Minister Shaw Wrongly Claims That Halt The NZU Grab Campaign Is Spreading Misleading Information
In our first press release (Scoop, 4 July) we warned that the Government’s NZ ETS review contemplates a huge expropriation of privately owned assets. This is because the consultation document makes no mention of a “grandfathering” arrangement for forests currently registered in the NZ ETS and the existing 96 million forestry NZUs.
Not only is the consultation document silent on this grandfathering, it also expressly states (page 66) that an important design decision (for Option 4) is whether the new restriction on use of removal units will relate to units currently held in the stockpile and, if so, whether and how units in the stockpile could be categorised as a gross unit (NZU) versus a removal unit. Then at page 67 it considers what will happen if restrictions are applied to all units regardless of allocation date. On top of this there are reports of officials openly discussing the benefits to the Government of not grandfathering.
Despite the imprecise messaging in the consultation document, it is clear the Government is contemplating changes to the NZ ETS which, if implemented, would amount to an expropriation involving the taking or impairment of private property rights.
But Minister Shaw seeks to deny this. He says that no decisions have been made yet and he characterises our campaign as misleading (Carbon News, 6 July). In saying this he would have us believe that the Government has given no consideration to changes to the ETS which would withhold grandfathering from existing forests and forestry NZUs. This looks to us like the Minister is engaging in misleading conduct.
In reply, we say that if the Government intends to grandfather all existing forests and forestry NZUs then it should come out and say so in the clearest terms.
This is an issue which impacts not only on the credibility of the Minister but also the credibility of the Labour Government.
Halt NZU Grab
Campaign Co-convenors: H. Bradbury and S.Thomson