Written By: - Date published: 9:14 am, May 13th, 2014 - 10 comments
Categories: Economy, election 2014, greens, jobs, Metiria Turei, poverty, russel norman, sustainability, wages - Tags: gareth hughes
This morning the Green Party will do a pre-budget economic policy launch live on line: livestream here
11am 11.30am – 12.30pm. [Edit: my mistake – got the start time wrong]
While relatively low key, this is an innovative approach to a policy launch. However, they have shown for a while that they are pretty adept at interacting with Kiwis via social media. Co-leader, Metiria Turei is quite personable, and sometimes fun on Twitter. And she handled crushed Collins attacks on her clothes extremely well, opening her “castle” to the media, and, particularly doing a good showing of it on Campbell Live.
The Greens have their serious political side, as well as being grounded in grassroots activities.
Both are connected to their policies aimed at making life better for low-to-middle income Kiwis. Turei’s maiden speech on her working class background and commitment to working for others struggling on low incomes provides a significant understanding of her values and approach to politics.
Her Question of John Key in the House, about Planet Key, is a classic:
Russel Norman and partner Katya Paquin at home on Campbell Live, had Norman in relaxed and playful mode, while also showing his motivation for and commitment to politics.
She [Paquin] is a law and politics graduate, with honours, from Victoria University, and the pair have two small boys together.
“The more I learnt about politics and the world, I realised that the problem wasn’t that there weren’t enough doctors, it was politics,” says Dr Norman. “The problem was that [we] had to change politics.”
In the Norman-Paquin house, family aside, politics is the passion, and Masterchef certainly isn’t.
But that passion for politics saw Dr Norman studying New Zealand’s Alliance as a new take on left-wing politics, and writing a PhD thesis in New Zealand politics.
1. Establish a government-owned for-profit Green Investment Bank to act as an independent and expert facilitator of private sector capital to help lead the transition to a smarter, greener economy.
2. Cost: $120 million over three years to be paid for by raising oil royalty rates to international averages and reprioritising government spending.
3. In time, see billions of dollars of (mainly) private sector finance funding new renewable energy plants, solar panel installations, energy efficiency retrofits, the development and production of significant volumes of biofuels, and clean technology project
How it will work:
Priority clean tech sectors for investment
The Green Investment Bank will operate at arms-length from government but will operate under a mandate to prioritise investment in decarbonising our economy and making our economy more resource and energy efficient. This will likely include securing new investment in renewable energy plants, solar panel installations, energy efficiency retrofits, the development and production of significant volumes of biofuels, and a wide range of clean technology projects.
Biofuels from forestry waste products in particular offer a viable alternative to oil imports but the technology and infrastructure required is currently not being funded by the private sector. We can reduce oil use in the transport sector by up to 50 percent by 2050 by using New Zealand’s vast energy resources in our exotic forests.
The commercialisation of technology to turn forestry wood waste into biofuels for transport will have significant co-benefits for jobs and reduce our reliance on oil imports. Business and Economic Research Ltd (BERL) estimates 27,000 new jobs can be created in the bioenergy sector throughout rural New Zealand while saving more than $7 billion in oil imports each year.
I will add news reports and analysis of this new policy as they become available:
Co-leader Russel Norman today unveiled plans for “an enduring, government-owned, for-profit bank” that would partner the private sector to fund projects from renewable energy and biofuel production to new clean technologies.
The plan received a warm reception from the New Zealand Bankers Association, but chief executive Kirk Hope questioned the use of the term “bank”.