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Peter Dunne To Chair ETS Committee

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Peter Dunne
Peter Dunne

By Maggie Tait of NZPA

Wellington, Dec 8 NZPA - In an unusual move National is putting a minister outside of Cabinet, United Future leader Peter Dunne, in charge of a special select committee being set up to consider climate change.

The National government has put the emissions trading scheme (ETS) on hold while it conducts a complete review.

The review is part of ACT's support agreement with National and the support partner wants it to consider reviewing the science stating humans are to blame for climate change. However, the Government has said it is unlikely to be that sweeping.

ACT campaigned on scrapping the ETS and has questioned whether human-induced climate change actually exists.

National campaigned on watering down the existing legislation within nine months.

Speaking at the post-Cabinet press conference, Prime Minister John Key said talks were continuing about the make-up of the committee but Mr Dunne had been chosen to chair it.

Mr Dunne is a minister outside Cabinet as part of his support arrangement with National.

It is an unusual appointment as ministers do not usually sit on committees involving legislation. Mr Dunne is Revenue Minister and Associate Health Minister. He held the same roles under the Labour government and sat on the procedure-focused privileges and standing orders committees.

Mr Key said Mr Dunne was qualified for the role.

"He's a seasoned member of Parliament, he's neutral if you like so there's no particular disagreement.

"I think he'll do a good job of it."

Mr Key said talks were ongoing about other members.

He wants amended legislation -- which could see the ETS changed or replaced -- passed by September next year.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said he hoped Mr Dunne took his position of independence "really seriously because it's obviously very unusual to have a government minister in that position".

Dr Norman hoped Mr Dunne would take into account the science and as Revenue Minister consider the impacts of changes on taxpayers.

"Every move to weaken the ETS means the taxpayer is going to pick up more of the cost."

There is no love lost between United Future and the Greens with Mr Dunne refusing to work with them as part of the last government.

NZPA PAR mt nb

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