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August 9, 2014

The Government has chosen to reject over a fifth of key recommendations by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on the state of human rights in New Zealand.

Gareth Hughes MP
August 9, 2014

The Green Party has welcomed the Environment Protection Agency's (EPA) decision not to allow massive seabed mining in the habitat of the world's most endangered dolphin - the Maui's Dolphin - and close to a blue whale breeding ground.

The proposal was to allow iron sand mining of the seabed off the Taranaki coast. The EPA declined the application, saying evidence provided to support the application was uncertain and inadequate.

August 9, 2014

This morning I caught up with a group of people who have been mandated to attend a pre-employment course by Work and Income.

There was a wide range of people on the course, from the young to those close to retirement age, sole parents, people with a range of fairly serious illnesses as well as people just really wanting a job. There were very well respected community members and people who have been struggling for a while.

Everyone, including the tutors was worried about what  is happening in Work and Income.

August 9, 2014

At its AGM last weekend, the Green Climate Protection Package was rolled out.

-    It contains the over-riding goal of net carbon-neutral economy by 2050, with a National Carbon Budget comprising a series of five-yearly budget components to get to that goal.

-    There will be an independent Climate Commission to advise the Government on both budget and policy.

-    The policy will be two inter-related policy mechanisms: an economic instrument and a suite of complementary measures.

August 9, 2014

True to his developing reputation as an original and courageous leader, Pope Francis has led the Israeli and Palestinians in prayer together.

It is probable that no other individual on Earth right now could bring that off.

If ping-pong diplomacy could cut the ice in US-China relations in the 20th century, then maybe prayer can do the same in the 21st.

Gareth Hughes MP
August 9, 2014

New Zealand's independent environmental watchdog has condemned the Government's regulation of the oil and gas industry by calling it inadequate, the Green Party said today.

In her final fracking report released today, Environmental Commissioner Dr Jan Wright says:

August 9, 2014

The Green Party is calling on John Key to confirm or deny that New Zealand is part of a small handful of countries trying to block global action on climate change.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot is understood to be building an alliance with countries like Canada and New Zealand in order to dismantle global moves to introduce carbon pricing and undermine recent efforts by United States President Obama to bring down greenhouse gas emissions.

International media are reporting it as "an alliance among like-minded countries".

August 9, 2014

In the last few days we’ve seen MMP being kicked around like the political football it should never be.

Electoral systems shouldn’t be politicised or swayed by particular situations or political parties. But that’s exactly what’s happened with MMP since the announcement of the Internet Mana Party deal.

Last election, the public voted to keep MMP and to improve it. We then had a robust public consultation process that came up with a clear set of recommendations that could have been easily implemented.

Gareth Hughes MP
August 9, 2014

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) has published a report that concludes the situation for New Zealand's highly endangered Maui's dolphin is dire, and that the Government's "current management situation falls short of that required to reverse the Maui's decline."

The Commission calls on the Government to "take immediate management actions that will eliminate bycatch of Maui's" and to "commit to specific population increase targets and timelines."

August 9, 2014

OECD Secretary-General, Mr. Angel Gurría described the implementation of British Columbia’s carbon tax “as near as we have to a textbook case, with wide coverage across sectors and a steady increase in the rate”.

British Columbia’s centre-right political party, the Liberal Party, implemented a broad-based low rate carbon charge in 2008 of C$10 per tonne of CO2e emissions. (The proposal took only four months to implement in law.) The rate has increased annually by C$5 per tonne until reaching its final rate of C$30 per tonne in 2012.