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Nanotechnology a new GE for the Greens?

  • November 24th, 2007

” Absolutely not” is my answer when asked whether being a back-bench MP was frustrating. There was plenty of constructive work to do. Not many Bills went through my Select Committee that I could not improve. Sure, it was usually in some minor clarification but even that could save an unlucky pair of citizens from wasting at least $50k (and up to $1m) in court against each other getting a judge to say what a new law means.

The whole point of the rule of law is that people can know in advance what the rules are. I gain great satisfaction from making sure that some of it did that.

Sue Bradford’s Member’s Bills are hugely influential. I think most of it is damaging, but I endorse Guyon Espiner’s nomination of her as backbencher of the year. He says she’s had more impact than many Cabinet Ministers.

Sue Kedgley’s Bill to give a ‘right’ to unpaid leave is also succeeding. I have a guilty secret. In 1975, as an assessor nominated by the Clerical Workers’ Union for award negotiations, I put a right to unpaid leave in our log of claims. I thought it would be good for women, but I rather thought I’d like it as well. It lasted till we had a planning session shorlty before negotiations started. The Union Secretary – Dave Jacobs, hit the roof whe he saw it. “We fight for paid leave, not unpaid leave” he growled.  And it was withdrawn from our claim.

And this week another Green Bill was drawn in the ballot for Member’s Bills. Some statistician should check the record, to see by how much the Greens have beaten the odds. Perhaps Gaia is fiddling with the randomness of the Parliamentary Clerk’s ballot.

Let me be the first to predict a topic for a Green Bill sometime soon. They flourish on fears, some better founded than others. This week’s Economist offers one I’d never heard of before – nanotubes. Apparently there may be risks in tiny particles that no one has been able to assess. They could include the titanium dioxide in your sunscreen.

What will the Cancer Society do about that one?


  • MikeE
  • November 24th, 2007
  • 9:45 am

two words

Dihydrogen Monoxide….

The silent killer

  • Graeme
  • November 26th, 2007
  • 8:13 am

Didn’t someone run for the Auckland mayoralty on this platform?

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