What reports has he received on support for an emissions trading scheme?
Both New Zealand First and the Greens have confirmed they will support the Climate Change (Emissions Trading and Renewable Preference) Bill. I commend both parties for their principled support, and I believe that more robust legislation has resulted from our talks. I am confident that we have an excellent piece of legislation that will well equip New Zealand to meet the challenge of climate change.
What further reports has the Minister seen on support for an emissions trading scheme?
This morning I heard Nick Smith say that climate change is a huge issue, and that emissions trading is the correct way forward. But that is all talk; when it comes to doing something about it, National has completely abrogated its responsibilities. It claims to have six principles it would incorporate into an emissions trading scheme, but it has negotiated on none. Those six principles were always just six excuses. We have worked with parties that take climate change seriously, for the benefit of all New Zealanders.
How can the Minister tell the House that the support from the New Zealand First Party is “principled”, when it is blindingly obvious to every political commentator and parliamentarian that the deal is that Helen Clark will turn a blind eye and leave the leader of New Zealand First as Minister of Foreign Affairs, in exchange for his backing the emissions trading scheme?
Because, amongst other things, my confidence that New Zealand First would back this legislation arose from a meeting that I had personally with Mr Winston Peters some months ago, before these other allegations were swirling around. The reality here is that, once again, we have caught National members saying one thing and doing another—this time it is on climate change—just as they have done on superannuation, KiwiSaver, asset sales, the minimum wage, and doctors’ fees.