Undemocratic climate change underway: listening to whom you wish to – only

The National Government has decided to kneecap the ETS and it doesn’t really want to hear the views of people who disagree.

Were it otherwise, it would have given more than two weeks for people to make a submission – the way you’re expected to, with New Zealand draft legislation.

Last week, the Government introduced its Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Bill.  It has major implications for New Zealand.

That happened on Monday evening.  On Tuesday it was tabled, Wednesday was a members’ day, and on Thursday it had its first reading.  That is fast!  In fact, it’s the earliest it could have been debated within the rules of Parliament.

With the Bill scraping through by six votes, the Government is now keeping a lid on dissent by truncating the period in which people can get their submissions ready.

Submissions opened last Friday and will close in two weeks (10 September). The select committee must then finish its consideration and report back by 17 October – an extraordinarily short time-period for a bill of this magnitude.  In short-circuiting the process, the Government knows no shame.

It’s not the first time this has happened.  Just since the last election, it has rammed through welfare ‘reforms’ in the Social Security (Youth Support and Work Focus) Amendment Bill, major and complex changes in the Dairy Industry Restructuring Amendment Bill,  and another bill that needed proper consideration; Prisoners’ and Victims’ Claims (2012 Expiry and Application Dates) Amendment Bill.

Rather than taking proper care and consideration on bills that are complex and on which views are divided the National Government wants to rush them through to avoid having a proper debate. It’s clear it has no intention of actually listening to views – and heaven forbid – actually making any changes.

The Minister, Tim Groser, defended the short time-period on the grounds that the Government had listened to stakeholders during an extensive pre-drafting period. He knows very well, yet it required me to point it out in the House, speaking to a point of order, that submissions pre-drafting  and submissions in select committee are entirely different functions. And with the former, the Government listens to whom it wants to listen to.  In the committee, anyone can submit.  And that is the point – of course.

The Bill will weaken an already weak ETS to the point of irrelevance – deferring agriculture indefinitely, deferring a rise in the price cap, deferring a one-for-one surrender obligation, making it easier for foresters to switch to dairying, and enabling importers to increasingly use dangerous synthetic gases.

Let’s not let the Government get away with this one. Make a submission, ask to appear before the committee, have your say – it’s your democratic right.

4 Comments Posted

  1. I have submitted my piece. I can’t go, but I wrote.

    With luck someone might even read it… though I doubt seriously that it will do any good at all. The clear intention of this government is to neither hear nor heed dissent.


  2. If there were an actual PRICE on CO2 emissions we might have a leg to stand on.

    As things are, we’re completely gutless. NO credibility internationally and we cannot complain to the Chinese or the Americans about their lack of action OR impose tariffs on their goods for failing to act.

    I am taking this point as meaning that our contribution is small, therefore we can/should do nothing at all.

    It is a waste of money? No…

    There is also increasing awareness now that 3-sigma droughts have hit most of the major grain producers on the planet… at the same time. If we actually HAD a tax, not an eviscerated pretence, we could ask the Chinese to join with us in pressuring the USA. We could ask the Aussies to join us… etc.

    It would not take many nations to make the US uncomfortable. Nor would this be related to the UN at all. Regional efforts could likely do the trick.


    The problem with “The tragedy of the commons” is that no individual can address it. It takes agreement between enough individuals to force the issue on the rest, and the operative word here is force. The process MUST affect the “rights” of individuals/nations to damage the commons.

    It must put a price on the destruction of the commons.

    RWNJ ignoranti have repeatedly blocked efforts to do this through the UN (“it encroaches on our sovereignty”). By doing so they implicitly require each of us to do it for ourselves. This has not ever worked in human history but leaving that point… the same mob of idiotic jerks asserts that since we can’t do it ALL ourselves it shouldn’t be done at all.

    Sorry. It isn’t “optional”. We WILL reduce CO2 emissions or Mother Nature will grind our civilization into dust.


    I pointed out a decade ago, that drought and flood would hit us first.

    As for “what we pay for the ETS” , my previous submission on this topic called the government criminal for arranging public subsidy of the credits that major emitters needed for BAU. That subsidy of big business is the thrice damned “cost” and it is an act of TREASON by this government to keep it in place.

    I also predicted that this “cost” would be used as an excuse to try to abandon the entire exercise within 3 to 5 years.

    My contempt for this government and for the RWNJ ignoranti who support it is without bounds at this point. TPP, asset sales, support of children “dopey” and on and on and on…

    FTWAFS… all of them… with the same fork.

  3. Undemocratic? Make up your mind. The other day you were supporting all Nations surrendering their sovereignty to a UN based committee
    Please tell me how much the 900 million odd we pay for the ETS has actually reduced the temperature by?
    Its a waste of money which could be put to better use in NZ to reduce actual pollution in our air and waterways. Or give to the Chinese for Fracking for Shale gas.

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