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Kyoto -- What's The Rush Helen?

"If the Government is genuine about 'keeping in step with not ahead of' our trading partners on the Kyoto Protocol - then why is it so determined to ratify it before them?" National Finance spokesman David Carter asks.

Mr Carter says that in a desperate attempt to ease business's well-founded concerns over her Government's indecent haste to sign up to Kyoto, Helen Clark has tried to make "smoothing noises" to the sector both in Tuesday's Prime Minister's Statement and in House yesterday.

"Ms Clark claims that ratification will not mean immediate implementation of costly greenhouse gas reducing policies, she says 'the measures New Zealand will need to meet will not occur until enough countries ratify the treaty for it to come into force'.

"If that's the case, why the big rush to ratify?

"Surely a more rational approach would be to get the proper economic models done, have the debate, get a consensus and then decide whether to ratify or not before committing the country to a irreversible position.

"Or is it more about Helen Clark putting her desire of a photo opportunity on the world stage ahead of the economic interests of New Zealand," Mr Carter says.


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