Parliamentary Commissioner Confirms Wisdom Of NZ First's Policy

New Zealand First is welcoming the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s (PCE) endorsement of the Party’s long-standing Climate Change policy.


“Dr Jan Wright called yesterday for a wise long-term policy from politicians,” says the Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First and Member of Parliament for Northland.


“The Commissioner outlined policies that do work and criticised policies in practice now, which are supported by every party except NZ First, that don’t work.


“New Zealand First arrived at the UK-Norway approach to this most important of challenges six years ago – it has appeared in two manifestos already (2011 and 2014) and will reappear in this year’s manifesto.  We are heartened that Dr Wright agrees with this policy.


“Having campaigned on our climate change policy for three campaigns now we are alarmed at the number of commentators who, despite the rising force that New Zealand First is, have preferred to ignore our policy on a critical issue facing New Zealand and the World.


“Where we diverge with Dr Wright is over the failed Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).  We see no advantage taking $1.4bn off Kiwis and then washing it through some Wall Street-offshore based system.


“We will use that $1.4bn to fix up our country’s response just like Norway and the UK.


“What is a fact is that we are light years ahead of the rest of the political parties and we expect the media to know that seven weeks out from the 2017 election.


“No country can tax their way to a better climate. New Zealand First will take that $1.4bn and put it into New Zealand science, research and adaptation so we meet our emission commitments.


“The Commissioner has rightfully called for a cross party response but New Zealand First will not be a party to empty slogans, futile goals never met, and political propaganda on this issue,” says Mr Peters.


This is what New Zealand First will do:


  • NZ First will exit the Emissions Trading Scheme and replace it with a UK-style Climate Change Act (the UK policy is in serious accord with Norway’s policy, that is, that both populations will clean their own act up.)
  • Integral to this new Climate Change Act will be a new Parliamentary Commission for Climate Change, or PCCC, to be established as an Office of Parliament;
  • The Parliamentary Commission for Climate Change will be legally responsible for reporting against both the Kyoto and Paris Agreements.  It will work with the government to set a three-yearly ‘Carbon Budget’ designed to reach these commitments such as forestry, with NZ First committed to reestablishing the Forestry Service;
  • The first such ‘Carbon Budget’ will become operative in 2021 with the Parliamentary Commission for Climate Change providing independent advice to central and local government on how they can meet carbon budgets and how to prepare for climate change.  It will also conduct independent analysis into climate change science, economics and policy;
  • The Parliamentary Commission for Climate Change will be funded from current administrative costs for the Emissions Trading Scheme meaning it is cost neutral;
  • Savings from no longer having to buy $1.4bn worth of emission units every year will be redirected into applied research and development and adapting to climate change.