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Minister of Short Showers should come clean

Nick Smith MP
National Party Building & Construction Spokesman

15 October 2008

Minister of Short Showers should come clean

National Party Building and Construction spokesman Nick Smith says Helen Clark’s attempt to downplay the seriousness with which the Government was taking a plan to regulate shower flows ignores how far the proposal has gone.

“This was on the books until the Minister of Short Showers, Shane Jones, got sprung.

“As recently as a few days ago Mr Jones was defending the proposal and saying Labour was in support of it. But last night Helen Clark attempted to say the shower proposal was never a starter.”

Helen Clark said, ‘there is no more chance of a Labour Government telling people how much water can go through the shower than flying to the moon’.

“If that is true, then Mr Jones must have been in a high orbit, because he confirmed his support for the regulations publicly on a couple of occasions, as well as in an official Government media statement.”

And Dr Smith says the issue actually appears to have been canvassed by Cabinet in some form or another. The briefing given to the incoming Minister last year talks about a: ‘Draft Cabinet paper on Stage Two of energy efficiency initiatives (domestic hot water heating and commercial heating, ventilation and air conditioning system standards) to you for consideration on 6 November for POL on 14 November if you agree’.

“This went to Cabinet and the Minister of Short Showers should release the papers. Just where was the Prime Minister when this issue came before Cabinet?”

Dr Smith also notes that other parties are still pushing for shower flows to be regulated.

“As I said yesterday, Labour’s attempts to walk away from its plan to regulate showers is not credible. It will re-appear after the election, particularly if the Labour Party is seeking support from minor parties.

“I don’t think New Zealanders are in any doubt that Helen Clark would sacrifice people’s morning showers in an instant if it meant returning to the Treasury benches.”

Dr Smith questions how the issue managed to build up such a head of steam with those in the industry if there was never any prospect of flow regulation.

“The plumbers weren’t making this stuff up. They’ve invested quite a bit of time and effort into getting this nanny state rule out in the open.

“New Zealanders have had enough of being told by this Labour Government which light bulbs they can use, and how much water they can use in their showers. It’s time for a fresh start.”


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