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


Think Big? Think again, say Greens

Think Big? Think again, say Greens

The Government is in danger of repeating the folly and failure of the Think Big experiments of the past, Greens Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons warned today.

The Government is reported to be planning to circumvent the Resource Management Act by giving Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton the power to declare big development projects such as those involving energy, water and transport projects, to be of "national significance".

"Overriding local decision making is the mark of a government bereft of ideas and desperate to be seen 'doing something', said Ms Fitzsimons. "What it is 'doing', is taking decision-making away from the communities most affected by Think Big projects and placing it in the hands of one minister.

"We've already had the recent example of the Government overriding the proper decision-making process, by signalling it will legislate to by-pass the regional council and Environment Court in order to allocate water to the Project Aqua power scheme.

"This proposal cuts right across the Government's own strategy for economic development. It has just released a Policy Statement to guide the electricity industry in which it encourages small-scale and renewable energy projects, distributed generation, demand management and energy efficiency.

"Yet there are no plans to fast-track these small, flexible, future-oriented projects. In fact, the more big projects that go ahead, the more the innovative projects of the future will be squeezed out of the market.

"The Government's economic strategy is supposed to be based on innovation and knowledge - but the priority is to be given to the old-fashioned bulldozers," Ms Fitzsimons said. "When will this Government learn from history?

"Two fast-tracked Think Big projects that leap to mind are the Motunui Synthetic Petrol plant and the Clyde high dam. Both were the result of government intervention in the normal planning process. The Synfuel plant was an economic disaster and never broke even and the Clyde dam turned into the most expensive electricity plant we have ever built.

"One can understand Mr Anderton trying to find a niche for his party to the right of Labour, but trying to turn himself into the new Bill Birch is really going a bit too far."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case...

Obviously, sick people shouldn’t be being treated by doctors and nurses who are themselves sick and potentially infectious. Similarly, Police emergency calls also need to be fielded by people who’re feeling alert, and on top of their game. More>>


MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>


Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: City Council Ends Its Support For Jackson’s Movie Museum

The Wellington City Council and the Movie Museum Limited have today announced a mutually-agreed parting of the ways for a joint project between the Council’s Convention Centre and TMML’s Movie Museum... Both parties remain optimistic for the future of their respective projects. More>>

Pay Equity: Historic Settlement For Education Support Workers

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the Ministry of Education today signed Terms of Settlement to address a pay equity claim for 329 support workers who work with very young children in early childhood and primary schools. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Stereotypes About Jacinda Ardern

Routinely, female politicians get depicted as either show ponies or battle axes, with little room for anything else in between. .. More>>

Weekend Interviews: "Discriminatory And Racist" Aussie Deportations

The former president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs says deportations have risen dramatically in Australia since 2014 when ministers and ministerial delegates were given the power to cancel visas - and half of those being deported are New Zealanders. "These are massive numbers, actually escalating dramatically."... More>>


Legal Challenge: Prisoner Has 9 Boxes Of Documents Seized

Human rights organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa says a prisoner they advocate for has had 9 boxes of legal documents seized from him just days before his case against the Department of Corrections was to be heard. More>>

Single-Use Plastic Bags: Govt To Phase Them Out

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. More>>





Featured InfoPages