Environmental Debate In Waikato - Upton on Line
Upton on line shared the stage last night with the McGillicardy Serious Party at the Waikato Royal Forest and Bird Society environmental policy debate. The meeting got off to an inauspicious start when the Chairman, worried at the no-show of some candidates, asked for any volunteers from the crowd to join the panel.
Seven parties did appear, along with a hundred or so faithful.
Upton-on-line will summarise the policy positions taken:
Jeanette Fitzsimons (Greens), wanted both a carbon tax and a tax on toxic substances and stood for a “GE Free”New Zealand. She spoke against the dead end of genetic engineering and was ready to take on the fishing industry.
Dave McPherson (Alliance) stressed the Treaty and seemed to equate commercial gain with exploitation.
Diane Yates (Labour), who identified herself by suspending a red balloon above her head, oozed policy. Upton-on-line can do no better than quote her saying, “we’re a party of the future, as we have been in the past'.
Upton-on-line stressed the over-riding importance of turning the tide on our biodiversity loss and the need for good quality environmental information.
Gavin (ACT) made the point that rich countries with private ownership were on the whole cleaner while poor countries with collective ownership were on the whole messier. He, however, sounded remarkably like Pitt the Younger from Blackadder III, which tended to distract the audience.
Angeline Greensil (Mana Maori) was against genetic engineering or transgenic research, making the observation if Tane and the gods didn’t do it, why would others want to? Her answer was, money.
McGillicardy Serious was a charismatic speaker (much better standing up than sitting down, legs wide apart, dressed in a short kilt). He called for the Great Leap Backwards, predicted that erosion would subside and had the sympathy of the audience.
Helen (Mauri Pacific) stood for ‘equality, peace, unity and love and against oppression, injustice and corruption'’ Her statement that God created the world for man, in order that he might have Dominion over it was received remarkably politely.
All the while, the pro-ferret lobby group had a teenager wandering about the hall with her pet ferret.
The most surreal aspect of the night was a pamphlet by the Vote for the Environment Charter (praising the Greens and the Alliance to the hilt and damning National and ACT) which described itself as ‘non-partisan’.