Rules for Shaw might well mean more in Glasgow

The Prime Minister’s announcement today that she will provide Climate Change Minister James Shaw and his nine officials special allocation in MIQ on return from COP26 in Glasgow doesn’t square with the rules other Kiwis have to play by, says National’s spokesperson for Climate Change Stuart Smith.

“Prior to Question Time today, the Prime Minister said she would use her powers to give Minister Shaw and his entourage 10 rooms in MIQ.

“This is in stark contrast to what Minister Shaw said this morning – that he was ‘waiting for a spot’ and he was ‘about 15,000’ in the queue.

“If the Prime Minister is indeed saying that the COP26 delegation will have a special MIQ allocation, it raises further questions as to why, for everyone else, the MIQ website explicitly states the conditions of getting a group allocation such as this includes the requirement of 20 rooms.

“Either the Government is not following its own rules – the rules everyone else has to work to – or Minister Shaw is now actually planning to take at least 20 delegates from Wellington instead of nine.

“Either way, this is a shambles. The Prime Minister should step in and tell Minister Shaw not to travel to COP26 at all or, at the very least, significantly reduce the size of his entourage.

“The minimum 10 – possibly now up to 20 – rooms that will be taken up by Minister Shaw and his delegation on return could, for example, could be used by nurses wanting to enter New Zealand to alleviate pressure on our emergency departments, family members wanting to see dying relatives, or New Zealanders desperately trying to come home for Christmas.

“The Prime Minister preaches kindness for Kiwis, yet there’s a double standard when it’s one of her Ministers wanting to travel overseas.”