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


Climate Change Work Vital For Primary Producers

1 May 2002

The vital importance of agriculture to New Zealand's wellbeing has been recognized by the Government, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton said there had been "a lot of hot air" talked about what the Government was going to do about the Kyoto Protocol and a lot of misinformation about its effect on farmers' income.

"This Government has consulted widely to ensure the best possible policy can be formulated. We've listened to what people had to say. Yesterday's announcement proves that."

Greenhouse gases ? methane and nitrous oxide ? produced on farms have been exempted from the proposed emissions charge, to be levied from 2008 as part of the Government's preferred policy package on climate change.

"Farmers can't do anything about these emissions, given current technology, so taxing them would be pointless," Mr Sutton said.

The package, released yesterday, sets out for consultation the Government's preferred policies for meeting New Zealand's targets under the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Protocol, which the Government expects to ratify in August, requires New Zealand and other developed nations to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

Climate change convener Pete Hodgson said that the agricultural sector would be exempt from any price measure in the first commitment period, provided the sector is willing to invest, in partnership with the Government, in research to identify future options for reducing agricultural emissions.

The Government retains the option of imposing a research levy if the research effort falls below what is required. Mr Sutton said the ownership of that intellectual property would be negotiated between the Government and industry.

"New Zealand's farmers probably have the most to lose as a result of climate change, of any sector of the economy. But the climate change response is likely to be the biggest driver of technology in the first few decades of this century, so we have a chance to convert that threat into an opportunity, by adopting the leadership role in this specialized area. "The fact that the other advanced pastoral economies, Australia and the United States, are dragging their feet in fronting up to climate change will play inot our hands when they eventually join the global effort," Mr Sutton predicted.

The preferred policy package will be subject to further public consultation, with written submissions due by June 14. Public meetings and hui will be held through May.

Copies of the discussion document describing the Government's preferred policy package and the rationale behind it are available from the climate change website at Hard copies are available from the Climate Change project (04) 918 3129 or


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Scaring Voters Back Into Line

Fear has always been a useful mobilising tool in politics… yet in 2017, bogeymen of all shapes and sizes seem to have fallen on hard times. For years, the National party had painted itself as being the only reliable defensive bastion against the terrifying prospect of a centre-left government…

In fact, the polls suggest that the public seems to quite like the new government, its Prime Minister, and its proposed plan of action. Somehow, even though a Labour/Greens/NZ First government is in power, the sun is still rising and setting, on time. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Drinking Water As A Failure Of Political Leadership

It is almost possible to feel sorry for the Health Ministry in their terrible, no good, very bad week... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Saying ‘Work For The Dole,’ Nicely

As New Zealand First learned the hard way from its two previous periods in government, small parties in MMP coalitions get blamed for the unpopular stuff done by their senior partner in power, but no one remembers the good stuff the junior player brought to the table... More>>


Seismic Blasting: Greenpeace Launches Legal Challenge Against Amazon Warrior

A legal challenge against the world’s largest seismic oil exploration ship was launched at a public rally on Parliament Lawn. More>>


Tertiary: 80,000 People Eligible For Fees Free

The Government has today made good on its 100-day promise of delivering the first year of fees-free post school training and education and industry training from 1 January next year, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins. More>>


PM's Presser: Rebuilding Cathedrals, Felling Trees

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended the press conference today with Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Dr Megan Woods to announce urgent legislation this week for the rebuilding of the Christ Church Cathedral. More>>





Featured InfoPages