Kennedy Graham questions the Prime Minister on Tim Groser, climate change, and international job-seeking

21.3.13 - Question 12: Dr Kennedy Graham to the Prime Minister

Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM (Green) to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in all his Ministers?

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE (Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery) on behalf of the Prime Minister: Yes.

Dr Kennedy Graham: Does he have confidence in the Minister for Climate Change Issues, Tim Groser, to do his climate change job when he is spending so much time and public funds travelling the world promoting his candidacy for a new job as head of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)?

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: Yes. The achievements of Mr Groser in that regard speak for themselves.

Grant Robertson: Oh no, he'll speak about them.

Mr SPEAKER: Order! It would be helpful if the Minister—

Hon David Parker: He's never lost for words.

Mr SPEAKER: Some interjections are very good. It would be helpful now—

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: No, I am not lost for words; I am stunned by one of the best contributions he has ever made to a debate. Can I say that the record of the Hon Tim Groser as Minister speaks for itself. During the years 2000 to 2008 emissions from this country rose by 23 percent. In the last few years they have fallen.

Hon Trevor Mallard: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I am just checking whether it is appropriate for you as Speaker to say "hear, hear" to Grant Robertson's interjection like that.

Mr SPEAKER: And I did not do so.

Dr Kennedy Graham: I seek leave to table a document listing the 16 capitals Mr Groser has visited in the past 8 weeks.

Mr SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table a document that lists where Minister Groser has been. Is there any objection? [Interruption] Order! Was there any objection? There appears to be no objection.

  • Document, by leave, laid on the Table of the House.

Dr Kennedy Graham: Will he direct Mr Groser to find time before the end of his natural term in office to sit down and work out the greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for 2020 and a pathway to it, given that his almost continuous absence is holding up the process?

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: I am quite sure that Mr Groser, who is well-known for his capacity to engage in conversation, will be raising climate change issues with people in each of those 16 countries he visits.

Dr Kennedy Graham: When Mr Groser recently urged trade colleagues in Geneva to "never underestimate the power of ideas", as part of his WTO candidacy, did he have in mind a vision of a world with a stable climate or a world where he gets the job he wants?

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: If the House had the time, I would spend it conveying Mr Groser's visions on many matters.

Dr Kennedy Graham: Is there a new visionary ministerial portfolio for job hunting given Mr Groser has taken to adding "candidate for the position of World Trade Organization Director-General" as part of his title on his press releases?

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: The question line today simply confirms that the Greens do not want this country to progress in an economic sense, and see no value in trade liberalisation throughout the world. A party that preaches about—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! [Interruption] Order!

Dr Kennedy Graham: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The point of my questioning was not an opportunity for the Minister to extol trade virtues and our trade interests. It is a question of focusing on climate change issues.

Mr SPEAKER: Can I ask the member to at some stage over the next 24 hours have a look at his question, which talked about Mr Groser talking to trade Ministers. It was a pretty political question. It certainly was not a tight question. It gave every opportunity for the Minister to respond as he did.

Te Ururoa Flavell: Tēnā koe, Mr Speaker. Kia ora tātou. Does he have confidence in the Minister of Justice in appointing Dame Susan Devoy as Race Relations Commissioner, who has already courted controversy with her views that burkas are "disconcerting" and that Waitangi Day should be replaced with a new national holiday?

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: Yes. I have confidence in the Minister who was responsible for appointing a strong independent person to this important office. I think it is appropriate that whoever has that office does engage in a dialogue with New Zealanders about matters they are concerned about.

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand