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Key Notes: Labour - Another year of inertia

John Key: Key Notes

18 December 2006

Another year of inertia

Labour has shown that it has been consistently incapable of effectively addressing climate change and energy policy over the past twelve months.

There has been a catalogue of failures - from Labour's bungled costing of the Kyoto protocol, to the bitter feud with the Electricity Commission. New Zealanders have experienced a lack of energy security, and Helen Clark's empty rhetoric on carbon neutrality has given no direction on climate change policy.

Last week, the Government launched its draft energy strategy - yet another vague wish list of ideas that have yet to be fully considered and costed.

Instead of publishing yet another strategy, Labour should be taking action. It needs to start making some decisions on climate change policy in order to give generators some certainty about the future.

Moreover, the Government should be asking how it is possible that forests are being cut down faster than being planted, that greenhouse gas emissions are growing at faster rates than the US and Australia, and why New Zealand now produces a lower proportion of total electricity from renewables than at any time since 1961. Labour's had seven long years to get its energy strategy on track. It's a sector that has been plagued by trouble in recent years, yet all Labour has come up with is another strategy that's rich in rhetoric and short on real action. Looking ahead

The holiday season provides some time for us to reflect on the past year and look forward to the next. It has been a busy year with much change, the leadership being the biggest change for National, and I am delighted to be the new leader of the National Party.

I am immensely excited about next year. We intend to set the political agenda in 2007 with a series of speeches and policy discussion papers.

As past Leaders have done, I will be taking the opportunity in January to set the scene for the year. As I said this week, I will not be speaking in Orewa but in Christchurch, close to the Bryndwr suburb where I grew up. I chose to do this because as well as this being a place of personal significance I believe it is important that I stamp my own mark as leader.

I hope to visit Orewa to speak on another occasion during the year.

Christmas is also a time to spend with those most precious to you, and I will be making sure I spend some quality time with family.

I wish you all an enjoyable and relaxing summer break, and best wishes for the New Year.

John Key


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