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  Voting Records of Political Parties in Parliament

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We have looked at the voting records of political parties on key environmental legislation over the last three years. You may find it valuable to compare politicians' promises against their actual voting record.

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Note: In most cases we looked at the final (Third Reading) votes on proposed legislation. In some cases we had to rely on Parliamentary select committee reports or initial votes (First Reading). Private Members Bill are an important indicator of how opposition parties intend to change environmental laws.

Some key legislation was passed with the support of all parties in the house. This included the Waste Minimisation Bill (which was originally a Green Party bill promoted by Nandor Tanczos that eventually was adopted by the Government), Fisheries (No2) Bill which amended a key sustainability provision (section 13) of the Act, and the Walking Access Bill.

What the legislation was about

The Government's Emission Trading and Renewable Preference Bill implements the Emission Trading System and puts a moratorium on new thermal electricity power stations to achieve a goal of 90 percent renewable electricity by 2025.

The Government's Biofuels Bill implements a small biofuels commitment in fuels and was passed with additional requirements for environmental and other standards.

The Government's Fisheries (section 10) Amendment Bill was introduced to add a precautionary approach to setting allowable fishing catches and other conservation rules. It was withdrawn by the Government after losing the support of all parties except Labour, Progressives and the Greens.

The Government's Fisheries (section 13) Amendment Bill plugged a gap in the law that was exposed in a High Court case. A proposal to improve the Bill by only allowing reductions in catch limits when information about fisheries is poor, proposed by the Green Party (and supported by the Maori Party) was rejected by all other parties.

The Government's Public Transport Amendment Bill aims to improve public transport.

The Government's Biosecurity Amendment Bill (No 4) and the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Amendment Bill (No 2) undermined the precautionary principle and was a Government response to losing a High Court case on the import of bee products from Australia.

Labour MP Lynne Pillay's Waitakere Ranges Heritage Bill strengthened protection of the Waitakere Ranges under the Resource Management Act.

Green MP Jeanette Fitszimons Resource Management (Climate Protection) Bill would have reinstated a requirement to consider climate change impacts of development under the Resource Management Act. The Bill reported back by the Local Government and Envirnment Select Committee with the Labour and National Members opposing it.

National MP Nick Smith's Resource Management (Restricted Coastal Activity) Bill would remove the powers of the Minister of Conservation as "landowning Minister" to have the final say on projects that could harm the coastal environment.

National MP Kate Wilkinson Resource Management (Security for Costs) Amendment Bill would have increased the barriers to public participation in resource management decision making by the environmental and community groups.

Former United Future MP Gordon Copeland's NZ Bill of Rights Private Property Bill would have made private property rights more important than the future of the planet and looking after New Zealand's environment.

ACT MP Rodney Hide's Regulatory Responsibility Bill would have placed large barriers to regulation aimed at protecting the environment.



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Vote for the environment Charter 2008