Collins targets ‘stupider stuff’

National Party leader Judith Collins. Photo: RNZ
National Party leader Judith Collins. Photo: RNZ
National Party leader Judith Collins is hitting back at attacks from the Left on her agriculture policy, saying the Greens are being "hysterical".

She is also accusing Labour leader Jacinda Ardern of "going for the jugular" by saying the National Party had changed its position on climate change.

"We’ve been very clear around the Zero Carbon legislation that we wanted changes to that," Ms Collins said in Gisborne yesterday.

"We’ve said that we’d do that, so there’s no change at all."

Ms Collins unveiled National’s agriculture policy standing in long grass on a stud farm in Gisborne and promised to undo "the stupider stuff" the Labour-led Government had passed relating to the farming sector.

In her crosshairs were nine recent freshwater reforms which she pledged to review or replace, shifting the place of agriculture in the Emissions Trading Scheme and seven changes to the Zero Carbon Act.

The changes would include reviewing both the methane target and the use of the level of forestry offset to achieve climate change targets.

Its policy does not suggest it would repeal the Act or all the freshwater reforms.

However, the Labour leader called the policy "backwards looking".

Ms Ardern said it was "hugely disappointing" the National Party had changed its position on climate change.

Ms Collins called this "misinformation" because while National had voted for the Zero Carbon Act, it had always been committed to making changes if it earned the right to govern.

"I don’t know why she’d do that and say such foolish statements," Ms Collins said.

"What has changed is that she’s now going for the jugular."

She said the Greens were living in a "fool’s paradise" for saying National’s policy showed the party was "dangerous and doesn’t care about our planet or our grandchildren".

"National wants future generations to inherit a decimated environment and an unstable climate, for the sake of winning a few votes," co-leader James Shaw said.

Ms Collins responded: "They’re just hysterical, frankly." 








Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

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

Become a Supporter