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July 30, 2018 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Political Round Up

Zero Carbon Bill Comes Closer to Reality
Submissions for the Zero Carbon Bill have closed, with over 14,000 public submissions. Consultation on this bill, led by Climate Change Minister James Shaw, closed on 19th of July after six weeks of consultation.
The planned bill would see, at the very least, net carbon levels drop to zero by the year 2050. New Zealand’s gross emissions stood at 78.7 million tonnes in 2016, and statistics on the “Greenhouse Gas Inventory” show that this would have been higher if it wasn’t for the forestry sector absorbing many millions of tonnes more.
The youth climate activist group Generation Zero have pushed the bill to the Parliamentary stages. They have implored MPs to maintain a strong stance on emission goals. Spokesperson Victor Komarovsky said that New Zealand grasps the impacts of climate change. “We have everyone engaging with this discussion — from businesses of all sizes to the primary industries to engaged citizens and the government.”

Shaw has received the submissions and stated that he was pleased that the majority of New Zealanders were behind the movement for net zero emissions. “The next step is for us to work through all of the feedback from around the country and draft a bill that will be enduring,” says Mr Shaw.

Ngāpuhi Treaty Settlement in Negotiation
Andrew Little, Minister of Treaty of Waitangi negotiations, recently told RNZ’s Morning Report that the hapū of Ngāpuhi have “difficulty functioning” and cannot manage their own treaty settlements.
Moana Tuwhare, a Ngāpuhi lawyer, stated that Mr Little is wrong to think that their hapū cannot handle their own treaty settlements, and that it is out of his ministerial responsibility to comment on how hapū organise themselves.

The hāpu are proposing six settlements, as Tuwhare has stated they believe that a centrally-distributed settlement would not return profits to the people. Meanwhile, Little is pushing for a two-level structure that will “ultimately go down to hapū”.
The chair of Ngāti Hine, said the talks were going nowhere, and that Little’s position of having a single commercial settlement for the entire iwi was unsuitable.
The Minister reiterated that he was happy to travel to Tai Tokerau if there were further developments within the plans.
Heated Argument Between Winston and a Hollywood Personality
Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters has criticised former National government on their sale of the Hunter Valley Station to American millionaire Matt Lauer, without guaranteeing public access for trampers and hunters.
On the 23 July, Peters questioned the National Party on how the sale was conducted through the Overseas Investment Office (OIO). Matt Lauer, formerly a news anchor on NBC’s The Today Show, obtained the lease for the station on Lake Hawea for $13 million in March last year.
In late 2017, NBC terminated Lauer’s contract after sexual misconduct allegations were made against him. A good character test undertaken by the OIO found that he was eligible for the lease.
The Department of Conservation and the Walking Access Commission is asking for an easement, to make a public access road to the land-locked Hawea conservation park. Peters has stated that a deal regarding an easement through to the Hawea Conservation Park would not move forward with this government. The OIO said there were numerous occasions where access through the station was denied for liability issues, but no formal complaints were lodged. Mr Lauer and his tenants were opposed to the easement that would allow people to cross their land. The Walking Access Commission is working on an updated proposal for easement.


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