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Reckless Smith puts Crown at risk

24 November 2009
Media Statement

Reckless Smith puts Crown at risk

Climate Change Issues Minister Nick Smith today put Crown interests at risk by recklessly quoting part of a sensitive Cabinet document in Parliament, says Labour's climate change spokesperson Charles Chauvel.

“Nick Smith is compounding the ETS shambles,” Charles Chauvel said.

“Not only is National’s scheme set to cost taxpayers an additional $110 billion by 2050, but Nick Smith is so far out of his depth that today in the House he recklessly quoted from a legal opinion included in a Cabinet paper that contained material that could prejudice the Crown’s ability to negotiate with iwi.”

Charles Chauvel said it was time for Prime Minister John Key to remove Nick Smith from his portfolios.

“This is the same Minister that has been cooking the books on ACC and the ETS for months.

“The sight of him having to furiously backtrack in the House today, after making his foolish offer to table the Cabinet document in question, was humiliating for the Government and a huge worry for Kiwi taxpayers who have to foot the bill for his continuing incompetence.”

Charles Chauvel said Nick Smith’s handling of the ETS has been a disgrace from the beginning.

“Now Parliament is about to start debating an un-costed Bill that contains secret deals, that gives unfair advantages to heavy emitters and which New Zealanders have had no opportunity either to read or question.

“This is law-making at its worst, and, to cap it off, the Minister today showed himself so much at sixes and sevens that he almost made public information that could have put his own secret deal-making at risk. His handling of his portfolios is an embarrassment.”

ENDS

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