For the past 35 years, New Zealand/Aotearoa’s intrepid CAFCA (Campaign against Foreign Control of Aotearoa) has called for the closure of the country’s largest industrial plant, on environmental, health & safety and economic grounds. During that entire period, Rio Tinto’s Comalco subsidiary (now Rio Tinto Alcan) has benefited from billions of dollars of publicly-subsidised electricity, provided to its aluminium smelter at Tiwai Point. Earlier this year, Rio Tinto was indicted by CAFCA for applying “outrageous” pressure to a parliamentary committee on carbon emissions trading. Now, the UK company looks like having scored a “double whammy” – with its climate change mitigation costs also being shouldered by New Zealand taxpayers. The country’s former Labour government came up with a carbon emissions trading scheme that would have seen Rio Tinto pay around NZ$16 million a year towards these expenses. But the succeeding National government proposes allowing the company to escape footing as much as 90% of this liability. When factoring in other subsidies to Rio Tinto, one consultant declares: “It would be cheaper for the New Zealand taxpayer to pay every single Tiwai Point worker and contractor $200,000 per annum for the rest of their lives to simply stay home.”