National Party promises to 'cut red tape' to supercharge renewable electricity in new policy announcement

  • 31/03/2023
The leader of the opposition said the current planning system is riddled with barriers.
The leader of the opposition said the current planning system is riddled with barriers. Photo credit: Getty Images

The National Party is promising to "cut the red tape" to supercharge investment in renewable electricity if elected into government.

On Friday, Christopher Luxon announced the first part of his party's new policy "Electrify NZ" which aims to double the country's supply of affordable clean energy.

"Electrify NZ will help double the amount of renewable energy available and put New Zealand on track to reach its climate change goals," Luxon said. 

The leader of the opposition said the current planning system is riddled with barriers and a new wind farm can take up to 10 years to complete. But he is promising to "cut red tape to significantly increase investment in renewable energy".

"The Resource Management Act is the greatest barrier to New Zealand reaching its climate change targets. Labour's proposed RMA 2.0 laws will only make this worse," he said. 

Luxon's party wants trains, buses, cars and industrial processing plants powered by clean electricity, but to do that we need to produce more renewable energy. 

"We need to double the amount of renewable electricity we produce from New Zealand's abundant natural resources - particularly solar, wind and geothermal. National will make it happen."

Luxon said if Aotearoa wants to deliver on its climate goals it will take whole sectors of the New Zealand economy to make the switch to clean electricity.

"It makes no sense to encourage the shift to electric vehicles if the power comes from burning coal. New Zealand must have enough renewable electricity to meet the rising demand."

First part of National's "Electrify NZ" policy:

  • Turbo-charge new renewable power projects including solar, wind and geothermal by requiring decisions on resource consents to be issued in one year and consents to last for 35 years.
  • Unleash investment in transmission and local lines by eliminating consents for upgrades to existing infrastructure and most new infrastructure.

Luxon said 40 percent of Aotearoa's emissions come from transport and energy, and if those industries switch to clean electricity it could "deliver almost a third of the emission reductions" Aotearoa needs to meet Net Zero by 2050.

"Labour declared 'climate change is this generation's nuclear-free moment' but all they have done in six years is triple coal imports and increase emissions," Luxon said. 

He added, "Kiwis shouldn't have to do less to achieve New Zealand's climate goals".

"We can still drive cars, we can still heat our homes, and we can still grow the economy - but we need to use clean energy."