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Labour broke law over Kyoto bungle

8 December 2005

Labour broke law over Kyoto bungle

National Party Environment spokesman Nick Smith says Labour not only mislead New Zealand by claiming millions of credits from the Kyoto Protocol when we were in deficit, but then broke the law in trying to hide their error.

The Office of the Auditor-General today told the Local Government and Environment select committee that the Ministry for the Environment breached the Public Finance Act by not disclosing the $309,843,000 liability arising from the Kyoto Protocol.

"This shows the lengths this cynical Labour Government will go to to cover up its mistakes, including breaking the law," says Dr Smith.

The Office of the Auditor General told the committee this morning that the Public Finance Act was breached and in its report to the committee states:

"The Ministry has incurred unappropriated expenditure during the year of $309,843,000. This unappropriated expenditure has been notified to the Minister of Finance through the ministerial certification process in terms of the Public Finance Act 1989 and will be included in validating legislation."

"The deception was further confirmed by Chief Executive Barry Carbon who said his Ministry thought New Zealand's carbon balance was negative in September 2004, yet Minister Hodgson is on record that month saying New Zealand had substantial credits," says Dr Smith.

"The Labour Government has locked New Zealand into huge liabilities by ratifying the Kyoto Protocol and has been caught being deceitful and unlawful about this momentous error."

ENDS

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