Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary uncertainty

The previous National Government proposed a massive ocean sanctuary in the Kermadec area to the north of New Zealand.

This hit problems largely due to a lack of decent consultation with Maori interests.

The Green Party was caught between it’s enthusiasm for the Kermadec sanctuary – they had been pushing for one – and proper process on Maori issues.

National’s Nick Smith has raised the Kermadec issue again from Opposition – Smith denies his Kermadec bill a coalition wedge:

The National party has put forward its own legislation to create the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, a move which could drive a wedge between parties in the coalition government.

Nelson MP Nick Smith has lodged a member’s bill to ban all mining and fishing over 620,000km/sq around the Kermadec Islands.

The Greens have previously proposed such a sanctuary, but New Zealand First opposes it and any plans have been put on hold until a solution can be found.

Dr Smith said he rejected suggestions he was stirring trouble.

“It’s gotta be bigger than simply party political gains.

“We gave it our best shot in government. To get there you need perseverance, you need to keep trying. This is National continuing to want to do the right thing for improving protection of New Zealand’s ocean area.”

A follow up from RNZ: Green Party ‘yet to consider’ Kermadec bill

The Green Party has cast doubt on suggestions it can be relied on to support National’s bill to create the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary.

Dr Smith said he was confident the proposed law would have the support to pass, with National’s 56 votes and the Green Party’s eight.

“The Greens have indicated to me their support for any bill that would put the sanctuary in place,” he said.

But a Green Party spokesperson said its MPs had yet to consider how they would vote on Dr Smith’s bill.

The spokesperson said the party’s priority was for the government to progress the scheme, as noted in its confidence and supply deal with Labour.

That agreement included a commitment to “use best endeavours and work alongside Māori” to establish the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary.

That could prove difficult though.

New Zealand First has previously objected to the plan, saying it curtailed Māori fishing rights.

And the government has put any legislation on hold until a resolution can be found that is satisfactory to all parties.

The chances of the Member’s Bill being drawn from the ballot are normally slim. There are usually three drawn out of around sixty bills.

But it could be different this term with National dominating Opposition. If they limit the number of bills submitted they will increase the odds of preferred bills being drawn.

Greens confirm CPTPP sideline opposition

The Green Party has confirmed “strong opposition” to the newly renamed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Golriz Ghahraman, who was recently appointed as trade spokesperson, put out a Green Party statement on TPPA

The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand maintains its strong opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

Curiously the Greens (this statement looks certain to have been written for Ghahraman by the party) are not referring to the new name, CPTPP.

“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman.

Our democracy is no more at risk than it was last week, last month or last year.

Continued anti-corporation rhetoric makes greens sound anti-business. Greens give the impression that they are only prepared to deal with perfect socialist countries.

“We support fair trade that brings real benefit to all New Zealanders – not trade deals that put our rights and our Government’s ability to legislate to protect our people and our environment at risk.

“ISDS mechanisms are a particular threat to environmental protections, with 85% of ISDS cases being brought by corporations focused on exploiting the environment and natural resources.

I don’t think there has ever been an ISDS case brought against New Zealand. They are seen as very low risk.

“The Green Party will be seeking to introduce new measures that require all trade agreements in the future to be part of the solution to climate change, global and local inequality and the protection of human rights.

Seeking idealistic perfection – the Greens are yet to learn that pragmatism is an essential of being in effective government.

“Standing in opposition to the TPPA does not make a difference to our relationship with Labour. Indeed it is a sign of the strength of that relationship that we can respectfully disagree on an important issue like the TPPA but still get on with the business of government.

This is safe symbolic opposition knowing that National will support Labour in enabling the CPTPP.

“We made it clear to Labour in negotiations that we cannot support the TPPA, and they understand our policy difference.

There is no change in stance from ““We made it clear to Labour in negotiations that we cannot support the TPPA” despite Jacinda Ardern claiming the agreement was now “damned sight better” than it had been before changes made in parallel to the APEC meeting in Vietnam.

“We will continue to use our position in Government to fight for better trade agreements that protect the interests of people and the planet, not just corporations,” said Ms Ghahraman.

Framing the TPP as people versus corporations is simplistic and grossly inaccurate. Trade agreements benefit New Zealand exporters, and some of the largest, like Fonterra, are producer owned cooperatives. There are also many small business exporters (I work for one), and whether large or small exporters employ many New Zealanders.

Sure this shows the Greens sticking to their principles – when it is safe and suits them.

Not supporting Labour on the CPTPP and leaving it to National is MMP in action, but it sets a precedent that could further weaken the Green position on the government sidelines.

Will the Greens just not support the CPTPP, or will they be actively involved in campaigning against it as they have been in the past?

Not voting with Labour is one thing, but campaigning against their major partner in government is a bigger risk.

James Shaw on The Nation

James Shaw didn’t get Greens into a coalition deal as he said he wanted, and that leaves them outside Cabinet rather than ‘at the heart of a new progressive government’, but he is promoting the positives. Greens are in play in Government far more than they have been in the past.

He was interviewed on The Nation this morning.

“Obviously we’ll be talking to each other over the course of the coming days and weeks” says of his contact with Peters.

Shae, Julie Anne Genter, Eugenie Sage and Jan Logie will be the Green minister.

Actually Logie looks likely to be the under-secretary, Greens have three ministers.

“I think it’s a really significant step for us” says of the Greens holding the associate finance position.

Also significant that it looks like NZ First won’t have a Finance role.

Will the cannabis referendum be binding? “We haven’t worked through that yet”.

So a referendum in 3 years may be toothless?

Shaw says we can expect something that would satisfy the Greens on irrigation to be announced next week.

More when the interview and transcript is online.

 

Cannabis referendum could disappoint

One of the policy wins for the Greens is a referendum on personal use of cannabis.

A referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis by 2020. Funding for drug and alcohol addiction services will be increased.

The ‘referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis by 2020’ is both good and bad news.

Cannabis laws and enforcement of them are hopeless, and long overdue for being radically reformed, so it is good to see tangible progress on this.

But I’m really quite disappointed by this.

Why do we need a referendum apart from appeasing NZ First? Polls have consistently shown public support for cannabis law reform.

A referendum in 2020 is likely to mean that legislation wouldn’t go through Parliament until 2021 at the earliest, and if National get back in they are unlikely to put any priority on it. This means any change could be four or five years away.

A simple referendum could be hobbled or watered down by actual legislation if it’s not specific enough.

Perhaps legislation could be done in advance of the referendum so we know what we are voting on. Then the referendum could be to approve of or reject the legislation. But that still means at least a 3 year wait.

I won’t get too annoyed yet, before details are available, but I have some concerns.


Note that this addresses personal use of cannabis as opposed to medicinal use – in Labour’s Taking action in our first 100 days:

  • Introduce legislation to make medicinal cannabis available for people with terminal illnesses or in chronic pain

Ardern has not been specific but has said that most of their ‘first 100 days’ pledges remain intact.


UPDATE – there could be even more disappointment

James Shaw just said in an interview on The Nation that it hasn’t been decided yet whether the referendum will be binding or not.

So it could be in 3 years, and toothless.

 

Greens, farming and “more sustainable land use”

The leak of policies the Greens say were agreed on in governing negotiations will raise a few eyebrows in the farming and export sectors.

1. Climate action

“Significant climate action, with a shift towards a net zero carbon emissions economy by 2050” and the establishing of an independent climate commission. This would include shifting farms to “more sustainable land use” and a focus on transport, energy and primary industries.

New Zealand is supposed to be committed to zero carbon emissions anyway, and it was also Labour policy.

‘Sustainable farming’ is more contentious.

4. Water

Improve water quality and fund “freshwater enhancement”. Government support for irrigation will be wound down.

There has to be continued and increased efforts to reduce water pollution from farming. Somehow this needs to be done without impacting too much on farm incomes, employment and exports.

The farming sector may be concerned, given that Greens have said they want to reduce cow numbers by (I think) 25%. Some reduction is probably sensible, but significant reductions quickly could have a major impact.

During the campaign James Shaw said that a nitrate tax would cost the average dairy farm “no more than 5%” of their profits.

He said the party, if it were in government, would invest in the Sustainable Farming Fund and introduce a fund to support organic farming alongside a new sustainability accreditation scheme.

Mr Shaw said this would be paid for by a nitrate pollution levy on dairy farmers who continue to pollute the soils and water.

He said nitrate pollution was already measured by a modelling system called Overseer.

“The average dairy farm would pay no more than five percent of their pre-tax profits. So that’s the average and it would be no more than that.

That could be significant to struggling cow cockies, especially when it could be in addition to carbon tax for emissions as well as higher costs for irrigation.

What’s really important is that farmers would be able to get that money back by applying to the funds that we’re setting up.”

The Green Party would also place a moratorium on any more farms being converted to dairy, and instead support organic farming.

There have already been moves towards more organic farming methods and this should certainly be encouraged.

However the potential impact on the livelihood of farmers is not a minor matter.

Green policy (not all included in the governing agreement):  Clean water, great farming

The Green Party has a plan to support farmers to move to less polluting, more environmentally sustainable and more profitable ways of farming so that our rivers and lakes are safe to swim in and our drinking water from aquifers is protected.

We will put a levy on nitrate pollution from agriculture, starting with intensive dairying, and use the revenue raised to fund a package of game-changing support measures that farmers can use to reduce their impact on our environment.  We will:

  1. Help farmers move to more sustainable and profitable farming by
  • Extending the Sustainable Farming Fund with an extra $20 million every year.
  • Creating a Transformational Farming Partnership Fund of around $70 million a year.
  • Increasing funding for the Landcare Trust to $16 million over three years.
  • Rewarding tree planting by farmers and landowners.
  • Allowing accelerated depreciation on dairy farm equipment.
  • Support organic farming by introducing national standards, and new funding of $5 million a year.
  1. Implement a levy on nitrate pollution to help protect our rivers, lakes and aquifers, which will raise around $136.5 million in the first year. This will fund the programmes listed above, and an additional $20 million a year for freshwater clean-up projects.
  2. Put a moratorium on new dairy farm conversions.
  3. Wind up Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd and stop providing subsidies for big irrigation projects.
  4. Transition away from Palm Kernel Expeller/Extract (PKE) to alternative feed stocks, from 2018.
  5. Establish a ‘Good Food Aotearoa New Zealand’ national sustainability accreditation scheme for food products, processors and farmers, so those who work with the land, not against it, can prove it to consumers at home and overseas to fetch a higher price and are more attractive to export markets.

“Help farmers move to more sustainable and profitable farming ” – great ideals, but this is vague. I wonder if there has been any real research done on how much more profitable farming will be if it is made more sustainable, how much it will affect farm production, employment and exports.

There is a massive amount dependant on farming in New Zealand, and raising costs and reducing intensification could have a big impact. Do the Greens know how much?

Green portfolios leaked

The secrecy over the negotiation period and the lack of sharing of information between Labour, NZ First and Greens may have been wise, given how leaky the Greens have been since the government was made public.

Soon after the Green delegates were given information so they could rubber stamp their support of a Labour-NZ First coalition information has become available.

Newshub – Leak: Greens’ ministerial roles revealed

Newshub can reveal which roles the Labour MPs won’t be getting, with the following ministerial positions promised in the Greens’ agreement.

Climate change and associate finance are both expected to go to Greens leader James Shaw.

Climate change for Shaw is no surprise, it is his favourite issue.

Associate finance is also something Shaw would have been keen on getting, but it means Labour and Greens cover finance, and no NZ First there – unless there is a Ministry for Winston like he was created Treasurer in 1996.

The Greens will also have the conservation, women and land information portfolios, and associate roles in environment, transport and health.

Again conservation and women are no surprise, but only an associate role in environment is.

I’d have thought Julie Anne Genter would have been a good candidate for Minister of Transport but it looks like it’s an associate role only, if she is chosen by the Greens to be one of their ministers (she should be).

An associate role in health could be a significant one, if it is the role Peter Dunne has been doing. That covers drugs including cannabis and medicinal cannabis. In another leak Greens claim this policy agreement:

A referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis by 2020. Funding for drug and alcohol addiction services will be increased.

At last it looks like the futile mess of our current drug law enforcement will be addressed, or could be subject to a referendum.

UPDATE: Green ministers named

James Shaw has just named the Green ministers.

  • James Shaw
  • Julie Anne Genter
  • Eugenie Sage

It sounds like Jan Logie will fill the” newly created undersecretary role, focused on sexual and domestic violence” role.

Notably Green #2 Marama Davidson is not included, but this isn’t surprising, she is far less experienced than the others.

 

Greens ratify agreement with Labour

Last night Green Party delegates ratified a confidence and supply agreement with Labour, enabling a Labour-NZ First coalition and confirming Jacinda Ardern as next Prime Minister.

Shaw had earlier said he was very confident that the agreement would be ratified at the Special General Meeting held by teleconference.

NZH: Green Party ratifies confidence and supply deal with Labour

Party leader James Shaw told media late tonight that the party delegates voted in favour of the agreement – with about three delegates opposing the agreement.

“The Green Party has decided overwhelmingly to support the confidence and supply arrangement that we negotiated with the Labour Party … We’re all in, and there will now be a new Government led by the Labour Party and by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

“There were about three votes against and about 140-something for … there were a couple of people that had dissenting opinions and for actually quite good reasons, and we had a pretty robust and extensive debate about it, and then we made a decision.”

Shaw before the decision to ratify:

“This is a historic moment for the Green Party and for our movement because, for the first time, we are going to be, probably, in a position to have ministerial control in the areas that are important to us and the areas that we campaigned on.

“We are very excited about this opportunity.”

He said the agreement should be made public in the coming days, and no decision had been made yet about which Green MPs would take portfolio positions.

The arrangement was a “rare and beautiful thing” because all parties would have to agree to pass any legislation.

“We are forced to find what we have in common, rather than what distinguishes us from each other.”

It’s not rare, that’s what has happened in all the last seven governments under MMP.

Shaw put this statement out after the delegates ratified the agreement.

The Green Party is pleased to support a Labour-led Government that will deliver on the Green Party’s goals, following agreement from the Party’s delegates this evening. The Green Party will support the Labour-led Government on confidence and supply.

“We campaigned with Labour to change the Government and that’s what we’ve delivered tonight,” said Green Party co-leader James Shaw.

“I am confident the agreement reached with Labour will deliver the most green change of any Government in New Zealand’s history.

“This is an historic moment for the Greens. We have spent nearly 30 years working towards being part of Government to deliver change for our people and our environment. It’s the first time the Green Party will hold Ministerial positions to deliver real change that benefits our country.

“We plan to make a positive contribution to a Government New Zealanders can be proud of. Our commitment to the country is to provide stable Government while delivering on our priority areas of climate change, water quality, and ensuring a social safety net that treats everyone with dignity.

“Our conservation estate, our oceans, and our native birds will be better protected. Our cities will move faster and their residents will be happier with cleaner transport options and better quality affordable housing.

“The Green Party shares many goals and values with Labour and NZ First. I look forward to working with Jacinda Ardern as Prime Minister and with Winston Peters in a genuine MMP Government.

“We have changed the Government and now we will get on with the job of delivering the change New Zealanders voted for.

“The hard work starts now and the Green Party is rearing to go.”

It is a new era for the Greens. They have agreed to remain outside Cabinet, despite Shaw saying he wanted in Cabinet last week, but this will be the biggest involvement the Greens have had in Government since the party was founded in 1990, and since they first got seats on their own in Parliament in the first MMP election in 1996.

Greens dirty on dealing with the devil

Green MPs and Green party members have made it clear they are dirty on any deal with National. They would rather spend another three years in opposition than do any sort of deal with National. They would rather risk an NZ First dominated agenda than offer an alternative.

Greens are not just dirty on any National deal. Some of them are filthy at the suggestion. They threaten to destroy their party if it attempts to deal with the devil, and they attack and abuse people if they suggest a National-Green government could be worth trying. Some Green activists are amongst the most abusive and least tolerant social media warriors around.

Green supporters are now even claiming that any suggestion of a deal with national is a National plot, some have even claimed finance by National.

Sure there may be some mischief making and stirring things up.

But I think there are many people who genuinely think that it would be at least worth trying a National-Green coalition.

I did a small Twitter poll on 25 September (107 responses):

  • National+NZ First 50%
  • Labour+NZ First+Greens 20%
  • National+Greens 25%
  • National+Labour 5%

In early September Colmar Brunton did a similar poll – “given the choice, would you prefer to see New Zealand First support a Labour or National-led government?”

  • 46% said they would prefer to see New Zealand First support a Labour-led government
  • 33% said they would prefer New Zealand First supported a National-led government
  • 7% spontaneously said they do not want to see New Zealand First in government, or do not wish to see it support either party
  • 14% don’t know which party New Zealand First should support

A representative sample of 1007 eligible voters were surveyed, with interviewing taking place from Saturday 2 September – Wednesday 6 September 2017. The maximum sampling error for the main question is approximately ±3.1%-points at the 95% confidence level.

That was before we knew that it was a choice between National+NZ First or Labour+NZ First+Greens (or potentially but impossibly National+Greens).

There are far more people than a few National activists saying they would be happy with a National+Green alliance.

I think many of those in support are likely to be floating centre-ish voters who would genuinely like Greens to push National into dealing better with environmental issues in particular, but also social issues.

But this is all moot. I don’t think there is any way Green MPs or activists would accept even talking to National over a potential deal.

This leaves the Greens with some risky possible outcomes.

  • If a Labour+NZ First+Green government the Greens are in a weak negotiating position and may end up with little more than whatever policy crumbs they are offered.
  • If a National+NZ First government the Greens are left right out.

Some think that if the Greens worked with National it would suck the life out of the party, if there was any life remaining after mass desertion, but for some reasons they don’t have the same fears of working with Labour-NZ First. A poor deal there may also damage their future prospects.

And it could be near future prospects. If both Labour and National decide that a NZ First coalition is untenable, and Greens continue to refuse to support a National government in any way, then we will have to have another election.

Greens were close to being dumped in the election that we have just had. They may be at even greater risk of missing the threshold cut if we have to go to the polls again.

Sticking to their principles (such as they are) is a high risk strategy for the Greens.

And the displays of abusiveness and lack of tolerance of different political policies and views are not helping save Greens’ support either.

I think that Greens have been flattered by support levels in the 2011 and 2014 elections. This was as much to do with Labour’s unpopularity as it was Green popularity.

In July polls went as high as 14% for the Greens, and dropped as low as 4.3% in August, before recovering to about 6% in the election last week.

This suggests that the core support for the Greens is less than the 5% threshold.

If NZ First and Greens are unable to enable the formation of a government and we have to have another election then they are both at risk of being dumped on by voters.

I was rubbished for pointing this out on Twitter, I was accused of putting blame on the Greens if a government proves impossible to put together. They would be just one of the parties responsible – but the point is that they are the party at greatest risk of missing the threshold.

Green activists seem to hate it even when the unpalatable obvious is pointed out to them.

The Green Party is looking shaky and their core supporters are dirty under pressure. rather than discuss possibilities some of them go as far as resorting to filthy behaviour.

See Time for a Green alternative Eco-Eco party?

Greens fiddling on the fringes while Earth burns

The Green Party remains adamant they won’t consider a governing arrangement with National. This effectively leaves them on the coalition sidelines waiting for whatever crumbs NZ First may allow them and Labour might throw them.

James Shaw keeps saying that the Greens will be at a heart of a progressive  government.

But the way things are looking they will be lucky to be the toenails of  a Labour+NZ First government if that gets over the line. Or the backside, bent over ready to be kicked by Labour and NZ First, again.

Greens have been left gormless and gutless on the sidelines.

There are reports of negotiating teams being assembled, by National, by Labour, by NZ First. No sign of Greens – see Negotiating teams being assembled.

Jacinda Ardern is speaking on RNZ right now and has said Labour will ‘show Greens respect’ in the negotiating process, but there is no actual sign of that meaning anything, it seems as worthless as their Memorandum of Understanding disaster.

Shaw has reiterated a number of times that he campaigning to ‘change the government’ for 18 months and could only support a change of government now, ruling out trying to deal with National.

He doesn’t seem to get that Greens could potentially change a National led government significantly if they played themselves off against NZ First. Many people would be likely to be happy with a National-Green government.

Lance Wiggs: John – the real issue here is results, not dance partners

John Hart has written a series of tweets about why a Blue Green coalition wold not work.

That saddens me. It’s the politics of can’t, or lack of hope. A smart party would be working all sides of a deal to find the bet path forward for their policies.

At stake is the rapid pace of Climate Crisis and of the adoption of electric vehicles, distributed power, batteries and so on. The Green party have been thinking about these issues for a long time and have a series of polices and people that will set our economy and society up to succeed in the times of turmoil ahead. It’s not time ti hiker down for another three years, but time to cut a deal, a good deal, with whatever party is going to be leading the new government.

At the moment the Greens have zero negotiating power – they have ceded it all to Labour by refusing to treat with National, and their members are not helping their own cause by reiterating the same.

But it is clear from Shaw, from Hart and from reactions in social media that many Green supporters abhor the idea of them siding with National.

Some simply see national as an evil enemy that can’t be worked with or it would sully the purity of the Green Party.

Some say Greens will never work with National until National makes significant moves on policies like climate change, water quality and inequality – the small party demands the National mountain moves across the divide to them.

Some fear the destruction of the Greens if they joined National in Government, citing the fate of United Future, ACT and the Maori Party.

This is gutless – not wanting to take risks in order to achieve policy objectives means they are destined to remain in fear on the sidelines.

This fear should also rule out any coalition with Labour as well.

Green options are detailed here: What are the Greens’ options? and includes:

NATIONAL/GREENS COALITION?

  • Would cost significant public support for the Greens, especially after campaigning so hard for change
  • Would get absolutely nowhere with the social-development faction of the party
  • Many Green MPs would struggle working with the National Party
  • As ridiculous as a Red/Blue government (in New Zealand)
  • National would have to make significant policy concessions, and would need to win over 75% of Green members (like me)
  • National would likely make more concessions than Labour would, but Labour has significantly more in common already

However,

  • National certainly does treat it’s coalition partners well. The Māori Party made significant gains despite their alliance with the National Party (until their head fell off the other day)
  • Would shift National to at least be more environmental. Key’s embrace of the Māori Party certainly ended Brashism in the party, and made the party more Māori friendly

But it ain’t going to happen.

United Future, ACT and the Maori Party may have ended up in trouble but while playing a part in government they have all had considerably more policy gains than the Greens.

The Greens seem destined for ongoing impotence.

Fiddling in fear of failure on the fringes while Earth burns.

Green climate policies – Green Fund and Zero emissions

The Greens have announced their main environmental policies that include Zero Carbon Emissions, a Kiwi Climate Fund and a major tree planting project.

Here’s how it’s going to work.

First: we are going to plant one point two billion trees.

We’re going to plant them in the cities. We’re going to plant them in the towns. We’re going to plant them in in the National Parks. We’re going to plant them in the regions.

That’s going to be tens of thousands of jobs. A lot of them will be in the regions. That means lower unemployment. Lower poverty. Lower crime. Cleaner rivers. More native species. It would be worth doing even if we weren’t saving the world.

A lot of them will be native trees. Native forest shapes the beauty of our country’s landscape.

Take a second, and imagine what returning another 4-5 percent of our country to native forest would look like. Where once you’d see erosion-scarred hillsides, there’ll be lush forest and bush. Flocks of birds. Clean rivers.

Take another second, and imagine how many jobs, in the regions, for young people, might be created through planting those trees, and then through pest control in those forests, possum trapping, and the like. Even through mountain biking and maintaining walking tracks.

Imagine a revitalised plantation forestry sector, providing enough wood for biofuels, high end manufactured goods and – yes – housing.

An admirable aim. Of course there will be a substantial cost. And it may not be simple getting tens of thousands of people to work in largely remote areas. It is difficult to get people to work on farms, orchards and vineyards now, and tree planting will be further from civilisation.

The next step is to get those emissions down. That means putting a proper price on the pollution that causes climate change – our greenhouse gas emissions. All of them.

We’re going to bin the Emissions Trading Scheme – a scheme that has seen hundreds of millions of dollars change hands, our forests get cut down and converted to intensive dairy farms and our emissions increase by over 21%.

The point of an ETS is to bring down emissions. Ours have increased 21% since we put the ETS in place. I can think of few more poorly conceived pieces of public policy than one that achieves the precise opposite of what is intended.

We say, tax pollution more, and tax peoples’ incomes less.

A carbon tax instead of the ETS is worth serious consideration. There is a lot of debate internationally about the pros and cons of both, and the effectiveness of our ETS is also debatable.

Finally – and this is the kicker – every single Kiwi over 18 will also get a $250 dividend bonus at the end of the year based on the carbon tax revenue.

That number would be higher, but we’ve got over a billion trees to plant.

I think a $250 bonus and the knowledge that you’re not going to spend your retirement in a climate refugee resettlement camp is a pretty great deal.

Money does grow on trees! Cash for everyone.

Green environmental policies have the wide appeal, but voters may not be listening to them much and more.

Shaw: The climate protection plan I’ve laid out today is incredibly comprehensive.