Robertson v Graham

June 22nd, 2012 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Grant Robertson blogs:

I am very annoyed at ’s misleading blog about Labour’s non-attendance at Rio+20. It is pure politics and just plain wrong. I presume I am the person he is referring to when he says he spoke to a ’senior Labour person’ about this last week. It is simply not true to say as Ken does that the reason I was not in Rio was because “I could not get away”. What I actually said was that I could not afford the cost of going. There is a big difference between the two. (In fairness to Kennedy he has now apologised for any personal offence, though the blog remains unchanged)

I would love to be there. I was at Rio+10 in Johannesburg as a member of the New Zealand delegation. I had spent the previous two and half years at the UN working on the preparations for the event. It was a big deal to me. On that delegation Nick Smith was there as the opposition representative. Just as ten years before at the original Rio Summit there had been an opposition representative on the delegation. This year the government decided not to issue such an invitation. I did raise with Amy Adams the funding for other MPs going to Rio and she said it was not happening citing “budgetary constraints”.

Grant is correct to point out he said that the reason he couldn’t attend was financial, rather than not being a priority to take the time to attend.

However it is worth pointing out that just because the Ministry for the Environment won’t pay for him to attend,  doesn’t mean he could not have still chosen to attend. Labour’s parliamentary budget is a total of $5.1 million. Labour could well have decided to fund Grant or another MP to travel to Rio out of that budget. However they obviously decided that was not a priority for them. So it was still a matter of priorities for Labour in deciding not to attend.

Personally I think it was the right decision. If I was an MP, I’d rather spend my parliamentary funding on some good policy research, rather than flying the Deputy Leader to Rio. But it was a decision open to Labour.

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24 Responses to “Robertson v Graham”

  1. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    And the decision by the government not to fund attendance? Helpful, or not helpful?

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  2. tom hunter (4,552 comments) says:

    You either believe in CO2 reduction or you don’t – and your actions tell the truth.

    Greenies should be pleased.

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  3. calendar girl (1,201 comments) says:

    Helpful, or not helpful?

    Clearly financially prudent in the light of the “achievements” of the conference.

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  4. Pete George (23,257 comments) says:

    Roberston also said:

    But in the meantime, if we are to have a more ‘political’ approach from the Greens, its only fair that they should be held to account.

    I think this is a fair call. The Greens are promoting themselves as major coalition partners, so they should be scrutinised and called to account (fairly) alongside the other major parties.

    It’s fair to question exactly how our economy might fare with a Green leader as a minister or associate minister of finance.

    Greens have many fine ideals in policy, but it’s fair to ask how they could actually be put into practice, and if they are what would be the effects, known and unintended.

    And it’s fair to scrutinise how a Labour led government might deal with major Green input, when the Greens exhibit fine democratic practice within their party but due to Green bubbleitis (with more than just hints of political self lefteousness and arrogance) but are unproven at a coalition level of inter-party cooperation, compromise and pragmatism.

    And I’ve said a fair bit more: http://yournz.org/2012/06/22/grant-robertson-and-green-questions/

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  5. sthn.jeff (100 comments) says:

    If it meant such a lot to him and Labour did not want to fund it, he could have always paid for it himself

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  6. alex (301 comments) says:

    Normally I’d side with the Green over the Labourite, but I can’t really see the Rio summit taking any real action to fight climate change. After all, these international summits seem to achieve nothing each and every time. What we really need to fight climate change are individual governments and corporations taking action, and then there would be no need for pointless summits.

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  7. Roflcopter (446 comments) says:

    Real reason: Too scared to front up to Aunty Helen.

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  8. BillODrees (92 comments) says:

    Grant will be in Titirangi this Saturday (tomorrow) at 1.00 at the War Memorial Hall. Grant and David Cunliffe are giving speeches on the Economy and the Environment. It is a public meeting. Anyone with a concern for the Economy and for the Environment is welcome.

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  9. onthenumber8 (20 comments) says:

    From a cynical perspective Grant probably saved more CO2 emissions by not taking several international flights than the conference itself. The solutions are all pretty simple and don’t need another conference, they just need balls.

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  10. lastmanstanding (1,233 comments) says:

    Geeeez the morons attending Rio 20 cant even agree on what day of the week itis let alone anything else. Just a bunch of tossers and losers all of them.

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  11. Ross12 (1,250 comments) says:

    C’mon you guys , keep up with the play –”climate change” is out the back door now. It’s all about “bio diversity” and “sustainable development”. Make sure all your mates looking get large research grants have the right words in the application.

    “Huxley Lawler, Executive Coordinator of Environment and Climate Change of the Gold Coast City Council in Australia (an ICLEI member), told CFACT Executive Director Craig Rucker bluntly that “we don’t use the term climate change anymore. It’s sustainable development.” Rucker and CFACT staffer Abdul Kamara confirmed this in conversations with other delegates, including Paul Chambers, a Sustainability Manager for the Auckland Council in New Zealand. Chambers said it is important to use inexact environment protection terminology when dealing with conservative governments, like the one he says currently heads his nation. “

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  12. Roflcopter (446 comments) says:

    BillODrees, we’re trying to reduce CO2 emissions.

    Those 2 talking makes the supposed problem with cow farts look like bubbles in a bottle of fizzy drink.

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  13. Rich Prick (1,624 comments) says:

    “bio diversity”

    In Labour-speak, does that mean more gay and coloured flowers?

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  14. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    These world forums are kept up as each one fails. The Copenhagen summit was a huge failure back in ’09.

    It was supposed to bring about one world govt. They will keep up these summits until they get their way with an international Tobin tax to gain funds for UN dominance

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  15. Matthew Hooton (126 comments) says:

    The Labour Party is to be commended for not sending anyone to Rio+20.
    I hope they repeat this with respect to the UN Climate Change conference in Doha later this year.
    And, hopefully, the government also follows Labour’s lead by not sending anyone either.

    WHOOPS: Correction on this. Have now read Grant’s blog. He says he would love to be there. That kinda cancels out the positive signal he was sending with his boycott.

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  16. Ross12 (1,250 comments) says:

    Wiki b –you’ve got it all worked out right.

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  17. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    Global warming hoax explained

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  18. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agyjz9pZfB4&feature=related

    Lord Christopher Monckton vs Al Gore on Climate Change Power Shift 2011 Global Warming Climategate

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  19. BeaB (2,080 comments) says:

    That’s a headline

    LABOUR MP TURNS DOWN U.N. JUNKET

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  20. cows4me (248 comments) says:

    Jeez what’s wrong with the man, all those hot sexy sheilas wearing next to nothing, nice warm weather, beautiful beaches, good food , free piss. Is he doing penance?

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  21. cows4me (248 comments) says:

    wikiriwhis business, it’s a wonder Monckton hasn’t had a wooden stake driven through his heart. What really pisses me off is how our politicians can still support this shit. They should all be locked up for being traitors to their country.

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  22. Dave Mann (1,187 comments) says:

    This whole Rio+ bullshit is absolute idiocy. I am surprised and deeply disappointed that anybody would wish to attend, frankly. It just shows how stupid politicians are, that they would even consider going there to publicly masturbate over a collection of purely invented non-issues.

    Assholes. They have nothing better to do than this?

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  23. Griff (6,986 comments) says:

    wikiriwhis business
    Your first link is aimed at the dienial nutjobs its a fitting format :lol:
    Has mockey released his cure for cancer yet?

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  24. Paulus (2,554 comments) says:

    New Zealand was represented at Rio+20.
    An intelligent speech by a pupil from Queen Margarets in Wellington was given to the attendees.
    Clear and understood – she will make a great Green MP.

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