The Mapp Report
The Mapp Report
A SMARTER APPROACH
TO THE ENVIRONMENT
Last week I said that New Zealand should be delaying the introduction of an emissions trading scheme, because of the financial difficulties facing New Zealand families caused by rising interest rates, higher food prices and high fuel prices. It was hardly the time to further increase fuel costs by a triple whammy of regional petrol taxes, biofuel levies and an emissions trading scheme being introduced ahead of Australia.
Many other people and organisations have been saying the same thing. The government seems to have relented, and won’t be introducing an emissions trading scheme on fuel until 2011.
New approach required
Time magazine last week had an article on the greening of the American presidency, and National Geographic had a special supplement on global warming. The United States has long learnt the economic lesson that the best way to change behaviour is to give economic incentives rather than penalising activity. It brings change in a positive way.
The last few years have seen a huge level of US investment into green technology, all aided by state and federal incentives. Labour’s approach has been to penalise people with taxes, levies and bans.
It is time for a new approach that actually assists
people to make changes.
TIME FOR THE WEST COAST TO SHINE
I have spent the last two days on the West Coast, with my colleague Chris Auchinvole, MP. The Coast has been experiencing good economic times, in tourism, dairy farming and minerals. While visiting the Coast, I visited the Stockton Mine, and travelled to Otira via the rail system. Solid Energy expects $600 million in revenue from the Stockton Mine.
Deep sea port needed
New Zealand wastes a lot of time talking about the need for action; resource consents take years and years, often just to mine land that has been mined before. The old Stockton workings only extracted 25% of the coal. The new workings can extract much of the rest. And it is not used in inefficient coal power stations, it is used to smelt metal, there is actually no other way to produce steel. A deep sea port on the Coast would reduce the need for expensive rail transport to Christchurch.
Positive steps required
Helping the region use its abundant resources can bring huge wealth to New Zealand. We just have to stop handicapping people and businesses with some of the most cumbersome regulations (especially the RMA) in the world. Only then will we have a chance to catch up with Australia.
9 May 2008
PUBLIC MEETING –
“KICK STARTING THE ECONOMY”
7.30pm to 10.00pm
Netball North Harbour
Dr David Skilling, Chief Executive, New Zealand Institute
Dr Wayne Mapp