Lawless unsuccessful getting PM to climate talks

Lucy Lawless leaves Parliament with the boarding pass she hoped to deliver to Prime Minister John...
Lucy Lawless leaves Parliament with the boarding pass she hoped to deliver to Prime Minister John Key along with a cheque to pay his airfare to Copenhagen for climate talks. Photo by NZPA.
Lucy Lawless and Jim Salinger only got as far as the Beehive front desk when attempting to give Prime Minister John Key a boarding pass to Copenhagen today.

Representing Greenpeace, the actress and climate scientist were responding to Mr Key's decision not to attend an international climate change meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, next month.

They arrived at Parliament with flowers, an over-sized boarding pass and a cheque for $4781, raised from sausage sizzles and cake stalls, to put towards the Prime Minister's air fare.

They waited, along with gathered media, while a Beehive staffer phoned Mr Key's office to say he had visitors, only to be told the Prime Minister was otherwise engaged.

After another attempt was made to see Mr Key -- and declined, along with the cheque -- the pair had to make do with leaving the flowers and boarding pass with security staff.

"He's a man, he can change his mind," said a hopeful Lawless.

Mr Key argued yesterday it was clear no binding treaty would be signed in Copenhagen -- despite earlier talk of an international resolution being on the cards -- and that Environment Minister Nick Smith would be New Zealand's representative there.

Lawless and Dr Salinger said progress would only be made towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions on an international scale if heads of state made it happen.

Sending bureaucrats or people representing heads of state was a cop-out.

Mr Key later said he had not been given warning about the visit, and shrugged off questions about why he didn't meet the pair.

"I was probably out getting lunch or something."

Dr Salinger said the unspent $4781 was likely to be referred back to Greenpeace for it to put towards its campaign to raise New Zealand's greenhouse emissions target.


Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter