Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ask for a narrow focus!

In their agreement with National, ACT proposed some Terms of Reference for the Select Committee. They said, "here's what we think the SC should have to work through!" and John Key said, well, we'll have to see about that.

You can see ACT's proposal for yourself as Appendix 1: find it here.

John Key has explicitly said this is a starting point for negotiation. We want to influence that negotiation. What we want is for that big long list to be stripped down the bare slender minimum, so the SC can get through its work super-fast.

So -

  • no investigation of science - we've covered that one already.
  • no investigation of whether we should do anything at all - we've made an international commitment to reduce emissions, and we should be sticking to it.
  • no time spent second-guessing the future - we already know what direction the world is going in, we need to start going there too
  • no waiting for Copenhagen 2009 - same reason as above!
  • no wasting time on an "adaptation approach" - this just means, "we'll do nothing and then try and cope as the world around us goes down the toilet". We need to start making changes!
  • etc. etc.
Instead of all this guff, the SC should focus on identifying the best way to reduce emissions and minimise the cost to the taxpayer (and that means, how to tweak the ETS to improve it). We don't need anything else.

In fact, a lot of that nonsense could be replaced by one entirely new point. You might want to ask for something like this in your letter:
"As a first priority, the select committee should consider the costs to New Zealand's international standing and economic wellbeing of further delays."

Because the bottom line is this: we have obligations now, and they are costing us money now. We can't escape that fact. So we need to get this done and dusted fast.

And that is why you should ask for a narrow focus.

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