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Embarrassing new errors found in ETS law

Hon Dr Nick Smith
National Party Climate Change Spokesman

7 September 2008

Embarrassing new errors found in ETS law

New errors identified in the emissions trading legislation in respect of co-generation and emissions from gas and coal bought through wholesalers, exposes the Government's reckless process on this complex bill, says National's Climate Change spokesman, Nick Smith.

"These significant errors will needlessly cost industry millions of dollars. Fonterra alone has identified the cost at $13.5 million per year.

"Government officials have accepted these errors, affecting clauses 57 and 69 and schedules 3 and 4 of the bill, and are now scrambling to find a way to make the corrections.

"The problem is that the opportunity for amending the bill has passed, as only the title and third reading stages remain.

"These latest errors are a serious blow to Minister David Parker's credibility. He gave assurances the bill was all fixed after the 1,000 last minute changes at select committee. He again gave such assurances after introducing and passing another 785 amendments last Tuesday.

"It is not good enough for the Minister to dismiss concerns by saying these are just technical amendments when a few words wrong can cost many millions of dollars.

"This bill represents one of this country's biggest economic reforms. It is grossly irresponsible to be ramming it through with hundreds of new amendments, when the public has had no opportunity to comment, and when not a single MP can credibly claim to understand it.

"The rush is more about Helen Clark's desire to have something to show on climate change after nine years of Government, than New Zealand's interest in getting this law right.

"National will again seek support on Tuesday to send this bill back to select committee so these errors can be corrected."

ENDS

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