“Landmark action on climate change” bill introduced to parliament

The Government has announced today that the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill has been introduced to Parliament:


Landmark climate change bill goes to Parliament

The Government is today delivering landmark action on climate change – the biggest challenge facing the international community and New Zealand.

“To address the long-term challenge of climate change, today we introduce the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill to Parliament,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

“We’ve built a practical consensus across Government that creates a plan for the next 30 years, which provides the certainty industries need to get in front of this challenge.

“In March this year, tens of thousands of New Zealand school students went on strike to protest the lack of decisive action on climate change. We hear them. The Zero Carbon Bill outlines our plan to safeguard the future that those school students will inherit,” Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said.

“The critical thing is to do everything we can over the next 30 years to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius and the Zero Carbon Bill makes that a legally binding objective.

“Carbon dioxide is the most important thing we need to tackle – that’s why we’ve taken a net zero carbon approach.

“Agriculture is incredibly important to New Zealand, but it also needs to be part of the solution. That is why we have listened to the science and also heard the industry and created a specific target for biogenic methane.

“The split gases approach we’ve agreed on is consistent with that commitment.

“The Bill sets a target for 10 per cent reduction in biological methane emissions by 2030, and aims for a provisional reduction ranging from 24 per cent to 47 per cent by 2050.

“That provisional range will be subject to review by the independent Climate Change Commission in 2024, to take account of changes in scientific knowledge and other developments.

“The independent Climate Change Commission, established by the Bill, will support our emissions reduction targets through advice, guidance, and regular five-yearly “emissions budgets”.

“The Bill also creates a legal obligation on the Government to plan for how it will support New Zealand towns and cities, business, farmers and Iwi to adapt to the increasingly severe storms, floods, fires and droughts we are experiencing as a result of climate change.

“New Zealanders have made it clear they want leadership and consensus on climate change legislation.

“We’re delighted that the three Government partners have reached an agreement over such a significant piece of legislation after lengthy consultation.

“I also want to acknowledge National Party leader, Simon Bridges, and National’s Climate Change spokesperson, for conducting negotiations in good faith and setting politics to one side while we’ve worked through the Bill.

“The fact that, across Parliament, all parties have engaged constructively in this process signals mutual interest in creating enduring climate change legislation that will stand the test of time and deliver long-lasting commitment to action on climate change for future generations.

“But the work’s not finished. I urge people to engage with the Zero Carbon Bill as it passes through Parliament. Have your say in the select committee process.

“All of us have a part to play our part in helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limiting global temperature increases.

“That includes New Zealanders making their contribution to see the Zero Carbon Bill become law by the end of this year,” James Shaw said.

 

Government response to the Tax Working Group recommendations

Most of the attention on the Government response to the recommendations from the Tax Working Group report was on the scrapping of plans for any new type of Capital Gains Tax. See CGT backdown, everyone claims victory.

But the report also covered a number of other tax changes.

Beehive:  Govt responds to Tax Working Group report

The Coalition Government today released its response to the recommendations of the independent Tax Working Group report.

The report found that on the whole New Zealand’s tax system was working well, but made a number of recommendations to improve fairness, balance and structure.

The Government is not adopting any of the recommendations on capital gains taxation and has agreed no further work is necessary on that aspect of the report.

Winston Peters said no, so Labour and the Greens agreed that their CGT plans were stuffed.

“The final report covered all aspects of the tax system, and a number of the recommendations will now be considered for inclusion in the Government’s Tax Policy Work Programme,” Grant Robertson said.

“That includes exploring options for targeting land speculation and land banking.

“We intend to direct the Productivity Commission to include vacant land taxes within its inquiry into local government funding and financing,” Grant Robertson said.

Exploring options? I thought that’s what the TWG was supposed to have done.  But now they are going on to exploring more and doing another inquiry. Given the supposed purpose of the TWG, this sounds like further kicking of the tax can down a dusty potholed road.

“Officials have been directed to prioritise work on the TWG’s recommendations on ways to encourage investment in significant infrastructure projects and improve the integrity of the tax system to crack down on tax dodgers,” Stuart Nash said.

A refreshed tax policy work programme will be released mid-year.

So yesterday they announced what they plan on announcing later in the year.

The Coalition Government reiterated it will not introduce resource rentals for water or a fertiliser tax in this term of Parliament.

Another Peters veto of Labour and Green plans?

Other priorities for the Government this year include progressing legislation for research and development tax incentives; GST on low-value goods from offshore suppliers; a discussion document on a digital services tax, and further work to ensure multinationals pay their fair share of tax.

On to a discussion document and further work on things that have been talked about for years.

Summary of the Government’s responses to the recommendations

In that summary there are a number of TWG recommendations flagged as “Endorse the TWG recommendation” – in just about every case the recommendation is not to change anything.

There are several recommendations flagged as “Consider as a high priority for work programme”, meaning no decision has been made on what to do.

What was this Government response for? It has done little but admit they were abandoning any CGT plans indefinitely.

Responses to victim blaming

Following up from Victim blaming and excusing thuggery  here are contrary responses allowed on a Whale Oil post that criticised a victim blaming post that has many comments that doubt the victim and excuse the attack.

Responses to the criticisms continue to blame the victim and make excuses for the attacker.

SaggyNaggy:

I’m not sure what she was expected to say to a man who ought to have minded his own business. He objected to her speaking Maori. The headline is valid.

By the way, calling an assault victim a crybaby? How lovely.

Mike:

Nothing… She should of said nothing.

SaggyNaggy:

…and he should have taken her advice, but he didn’t – instead he hit her. It would be nice if we all had the discipline not to respond to people who are having a go, wouldn’t it? I suspect most of us aren’t like that though. Most of us would probably say the same thing she said. She did absolutely nothing wrong, and I don’t think she should get blamed for what happened, or called a crybaby on a blog afterwards.

Mike:

Where is your outcry about the other hundred or so violent offenses that occurred over the weekend then?

gender should not factor into the determination of whether something is acceptable or not. Violence is violence and is never acceptable.

SaggyNaggy:

Whale Oil didn’t blog about any of those. I commented on the one he did blog about. But just for you, I would like to take this opportunity, at this time, to condemn ALL the violence. Everywhere. All of it. I would like world peace, harmony, and understanding between people of different genders, races and faiths. Kumbaya!

Mike:

That’s a nice dream. You do realize however that it will never become a reality because it’s against human nature.

You sir are a sheep. There will always be wolves who wish to prey on sheep. And I hope there will always be sheep dogs to protect you.

Sheep abhor violence. 
Wolves love violence. 
Sheep dogs accept violence as a necessary reality.

SaggyNaggy:

Yeah, a drunk, violent PI says something stupid to someone he thinks is a “palagi”, gets called out, and responds with his fists. Happens every day, sadly.

Luke:

“Gets called out”, telling someone to f off inevitably leads to confrontation. Why should anyone (including a woman) think they can say that to a big guy and get away with it?

SaggyNaggy:

Because it’s not normal, legal or acceptable to punch somebody, especially if you are harassing them about something they said, and the civilized thing to do IS in fact to “f off” and mind your own business.

Luke:

Yes key the word you used was ‘civilized’. My advice don’t ever tell someone to f off just in case they are an uncivilized thug.

SaggyNaggy:

I don’t make excuses for uncivilized thugs. I want them out of our civilization. Victim blaming, and making excuses for these guys will ensure that he, and others like him, will keep thinking it’s okay to respond that way.

Luke:

Victim blaming? If I wore an offensive t-shirt, something really derogatory about Maori and was beaten up. Wouldn’t I have to take at least some responsibility? The woman was a fool, she should have walked away because as much as you might wish it, thugs are everywhere and not going away.

Jaundiced:

No-one’s making excuses here. No-one thinks its OK to respond as he did. With the benefit of hind-site, and a clear head, what some are saying is that what happened was kind of inevitable. That doesn’t change the fact that the person responsible was the one who used his fists.

Usually this sort of behaviour is inflamed by alcohol. And in some cases, its perfectly normal sober behaviour. Either way, my sympathy in this case is for the woman. How would any of us react when some PI abuses you for speaking your language because you’re (in his eyes) the wrong colour? Unless you believe telling someone what she said, means she ‘deserves’ what happened.

Mrs R:

Two stories appear today on WO with surprising similarities. One, we see a young man out on the town who became the victim of late night physical abuse (see earlier story ‘Another criminal Labour can cuddle’). Did this teenager also verbally respond to his abusers before he was punched to death? Irrelevant. He was the victim, and the mother in me cries for his family’s loss.

Here we see another story with a late night victim who was subjected to physical abuse. Whether or not she responded verbally to her abuser is irrelevant. There should be no ‘but’. She was brutally attacked simply because her abuser wanted to, and he could.

To my knowledge WO has never been a crim hugger so I’m surprised at the tone of this article, particularly in light of the previous article where Kelvin Davis is scorned for doing exactly that.

Spanish Bride:

The man is totally in the wrong.No one should be hit like that no matter what they say and this was incredibly violent to knock out her teeth. He is going to punished by the law so no problem there. If he was going to be let off or not punished adequately then there is a reason to complain.

I guess the point this article was trying to make is that the bar is not the reason the incident happened.Blaming the bar for not having enough security seems unfair. The story should not be about the bar but about the offender. Also the headline was misleading. He didn’t hit her when she spoke Maori, he hit her when she told him to f off after he verbally abused her.

goodwitheu:

This is gratuitous sledging and is very unfair on the woman who now through no fault of her own besides telling an obnoxious gorilla to **** off got badly assaulted. Now she also has to deal with a negative google result to her name with a photo of her and her innocent child courtesy of WO.

We don’t know if she was drunk, we don’t know much at all about what really happened. Not that it matters- Throw that gorilla in jail. Just ask yourself this- if this had happened to you and played out as it appears to have done here… how would you feel about appearing on WO’s CBOFTW…. Justice??

[As for going to the newspaper- well that was a bit silly, but we all deal with trauma and injustice in different ways- still doesn’t excuse WO from giving her an unnecessary beat up today]

Rex Widerstrom:

Precisely. The “punishment” in no way fitted the “crime”. In Australia they are calling this sort of Neanderthal behaviour a “coward’s punch” as a way to try and make it socially unacceptable, in the way that has – to some extent- worked with drink driving.

This post does the opposite. It’s a mealy-mouthed defence of a violent thug of the type WO would normally be baying for the blood of (hell that’s an awful sentence, but you know what I mean).

Her dad’s silly – it’s not the bar’s fault and we’re already grossly over-policed as it is – so by all means call him on that.

But victim blaming? That’s low.

Yes, there’s some low comments on a low post, but some good responses.

Answers to weizguy’s comment questions

Response to post in: “Your NZ acting leader appointed”:

So under the ‘Your NZ’ model, what exactly will the leader do?

Lead the party. Co-ordinate the list members, who will work on national level issues and policy. Co-ordinate with national groups who want a direct connection with parliament. The electorate MPs can work independently for their electorates but the party leader needs to liaise with them as both groups will need to interchange the wishes of their respective electorates.

It’s logical for the leader to come from the list as the biggest focus for electorate MPs is their electorates. It’s nuts for PM and pretty much any cabinet members to be supposedly working for an electorate.

what will the criteria be for determining list placings?

The list placings will be determined democratically by party members with a possible public component. Criteria will be suggested for determine the list based on competence. Ability and willingness to work for the model of representation being promoted.

We believe diversity will look after itself as the party has a broad attraction.

how long will you take to determine policy?

That will be ongoing. Our initial and fundamental policy is already in place – to put in place a system of communication between electorates and MPs, and between the list and the country to represent what constituents want.

A frame work of policy ideas will be in place by the election campaign. These will be based on addressing issues as they arise rather than “must have as they are defined”.

Much of the policy focus will be on government policy, influencing that based on what the electorate wants. We believe we are best to work on is happening in parliament rather than small party policy that never gets beyond window dressing.

What are the timeframes for engaging with voters?

We are doing that now. We will be asking the electorates what they want before the election. At least on an electorate level we will demonstrate practical consultation/polling, probably August/September.

How will you set a budget?

Do you mean a government budget? If so we won’t be setting one, the government will. We will act for our constituents in influencing the budget decisions. If we get several MPs in parliament it’s feasible the voice of the people can be very influential.

Similar to Switzerland we don’t propose full direct democracy, so won’t ask the electorates questions like “how much tax do you want to pay”. We will ask things that balance revenue and expenditure decisions, like:

Which would you like the government to spend more on:
Health, education, police, prisons, benefits, road, rail?

If increases in spending were to be paid for example by GST, what level of GST would you be prepared to pay?

At government level decisions need to be made under representative democracy. We want to provide a much stronger communication with and influence from the people, and provide a strong people’s voice.

If we get several MPs in parliament there can be a strong ordinary people’s lobby.

When we prove our model of representation we believe the weight of public opinion will “encourage” other parties to follow our lead. It’s something people have asked for but until now parties have resisted.

We know every person can’t directly make government decisions, but every person should have a better way of being heard. We can make that possible.