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Govt Engaged In True Consultation

13 December 2001

The Opposition are engaging in irresponsible scaremongering, Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton said he was having a startling revision of his opinion on the political worthiness of former National party Cabinet minister Simon Upton, who signed the Kyoto Protocol on behalf of New Zealand in 1998.

"The Labour-Alliance Government is engaged in true consultation on this issue with all New Zealanders - including the rural sector."

Mr Sutton said global warming was a scientific reality and because of New Zealand's dependence on agriculture, which would be severely affected by climate change, the Government had to address it.

"We can't do it on our own, and the Kyoto Protocol is the only way of addressing it internationally."

However, the Government had yet to make any decision on how ratification of the Kyoto Protocol would be enacted domestically.

"We're asking people now how we should meet those obligations. All options are on the table, and we'd like to hear about any new options anyone can come up with. New Zealanders are innovative and creative, and the Government wants to tap into that.

"Obviously, the only option Gavan Herlihy can come up with is to tax burping cattle. It's a jolly good thing he's not in Government if that's the full extent of his imagination."

Office of Hon Jim Sutton


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