Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Bulldozer Smith Blunders Yet Again

Labour MP for Whanganui Jill Pettis has called on Dr Nick Smith to apologise for misleading the media and the public over his actions on the Ruapehu lahar threat when he was Minister of Conservation in 1999.

Dr Smith has claimed that he did not make a decision on the lahar issue because the final report on the lahar risk was not provided to the Government until June 2000 long after he had surrendered his ministerial warrant. (Wanganui Chronicle 20 June 2001).

Mrs Pettis said that Dr Smith was suffering from a very bad dose of political amnesia.

"I can understand why he wants to divert public scrutiny from his indecisiveness on this matter when he was Minister of Conservation but the record is clear. Nick Smith received a comprehensive briefing from the Department of Conservation along with the final Assessment of Environmental Effects in the first week of August 1999."

"At that time the general election was four months away and he had ample time to make decisions on the actions he wanted taken in response to the lahar threat."

"The Environmental Assessment was published in April 1999 but not publicly released by Nick Smith when he was Minister. It had to wait until Sandra Lee took office and released the report along with her decisions on how DoC was to respond to the lahar threat in May 2000."

Mrs Pettis said that if Nick Smith had wanted to advance the bulldozing of the crater rim of Ruapehu he could have made decisions to this effect in the second half of 1999 when he was still a minister.

"Instead he kept the reports secret and sat on his hands. He preferred to kick for touch, seemingly hoping that the impending election defeat of the National administration would get him out of the hot seat."

Mrs Pettis said that the report on the lahar that was produced in June 2000 was an independent review of the Environmental Assessment commissioned by Sandra Lee in May 2000.

"Dr Smith is being extremely disingenuous, to be polite, in now claiming he couldn't make a decision on the lahar threat when he was Minister because he was waiting for a report that he hadn't asked for and nor had anyone else at the time."

"Nick Smith is trying hard in opposition to give the impression he is bold and decisive but instead he is becoming notorious for his monumental blunders. As a minister it is clear he was weak and indecisive."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Malaysia Exposing Our Dodgy Policies On China

Last week, we all owed a vote of thanks to Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad for breaking with protocol during his bilateral meeting in Singapore with New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern. Reportedly, Mahathir used the photo opportunity phase of the meeting – which usually involves just an exchange of smiles and pleasantries before the media is sent out of the room – to launch into matters of genuine substance.

By doing so, Mahathir usefully exposed how New Zealand is trying to make a virtue out of sitting on the fence over the South China Sea dispute. More>>

 

Climate Change: Top Academics Call On Government To Take Action

One hundred and fifty academics and researchers from around Aotearoa, including Dame Anne Salmond, Emeriti Professors and several Fellows of the Royal Society, have signed a strongly-worded open letter to the Government demanding bold and urgent action to tackle climate change. More>>

ALSO:

Teacher Qualifications, Class Sizes: Ten Year Plan For Early Learning

“Moving towards 100 percent qualified teachers in early childhood education centres and improving adult:child ratios are among some of the key proposals for change put forward by the sector and experts in the new draft ten year strategic plan for early learning,” Chris Hipkins said. More>>

ALSO:

Teacher Strikes: Meeting, March And Rally In Wellington

Throughout the Wellington region the NZEI rolling strikes entered their final day Friday. Thousands of teachers met in Wellington, Kapiti, Porirua and the Wairarapa. More>>

ALSO:

14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>

ALSO:

Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels