Some CO2 questions

Rich Seager made this Official Information request to James Shaw

The request was refused by James Shaw.

From: Rich Seager

Dear James Shaw,

I have three OIA requests of you.

3. Has there been any instruction/request made, by you or any other Green Party Executive, to Green Party MPs and their offices to not mention CO2 or methane in any public facing environment including via social media such as Twitter.

2. As you would no doubt be aware air travel produces very high levels of CO2 emissions. With that in mind could you please detail the extent of the air travel of all Green Party MPs for the calendar year 2018 (air travel miles or kilometres is fine) and in addition could you please detail these separately by whether they were on official business or private travel.

3. Do you continue to receive any consideration at all from your former Agency/Employer, or anybody related to this Agency/Employer in the UK (fyi I am referring to the agency 'Future Considerations')

Yours faithfully,

Rich Seager

Link to this

From: J Shaw (MIN)
James Shaw

Dear correspondent

On behalf of Hon James Shaw, thank you for your email. Please consider
this email as an acknowledgement.

While the Minister considers all correspondence to be important and all
messages are carefully read and considered, it is not possible to provide
a personal response to every email which is received.

Where the Minister has portfolio responsibility for the issues that you
have raised, your correspondence will be considered and responded to where
appropriate.

Thank you for taking the time to write.

Regards

Office of Hon James Shaw

Please note information about meetings related to the Ministers’
portfolios will be proactively released (this does not include personal or
constituency matters). For each meeting in scope, the summary would list:
date, time (start and finish), brief description, location, who the
meeting was with, and the portfolio. If you attend a meeting with the
Minister on behalf of an organisation, the name of the organisation will
be released. If you are a senior staff member at an organisation, or meet
with the Minister in your personal capacity, your name may also be
released. The location of the meeting will be released, unless it is a
private residence. The proactive release will be consistent with the
provisions in the Official Information Act, including privacy
considerations. Under the Privacy Act 1993 you have the right to ask for a
copy of any personal information we hold about you, and to ask for it to
be corrected if you think it is wrong. If you’d like to ask for a copy of
your information, or to have it corrected, or are concerned about the
release of your information in the meeting disclosure, please contact the
sender. You can read more about the proactive release policy at
[1]http://www.dia.govt.nz/Proactive-Release...

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dia.govt.nz/Proactive-Release...

Link to this

From: Rich Seager

Dear James Shaw,

there were a few mistakes on my original request at;
https://fyi.org.nz/request/10507-some-co...

The first request noted as 3. should be 1.

The third request should read as follows;

"Do you continue to receive any consideration at all from your former Agency/Employer in the UK or anybody related to this Agency/Employer (fyi I am referring to the agency 'Future Considerations')."

Yours faithfully,

Rich Seager

Link to this

From: Dave Butler-Peck


Attachment Re Official Information request Some CO2 questions.txt
1K Download View as HTML


Dear Rich,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your Official Information Act request (OIA244) to Hon James Shaw dated 10 June 2019 (and corrected the same day via the attached email), asking:

1. Has there been any instruction/request made, by you or any other Green Party Executive, to Green Party MPs and their offices to not mention CO2 or methane in any public facing environment including via social media such as Twitter.

2. As you would no doubt be aware air travel produces very high levels of CO2 emissions. With that in mind could you please detail the extent of the air travel of all Green Party MPs for the calendar year 2018 (air travel miles or kilometres is fine) and in addition could you please detail these separately by whether they were on official business or private travel.

3. Do you continue to receive any consideration at all from your former Agency/Employer in the UK or anybody related to this Agency/Employer (fyi I am referring to the agency 'Future Considerations')

We will endeavour to respond to your request as soon as possible and, in any event, no later than 10 July 2019, being 20 working days after the day your request was received. If we are unable to respond to your request by then, we will notify you of an extension of that timeframe.

In the meantime, if you require any further assistance from our ministerial office, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Kind regards,

Dave Butler-Peck | Private Secretary (Executive Support)
Office of Hon James Shaw | Green Party Co-leader | Minister for Climate Change | Minister of Statistics | Associate Minister of Finance
Level 7, Bowen House, Parliament Buildings, 80 Lambton Quay | Private Bag 18041 | Wellington 6160 | New Zealand
P: 04 817 8725
M: 021 861 303
E: [email address]

The information contained in this email message is intended only for the addressee. It may be legally privileged. If you are not the intended recipient you must not use, disclose, copy or distribute this message or the information in it as this may be unlawful. If you have received this message in error, please email or telephone the sender immediately.

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Rich Seager

Dear Dave Butler-Peck,

Thanks Dave.

Yours sincerely,

Rich Seager

Link to this

From: Dave Butler-Peck

Dear Rich,

Further to our recent emails, I am writing in response to your Official Information Act request (OIA244) dated 10 June 2019.

Unfortunately, the information you have requested is not 'official information'. This is because the Act specifically excludes information that is not available from a Minister of the Crown in his official capacity (as per section 2 of the OIA):

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/publi...

I am therefore refusing your request under section 18 of the OIA, because the Minister's office does not hold any 'official information' relating to Hon James Shaw as Green Party Co-leader or his previous employment before becoming an MP/Minister. However, having liaised with the Green Party Political Office, they will endeavour to answer some of your questions in a non-OIA capacity.

You have the right to seek an investigation and review by the Ombudsman of this decision. Information about how to make a complaint is available at www.ombudsman.parliament.nz or freephone 0800 802 602.

If you require any further assistance from our office, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Kind regards,

Dave

Dave Butler-Peck | Private Secretary (Executive Support)
Office of Hon James Shaw | Green Party Co-leader | Minister for Climate Change | Minister of Statistics | Associate Minister of Finance
Level 7, Bowen House, Parliament Buildings, 80 Lambton Quay | Private Bag 18041 | Wellington 6160 | New Zealand
P: 04 817 8725
M: 021 861 303
E: [email address]

The information contained in this email message is intended only for the addressee. It may be legally privileged. If you are not the intended recipient you must not use, disclose, copy or distribute this message or the information in it as this may be unlawful. If you have received this message in error, please email or telephone the sender immediately.

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Rich Seager

Dear Dave Butler-Peck,

regarding this;

1. I do not see how this information would not be available to James Shaw and it doesn't trigger very much in the way of cost which seems to be the fashionable 2019 way of refusing OIAs.

I therefore take your response as a 'yes we have required our MPs not to mention either CO2 or methane in a public facing environment'. It certainly seems that way, which is why I asked.

2. I was hoping that the Green Party would not adopt a 'do as I say, not as I do' policy on this. It would be far better to tell your MPs that they have to set an example in this area rather than tell them not to mention CO2 or methane. That should also apply to the key organizers as well. As you should know just one trip by any of these MPs is likely to be the equivalent of the full emissions for a year of 1 NZ or Australian citizen and up to 20 citizens of poorer countries (e.g. India averages 2 tonnes per person of yearly CO2 emissions so the yearly emissions of 10 average Indian citizens is roughly the same as the emissions emitted per person for a return trip to Europe*).

3. This goes to the core of our democracy. It should have been easy to answer. My assumption then is that there is something to hide here. James Shaw has himself referenced his time with this organization after, or shortly before, becoming Green co-leader. And he was still referenced on their website up until recently. This organization counts as customers lots of Corporate big emitters for example in 2011 these were the private clients that were referenced on Future Considerations' webpage.

Addax Petroleum, AEA, Air Energy, AMEX, Anglo American, Barclaycard, BP, Cadbury Schweppes, Coca Cola, KPMG LLP, Lego, PwC, Reed Elsevier, Shell, Tesco

I am not happy with this response and will be looking at taking this one further, either in whole or in part.

Cheers.

Yours sincerely,

Rich Seager

* there are different calculators around for these emissions, some of the least accurate will put the emissions at maybe 6 tonnes. But if you take everything into consideration my view is that it is in the range of 14-20 tonnes per person.

Link to this

From: Dave Butler-Peck

Hi Rich,

Many thanks for your reply.

I'll also pass the additional references to the Green Party Political Office for reference.

As below, the Political Office will endeavour to answer some of your questions in a non-OIA capacity.

In the meantime, if you require any further assistance from our office, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Kind regards,

Dave

Dave Butler-Peck | Private Secretary (Executive Support)
Office of Hon James Shaw | Green Party Co-leader | Minister for Climate Change | Minister of Statistics | Associate Minister of Finance
Level 7, Bowen House, Parliament Buildings, 80 Lambton Quay | Private Bag 18041 | Wellington 6160 | New Zealand
P: 04 817 8725
M: 021 861 303
E: [email address]

The information contained in this email message is intended only for the addressee. It may be legally privileged. If you are not the intended recipient you must not use, disclose, copy or distribute this message or the information in it as this may be unlawful. If you have received this message in error, please email or telephone the sender immediately.

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Rich Seager

Dear Dave Butler-Peck,

Dave could you please clarify for me the parts of Sections 2 & 18 that apply to these requests. I am having trouble finding justification for your refusal in the Act.

Thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Rich Seager

Link to this

From: Dave Butler-Peck

Dear Rich,

Many thanks for your reply to my email dated 24 June 2019.

As stated in my original response to your OIA dated 23 June 2019, the information you have requested is not 'official information'.

'Official information' means any information held by a Minister in their official capacity. The information you requested is not held by the Minister in his official capacity. With regards to questions 1) and 2), these relate to Green Party MPs and Green Party Executives, which fall outside of the Act. With regards to question 3), this relates to previous employment, which again falls outside of the Act.

In summary, the request is being refused under section 18(g) of the OIA, because no 'official information' is held by the Minister. However, having liaised with the Green Party Political Office, they will endeavour to answer some of your questions and will be in touch again in due course.

As below, you have the right to seek an investigation and review by the Ombudsman of this decision. Information about how to make a complaint is available at www.ombudsman.parliament.nz or freephone 0800 802 602.

Kind regards,

Dave Butler-Peck | Private Secretary (Executive Support)
Office of Hon James Shaw | Green Party Co-leader | Minister for Climate Change | Minister of Statistics | Associate Minister of Finance
Level 7, Bowen House, Parliament Buildings, 80 Lambton Quay | Private Bag 18041 | Wellington 6160 | New Zealand
P: 04 817 8725
M: 021 861 303
E: [email address]

The information contained in this email message is intended only for the addressee. It may be legally privileged. If you are not the intended recipient you must not use, disclose, copy or distribute this message or the information in it as this may be unlawful. If you have received this message in error, please email or telephone the sender immediately.

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Rich Seager

Dear Dave Butler-Peck,

sorry Dave but I'm going to be pedantic. Section 2 of the Official Information Act (1982) is about definitions. It is specifically titled 'Interpretation'. Under the part of Section 2 that starts 'member means' there is the following definition (this submission page does not allow me to format, so I will put the whole part in quotes and attempt to offset the relevant subsections);

"Minister of the Crown includes a Parliamentary Under-Secretary official information—
(a) means any information held by—
(i) a department; or
(ii) a Minister of the Crown in his official capacity; or
(iii) an organisation; and
(b) includes any information held outside New Zealand by any branch or post of—
(i) a department; or
(ii) an organisation; and
(c) in relation to information held by the Ministry of Justice, includes infor- mation held by the Rules Committee appointed under section 155 of the Senior Courts Act 2016; and"

That is about as close as I can get to anything defining 'Official Information' and no such term is in any other Section unless referring to the Act (which is entitled the Official Information Act (1982)). Defining the relevant information that can be requested would therefore seem to fall on the definition that I have quoted. It seems to not support your refusal to provide information.

And Section 18 does not allow you to use Section 2 to refuse an OIA request. This is natural as otherwise we would have to assume that the Green Party has a problem with the definitions in the Act. In fact it does actually set out the Sections that you can use for refusal in Section 18, if you want to have a look at it. Now I know that you guys in the Greens have problems with language these days (i.e. pronouns, the word Sex as it applies to female and male, whether someone was assigned a sex at birth by some entity, god maybe? etc etc) and the word 'lesbian' seems to be particularly problematic for you guys but I think you're still 'pushing shit uphill' to use the name of the Act to refuse OIA requests.

Also my question (no. 3) was not about James Shaw's former employment. It was specifically asking if he was still receiving consideration from Future Considerations or anyone allied to Future Considerations (in my view this would include such clients as Shell & BP) while he was a Green MP and or the co-leader of the Green Party.

Can you please review your refusal in light of the above.

Thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Rich Seager

Link to this

From: Holly Donald

Hi Rich,
I understand you have had some back and forth with Hon James Shaw's office on your OIA request below.
I just wanted to reiterate that despite your request not falling under the OIA, the Green Party political office (not ministerial) will be responding - it will just take a short amount of time to compile.
Thanks,
Holly

Holly Donald, Research and Policy Director
Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

7.13 Bowen House, 70/84 Lambton Quay, Wellington 6011
(04) 817 6710 | (021) 100 3484 | [email address]
Authorised by James Shaw and Marama Davidson, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Rich Seager

Hi Holly,

thanks, I will wait for your response.

I do not agree though that it does not fall under the OIA so I reserve my rights to push it, in part or its entirety, to the ombudsman if the responses are lacking in substance.

A lot of us want the Green Party to do more than just to greenwash (i.e. 2050, ruminant fart technology etc), pursue policies that will lead to less democracy and play divisive games on Twitter while the world burns.

Yours sincerely,

Rich Seager

Link to this

From: Holly Donald

Hi,

I'm out of the office until Monday 15th July. If your email needs to be
addressed before then, please contact Eliza on 
[email address] or 04 817 6718

 

Thanks,

Holly

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Link to this

From: Rich Seager

Dear Holly Donald,

hi Holly. Hope that you had a good week or so away.

Do you have a time-frame for when I should expect a response?

Yours sincerely,

Rich Seager

Link to this

From: Rich Seager

Dear Holly Donald,

failing any response or timeframe given, and as this request is now beyond the 20 working days when I could have reasonably expected a response I shall either go to the ombudsman and/or push out the question on MPs flight miles to the individual MPs.

Yours sincerely,

Rich Seager

Link to this

From: Holly Donald

Hi Rich,
I've been waiting on PS and DIA to supply the information (it's held separately between the two agencies depending on ministerial and parliamentary travel).
I understand I'll get this one day this week, so it shouldn't be too far away.
You're very welcome to take this to the Ombudsman, but please remember that we are not dealing with this under the OIA as our caucus does not come under the Act.
Holly

Holly Donald, Research and Policy Director
Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

7.13 Bowen House, 70/84 Lambton Quay, Wellington 6011
(04) 817 6710 | (021) 100 3484 | [email address]
Authorised by James Shaw and Marama Davidson, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Rich Seager

Dear Holly Donald,

thanks, I'll wait then.

Not sure about the claim that your caucus doesn't come under the Act. But I'll pass on following up on that for now at least.

Rich Seager

Link to this

From: Rich Seager

Dear Holly Donald,

you sound like you're only responding to one of my requests but I'm still waiting for a response even on that one issue (air travel miles I assume).

If there is no response on Monday I will proceed to the ombudsman with those parts of the original requests that should have been answered and I will be making individual requests to all Greens to which the Official Information Act applies regarding their air travel, which in this day and age is irresponsible travel so it needs a very big justification indeed.

You are the Green Party. I shouldn't be needing to do this.

Yours sincerely,

Rich Seager

Link to this

From: Holly Donald

Mōrena Rich,
The best way forward will be for you to put through individual requests to Ministers under the OIA for their travel information, if you haven't already.

And no, there has been no instruction to not mention CO2 or methane in any public facing environment.

Holly

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Rich Seager

Tēnā koe Holly,

I see that someone else has requested that sort of information (re air travel) from various govt departments in the last week but as far as I know no-one has not put the request to the Green Party MPs. So of course I will do so now that I have such a poor (and late) response as above.

I must admit that I am surprised that there is no instruction to your MPs to not mention CO2 or methane. Only Julie Anne Genter and Gareth Hughes had ever really (rather rarely) mentioned them (your other MPs seemed disinterested) but even they stopped referring to these two gases around the end of 2016. This search for example has zero results from Julie Anne;

@JulieAnneGenter co2 since:2016-12-31

as does this one;

@JulieAnneGenter methane since:2016-12-31

But swap the since: over with until: and you have 7 and 3 mentions respectively of those gases before the end of 2016. Although that's far from what you'd expect of a Green MP it's still better than zero mentions.

I will just have to assume that these two greenhouse gases are of no interest to your MPs.

We can reduce warming very quickly you know. We just have to stop emitting these gases. It's much more important than gender, cannabis or attempting to curtail free speech.

Regards
Rich

Link to this

From: Rich Seager

Hi Holly,

I'd suggest that you put up all your MPs air travel miles/kms for the last calendar year on your website. I'd like you to include any members of the Green Party who earn their salaries working on the Green Party's behalf as well. I would suggest splitting it;

Domestic for MP business
Domestic private
International for MP business
International private

'Business' meaning that it's reclaimable.

Yours sincerely,

Rich Seager

Link to this

From: Rich Seager

Hi Holly,

I sort of figured that you might have been Rod's daughter. So just searched it, and found this;

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/artic...

Oh for the Green Party of old. Even if I wasn't here at the time at least it would have been a home if I was.

Corporate green is not really green at all.

On that topic this guy is Jame's old boss at Future Considerations
https://twitter.com/OverwaterArjan/statu...

And formerly of Shell and Unilever. Good to see that he didn't get the job..........

Yours sincerely,

Rich Seager

Link to this

Things to do with this request

Anyone:
James Shaw only: