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Labour back-track on showers not credible

Nick Smith MP
National Party Building & Construction Spokesman

14 October 2008

Labour back-track on showers not credible

National Party Building and Construction spokesman Nick Smith says Labour's apparent change of heart on plans to regulate shower flows is not credible.

"Labour's claiming it has backed off this nanny state rule change, but make no mistake, this is only a temporary reprieve.

"Shane Jones' attempt last night to paint this issue as a departmental ideological burp is dishonest. In recent days the Minister said he was right behind the plan to regulate shower flows."

On October 9 Mr Jones said: 'it's a policy decision we've adopted yet now enjoys regulatory institutional expression'.

On October 11, Mr Jones was asked: 'Do you support the idea?' He said: 'Yes. The regulation is designed as a part of energy efficiency and really it's all about lowering domestic energy bills'.

"Last night, Mr Jones completely rewrote history and changed his story."

On TVNZ's Close Up programme, Mr Jones tried to say the public was revolting against his 'officials' and was asked, 'So you've changed your mind?' 'No, it was only ever a consultation document... I share people's concerns'.

"This U-turn raises as many questions as it answers. Mr Jones has made no commitments regarding alternative limits, or the other measures in the 22 pages of building code changes relating to hot water systems.

"This supposed about face has nothing to do with what the Minister and Labour really believe, and everything to do with the fact there is an election in a few weeks.

"The last thing Helen Clark wants is for Labour's nanny state instincts to be talked about during the campaign. The last thing she needs is to remind people about unpopular measures like the heavy-handed ban on conventional light bulbs, or the new taxes on the family car.

"This back track has all the sincerity of Helen Clark's adamant promise before the last election that she would not move to ban smacking - only to change her mind after the election.

"National is committed to reforming the Building Act and the Resource Management Act to remove red tape and promote economic growth. All Labour seems capable of is adding more layers of complicated nanny state red tape."


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