New Zealand gets a “fossil award”

John Key has earnt New Zealand a “fossil award”  for his commnents in parliament last week saying we would not be raising our emmissions targets.

The award consists of a cup filled with coal adorned by a dinosour and was given by  the Climate Action Network at Copenhagen.

Despite announcing that he will be heading to Copenhagen tommorow it is unlikely that he will front up and recieve the reward in person.

From stuff (again)

New Zealand will not be changing its emissions reduction target despite earning a “fossil of the day” award at the Copenhagen climate change negotiations.

New Zealand received a third-place dishonour from pressure group Climate Action Network at Copenhagen yesterday – a cup filled with coal and adorned with a toy dinosaur.

The fossil award was for Prime Minister John Key’s comments in Parliament this week that he would not increase the country’s 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.

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Key’s going to Copenhagen after all

John Key has bowed to pressure and will attend climate change talks in Copenhagen after all .

From Stuff

Prime Minister John Key heads to climate talks in Copenhagen tomorrow confident progress can be made.

Mr Key did not originally plan to attend the United Nations talks, describing them as a photo opportunity but as pressure built on leaders to make the talks count Mr Key decided to step up.

Today he said while there were varying views on climate change most New Zealanders should understand the value in his participation.

See more  of the article here

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NZ sends more troops to the Solomon Islands

The New Zealand defence force has just announced that it will be sending another 43 troops to the Solomon’s.

The extra troops will mainly be drawn from New Zealand’s territorial forces and will help stabilise the volatile country by carrying out patrols and guarding a prison.

See more about this on scoop

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New Zealand = Major Oil Power?

New Zealand may be entering a new era of oil wealth according to our Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee.

He anounced yesterday that by 2025 our oil and gas reserves could earn us a mammoth $30 billion New Zeland dollars a year.

He says the tax reciepts from the $30 billion would be enough to wipe out our current cash deficit.

While this may be big news in little old New Zealand we will hardly be joining the big boys when it comes to petrolium.

To put the news into perspective Saudi Arabia has a whopping 267 billion barrels of proven oil reserves compared to our estimated 6.5 billion (which equals roughly 2.4 percent of their reserves)

See more on stuff here

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John Key refuses to meet the Dalai Lama

Characteristic hands-raised anjali greetingIn a move which can hardly be considered a suprise (Helen Clark also refused to meet with him) John Key will not be meeting the Dalai Lama when he comes to Auckland next month.

New Zealand governments in recent times have been unwilling to risk any fall out with China which may affect our trade relations with them.

Surely this affects our strong  identity as a country who is willing to stand up for human rights and our beliefs on an international stage (think back to our policy of not allowing nuclear ships into the country).

See full story on Stuff here

Prime Minister John Key has been accused of caving to pressure from China after saying he will not meet the Dalai Lama.

Mr Key denied China had leaned on him, but conceded its well-known disapproval of world leaders who meet the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader was a factor in his decision.

“I had some discussions with the Foreign Minister [Murray McCully] about it. I think we would understand the way the Chinese would deal with these things, but on the other side of the coin, that wasn’t the over-riding factor. There were a number of factors involved.”

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Defence Minister Wayne Mapp backs U.S policy in Afghanistan

New Zeland Defence Minister Wayne Mapp backs  top United States Commander General Stanley McChrystal’s strategy in Afganistan.

He said that Mchrystal’s aim of stabilising the country by building up its security forces and government “offers an effective pathway out”.

See more on the NZHerald website

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp has backed the war strategy of the top United States commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, saying it “offers an effective pathway out”.

Dr Mapp has just returned from Afghanistan where he was briefed by General McChrystal and met New Zealand troops, including the recently deployed SAS.

General McChrystal’s preferred strategy is based on “stabilising” Afghanistan by building up its security forces and governance structures – and he has asked President Barack Obama for 40,000 more troops to do it.

The counter-view is led by Vice-President Joe Biden who says the strategy should be narrowed to focus on pursuing al Qaeda rather than defeating a resurgent Taleban.

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Key happy with free trade deal with Malaysia

The deal will see tariffs between the two countries phased out beginning next year.

Malaysia is New Zealand’s eighth largest trade partner.

John key had this to say about the deal:

“From New Zealand’s point of view, this is a fast-growing market – it’s a billion-dollar market that has expanded by 80 per cent in the last four or five years,” he said in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

“The NZ-Malaysia FTA is a significant step forward in relations with Malaysia and further evidence of our economic integration with Asia.”

Full article on stuff

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