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Kyoto: National lodges privileges complaint

Hon Nick Smith National Party Environment Spokesman

17 June 2005

Kyoto: National lodges privileges complaint

National Party Environment Spokesman Nick Smith today lodged a privileges complaint with Speaker Margaret Wilson, alleging that Michael Cullen deliberately misled Parliament over the $1 billion Kyoto bungle.

It was revealed yesterday that the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol could cost New Zealand upwards of $1 billion. Labour previously predicted we would gain hundreds of millions in carbon credits.

The Ministry for the Environment report that revealed the botch-up is dated May 2005 and has a foreword written by Environment Minister Pete Hodgson.

The report states that the United Nations was advised of the revised position on 15 April 2005.

"Dr Cullen told Parliament on 9 June that the latest report on New Zealand's carbon balance had not been completed, but the report released yesterday is clearly dated May 2005," says Dr Smith.

"It had already been completed at the time Michael Cullen told Parliament it was not finished.

"Dr Cullen and Pete Hodgson have known for months of this billion-dollar blunder but they have been hiding it from the Parliament and the public.

"The paper trail shows that this report was held back while the Government spin doctors beat up the Niwa report on the effects of climate change try to divert public attention away from the blunder.

"Mr Hodgson's statement on National Radio this morning that the two reports arrived on his desk on the same day cannot be correct. One is dated May, the other June.

"The involvement of the Deputy Prime Minister in an attempt to cover-up a billion dollar blunder is extremely serious," says Dr Smith.

ENDS

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