Dear Craig,

You and your party are about to blow it big time on climate policy. The finance and expenditure select committee that you chair failed to produce a credible consensus measure to address the most transformational economic and environmental challenge the Key Government will ever face … however long it serves. Perhaps we should just accept the irrelevance of your select committee process, since the Maori deal — all that mattered to National — was obviously cut elsewhere.

I invite you to address a public meeting here in Hastings or Havelock North to explain this sorry state of affairs and your role in it. Of course, it would have been preferable if this meeting occurred before National jams half-baked legislation through the Parliament on Thursday. But, we’d still like to be edified … maybe we just don’t understand how no hard emissions cap and rollback represents progress.

You set the date; we’ll pay for the hall and refreshments. Bring that fellow Nick Smith with you.

Be assured, BayBuzz will guarantee you a packed house!


Why this invitation?

Read this: “A costly exercise in hypocrisy”

Or this: “ETS will cost our children”

Or this: “Environment group calls for clarity on use of Conservation land for ETS forest sinks”

The first of these articles, written by Rod Oram, is the most damning, as it uses National Environment Minister Nick Smith’s own words to underscore the folly of National’s rush to ill-considered legislation:

“The importance of getting this legislation right cannot be overstated. [The development of an ETS] represents the most significant economic reform since the deregulation of the economy in the late 1980s. Getting this bill right is also important for the environment. Poor policy can also have unintended adverse environmental consequences.”

Moreover, “the legislative process has been rushed and inadequate given the bill’s complexity and significance. The public has not had adequate time to examine and submit on the bill, and it is inevitable that serious mistakes will be made that will adversely affect New Zealanders”.

Thus, “this process has not been conducive to getting such an important bill right nor in getting the cross-party support needed to ensure the stability and longevity of New Zealand’s ETS”.

Oram continues: “So wrote Smith last year in National’s minority report on Labour’s ETS bill. Yet, now it’s his turn to steer the legislation, his hypocrisy is breath-taking.

He slammed Labour last year for the long-term estimates of the potential cost to the government of its ETS. Yet, now that Treasury has doubled the estimates, thanks to the changes Smith is proposing, he argues that such estimates have no legitimacy because they involve so many unknowns.

The government could call a halt to this damage to itself, parliament, the treaty process, the economy and environment by passing a simple bill to delay the timetable of the current ETS. After Copenhagen, we could take more time to get this right.”


Tom Belford

Join the Conversation


  1. Lower Troposphere Global Temperature records show there is no, NONE, NIL, increases due to Man Made CO2 yet, even the Listener, has jumped on the Bandwagon – Last Chance to Save Humanity – give me a break!!

    Truly "The Asylum is being run by The Idiots".

    There is no justification for a ETS. Just as the "Ice Age" alarmism of the 1970s has passed, so too will the heating alarmism of today regardless of how many trees the Maori get to plant. Climate will vary and has done for Eons. Yes we need to stop fouling our nest but that is a whole nuther story.

  2. The wheels are starting to fall off the Key Government and your challenge to Craig Foss to front up on the Emissions fiasco is timely and your arguments compelling.

    The deal with the Maori Party is shameful and brings politics in this country to "gutter" level.


    At this time, Copenhagen notwithstanding, there is no urgent need for NZ to finalise our position. Anyone with half a brain should be able to see that!!! What we do means "diddly squat."That is not to say that we should not be responsible in our own lives to do our bit to restrict our carbon emissions and other pollution.

    Surely, the best thing for New Zealnd at this time would be for us to call a halt on the current lunacy and keep away from Copenhagen until we can present a credible strategy that is soundly based and is of substance.AND DOESNT PENALISE THE MAJORITY OF TAXPAYERS, THE MAJORITY OF WHOM DONT CONTRIBUTE TO THE MAJORITY OF CARBON EMISSIONS!!!!!

    If our government doesnt realise and soon, the seriousness of the problems our beautiful country faces and acts decisively and wisely to rectify them we are going to be in TROUBLE.

    The time is now for all New Zealanders to wake up and speak out and demand a much stronger performance from all politicians not only nationally but locally.

  3. ■Collin Blackman – You sound like the official ACT party line. OF course the climate has changed before – but the figures now are well outside of the parameters of anything that has gone before. The mounting physical evidence cannot be written off by people with their heads in the sand.

    But if you are wrong -then we all die

    If 'we' are wrong -we just saved a shitload of energy costs.

  4. Get real! There’s no way MP Craig Foss would waste his time bothering about, a few whinging , “lunatic fringe” individuals, that would find it imposible to fill a telephone box!

  5. Hmmm, Craig Foss to front a public meeting?

    It would be great if he does and as you say Tom, bring along that Nick Smith fellow, but given the high level of arrogance already displayed by the Key Government within its first year, I would hazard a guess that your appeal will be resolutely ignored!

    If John (I'm relaxed about it) Key is happy to allow 'Hone' and his Party get away with refering to Pakeha as "white motherf…..s", then I can hardly see them taking any notice of our concerns with climate change and the ETS….

    ….besides that which benefits rich Iwi corporates surely benefits poor Maori, YEAH RIGHT!

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