Greypower MTC in Havelock North

This from the Hawkes Bay Today:

Tukituki candidates, from left, Rick Barker, Craig Foss, Duncan Lennox, Quentin Duthie and Thomas O’Neill.

Candidates get public grilling

The awkward body language said it all as Tukituki political candidates sat shoulder to shoulder as Havelock North people fired their pre-election questions. …

Heads were turned earlier in the meeting when a grandmother asked what the candidates could do for families, such as her daughter’s, which could not afford to put food on the table.

“There are 200,000 children living in poverty,” Mr Duthie said, promising better help for struggling families.

Craig Foss has also blogged on it.


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National’s changing talk on climate policy

Update: Green Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons cornered John Key today on this very issue. See her release and TVNZ story.

The Green Party Tukituki candidate Quentin Duthie is wondering if the National Party is telling different audiences different stories on National’s commitment to climate change, Kyoto and the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). …

“At the Wairoa meeting recently, National candidate Chris Tremain told the audience that National would reassess what obligation agriculture should carry under the ETS”, Mr Duthie said

“Some National Party farmers I talked to at the Hawke’s Bay A&P Show were also quite confident that National would remove agricultural emissions altogether from National’s ETS.

“Also at the A&P Show last week, National party activists told me that National was even considering going as far as withdrawing from Kyoto, which would make NZ an international pariah!

“These positions are at odds with what the National leader John Key is saying to national media, and statements like the National Party’s minority report [WARNING 7Mb PDF] on the ETS Bill [p58-59]:

National does not believe the agricultural sector can or should be excluded from this bill, as it is such a large contributor to New Zealand’s emissions. … National wants to work with the agricultural sector to explore options, including the earlier [than 2013] entry of nitrous oxide to the scheme, so as to encourage better use of modern fertiliser technologies that are available and would reduce emissions.

“In Wairoa, Mr Tremain attacked the Greens for wanting to bring agriculture into the ETS earlier than ETS, yet when I pointed out that so did National according to their minority report, he denied it, despite being on the select committee that wrote the report!

“National is threatened by the ACT Party’s anti-Kyoto anti-ETS stance, which is also anti-science and simply panders to ill-founded fears. ACT seems to have made this a bottom-line for National.

This double-talk is not just in Hawke’s Bay. Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons commented yesterday that: “National candidates have been telling farmers they will never have to fund the cost of their emissions. Many farmers I’ve talked to believe that, under National, New Zealand would withdraw from Kyoto.” She added: “This is not the message John Key has been giving but he needs to come clean and tell us which of his candidates are right about their policy.”

Full statement is here: statement-qd-30-10-08-national-ets

[addition: looks like Greenpeace is on John Key’s case too!]

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85 bans – and what they REALLY are

Baybuzz has unfortunately bought into Kiwiblog’s anti-Green agenda and highlighted a supposed list of 85 bans contained in Green Policy. Green policy is very detailed in the interests of transparency, and is often being revised and updated. Behind it sit principles that do not change. One of my colleagues has done a quite analysis of the “85” so voters can judge for themselves. As you’ll see some are bans for good reason, some are partial restrictions and others are not bans at all. As I commented on Baybuzz, every party seeks to ‘ban’, stop, restrict, close things – ACT wants to ban Kyoto and the ETS, and even the LiberteriaNZ seem to want to ban the Greens!

Here’s the list and explanation: 85-bans

Photo thanks to Greenpeace UK

Photo thanks to Greenpeace UK

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ACT-attack on Clean Green agriculture

This morning ACT put our a media statement attacking the Greens. It is here.

I have responded with this statement here.

ACT party’s poll-jealousy straw-man

The Green Party Tukituki candidate Quentin Duthie has responded to ACT’s unfounded scaremongering by suggesting he must be jealous of the polls to resort to attacking a ‘straw-man’.

ACT’s Tukituki candidate Duncan Lennox has claimed in a statement that the Greens will bring dire consequences for Hawke’s Bay agriculture, but he does not mention exactly what in the Greens’ pro-farming agriculture policy released at the Hastings A&P Show just last week he is worried about.

Here is the summary of points Jeanette Fitzsimons covered from our new Agriculture Policy at the launch last Friday: Ag policy launch summary

And voters can compare the full policies directly here: ACT and Greens. Guess which one takes seriously the threat of climate change to our agricultural production and markets?

[addendum: here is the resulting story in the HB Today]

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Jeanette at A&P Show

We had a pleasure of Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons’ company at the Hawke’s Bay A&P Show on Friday. It was a busy day at the Show with numerous people stopping at the Green marquee to ask questions. It was heartening to see how much support we have even in provincial areas where our support has traditionally been lower than average.

Jeanette launched the Greens’ Agricultural policy to the assembled supporters, media and public. Baybuzz‘s Tom Belford was interested in the Party’s declaration of a preference to work with Labour rather than National. Meanwhile local growers John Bostock and Adrian White were interested in next steps to secure a GE Free environment and get country of origin labelling on food.

The policy launch and Jeanette’s meeting and greeting was in contrast to John Key’s visit the day before: where John had visited for about half an hour, kissed babies, smiled for TV cameras and mainly interacted with supporters; Jeanette was at the Show for most of the day, was regularly offered hugs by adult supporters, spent most of the time speaking about real policy issues and debunked many of the myths mischievously cultivated by National and their right-wing mates such as the ETS killing sheep-farming, and compulsory CFLs and showerheads! Personally, I enjoyed the opportunity to answer peoples’ questions even if the level of anti-Green misinformation is frustrating.

[Addendum: After the event the HB Today interviewed me and ran this article in their rural supplement]

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Do it for love

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Greens say railcars may return to the Bay

The Green Party Tukituki candidate Quentin Duthie suggests that Hawke’s Bay may see the return of railcars or passenger trains to the east coast of the North Island in the near future.

“There are still a number of Silver Fern railcars operating in New Zealand. With the electrification of the Auckland rail network, we may find these are freed up to service provincial routes like the Wellington to Napier to Gisborne line, or a return to the full train service like the former Bay Express.

Continued in the full media statement here
A Silver Fern railcar

A Silver Fern railcar

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