PM claims it wasn’t policy on the hoof

The Herald reports:

Prime Minister says she did not decide to ban future regional fuel taxes on the fly yesterday, and Government ministers – including Phil Twyford and Shane Jones – should have already known about it.

Her comments follow Transport Minister Phil Twyford suggesting to Radio NZ this morning that he only found out about the ban yesterday, just hours before Ardern publicly ruled out any more regional fuel taxes while she is PM.

Ardern also suggested that Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones, who only found out about the pledge yesterday, should have known about it earlier.

Twyford sought to clarify this afternoon by saying he has known Ardern’s position since the beginning of the year – yet did not pass that information on to several local authorities that have expressed an interest in a regional fuel tax.

In June the Government passed a law to enable Auckland to implement a regional fuel tax and allow other councils to follow suit from 2021.

Okay if the PM is telling the truth we have to believe the following:

  1. She made it known at the beginning of the year that she didn’t want any more regional fuel taxes
  2. Despite this, her Government passed a law in June explicitly allowing more regional fuel taxes
  3. Her Minister of Transport knew there were to be no more regional fuel taxes, but never mentioned this to local authorities that wanted to implement one

It’s about as plausible as Saudi Arabia’s claim that Khashoggi died in a fist fight.

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