Order Paper and questions

Questions for oral answer

12. Incandescent Light Bulbs—Ban

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12. AARON GILMORE (National) to the Minister of Energy and Resources: Will the Government be moving to ban the sale of incandescent light bulbs?

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE (Minister of Energy and Resources) : I am delighted to inform the House that I have issued firm instructions to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority to stop its plans to ban the sale of incandescent light bulbs. This Government, in stark contrast to the previous Government and the previous Minister of Energy, David Parker, rejects the idea that the Government knows best and must constantly meddle in the lives of New Zealanders. If people wish to buy incandescent light bulbs, then this Government will not stop them from doing so.

Aaron Gilmore: Why is the Government not going to ban incandescent light bulbs?

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: There are a number of excellent reasons why we have not moved to ban those light bulbs. The first is that this Government believes that choice not compulsion, and the ability for individuals to make their own decisions about what sorts of lives they want to lead and what contribution they want to make to climate change, is far better than nanny State telling them what to do.

Hon Pete Hodgson: Can the Minister confirm that it has never been a New Zealand Government policy to ban the sale of incandescent light bulbs, but, rather, to phase out some incandescent light bulbs as a range of identically performing high-efficiency alternatives come on to the market, and that that policy has just been adopted across the European Union, saving the equivalent of the entire electricity consumption of Romania; if he can confirm that, would he care to tell the House why he is ramming this country into reverse gear?

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: Supplementary question. [Interruption] Oh, sorry! No. [Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER: The Minister in reply.

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: I have answered.

Hon Members: We didn’t hear.

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: I gave the House an answer.