Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Govt Turns Its Back on Transport Alternatives

Sustainable Energy Forum: Government Turns Its Back on Transport Alternatives

The Sustainable Energy Forum has criticised the Government's plans to increase state highway funding and make highway construction the centrepiece of transport policy. Tim Jones, Convenor of the Sustainable Energy Forum, said "The Government is living in a fool's paradise if it thinks that highway construction is the way to improve our transport system. Although the Government's announcement of its continued commitment to the Auckland and Wellington commuter rail systems is welcome, it's the only good news in these announcements. Everything else the Government has announced shows that it regards the private car as the be-all and end-all of our transport system."

"The Minister of Transport obviously hasn't been paying attention to International Energy Agency reports that warn of a supply crunch in world oil supplies approaching 2012. This supply crunch is likely to be worsened by the current low world oil prices, as these discourage investment in oil exploration and production.

"Given all this, you'd think the Government would be interested in other sources of transport energy. That makes it all the more surprising that the Government has just disbanded the Vehicle Energy and Renewables Group (VERG), which was set up in 2008 to explore ways in which New Zealand could promote the uptake of low-carbon fuels and vehicle technologies, focusing especially on electric vehicles.

"I was a member of the VERG, and I'm disappointed that the Government has chosen to end its work so prematurely. New Zealand's transport system is 99% dependent on oil, nearly all of it imported. A move away from this dependence is desperately needed both to reduce our soaring greenhouse gas emissions from transport and to increase our ability to withstand future oil price shocks and supply shortages. All the Government can point to as achievements in this area are decisions to 'equalise the tax treatment of biofuels and make electric vehicles temporarily exempt from paying road user charges'. That's nowhere near enough," Tim Jones said.

"There is much more work to be done in this area, but it appears the Government would rather place its reliance on oil. Perhaps the Minister of Energy's enthusiasm for coal-to-liquid fuels conversion plants, despite their appalling greenhouse gas emissions, has something to do with this as well. Whatever the reason, the Government's changes to transport policies will lead to increased greenhouse gas emissions, more dependence on fossil fuels, and a transport system that is more hostile than ever to alternative forms of transport," Tim Jones said. "I hope the Government will rethink the direction it is taking the transport system, and will put prudent and environmentally responsible policies in place."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Omicron, And The Bridges/Luxon Dilemma

At this early stage, the Omicron variant seems to be more infectious, and more able to bypass the protection offered by vaccines and by the antibodies generated by previous infection. The fact that it is being spread around the globe by travellers who were all presumably fully immunised and had pre-flight negative Covid tests is a bit alarming. Even so, it is still unclear at this point whether Omicron is likely to result in higher rates of hospitalisation and death than the Delta variant. Omicron will make you sick. But how sick..? More>>


Government: Workplace Vaccination Requirements Extended To Cover Police And NZ Defence Force

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today that workplace vaccination requirements will be extended to include the New Zealand Police and Defence Force in preparation for the transition to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework on 3 December 2021... More>>

RNZ: Judith Collins removed as National Party leader
Dr Shane Reti is interim leader of the National Party after Judith Collins lost a no-confidence vote. Simon Bridges was demoted and stripped of all portfolios over allegations of an inappropriate comment made five years ago at a party function. Judith Collins was voted out as National's leader today after the party was locked in a caucus for more than three hours... More>>

Government: Supporting New Zealanders To Recover From COVID-19 In The Community
The Government is increasing the support for New Zealanders who test positive for COVID-19 through the rollout of the COVID Care in the Community model and a $300 million funding boost to Pharmac to purchase new medicines to treat the virus, Health Minister Andrew Little announced today... More>>


National: Launches First Step To World-class Tech Sector

Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says technology will create exciting careers and higher paying jobs and has the potential to transform the New Zealand economy... More>>

Council For Civil Liberties: Disgraceful Government Secrecy On Vaccination Certificates As Legislation Rushed Through
On the eve of legislation to enable vaccination passes being rushed through Parliament under urgency, the Minister has said it will not publish the relevant policy papers until ‘late January 2022... More>>

Government: Providing Business The Tools To Vaccinate Workforces

The Government is building on measures to protect businesses and workers from COVID-19 as the country gets ready to transition to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework on December 3, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today... More>>




InfoPages News Channels