The Huddle: Was the climate emergency declaration the right priority?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 2 Dec 2020, 7:46PM
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern moving a motion in the House to declare a climate change emergency. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern moving a motion in the House to declare a climate change emergency. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The Huddle: Was the climate emergency declaration the right priority?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 2 Dec 2020, 7:46PM

Jacinda Ardern's "nuclear free moment" of her generation has arrived, as Parliament voted in favour of declaring a climate change emergency.

Labour, the Greens and Maori Party have voted in favour - with National and ACT against.

The Prime Minister says the Government will lead the way, with departments scrapping more than 200 coal burners, changing to an electric car fleet and making building standards energy efficient.

But National's climate change spokesman, Stuart Smith, has old Parliament it's a hollow gesture.

He says it's nothing but virtue signalling, and symbolic gestures just don't cut it.

Meanwhile, Ardern is stepping back from the ongoing China-Australia feud, saying New Zealand has not taken sides.

Yesterday she said New Zealand had raised concerns with China over its use of a doctored image on Twitter, but today she said the same thing would have happened if Australia had done the same thing.

"We've made the point we've wanted to make and we'll be leaving it at that."

The doctored image, posted by an official Chinese Government account, shows an Australian soldier holding a bloodied knife to a Afghan child's throat - a reference to the alleged unlawful killings by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.

Her comments follow criticism that New Zealand was bleating like an Australian sheep in the Global Times, a daily newspaper considered to be a mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party.

And overnight, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she was "very surprised" to read in the news that New Zealand had raised concerns.