Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Think Big? Think again, say Greens

Think Big? Think again, say Greens

The Government is in danger of repeating the folly and failure of the Think Big experiments of the past, Greens Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons warned today.

The Government is reported to be planning to circumvent the Resource Management Act by giving Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton the power to declare big development projects such as those involving energy, water and transport projects, to be of "national significance".

"Overriding local decision making is the mark of a government bereft of ideas and desperate to be seen 'doing something', said Ms Fitzsimons. "What it is 'doing', is taking decision-making away from the communities most affected by Think Big projects and placing it in the hands of one minister.

"We've already had the recent example of the Government overriding the proper decision-making process, by signalling it will legislate to by-pass the regional council and Environment Court in order to allocate water to the Project Aqua power scheme.

"This proposal cuts right across the Government's own strategy for economic development. It has just released a Policy Statement to guide the electricity industry in which it encourages small-scale and renewable energy projects, distributed generation, demand management and energy efficiency.

"Yet there are no plans to fast-track these small, flexible, future-oriented projects. In fact, the more big projects that go ahead, the more the innovative projects of the future will be squeezed out of the market.

"The Government's economic strategy is supposed to be based on innovation and knowledge - but the priority is to be given to the old-fashioned bulldozers," Ms Fitzsimons said. "When will this Government learn from history?

"Two fast-tracked Think Big projects that leap to mind are the Motunui Synthetic Petrol plant and the Clyde high dam. Both were the result of government intervention in the normal planning process. The Synfuel plant was an economic disaster and never broke even and the Clyde dam turned into the most expensive electricity plant we have ever built.

"One can understand Mr Anderton trying to find a niche for his party to the right of Labour, but trying to turn himself into the new Bill Birch is really going a bit too far."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Whether This Election Is Already A Foregone Conclusion

Currently, this election looks like being a no contest. The weekend’s Newshub poll has the centre left enjoying a roughly 57-36% lead over the centre right. Labour is on 50.1% and the Greens 6.5%, while National remains in the dreaded 20s at 29.6% and the Act Party is on 6.3%. Conditions continue to look terminal for New Zealand First. Despite being a stubborn brake on government tax policy and winning a few policy gains of its own, NZF is registering only a 1.9% level of support... More>>


Serious Fraud Office: Files Charges In Relation To NZ First Foundation Donations

The SFO has filed a charge of ‘Obtaining by Deception’ against two defendants in the New Zealand First Foundation electoral funding case. The charges were filed on 23 September. The defendants have interim name suppression and so cannot be named ... More>>


Economy: Business Leaders’ Confidence Tanks As Top Kiwi CEOs Vent Their Frustrations

The New Zealand Herald’s Mood of the Boardroom 2020 Election Survey has been released with top business leaders saying New Zealand’s Covid-19 recovery is in peril – and they want a decisive role with Government in the country’s future. The annual ... More>>


Poll: Newshub-Reid Research Poll Shows National Rising But Labour Still Governing Alone

With less than three weeks to go, Labour remains in a position where it could govern alone in the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll* on 50.1% - down 10.8 percentage points. National has risen slightly to 29.6% (up 4.5 percentage points), but even with the ... More>>


Winston Peters Speech: The Gathering Storm Clouds: Ihumatao

Frequently around New Zealand you hear people say that politicians are all the same. It’s a convenient way to dismiss any careful investigation of the truth of that statement. New Zealand First since its inception has been committed to ‘one law ... More>>


Government: Taking Action To Reduce Waste And Plastics

Phase out single use and hard to recycle plastics by 2025 Create a $50m Plastics Innovation Fund to develop alternatives Standardise kerbside recycling The Labour Party is taking the next step in removing plastic rubbish from our oceans and environment ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Last Night’s Leaders Debate

Do political debates change voter intentions, and cause voters to switch sides? According to a 2019 Harvard Business School study conducted across 61 elections in nine countries involving 172,000 respondents, the answer would seem to be a resounding ... More>>


Dunne Speaks: The Election Campaign Just Grinds Slowly On And On

With just over three weeks until the General Election, the release of the first major pre-election opinion poll this week confirmed what was already being reported about this year’s campaign. Although the gap between Labour and National has narrowed ... More>>

Electoral Commission: Candidate And Party Lists Released

17 registered political parties and 677 candidates will be contesting the 2020 General Election Nominations have now closed and the Electoral Commission has released the electorate and party list candidates for 2020 online at . Advance voting ... More>>

National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels