If James Shaw was giving consolation gifts to Kiwis desperately trying to get home this Christmas he’d likely give them
a lump of coal, having confirmed he plans to take 14 staff with him to the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, National’s
Climate Change spokesperson Stuart Smith says.
“In answers to our written questions, Minister Shaw has confirmed he intends to take an entourage of 14 people with him
to Glasgow – nine from Wellington and a further five from offshore.
“At a time when thousands of Kiwis are unable to get into New Zealand thanks to our chaotic and unfair MIQ system, James
Shaw feels he needs an even bigger entourage this time around than the one he took to COP25 in 2019.
“It is astonishing that the Minister is going to COP26 in the first place, let alone taking up 10 MIQ spots for himself
and his onshore staffers when they return.
“Remember, this is the same Minister who was highly critical of holding an in-person Parliament, saying ‘it literally
“I would ask the Minister, ‘Does it literally risk lives travelling to Glasgow and back with nine officials from
“It’s odd, too, the staff he will be taking. The onshore staffers comprise a climate change ambassador, legal, policy
and special advisers, as well as his private secretary.
“Of the five officials from offshore, we have several more policy advisers and even an ‘events and logistics
specialist’. It’s unclear why the Minister would need the latter in Glasgow, but perhaps he’ll explain.
“The Minister has failed to read the room on this.
“We have heard countless stories of New Zealanders wanting to come home but who are locked out because they can’t get
“But that won’t be an issue for Minister Shaw and his entourage – they’ll be home in time Christmas with their