NZ Election 2011- Party Climate Change Policies

The National Party's introduction of an Emissions Trading Scheme aroused the ire of a considerable number of New Zealanders who know that Anthropogenic Global Warming is a fallacy.

Many people who have loyally supported the National Party for years have declared their intention of never voting for National again.

Here then are the options for the informed voter. Keep an eye on this page as we update it as new information comes to hand. We are open to additional information from parties already listed and any others who would like a mention-  contact us at



The National Government, with support from the Maori Party, implemented an Emissions Trading Scheme which has already imposed serious costs on all New Zealanders. Petrol and diesel prices went up by four cents per litre while electricity and gas prices have risen by five per cent, and all these are set to double by 2013. Farmers, already suffering through higher energy costs, are to become liable for biological emissions from January 2015.

New Zealand is the only country to enact an ETS in the last 7 years, and has the only scheme outside of Europe. No other country has an ETS covering all electricity and all transport fuels – “a tax on everything.” And no other country has even considered taxing food production and farming.  In acting alone, New Zealand (which emits only 0.2% of global emissions) merely penalises New Zealanders while doing nothing for the environment – while our industry (and employment) moves to countries where regulations are more relaxed.

In the last parliamentary term, with, ACT’s pressure and support, the government:

•   Delayed the implementation of the ETS, and held a special select committee review of the ETS;
•   Attempted to produce a cost/benefit study for the ETS;
•   Repealed the ban on new thermal energy generation.

In Addition:

•   ACT led the campaign against the ETS both inside and outside Parliament;
•   ACT challenged the faulty New Zealand temperature record put forward by government agency NIWA (now before the Courts).

ACT believes in sensible, realistic environmental policies. A Party Vote for ACT is a vote to:

•   Remove the agriculture sector from the ETS legislation;
•   Totally suspend the remainder of the ETS unless and until the majority of our trading partners have caught up. (It makes no sense to lead the world when the biggest carbon emitters do nothing to mitigate their emissions output);
•   Review Resource Management Act requirements based on suspected future climate changes;
•   Promote environmental policies based on sound science, avoiding unnecessary burdens and restrictions on our economy and those most vulnerable in times of economic crisis.

To read the ACT Party's full policy document on Climate Change Issues click here.



Farming the Foundation of our Economy

New Zealand is a world leader in farming. We have lots of land, a great climate, and farmers with skills second to none. The vast majority of our export receipts are derived from farming exports and success in the farming industry influences the wider economy for the better, right across the board. Economic policy must be developed that maximizes our farming potential and especially as regards exports.

Emission Trading Scheme
(How to "shoot yourself in the foot")

The Emission Trading Scheme is a great example of how not to help an economy. A tax that sees the everyday person paying more for power and fuel, and that, over time, increments to have a larger economic impact. Very importantly it directly raises the costs to our businesses while our three main trading partners have no such scheme. We are choosing to trade at a disadvantage which is just plain stupid.

There is of course, much scientific debate over the effect of human activity on the environment and views range from it having "little or no impact" to the "end of the world" scenario. However what is agreed on is that New Zealand reducing emissions has little or no impact on a worldwide scale.

We should get rid of this tax immediately with cheaper fuel and electricity across the board and especially for our producers.



 We can avoid the worst of dangerous climate change if we act now.

Our Climate Change Policy is about improving the way we live and do business. We can reduce emissions and enhance our quality of life.

It's also about adapting to climactic changes that are already locked in, and doing our part to help other nations, especially our vulnerable Pacific neighbours.

Key Principles
  • Our emissions must decrease as rapidly as possible
  • Our economy must be exposed to the world price for carbon.
  • Any income from a price on carbon must be used to assist the transition to a low carbon economy and to protect those on low incomes from the effects on energy and fuel prices.
Specific Policy Points
Supporting and Strengthening Kyoto
  • Support the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol
  • Make every effort to persuade the US to join Kyoto.
  • Work for a stronger binding agreement for post-2012.
  • Ensure that all our international trade agreements uphold the principles of Kyoto.
The Energy Sector
  • Except for fuel sold to electricity companies, require companies who bring fossil fuel into the NZ to purchase and transfer to government enough Kyoto-compliant emissions units to cover the carbon that is released when that fuel is burned.
  • Require electricity companies to purchase Kyoto compliant emission units, and transfer these to government.
The Agricultural Sector
  • Exempt from any requirement to purchase units sectors whose emissions are at or below 1990 levels (beef and sheep industries).
  • Place the liability for sectors whose emissions have increased above 1990 levels (Dairying and deer industries) with the large processing companies such as Fonterra, rather than with individual farmers.
The Forestry Sector
  • Ring-fence all credits from Kyoto forests for projects that will benefit and stimulate the forestry sector as a whole.
  • Pay Kyoto forests for some of the carbon sequestered in KP1 (to be surrendered if deforested).
  • Pay Pre-Kyoto forests that are replanted during KP1 a replanting incentive payment.
  • Fund Research & Development of benefit to the forestry industry.
  • With the exception of crown forests used as treaty settlements, require a carbon payment of not more than half the cost to the taxpayer for all deforestation of non-Kyoto forests.
Revenue recycling

Use all Government revenue from surplus carbon credits to:

  • Invest in technology research and development to further reduce our emissions.
  • Shift the West Coast economy away from coal mining.
  • Provide partial protection to sectors which have no way of reducing emissions and whose international competitiveness would be at risk if they faced the full price of carbon.
  • Fund an intensive programme of energy efficiency, renewable energy and transport programmes.
  • Assist low income and vulnerable sectors of society to adjust to the resulting changes in the economy.

For the full Green Party Climate Change Policy:

some excerpts:

 .....International scientific consensus is that our climate is changing. As a result of human activities, atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses, such as methane, are now higher than they have ever been in the last 650,000 years. These gasses trap the heat from the sun, and our planet is becoming warmer, which is causing our climate to change......

......New Zealand is not immune to the effects of climate change and already has to deal with increased severe weather events such as extreme floods and storms and more frequent droughts. These trends will get worse. Sea level rise threatens our largely coastal settlements and infrastructure, and new pests and diseases will become established.....

.....we must drastically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as we can. The Green Party supports the general scientific consensus that any human induced warming beyond two degrees is likely to lead to tipping points and irrevocable change, which are unacceptable both for humanity and the environment......



Labour will commit agriculture to the ETS at the original date of 2013 instead of National’s deferred date of 2015.

Low carbon farming techniques have the potential to become a competitive advantage for New Zealand’s agricultural sector. Labour will help Kiwi farmers by providing additional support for research and implementing better farming practices.

Growing a smart and innovative economy

Phil Goff  |  Sunday, May 22, 2011 - 12:01

Labour has today announced it will introduce a research and development tax credit at a rate of 12.5% to help get our country moving again and to grow a smart and innovative economy.

“It’s estimated that areas like health and clean technology could boost our economy by up to $22 billion a year. That kind of potential must be nurtured and encouraged,” said Labour Leader Phil Goff.

The policy to boost investment in R&D will cost an average of $160 million a year – a total of about $800 million over five years.

Labour will pay for the R&D tax credit policy by bringing agriculture back into the Emissions Trading Scheme by 2013 as originally intended. That means agriculture will pay $800 million towards its emissions over the period of 2013-17.

“It is essentially a straight swap. Today’s announcements are an example of exactly how Labour will show how it will pay for every promise it makes. We will not leave a list of broken promises littered behind us like John Key and National have.

“Agriculture is vital to our economy but the sector should pay its fair share. National’s decision to delay agriculture’s admission to the ETS costs around $800 million over five years. We, as taxpayers, and other industries are paying for this.

“The move will also encourage the agriculture sector to move quickly to reduce global warming gasses which account for 48% of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“Both the R&D investment and bringing agriculture into the ETS as originally intended in 2013 will enhance New Zealand’s clean green brand.”


Our R&D policy doesn’t come cheap either. It’ll cost $800 million over 5 years.

While I know you might like the policy, many of you here have been clear you don’t want to fund it by paying for your greenhouse gas emissions.

I want to tell you straight that is exactly what will happen under Labour.

Global warming is a reality. Scientific and government opinion worldwide accepts that. We need to mitigate its impact on our environment and economy so that a huge economic and environmental burden doesn’t fall on our children and grandchildren.

Other industries are already paying their fair share under the ETS, like steel, aluminium and transport.

Agriculture will have to do the same from 2013.

And don’t forget National is planning to do exactly the same thing – just not till 2015.

In New Zealand, agriculture accounts for nearly half of all our emissions. That is why it cannot continue to be excluded.

We’re asking you to pay your fair share, nothing more, nothing less.

Agriculture, like other sectors, won’t be paying the full cost of its emissions. It’ll pay 10% of its emission level in 2005 and growth since then.

Bringing agriculture into the ETS is not just a vital incentive to find innovative ways to deal with emissions.

It will also protect us against our trading partners using environmental concerns to block our products.

Being clean and green is a vital part of New Zealand’s brand.

If we let that slip, our export markets will shrink and your incomes will fall.

To read Labour's full Climate Change Policy go to:



The Libertarianz Party  has what it believes is a "sensible" attitude toward climate change: ideally, that the pricing system determined by a free market should be the vehicle to address economic pressures caused by temperature fluctuation (which, as the science suggests, is influenced almost entirely by solar and volcanic activity). If the government insists on "acting" to save us all from imminent combustion, then carbon taxes be linked to actual global temperature change - and with average global temperature having dropped for the past 12 years, we should be enjoying tax cuts!
We have issued a number of press statements outlining our approach to climate change, including a submission to parliament on the proposed ETS:
The Libertarianz Party believes the government's role is to uphold individual rights and freedoms. Carbon taxes and the like penalise productive industry and are a violation of the rights and freedoms of New Zealanders, hence we oppose the imposition of such taxes.  


The Māori Party is committed to keeping our natural resources and environment healthy, safe and intact for everyone and for future generations.   
The Māori Party believes in the efficient use of water, the conservation of energy, and the need for sustainable environmental management. 
The Māori Party is also committed to assisting whanau, hapu and iwi, as tangata tiaki, to take whatever measures are necessary to ensure the wellbeing and future good health of the environment.

  • We promote the appropriate development of renewable energy resources, including geothermal and hydro, wave, wind and solar, in order to protect and preserve limited resources such as oil, gas and coal.
  • We support the Department of Conservation in working with local hapu and iwi to transfer the kaitiakitanga role back to tangata whenua.

We aspire to work together to make the economy great but not at the expense of our environment.  Climate change affects us all and the biggest emitters must take responsibility to change the way they do business. Any cost they pass on to consumers must encourage environmentally responsible choices. The principle must be that polluters pay.

We want sustainable development.  We must reduce our dependence on oil by strategies to reuse, recycle, repair, respect, replace and trade local.

Our priorities are:

  • A Nuclear Free Aotearoa. We also want a GE Free Aotearoa.
  • Improved public transport which results in reduced emissions. We also support the development of sustainable building practices and the use of emission-free vehicles.
  • Request the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment to urgently convene cross-party discussions to assess the impact of peak-oil production on Aotearoa.
  • Moratorium on 1080 drops.
  • Mitigate the impact of emissions pricing on low and modest income consumers by developing options for affordable and sustainable energy services for householders.

 For a link to the full Maori Party ETS Information Kit click here




Most of the science points to climate change happening, and it’s one of those issues where if you wait to be 100% certain, it will be too late to do anything about it.

The world is set on a path to constrain greenhouse gas emissions. Our moderate Emissions Trading Scheme is delivering real results by reducing emissions, and encouraging tree planting and investment in renewable energy. It also meets our Kyoto Protocol commitments by 2012.


National deferred the entry of agricultural emissions into the scheme until 2015.

We said that agriculture will enter the ETS only if our trading partners make more progress on tackling climate change, and there are practical technologies for farmers to reduce emissions.


New Zealand is not leading the world with an ETS. Of the 38 countries that signed the Kyoto Protocol, 29 have an ETS – the bulk in the European Union.

In the United States, 10 states are in an ETS scheme and 11 are considering joining. Japan is proposing a nationwide scheme, Tokyo already has an ETS in place. China is looking at a trial ETS covering a significant percentage of its emissions, and in Australia the government is planning to introduce a fixed price ETS on 1 July 2012, moving to full trading between 2015 and 2017.


Results from the first year of the ETS show it is driving investment in renewable energy and the planting of trees. We have seen a record 11 new renewable power stations consented with a total of 1340MW of electricity – five times the average of the past decade when most new power stations were fossil fuelled.

The scheme has also successfully reversed the record deforestation of 40,000 hectares between 2005 and 2008. New forest plantings have grown each year since, with 5700 hectares expected this year and 7700 hectares in 2012.


It is important that New Zealand does its fair share to combat climate change, but we don’t want to jump ahead of the rest of the world.

That is why our ETS will be regularly reviewed, so we can assess our approach relative to international progress and the latest science. Our very moderate ETS is the sensible way for New Zealand to go forward.

For more information on the ETS visit:


 National has HALVED the cost of Labour’s ETS for households and families. For the average Kiwi household it is estimated the ETS costs $3 a week through increases in electricity and fuel costs.

The question is: are you prepared to pay $3 a week as an insurance policy for the environment?



New Zealand First's official stance regarding the issue of Climate Change is that while we accept that the climate does change, both constantly and over time, the causes for this are not necessarily fully understood, and neither is the degree to which human activity may or may not be a driving factor in any such change.. New Zealand First is concerned that science should be determined on the basis of fact, not consensus, and we are further concerned that debate continues as to whether or not any such consensus even exists at this time.
As regards the ETS, New Zealand First's position is that New Zealand should make no moves to implement any such comprehensive scheme, until such time as our major trading partners have also committed to doing so.
We are cognisant of the reality that political entities overseas may use New Zealand's complete abandonment of any form of ETS or Carbon Tax as an excuse to apply barriers to our export trade, on which our economy depends completely.
For this reason it is our policy to be the last cab off the rank, rather than the first. Whether or not there does indeed ever prove to be any veracity in the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory, it makes little sense for New Zealand, as a magnitudinally miniscule emitter, to sacrifice our economy as a symbolic gesture, when the world's major emitters are either exempted from any requirements under Kyoto, or have simply chosen to ignore them.
For purely pragmatic reasons, New Zealand needs to remain a part of the framework, but our position is that we need to be a follower rather than a leader.
New Zealand First in Parliament will be reactive to ETS matters, rather than proactive. We will not initiate moves to advance or accelerate New Zealand's activities with regards to any such scheme, but we will oppose any moves which may compromise key sectors of our economy, or penalise families, without there being any proven benefit to the world's climate as a result of such moves.


UnitedFuture does not pretend to be able to predict precisely all the consequences or outcomes of climate change, but through the growing scientific and economic evidence we understand the risks and the need for a timely response.
Climate change is a global challenge that through international and domestic cooperation can be managed to mitigate the risks whilst, in a New Zealand context, presenting a range of opportunities for environmental sustainability and social and economic development.
It is UnitedFuture’s opinion that the benefits of responsible and practical action now will be realised in the long-term health and prosperity of New Zealand’s environment and its people.

UnitedFuture supports the creation of CO2 emissions trading mechanisms to provide economic incentives to reduce greenhouse gases and boost carbon capture and other greenhouse gas reduction/mitigation efforts whilst continuing to oppose a general carbon tax.

The ETS deserves to be regularly reviewed to respond not only to the advancement of scientific knowledge in this area but also NZs consistently evolving economic position. UF will only support changes that do not unreasonably impact on NZ families and households through an unsustainable rising cost of living.