and should spend some time working on their message, rather than allowing glib advertising twaddle (such as “a step” with a footprint as an art exhibit) to appeal to the lowest common education point (Year 8 failed perhaps?)

    FINALLY – FOR KERRY, the following graph
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3d/Tax-Revenues-As-GDP-Percentage-%2875-05%29.JPG

    Heaven forbid I should live in a country where the government takes circa 50% of GDP as taxes, that’s why they have zero net immigration I surmise!

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  29. OK… I think we’re at cross purposes here, as there isn’t a problem in the Green Party with the notion that evolutionary pressure is real… or even that it should be.

    Most of us understand that “stupid people shouldn’t breed”, but there is no willingness to have the state decide who should or shouldn’t breed, AND no willingness to let the success or failure of people in this economy determine that either.

    Maybe that’s clearer?

    The problem I have is that there seems no definition of how the “can’s” and the “can’ts” get sorted into their respective groupings except the application of the economic judgement imposed by the market economy and its willingness to pay for our various skills, talents and good fortune of having wealthy parents. Can and can’t do what?

    In the absence of any other definition, that’s the one that seems to apply, so I used it. I suspected that it is not exactly what you meant or wanted to imply, but it was all I was left with.

    Nature is cruel enough, and we have civilization to soften the blows. Do we go too far? Perhaps. Devolution may be a reality already or the people who adapt well to the disjoint environment of computer games, texting and keyboard relationships may be the next evolutionary step.

    What sort of society are they capable of managing, when they text each other while walking together on the street, and how will they cope when google goes off-line? There are some things I do not speculate too hard on :-)

    Yet while I understand the desire to alter the current equation, there is no measure available that I can accept.

    Green party explanations of policy are generally clear enough. Other people’s explanations of Green policy tend to be very much less clear. Wingnuts simply lying is a serious problem… though it is also clear that some of our reps are better at keeping clear of hoof-in-mouth than others.

    Russell Norman’s proposal about us funding our own Christchurch rebuild without bothering to borrow from bankers… the lies and stupidity promoted around that were savage, and it is clear where they come from.

    As for your “Heaven Forbid” comment I might note that there is a cute little philosophical question one can ask about “fairness” of a country’s society… and it goes like this: Imagine you are a soul waiting to be born. You have the ability to choose which COUNTRY you are born into but cannot choose any other advantage or disadvantage. If you opt for the USA you may wind up well off or poor, ugly, short and stupid. Same deal in Sweden, or Russia, or India or here. Now choose.

    The societies with the GINI between 25 and 30 are among the most well thought of on the planet. Sweden has some climate issues… like a really really long grey winter. SADD is a real problem for them.

    Yet –

    http://blogs.transparent.com/swedish/sweden-the-third-best-country-to-live-in/

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/sweden/net-migration-wb-data.html

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  30. Gorra go and be human for a few hours. But I couldn’t go without saying “I pick Sri Lanka” if you need more on my reasons let me know and I’ll enumerate them :-)

    Happy Daze and a very goodnight all.

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  31. I know a couple of Sri Lankan immigrants also.
    Here because they consider New Zealand more socially advanced.
    An ongoing civil war had a bearing on their decision to leave also.

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  32. Actuaaaally! back to climate change.

    From an environmental point of view it is the richer people who should not be allowed to breed.

    Our 4 wheel drives, plane trips to Europe, gin palace power boats and 300 sq m houses use up many times the environmental and societal resources than poorer People do..

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  33. Well, I’d be a BIT curious about selecting that rather vulnerable bit of real-estate with its fractious possibly genocidal inhabitants and given that Arthur C.Clarke doesn’t live there any more. Remember you may be at the top OR the bottom of that society.

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  34. Kerry

    I’d still give the nod to stupidity. The wealthy do consume more, but I would rather have the masses smart enough to figure out how they are being lied to. The inequity would not last very long at all.

    Just my opinion

    :-)

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  35. Kerry said

    I know a couple of Sri Lankan immigrants also.
    Here because they consider New Zealand more socially advanced.
    An ongoing civil war had a bearing on their decision to leave also.

    I know A LOT of Sri Lankan immigrants here, and they fit into, essentially, three groups.

    The smallest is comprised of people who have met and married Kiwis. ‘Nuff said about them.

    The largest is comprised mainly of professionals (and primarily Doctors) most of whom had had enough of Social Republicanism, that saw more corruption by politicians than you can shake a stick at, (the current President’s wealthis estimated today in the Billion – ish US dollars, prior to being elected he lived on money remitted by his brother (now a Senior Minister) who worked as a stacker in a USA supermarket.

    The final group is the “refugees’ who came from other countries (often the middle east,) are of Tamil extraction and wanted nothing to do with having their money extorted so the LTTE could pursue its was against sanity. MAny of this group are rich, having made their money working as migrant workers in places like Kuwait, have buried their money in overseas banks and live for years (in some cases decades) on New ZEaland’s Social welfare. (One family I know have half a million NZ$ in the bank and are looking to bring it here to buy a house, they have been on welfare for over 18 years and live in a state house in one of the better suburbs, their children, who own houses that they rent out, also live with them despite being in their 20s.)

    SO, why would I have chosen Sri Lanka, despite not knowing if I would end up a tea plucker or merchant Prince? Simple, the people there are, in the main, happy. There is no welfare system, families constitute any source of welfare that you might experience. There is no PAYE, most transactions are in cash and not recorded for tax so mports are the main source of tax, with things like cars carrying a ‘duty’ of 200% of their value as appraised by the customs officer. (bribable of course). There is no tax if you want to bring in a racing car (the President’s son like to race cars,) and of course, you can only bring into the country a car that is less than 2 years old, as a consequence, most cars (busses, trucks, tractors, etc.,) there are ancient and deliver terrible pollution into the air. Yet despite these issues, the people there are, in the main, happy.

    The average income is low, a master builder charges the outrageous sume of SLR1,000 for a day’s work (there are circa 100 SLRupees to the NZDollar), and lives well, there are, in the main, happy !

    Civilisation is just catching up after over 20 years of civil war. Infrastructure is improving, choice of goods is growing, power generation is a challenge because they have to import fuel, but entertainment is cheap as everyone can read. They have free mandatory education up to age 18, and free tertiary education to the top ‘n’ students (don’t know the number, but I do know they have to qualify to get in). THey have a network of free hospitals, though in the main you need a family member there to look after and feed you as the doctors and nurses are kept for their clinical work. There are oportunities to achieve almost anything you want, I know of a man whose father was a land-grubber, planting tomoatoes and selling them for a living, who is now an incorruptable multi-millionaire who specialises in building infrastructure – he supports about 120 families who have, in some way, either reached an age where they can no longer serve, or who have been disadvantaged by death or injury to their breadwinner – these are locals, I don’t count the ‘pensioners’ from his company in that 120.

    So yes. I would rather take a chance on Sri Lanka as a birthplace than New ZEaland. The choice between potential to achieve and dependancy on entitlement is a simple one for me, even if the former and preferred option refers to itself as a “socialist” state.

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  36. Listening to yesterdays debate, maybe the Minister should request his title be changed to: Minister for Climate Change DENIAL issues !!

    The Key-party are just showing their true colours “ALL hail the mighty Dollar !” & everything else comes somewhere down the list.. environmental concerns, probably near the bottom..

    Kia-ora

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  37. I read that Mr Groser is investigating the possibility of New Zealand being able to sell surplus Kyoto credits after pulling out of the Kyoto agreement.

    Surely he should have investigated this BEFORE announcing New Zealand’s withdrawal?

    Trevor.

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