Increased oil mining royalty rates would be used to fund a
''green bank'' being proposed by the Green Party in a
pre-Budget release yesterday. The bank would cost $120
million over the next three years.
It would be government owned and would partner with the
private sector to fund new projects ranging from renewable
energy and biofuel production to new clean technologies.
Greens co-leader Russel Norman said like Kiwibank, the
''Green Investment Bank'' would combine the best of the
public and private sectors to accelerate New Zealand's
transition to a smarter green economy.
''The green bank will act as a catalyst for investment in the
green economy. It will be a central instrument for
transitioning investment away from polluting industries and
into the clean and profitable investments of tomorrow,'' he
New Zealand Taxpayers' Union executive director Jordan
Williams was disappointed the Greens had announced plans to
risk $120 million on the proposed investment bank.
''Despite successive failures, why do politicians think they
can manage a bank better than experts?'' Mr Williams asked.
The Green Party claimed its bank would be ''for profit'' but
if green technologies were so profitable, commercial banks
would already be in on the action, he said.
The Greens had a history of incorrectly forecasting high
returns in green technologies.
''In 2001, the party trumpeted its superannuation fund
investing in a wind farm company. Since then, the shares have
lost 96% in their value.
''Does Russel Norman really think bureaucrats will make
profitable decisions with $120 million of taxpayer money when
the Greens can't even get it right with their own?''
Most people supported developing green energy but should not
be forced to risk nearly $70 per household taken through the
tax system, Mr Williams said.
Dr Norman said the clean technology sector was taking off
internationally but National had chosen to invest in the old
economies, such as mining and oil drilling, which were
neither jobs-rich nor sustainable.
New investment opportunities lay in renewable energy plants,
solar panel installations, energy efficiency retrofits, the
development and production of biofuels and new clean