September 15, 2023
ACT outlier on environment policy
Environmental Defence Society chief executive Gary Taylor says ACT’s views on climate change, the environment and Māori engagement generated most of the heat in last night’s EDS political debate – and made some in the audience uncomfortable.
The debate hosted by Auckland law firm Bell Gully included Environment Minister Davis Parker for Labour, Māori Party president John Tamihere, Greens co-leader James Shaw, National’s Scott Simpson and ACT MP Simon Court.
Mr Court denied there was a climate emergency and advocated repeal of the Zero Carbon Act and doing away with the Climate Commission.
He also supported mining on land and in the ocean.
The differences between the other parties seemed less obvious, although the National Party wants to repeal the new resource management laws “before Christmas”.
Mr Taylor says that would be a triumph of retail politics over common sense, and a more intelligent response would be to amended the new laws rather than starting over.
Mr Tamihere emphasized the need for Māori to be engaged in policy design and the urgent need to sort out rights and interests in fresh water.