The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority has had a major blowout in its public relations budget, despite the fact the organisation is meant to be winding down, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods.
“CERA is meant to be closing up shop soon, but in the last financial year they had a 37% increase in the amount spent on public relation campaigns.
The Government must drop its unlawful refusal to follow the Supreme Courts instructions and pay all Red Zone property owners a fair rate for the property it has acquired from them, says Labour’s Canterbury Spokesperson Megan Woods.
“This is appalling judgement from the Government. The Court was clear in its ruling and the Government’s offer to only settle on land is a contemptuous disregard for a decision of the Supreme Court.
Minister Gerry Brownlee should be insisting that the Government owned insurer Southern Response uses funds to get people’s homes fixed and not go to court, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods.
“The high number of legal challenges to the Government’s handling of the rebuild has seen Southern Response budget $4 million for legal battles, instead of using that money to fix homes.
Paris has delivered a landmark agreement to cut emissions from 2020 sending a strong message that more ambition and action is needed to combat climate change, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.
“More than 200 countries worked hard on the international negotiations and now it’s time for New Zealand to focus on the domestic actions required to meet its obligations.
“The inclusion to limit global temperatures to 1.5 degrees is more ambitious than many expected when the talks kicked off a fortnight ago. Credit has to go to our Pacific neighbours for the strong lobby they have put up to have this more ambitious target included.
“So far, the National Government have not met the emission reduction targets that they set. This needs to change. We can no longer get by on a wish and a prayer. We must get proper planning such as carbon budgeting in place or we face huge financial risk.
A Government bill to reform the RMA must not be used as a chance to tinker with its key role of protecting the environment, says Labour’s Environmental spokesperson Megan Woods.
“We will have to look at the proposed changes carefully as there are 200 pages in this Bill. We will be watching to make sure there is a decent chance for people to have their say through the select committee stage over what will clearly be a complex piece of legislation.
Today’s rushed select committee hearings are the Government’s last chance to listen to the public’s overwhelming opposition to their undemocratic ECan plan, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods.
“Throughout the entire ECan saga, the Government has steadfastly refused to hear people in Canterbury who want the right to elect their own regional council – just like everywhere else in New Zealand.
The inescapable conclusion from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s second report on rising sea levels is that both central and local government must start planning now, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Megan Woods.
“The fact is that over 9,000 New Zealand homes lie less than 50 centimetres above the spring high tide line. As the Parliamentary Commissioner has said while there is no need to panic we must start to act with urgency and we must do this carefully.