May 9, 2008

Trans-Tasman Analyses EMS U-Turn In Similar Terms To The Hive

There is an increasingly similarity in the line being taken by the weekly political newsletter Trans-Tasman and The Hive. We have intepreted the Prime Minister's policy intervention as sensible leadership and astute politics. The PM and Heather Simpson were prepared to listen to business while Parker and officials were not. We have also seen this as undermining the cedibility of David Parker and his officials. This is yesterday's view from Trans-Tasman:

So there was swift and brutal action from the PM this week. She stamped hard on the full 5c regional tax, and then sent David Parker sprawling, as the Govt scrambled to amend the ETS. If anyone had any doubts about Helen Clark’s firm grip on the political agenda (or on her Cabinet) this must have dispelled it. Her action was again a clear definition of what Govt in an MMP environment means, and the kind of political skill needed to manage it. There’s a downside, too: the Govt is seen to be back-pedalling on climate change legislation, an essential building block of its sustainability programme. To some it’s a signal the coalition is on the verge of breaking up. It’s also an admission taking NZ out in front of other countries (ie Aust and the US) on emissions trading could seriously damage the competitiveness of NZ’s biggest industries. Helen Clark showed this week she’s not prepared to wear the kind of hair shirt the Greens insist on in developing climate change policies.