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Survey should be taken with a grain of salt

Hon David Parker
Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues

10 July 2008 Media Statement

Survey should be taken with a grain of salt

A survey on climate change and emissions trading due to be released tomorrow should be treated with extreme scepticism, Climate Change Minister David Parker said.

The survey was paid for by Exceltium, the public relations company headed up by National party strategist and “Hollow Man” Matthew Hooton, which has campaigned against the ETS in its current form, Mr Parker said.

“The survey questions are very close to push polling, which is where an incorrect or misleading statement is presented to the public for a response.

“For example, the questions continuously suggest the government has vowed to be THE world leader in emissions trading legislation, which is patently nonsense, as there are already emissions trading schemes in place in the world covering the whole of Europe and parts of Scandanavia.

“Elsewhere it suggests that households would face costs of up to $100 a week, which is absurd.

“Another finding that might raise eyebrows is that 40.8 percent of the respondents apparently said they were potential Green Party voters.

“If that’s the case, the outcome of this year’s election will be even more interesting than expected.”

David Parker said feedback from a number of surveys (even including this skewed one) showed that the majority of New Zealanders see climate change as an important issue that needs action, and they are personally willing to take action.

“I am very encouraged when I see the enthusiasm of New Zealanders to take this issue seriously, and their willingness to do their bit to look after the environment. The emissions trading scheme is one part of the government’s response.

“The most ironic outcome of this survey, given Matthew Hooton’s agenda, is that most of the respondents say the emissions trading scheme should go ahead!

“It’s plain that most New Zealanders now see it’s the right thing to do to reduce emissions, and if the ETS doesn’t go ahead the costs are higher for taxpayers, not less.

“The government continues to talk to minor parties on support for the emissions trading legislation to proceed.”


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