It’s the Green Party Conference this weekend in Lower Hutt. Metiria Turei was on RNZ yesterday morning, talking about how the main focus for the conference will be on policies.
TUREI: We genuinely believe a progressive government is possible after this election. We’re going to change the government – get rid of National. But people want to see what that’s going to look like. And so we’ve got the policies, we have got the solutions, we have the passion and the experience to put those solutions in place. That’s what we need to go out and to talk to the community about.
INTERVIEWER: Can we expect policy announcements?
TUREI: Yes, you can expect policy announcements from both Russel and I over the conference. It’s important for us to put out solutions to the public. It’s not enough to just talk about the politics that goes on in parliament. It’s actually about families, and what families need to do well in New Zealand.
So, the Green Party will start – we’ve been rolling out our policies:
safe to school - there will be many more policy announcements to come between now and the election – and including the two at the AGM…
Turei also referred to the Greens’ record in parliament:
We have pushed the government to have to take family issues seriously. Now this government would not be promoting families, but for the Greens, putting inequality, poverty and children at the heart of our decision making, and forcing the government to do the same.
They have been a strong voice for these things, as the medium sized party. The smaller Mana Party (with just one MP) has also helped to put these issues on the agenda. Labour have also provided some key policies in these areas.
Turei was asked if the left was being fractured. She replied clearly and strongly:
Under MMP any government is going to be made up of multiple parties […] So the fact that there are multiple options for voters on the left, who want to see a change of government, is good for democracy. Because lots of voters, lots of choices. If we can see an increase in the vote, that will be great and increase in young people voting that would be great. That means a stronger, progressive government at the end of the day. […] I’m campaigning for the party vote for the Greens. That is my number one priority.
Turei was in her more serious mode in this interview. But she also can be fun and sociable – as she is seen to be on twitter – and can be serious there, too.
The Greens are also making good use of the Internet during this weekend, streaming speeches and policy announcements on their Livestream channel.
Scott Ludlum will be a guest speaker today at 10.30am – 11.30am.
Scott Ludlam is an Australian politician who has been a Greens member of the Australian Senate since July 2008, representing the state of Western Australia.
Metiria Turei will be speaking today at 11.15am – 12.15pm, and will make a policy announcement. [Though this start time seems to overlap with the scheduled end time for Ludlum’s speech.]
Russel Norman will make a policy announcement tomorrow (Sunday) at
Scott Ludlum, know as a unifier and coalition builder, talked about the example of an Aboriginal family who stoop up against uranium mining and won. He gave a run down on the onl=slught from Abbot’s government, against climate change programmes, and againt people who have been working to counter climate change and develop clean energy.
He talked of the urgency in countering climate change, and of the role of Green Parties in this internationally.
He also talked of the raft of reactionary policies and practices enacted by the Abbott government.
Ludlum said that power sharing is not a disaster, but is how grown ups govern. He talked of the importance of negotiating differences towards a solution, with respect for the differences.
And he talked of the need for good political organisation – having hard numbers to show how many votes a party is likely to get, and basing a campaign on that – not on wishful/magical thinking.
Metiria Turei’s speech focused on children – and announced that the party would extend fully funded healthcare from 13-18 years. She also said the Greens’ policy will provide free after hours health care for all up to 18years.
[8:28] “The day a newborn baby is judged unworthy of support given to all other babies, just because of the family they are born into is a dangerous day for Aotearoa NZ. We must not let these insiduous Victorian notions of deserving and undeserving poor infect our moral identity”
Policy Announcement [9:50] “In government, the Green Party will extend free doctor’s visits to all New Zealanders to the age of 18″
[11:50] “Our policy will cost just $29 million a year”
[14:50] “The Green Party is the only major political party prepared to fight for the rights of all children to be treated equally in this country. The GP is the only P who will put our people and our environment at the heart of our economic management.”
[15:09] “Who else; other than the Green Party, will fight for a smarter better fairer and more sustainable future; one that truly lives up to the expectations of our children”
Transcript of Metiria Turei’s speech [h/t Pasupila]