Thursday, March 16, 2006


The ballot for private member's bills has been held, and according to my spies, the following bills have been drawn:

Coincidentally, these are all bills I have discussed. The Young Offenders Bill (discussed here) would be expected to cause a total shitfight on law and order policy - except that Labour have agreed to send it to select committee. Whether it makes it further will depend on the Maori Party and whether they want to see kids in jail. Jeanette's bill (briefly discussed here) would allow restore the ability of local authorities to consider climate change when considering resource consents. It's something Climate Change Minister David Parker is already considering, so I expect it likewise to make it to select committee. As for the Residential Tenancies Bill (discussed here), I don't expect it to be that contentious, and may simply be voted to committee to see whether its a real problem or not.

The bills will get their first readings on the 29th of March.

Update (17/03/2006): Added links to bills.


Oh well at least Gordon Copeland's Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion (hating women) amendment bill wasn't drawn.

Posted by Maia : 3/16/2006 05:38:00 PM

What would local councils know about 'climate change'? Answer = nothing. So they'll have to hire 'experts' paid for by ratepayers to advise them on something that is not seriously proved. This global warming/climate change facade is just a bloody joke. And it's going to be an expensive joke.

I wonder how I can make some money out of it?

Posted by Gooner : 3/16/2006 10:56:00 PM

Gooner: more than you might think. Go and read the Taranaki District Council's submission on the Stratford Power Station Inquiry to see some of it.

The big worry with this sort of a move is inconsistencies between councils (between for example those that recognise the problem and those dominated by climate change deniers). But the RMA already has an answer to this, in the form of National Policy Statements. When this originally came up 12 years ago, numerous bodies (including the abovementioned Stratford Inquiry) recommended the government develop an NPS to provide guidance to local authorities. They didn't, and so we lost a tremendous opportunity to minimise or mitigate emissions and push for technological change.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 3/16/2006 11:17:00 PM

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator. Posted by Rich : 3/17/2006 09:37:00 AM

Since climate change is a global problem, it should really be part of national policy. Queenstown Lakes council could (as a for instance) otherwise argue that since their region is up in the mountains, they aren't affected by sea-levels rising and don't need a global warming policy.

Also, the impact of climate change on planning isn't really based around whether to build a thermal power station - that's the wrong end of the process - we should really be thinking about power conservation and building wind farms.

Really, the big area where planning affects energy usage is deciding how to configure our cities - allowing green-field city fringe developments like Flatbush and Albany keeps us car dependent and burning more and more oil.

Posted by Rich : 3/17/2006 09:43:00 AM

Rich: Arguably the problem at the moment is that it is not part of national policy. Removing climate change from the RMA made some sense when the government was planning a national solution through the carbon tax; it makes no sense now that such a solution has been abandoned and is not likely to be replaced before CP2.

Queenstown can argue all they like that they don't need a global warming policy - but if there is an NPS on the matter, they are legally required to set policies that are consistent with it. That's what such things are for. So I don't think its a big problem.

And no, its not just about thermal power stations - it's about energy efficiency, renewable energy, and town planning. But currently, local authoritis are forbidden from considering climate change or greenhouse emissions when considering those matters. This law will allow them to, and a subsequent NPS will force them to. It's not the sort of solution I'd have wanted (the RMA is a supplement to, but not a replacement for, putting a price on carbon), but it is a hell of a lot better than legally requiring councils to stick their heads in the sand.

If you're interested, there's some good information on the possible role of the RMA in a book called Climate change in New Zealand : scientific and legal assessments, by Kurt Bosselmann, Jenny Fuller and Jim Salinger, published by the New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law at Auckland University. It was written in 2002, before the RMA was amended to remove climate change considerations, but it seems fairly relevant. Just don't bother with the first chapter (presumably by salinger); it is dreadful, and clearly shows no sign of being edited.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 3/17/2006 10:01:00 AM