For anyone contemplating a leap from National to New Zealand First, what follows should be mandatory reading. It's from the Hansard of the Third Reading debate of the then Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading) Amendment Bill - Labour's ETS. The debate was held on 10 September 2008; shortly before the 48th Parliament rose for the 2008 election. Where emphasis has been added to a sentence or paragraph, it is ours. First up is this excerpt from a speech by National's David Carter:
Hon DAVID CARTER (National) : This is a historic day, but it is also a very sad day. I say to the Minister responsible for Climate Change Issues that he should be ashamed of himself for progressing this legislation in the way it has been progressed. The Minister sent an invitation to me late last night, by email, asking me to drinks after the conclusion of debate on this legislation. I will not be attending. I thank the Minister for his invitation, but I do not think the legislation is anything that anybody should be celebrating. I say that because there was an opportunity to pass legislation in this House today to give New Zealand an efficient emissions trading scheme, and it could have been done on a consensual basis with all major political parties. However, because of the Minister, this legislation will be passed tonight only because of the support of New Zealand First. I think it is a pity we have not been able to develop a well-balanced emissions trading scheme that would have delivered the important behavioural changes necessary in this country to do our bit for climate change. This one will not work.
We could have had a general consensus. We certainly could have had the National Party and the Labour Party on the same page, because in December 2005 we wrote to the Minister, offering our support to work together to develop an emissions trading system that would have been workable and accepted by significant consensus. The response we got from that Minister was no response, at all. Mr Parker arrogantly ignored an offer by National to work with the Government to develop a scheme that could have been before Parliament tonight and probably would have had greater than 80 percent acceptance of this House. I say to Mr Parker that that would have given enduring legislation—but, no. As a result of the Minister’s attitude, this legislation is now seen to be a political football. I say to the Minister that I guarantee to him that this legislation will not be enduring.
Later in the debate, New Zealand First's deputy leader Peter Brown began his speech by saying:
Let me assure members that New Zealand First supports this legislation, and let me assure the Minister that we are supporting it in the right spirit.
He later said this:
New Zealand First will support this legislation tonight. We will support the third readings. We say to the Minister, with due respect, that we think this is a move in the right direction. It is not completely right. There will need to be some amendments. I will not go as far as David Carter did when he said that this is not enduring legislation, and give the impression that it will fall over in a matter of months. I do not believe that. But I believe it will have to be addressed on a number of occasions to get it right, and I know that before agriculture comes in, before transport comes in, there will be quite some discussion. It will have to go through Parliament and get the seal of approval. In essence, New Zealand First is supporting this legislation because it has the framework there. It will be modified. It will need to be modified, in our view, but it is a move in the right direction and it has the support of New Zealand First. Thank you, Madam Assistant Speaker.
Dear Readers, Winston Peters cannot ride back onto the scene on his white charger because HIS party supported Labour's ETS; Labour's ETS which was considerably more penal than that of the National Party, which we still oppose. Hansard does not lie; here are the voting figures:
|Ayes 63||New Zealand Labour 49; New Zealand First 7; Green Party 6; Progressive 1.|
|Noes 57||New Zealand National 47; Māori Party 4; United Future 2; ACT New Zealand 2; Independents: Copeland, Field.|
|Bills read a third time.|
There you have it Dear Readers. Yes, National brought forward legislation last year that will come into force one month from today; legislation which we vehemently oppose. But in the run-up to the 2008 election, Helen Clark's Labour Party passed an Emissions Trading Scheme under urgency, with the support of Winston Peters and the six other NZ First MP's, the Green Party, and Jim the Progressive. National's ETS is bad legislation; what is replaced was far, far worse. We must make sure that Winston Peters, aka the Snake-Oil Saleman from St Mary's Bay is not allowed to rewrite history on this issue, and avoid what will be for him a very Inconvenient Truth.