In preference to weeping, I try to count conservation blessings, and plan my new career as a lobbyist

Although a National government has been returned, in a way Kiwis did “vote for Nature” as Forest & Bird's election campaign asked. The prospects for Nature in the next three years are bleak, but all is not lost. A battle or two might be won by lobbying.

It is an interesting Parliament and there are some reasons to hope that Forest & Bird’s hand is, in fact, a little stronger than it was in the 49th Parliament.

The new National-led government has 64 confidence votes, with support from the ACT party, the United Future party, and the Maori party. It has 59 seats of its own. John Banks and Peter Dunne make 61.

Mr Dunne will be the Associate Conservation Minister, outside of Cabinet. Hon Kate Wilkinson continues with the Conservation portfolio, ranked at number 17 from 20 Ministers.

In a 121-seat Parliament, Mr Key needs 61 votes to govern, and pass Bills.

Analogies have been drawn between Mr Key and Mr Muldoon, including by the Prime Minister himself.

He will not want to risk a Marilyn Waring crossing the floor, or a Christine Fletcher exercising leverage on environmental issues in a narrowly divided House. …


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Comments (5)

by Denis Tegg on December 13, 2011
Denis Tegg

Your point about Christine Fletcher is well made.  Her vote with the opposition on the Coromandel No Mining Bill in 1997 was crutial.  It lead to the defining of the areas protected from mining in Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act.  And when the government tried to mess with that last year the public marched in protest in their thousands.

It is not well known but Christine Fletcher was bullied and threatened with expulsion from the National caucus over her stand on the Coromandel No Mining Bill, but she stood her ground.

Who in the present National caucus has the courage to do what Christine did?  Nikki Kaye professes to be a blue green but thus far has been a fence sitter on issues such as Schedule 4 and the inner city rail loop.

by Claire Browning on December 13, 2011
Claire Browning

Hi Denis

Yes, it's Nikki Kaye I had in mind; however, that would come at a cost as you say, and she's ambitious, and no fool. So ... I don't rest many hopes on it.

by Che Nua on December 21, 2011
Che Nua

Can we still save the Mokihinui river?

by Antoine on December 21, 2011

Isn't Denniston far far worse than Mohikinui?

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