Shaw says Tyre Extinguisher vigilante group counterproductive

Source: Q and A

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says action by the vigilante group Tyre Extinguishers is "counterproductive", although he added the Green Party has always supported non-violent direct action in a democratic society.

Climate activists deflate the tyre of SUV in Auckland.

The UK-based climate action group emerged in NZ earlier this month after its website encouraged its devotees to deflate the tyres of what they call "massive killer vehicles."

“We are defending ourselves against climate change, air pollution and unsafe drivers,” a statement on their website reads.

“We do this with a simple tactic: Deflating the tyres of these massive, unnecessary vehicles, causing inconvenience for their owners.”

The group targeted Auckland streets in early May. Stuff reported last week the group announced members had then targeted streets in the Christchurch suburb of Halswell, on the same day the Government revealed its emissions reductions plan.

Speaking to Q+A's Jack Tame on Sunday, Shaw said while the Green Party supports "non-violent direct action," the group's actions were "probably counterproductive".

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"It will probably just create more resistance on the other side. but it is a sign of how frustrated people are getting at the lack of action and the fact that actually we do need to dramatically cut our greenhouse gas emissions.

"People are worried about the future of their children and their grandchildren and they are starting to look at other people in their street and say 'well hang on, how come I'm doing all the heavy lifting here and don't you care about my kids?'".

Earlier on Q+A, Shaw defended the pace of his debut emissions reduction plan.

The plan was released last Monday, as a culmination of years of work to change the legal framework around New Zealand’s climate change obligations.