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Russel & Metiria – or Winston?

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, April 23rd, 2014 - 133 comments
Categories: election 2014, greens, labour, Metiria Turei, MMP, nz first, russel norman, uncategorized, winston peters - Tags:

Yesterday Rob Salmond commented on Labour’s two likeliest options for coalition partners after the 2014 election, and had some interesting things to say about New Zealand First and the Greens.

But I must beg to differ on the suggested advantages of offering a plum deal to Winston and expecting Russel and Metiria to play along for the sake of a leftwing government at all costs.

Of course Labour shouldn’t rule out working with Winston, because the cardinal rule of NZ politics is “Never underestimate the power of Winston”. And he’s proven himself quite capable of backing good social policies, as long as they’re populist and have Winston’s name all over them.

But he’s also a man who has happily settled for completely empty titles in the past – the role of Treasurer, or Minister-of-Foreign-Affairs-outside Cabinet, must be the definition of ‘baubles of power’.

Then we have the Greens, who have steadily increased their share of the vote, and who have become increasingly pragmatic about the abilities of a mid-sized party in an MMP Parliament to get things done.

Interestingly, published around the same time as Rob’s post was this from Chris Trotter in the Press, on the challenge faced by the Green Party:

Only the Greens have grasped the need to turn the mechanisms of the market to new, environmentally sustainable and socially integrative purposes.

That being the case, we should not be surprised at the constant and increasingly aggressive misrepresentation of the Greens’ political project.

I don’t think Rob was wilfully misrepresenting the Greens in his post – but he has shown a bit of a tendency to assume that everything they do is a calculated power play. In the post linked above, he states

I think this realization underscores Metiria Turei’s weekend musing about co-Deputy Prime Ministers, which I imagine she knows is simply not going to fly in 2014. Now that she has floated the idea, it gives the Greens another thing to “very reluctantly give away” in the negotiations.

In an earlier post at Polity, he asserts that it was the Greens who leaked details of their offer for a pre-election deal – something I’ve not seen proven anywhere. (Personally, I think it’s just as likely that a certain freshly-departed, strongly anti-Green, Labour MP could have done it to further wedge the parties apart.)

Yet Jim Anderton was Deputy PM with 10 Alliance MPs following the 1999 election. And as Rob himself has pointed out, pre-election deals aren’t unheard of.

I’m seeing a tendency to assume that New Zealand First, while hazardous to handle, can be domesticated; whereas the Greens are inherently untrustworthy. If we take it back to Trotter’s column, it makes sense: the Greens, however many votes they get or however many diplomatic overtures they make, will always be the outside party because of their fundamentally different approach to politics and society.

But I see two problems with this strategy.

Not enough voters on the left are this pragmatic. There are those who would happily accept a Labour/NZ First alliance – who would prefer it to a Labour/Green coalition. But there are also those who do not trust Winston, will never trust Winston, and would rather stay at home on election day than suffer the notion of Winston or any of his erratic mini-me MPs sitting at the Cabinet table.

And the Greens won’t be willing to get stiffed for the sake of placating Winston’s ego. They’re a principled party, and while it could definitely lose them some of their softer Labour converts, their base wouldn’t punish them harshly for sitting on the cross-benches, voting confidence and supply on a case-by-case basis, if the alternative is playing second fiddle to a party with half the number of seats.

David Cunliffe has stuck with the line, ‘we’re not ruling anything out until the voters have had their say.’ It’s the best way to operate in MMP. But it’s natural to think about what a Labour-led government will look like after the election. And I think the Greens deserve to be taken a bit more seriously.

Stephanie blogs at Boots Theory and can also be found on Twitter.

133 comments on “Russel & Metiria – or Winston?”

  1. Liberty 1

    It is not a matter of the Greens or NZF. Labour will need both plus Mana.com.
    To form a government. That is the easy bit.
    The hard bit is getting them to work together. Labour is already sniping at the greens.

    • Sacha 1.1

      Shane Jones potentially removes a lot of the sniping – if Labour are serious about working together. If they aren’t then people need to remember who helped the Nats to a third term.

      • Red Rosa 1.1.1

        +1

        SJ no loss.

        Key is genuinely scared of losing soft Nat votes to the Greens, and rightly so. The Greens have some good policies and some articulate capable people.

        Just another reminder – the Nats are pushing Extreme Right policies, under a slick veneer of bland moderate pap. So they portray Labour and Green as ‘extreme’ when clearly they are not.

        Unless Labour get off the back foot and start seriously scrapping with the Nats, their prospects are dismal in September. Until they do, any talk of coalition with this that or the other party is in dreamland.

        • Liberty 1.1.1.1

          “The Greens have some good policies and some articulate capable people.”
          That may be so.
          But there is more to life than eating lentils and being a depressant who take the negative.

    • Chooky 1.2

      ….you mean Shane Jones was sniping at the Greens….not Cunliffe ( whose wife is an environmental lawyer)..or the rest of the Labour caucus

      …agreed Labour will need both the Greens and NZF…thus far i have seen more swipes by Green supporters at NZF…not productive imo

      ….i thought Rob Salmond’s posting was very good

      ….imo if the Greens indicate that cannot work with NZF and vice versa and the whole Left win is put in jeopardy( both NZF and Greens have torpedoed each other in the past…and it cost Labour an election win)….. my vote will go to Mana-Int

      …i left the Greens as a formal member after Norman sunk Winston 3 days out from an election over the Owen Glenn fiasco( he nicely finished off what Rodney Hide started, a vendetta to sink Winston and NZF) ….NZF failed to make the threshold and the Nats and John Key came in ….with disastrous consequences which we are still living with

      • weka 1.2.1

        What makes you think the GP can’t work with NZF/Peters?

        “my vote will go to Mana-Int”

        I hope you do the maths closer to the time. As it stands currently, unless Mana can raise its party vote up to above 1.6% then the party vote is wasted. If Mana picks up a second electorate seat, that percentage rises to 2.5% (approx, I don’t know how that works with the overhangs). By wasted vote, I mean your party vote won’t help the left win this particular election, which is the same as not voting.

      • Naturesong 1.2.2

        “… both NZF and Greens have torpedoed each other in the past…and it cost Labour an election win)….. my vote will go to Mana-Int”

        Can you supply a reference please?

        As far as I can remember it was NZF that stuck a shiv into any Green ambitions in 2005, not the other way around.
        The Greens have consistently stated that they can work with Winston; ’cause as far as the Greens in general are concerned (that I’ve spoken to) it’s all about policy, and there is a significant amount of overlap between Green policies and Winston rhetoric at the moment.
        That said, every Green supporter I’ve spoken to does not trust Winston as far as he could be thrown because in the past he’s been quite willing to chuck away all his policies and positions just to get a title and extra pay that comes with it.

        With regard to the realpolitik that Dr Norman played in 2008, re: Owen Glenn affair. You’re assuming that NZF wouldn’t have gone with National had he got in, and that’s was a big assumption.
        Basically, for the Greens to deliver a Labour (led, coalition or whatever permutation) government in 2008, Norman had no choice. The fault lies with Labour not getting out its vote.

        • Chooky 1.2.2.1

          @ Naturesong

          I am assuming Winston would have gone with Helen Clark/Labour had he got in as he had worked well with Labour and Helen Clark before…Winston/NZF not reaching the threshold by a few hundred votes ( actually more than what Act got…but they won a seat) ) ruined Labour’s coalition numbers/chances of re-election and John Key came in with NAct

          ….sure I agree with you Winston Peters destroyed the Greens chances of being in the cabinet in 2005…but that is not to deny that Norman shat on him from a great height ( as chair of a committee…reaching the personal conclusion that Peters was a liar or not to be trusted and this said for the public consumption) .. This was several days before a General Election!!!!!

          …The Owen Glenn affaire was incidentally whipped up, if not set up, by NACT ……with Rodney Hide sniping at Peters for months …because they knew NACT would not get into power if NZF crossed the threshold and again worked with Helen Clark and Labour….(Incidentally Winston needed Glenn’s donation to pay off legal defamation costs…. ironically now so does Norman!)

          (i cant be bothered finding references ….but it was clear as day to me at the time ….and I do know that a number of political scientists remarked upon it at the time)

          As regards your statement “That said, every Green supporter I’ve spoken to does not trust Winston as far as he could be thrown because in the past he’s been quite willing to chuck away all his policies and positions just to get a title and extra pay that comes with it.”

          ….you obviously dont mix with the same Greens as I do ….one of whom I know has worked for the Greens but at the same time was a swinging voter and gave his vote to Winston/NZF

          Really if Winston was such an opportunist without any ethics he would not have stood so staunchly against sale of Public State Owned Assets for so long….and he would probably have been leader of the National Party against the Neolibs….

          • Chooky 1.2.2.1.1

            Edit …ooops i meant

            “Really if Winston was such an opportunist without any ethics he would not have stood so staunchly against sale of Public State Owned Assets for so long….and he would probably have been leader of the National Party”…finish …

            also

            “Incidentally Winston needed Glenn’s donation to pay off legal defamation costs… ironically now so does Norman… need to pay off defamation costs !”

            • Naturesong 1.2.2.1.1.1

              This would be his stand against the sale of SOE’s like the Forestry Corporation of New Zealand Ltd and Winston pledge to: “hand back the cheque”?

              And once in a coalition with the National Govt … crickets.

              Yeah, he’s great with the rhetoric. With actually keeping his word, not so much.

              I also remember a number of Labour MP’s putting the boot into Winston at the time, Sue Moroney springs to mind. So Winston would have chosen Labour?
              At the time Norman made the comments, Winston was already a deadman walking.

              • Chooky

                well for me Mana-Int is looking an increasingly attractive option

                …i wonder if others are feeling the same way?

                …btw…are you sure Naturesong is not a Nactsong?…your antipathy towards Peters reminds me of NACT antipathy…the one thing NACT strategists would just love to do is drive a wedge between the Greens and Winston /NZF…and hence destroy a Labour coalition govt…seems like you are doing a good job here

                • Naturesong

                  Yeah, you’ve totally busted me.

                  I just come here to troll. National is the one for me.
                  I’m not sure it it’s the fiscal incompetence that attracts me, or maybe it’s their willingness to isolate and vilify sections of society in order to whip up latent fear of the “other” within the electorate.
                  Maybe it’s their authoritarian bent that led to the GCSB and TICS legislation and the police breaking into the Heralds offices before the last election.
                  Or even out and out attacks on the teaching profession. My Family has a long history of teaching, and there are several members of my family currently in the teaching profession, so you can probably imagine how impressed I am.
                  So my unequivocal and unthinking support for National is because of all that, but the clincher is that lingering smell of corruption that wafts from National governments.
                  Hmmm, mmm!!

                  Or maybe it’s just the massive and largely unnecessary debt they’ve saddled us with. There’s really too much to choose from.

                  /sarc off

                  I don’t hate Peters. I’ve simply watched his career over the last 30 years so am under no illusions as to what he’s about.

                  Watching him recently on Vote Chat I was impressed at how much overlap there was of his policy positions with published Green policy.
                  You would think that they could work together – But Winston has proved in the past to be quite happy to trade his party’s policy stances for the baubles of office.

                  That said, I’m happy to recognise the good things he’s done, Winebox Inquiry being one of his career highlights, (or lowlights depending on whether you judge success in standing strong against corruption in the face of adversity, or the Inquiry vindicating your accusations) among them.

                  I’ll go out on a limb here and suggest that it’s likely there are other voters around who feel the same way.

                  I would love to see him as speaker – it’s a reoccurring daydream I have that never fails to bring a smile to my face.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I would love to see him as speaker – it’s a reoccurring daydream I have that never fails to bring a smile to my face.

                    Oh, that would be nasty wouldn’t it 😈

                  • Chooky

                    Ok accept your points……but i dont think Peters will be wanting Speaker ….more like Minister of Foreign Affairs…at which he excelled

                    …”I was impressed at how much overlap there was of his policy positions with published Green policy.”….agreed!

                    ….this time they should get along….this time they have to get along!…and we have to encourage it , otherwise NACT will be using any perceived divisions as the thin edge of the wedge and they will be trying to split apart any Left coalition before it has even formed

                    • Naturesong

                      He did make a decent Minister of Foreign Affairs, but I don’t think he will want it this time.
                      He’s been there and done that.

                      And he’s getting old, this may be his last go around, so he’s going to want something that leaves a legacy, it’ll be domestic, and something that he can really make his mark so that when he’s gone people will remember him with fondness, one of those ” .. yeah, he was a good one, they don’t make them like that anymore” kinda politicians.

                      The positive is that I’m pretty sure he knows that while National will offer him anything he likes if it means that they get in for another 3 years, there are going to be a number of sectors which will be a smoking ruin by the end of a National 3rd term.
                      That will taint any good he might achieve.
                      Labour can actually offer him a spot where, together with Labour and Green policies, there will be visible progress.

                      In the meantime, the broader left should praise him when he announces anything that is good policy wise, and be ruthlessly critical when he puts a foot out of line.

                      Cunliffes recent handling of leak of the Greens offer was inexcusable.
                      Peters is a formidable politician, remember he was Muldoon’s apprentice. He is able to gain great leverage from the smallest of opportunities.
                      Should Labour get enough votes to court Peters after the election, was it necessary to ensure that he was the only one who had any leverage, and do it publically?

                      People should always keep in the back of their mind that unless he states otherwise; a vote for Winston, a vote for National.

                • Naturesong

                  Btw, Naturesong is an anagram constructed from an inside joke at a flat I ran in sydney 15 years ago.
                  I’ve been using it as an online nom de plume ever since.

                  If you knew me personally, you would likely “get it”, but as you don’t, you won’t.
                  Just consider it to be another random pseudonym and try not to read to much into it.

      • not Petey 1.2.3

        “my vote will go to Mana-Int”

        Yep clucking mad !

      • Melb 1.2.4

        Doesn’t Cunliffe’s wife represent oil and gas companies?

        [lprent: And? What is your argument? She is an environmental lawyer. Lawyers represent clients in their area of expertise. If any company needs an environmental lawyer then the Oil and Gas industry needs them the most.

        This comment appears to be just some stupid trolling attacking a politicians family member for their profession and not for any other particular reason.

        You can and have done better (which is why you didn’t get a ban). I suggest that you do in the future. I don’t like people making pointless cut’n’paste lines. Argue what you like. But make it your words with an argument – not those of some frigging mindless parrot making insinuations. ]

    • Labour_Voter 1.3

      The equation is very simple. Labour should form the government with NZ First. Greens have nowhere else to go. They will support Labour government from outside on confidence and supply. Mana will also be the same. Labour can get National support in things like FTA etc when both Greens and NZ First oppose. Don’t ever bring the Greens into the Government. Labour will never ever be able to govern again. Follow Helen Clark’s brilliant methodology and keep the Greens outside the house in the backyard.

      • I don’t think it would be wise to assume the Greens will meekly follow whatever Labour decides to do, as already stated in the post above. Especially if they feel that they’re being taken for granted.

  2. Craig Young 2

    And then again, there are some of us who would definitely prefer a ‘clean’ Labour/Green coalition to one that included Winston, although in practical terms, it has been done overseas:

    http://www.gaynz.com/articles/publish/31/article_14922.php

    I find remarks from some political commentators that a Labour/Green coalition would be unstable or unworkable either woefully ignorant or highly selective in terms of their awareness of overseas centre-left social democratic/green coalitions that have worked well. In Germany, Social Democrat Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder led a successful and effective Social Democrat/Green coalition (1998-2005) for two Bundestag terms. In Finland, Social Democrat Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen’s government included Cabinet minister representation from both the Green League and Finnish People’s Party (akin to New Zealand First), so it might be interesting to focus on how that worked (1995-2002). Iceland saw (out lesbian) Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdasdottir lead a ‘red/green’ coalition in power for four years (2009-2013). There are therefore ample examples of functional and stable social democratic/green coalitions in place within Western Europe should anyone wish to consult them for precedents. In Canada, the centrist Liberal Party and Green Party of Canada also have an informal ‘red/green’ relationship in the House of Commons. I would suggest that instead of unsubstantiated and subjective opinion, television news and current affairs programmes research these prior instances, as indeed should Labour and the Greens themselves. Germany, Finland and Iceland suggest that a red/green coalition is stable and workable.

    What about ‘traffic light coalitions’ that might conceivably include Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First? These have existed overseas. In particularly, the Czech Republic may offer some interesting insights into how this might unfold. Rather like New Zealand First, the Czech Peoples Party is predominantly targeted at elderly voters and its political existence is marginal, depending on whether or not it is acting as a protest vote or taking advantage of the cyclical weakness of one of the major Czech political parties. However, in Denmark, the Danish Peoples Party has aligned itself with the centre-right Conservatives and Liberals in government over the last decade, which might hearten New Zealand First (and National?), or not. Similarly, in 2007, the Polish Peoples Party formed a coalition with the centre-right Civic Platform, the major winner in that year’s national election. However, again, in Slovakia, its Peoples Party formed a coalition with the centre-left Social Democrats (2006-2010). Thus, if Winston Peters chose to play a more constructive role in current New Zealand electoral politics, he would have precedents on both sides of his prospective balancing act. The Czech Republic and Slovakia offer one set of examples, while Denmark and Poland offer the other option. However, the Czech Republic seems to be the only example of a ‘traffic light’ coalition arrangement. Winston could go either way, judging from the behaviour of his counterparts and closest political equivalents elsewhere.

    Would it work here? In the interests of clarity, I’ve provided a list of useful resources in this context.

    Recommended:
    Charles Lees: The Red/Green Coalition in Germany: Politics, Personalities and Power: Manchester: Palgrave: 2000.
    Werner Reutter: Germany on the Road to Normalcy: Politics and Policies of the Red/Green Federal Government: 1998-2002Manchester: Palgrave: 2004
    Franko Zelko and Caroline Brinkman: Green Parties: Reflections on the First Three Decades: Washington DC: Heinrich Boll Foundation: 2006.
    Elizabeth Bomberg: Green Parties and Politics in the European Community: London: Routledge: 1998.
    Tad Shull: Redefining Red and Green: Ideology and Strategy in European Politics: Albany: State University of New York Press: 1999

  3. But it’s natural to think about what a Labour-led government will look like after the election. And I think the Greens deserve to be taken a bit more seriously.

    I agree. Especially after another (short) week of Labour missteps, Prasad, Little and now the Shane Jones bombshell.

    The two most competent parties by a long way are National and Greens. A coalition between them, with about a 40/20 balance of power, would make an interesting mix of experience with a necessary nudge towards changes we need.

    • Te Reo Putake 3.1

      :roll:

    • weka 3.2

      “The two most competent parties by a long way are National and Greens. A coalition between them, with about a 40/20 balance of power, would make an interesting mix of experience with a necessary nudge towards changes we need.”

      The GP would get thrashed for 3 years and then find itself at the next election without a membership (and the GP doesn’t get to exist without its members).

      As always, it’s hard to know if PG is pushing an agenda to undermine the left, or if he really is that stupid to think that the GP would go with National or that the GP could function within a National led alliance. But it does reinforce my suspicion that PG hasn’t read much GP policy.

      Plus what TRP said.

      • Chooky 3.2.1

        +100…the Green Party would NOT be so stupid as to go with National…they are diametrically opposed….NACT sees the Greens as their biggest enemy…a coalition with NACT….even the serious suggestion of one from the Greens ……would destroy the Green Party vote

      • MrSmith 3.2.2

        “or if he really is that stupid”

        PG is an attention seeking dip shit Weka nothing more and nothing less.

    • weizguy 3.3

      Pete – I refer you to the ConDems coalition in the UK. The Lib Dems thought they could make it work for them. Their support has been reamed – do you think there might be lessons from that?

      • Pete George 3.3.1

        There’s always lessons that can be learned. Note that the UK haven’t had to learned to do MMP. Greens and National have already worked together to a small extent.

        Something I’ve learned is that competence and being well organised are major positives.

        I’d go for that rather than trying to hitch a new Green wagon to a train wreck.

    • Murray Olsen 3.4

      Great idea, Pete. You could start a party and NAct could gift you a seat by running someone even more useless than you in the seat……….oh wait a minute…..

      Prasad has been forgotten already, I have no idea what Little is supposed to have done, and with Sealord Jones, Murray McCully’s loss is Labour’s gain.

    • anker 3.5

      I think the position the Maori Party now find themselves in would be enough to put the intelligent Greens of getting into bed with National.

    • gnomic 3.6

      Please consider retreating to a monastery for quite a while or somesuch so we don’t have to be exposed to this utter twaddle. Alas, I suppose you are too egotistical, and actually think your demented ramblings are significant.

    • Stuart Munro 3.7

      I agree.

      The Gnats would make a decent junior partner in the coalition, and the practice of working constructively on sustainable growth initiatives would do a lot to redeem their image as anti-democratic, brownfield, poor economic performers with a narcisscistic determination to hold on to power. They could learn for instance to answer questions in parliament, because not doing so is disrespectful to the public, their employer.

      I think though that many New Zealanders would rubbish the idea of a Gnat/Green alliance: loopy fascists, and neo-liberal nut-jobs are probably the kindest epithets that National routinely attracts, their hidebound refusal to print money when all our major trading partners were doing so was the height of fiscal irresponsibility, and they remain unrepentant in spite of IMF scolding about the resulting overvalued NZ dollar.

      It would be a great learning experience – but I’m not even sure National will reach 20%. Maybe they could sit on the crossbenches…

  4. Craig Young 4

    As for the Nats, hey, Colin Craig has already been humming and hahing about occupying the cross-benches if he’s elected, and given the Conservative Party’s radical anti-Treaty views, I can’t really see him working alongside Te Ureroa Flavell, likely to be the only Maori Party MP. And it would only take four thousand votes worth of tactical voting to dispose of ACT and United Future.

    ‘Twould seem the centre-right has a far more precipitous juggling act than we do.

  5. Mainlander 5

    Enjoyed the last sentence of course Cunliffe wont rule anything or anyone out his desperation is plain to see to everyone although he cant be a complete idiot as is proven by keeping the Green Party clowns at arms length

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      The very definition of desperation is getting into bed with Colin “Moon Landings” Craig.

      • Chooky 5.1.1

        Lol….i dont believe the Americans landed on the moon…it is all horse shit!….they jumped about in the Nevada Desert in their space jump suits!… and went home and congratulated themselves for having trumped the Russians with a cunning trick!

        ….and then laughed all their way around the world making money on the public circuit, giving little talks to the Rotary morons and young scientists….

        ….the evidence is conclusive to us Truther Chooks ….they havent been back to the moon since and there are no American hotels on the moon

        Colin is right on this one…but i wont be voting for him because …..(i wont say, just in case i get sued like Russel the Red )

  6. Kenat 6

    It was almost certainly Jones who leaked. It was another win for Labour’s right wing and he couldn’t help crowing about it. Such a losing strategy, and oddly it seems he knows that. The only way to beat a strong National govt is to offer a clear alternative, not just tell the electorate you’ll cobble something together later. I honestly don’t think Jones wanted to win this year and having now completed his work undermining Cunliffe, he’s decided to clear out, adding to the damage by looking like a rat jumping ship. And this is the man some thought would be a good leader?

    I’m a Green voter, so the choice has always been clear for me and never moreso than now. If you want real change, make the Green Party as big as possible, because even if by some miracle a new govt forms, it is clear it will be in spite of Labour’s poor political management. And if it doesn’t happen this year, we need an even bigger Green Party going into 2017.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      If you want real change, make the Green Party as big as possible,

      QFT

    • Liberty 6.2

      If Cunliffe was wise . He would have accepted the green offer And formed a coalition. He didn’t because he is dreaming that labour and NZF can form a government. Simply in the eyes of labour. The greens are the last cab on the rank.
      I am surprised why the Greens even try and do a deal with labour.
      The Greens got shafted by Clark at the 2005 election. They will be shafted again
      this election.
      The silver lining to all the bickering within the coalition of losers is they stay out
      of power.

      • Naturesong 6.2.1

        He didn’t have to accept a green coaalition, all he had to do was say that they (Labour) would be looking at what policies the Greens and Labour have that overlap and do a couple of joint releases, and left it at that.

        But he and McCarten fucked it up, so it looked like they just going to take the Greens support for granted (12-15% of the voting electorate!!!), and happy to give Winston all the bargaining power (who thought that strategy would ever end well for anyone other than Winston?)

      • Hanswurst 6.2.2

        I actually get the impression that, if it were purely his decision to make, Cunliffe would far prefer a coalition wit the Greens than with NZF.

      • Mike S 6.2.3

        What would have been “wise” about accepting the Green’s offer? In terms of politics and votes, Labour would have gained nothing from it and quite possibly lost votes. Whereas by not accepting it, Labour is more likely to gain votes and not lose any.

      • Harry Holland 6.2.4

        Labour cannot afford to make things easy for the Greens.
        The Greens are clearly the only party with the power to destroy Labour in the long run.
        If every election the ratio of Green to Labour votes increases, the long-term outcome is inevitable.

  7. Rich 7

    What’s wrong with having a co-deputy PM. The role of deputy PM isn’t constitutionally defined (we haven’t always had one) and there is no reason not to have co-deputies.

    In fact, we can have joint prime ministers and will do when the Greens become the largest party and form a government, probably with Labour as a support party.

    • karol 7.1

      Apart from whether or not they will be co-deputies, it was great that Turei pi5ched herself for the deputy role. Too often the media, and others, treat Norman as the de facto leader. I recall recently some research was published that shows women are less likely to ask for promotions than men, and less likely to be selected for psoitions of authority. Men, for whatever reason, are more confident in putting their hands up, and they are more liekly to be judged by others as suitable for positions of authority.

      Turei has been a strong co-leader, and advocate for people in poverty and on low incomes. I would be very happy to see her as deputy PM.

      • Naturesong 7.1.1

        It often gets reported that Dr Norman is the leader of the Green party, with Turei as an afterthought.

        But pretty much every Green party member I’ve spoken to, would choose Turei to fill the Dep PM spot, if the Greens were able to swing it.

        Just quietly; Turei is currently #1 on the list (we’ll see if she keeps that spot after voting finishes at the end of the month).

        • Sacha 7.1.1.1

          “It often gets reported that Dr Norman is the leader of the Green party”

          I’ve only ever seen him referred to as “co-leader”. Please do provide some examples.

          • Naturesong 7.1.1.1.1

            Running off my memory and recalling the number of times during interviews that I’ve seen where been thinking “Hey! It’s not just him you plonker, there are two co-leaders”.

            I suspect it also comes from media framing of stories. For instance the Paddy Gower interview where he starts with asking if the Greens would try for the deputy PM spot, then after Dr Norman answers immediatly starts pushing the line that Dr Norman wants to be Deputy PM, completely ignoring that he is ther representing the Green party, not just himself. Story runs for the next few days; Dr Norman wants to be Deputy PM.

            You’re right, can’t find explicit examples. It’s the framing of the news that completley ignores how the Green party functions. It’s not the single heroic guy charging forward leading, and the party will follow and do what he says.
            It’s actually the whole party, the MP’s are just the tip of the spear.

          • karol 7.1.1.1.2

            Norman has often been described as “de facto” leader of the Greens and/or the opposition.

            For example, here on NewstalkZB:

            Mr Hay says Russel Norman has been doing a good job and is probably still the de-facto leader of the opposition, but the question needs to be asked – is he the best leader?

            <a href=http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/editorial/273424/cunliffes-first-big-test’>And here on ODT:

            The Green Party has become the de facto Opposition, with co-leader Russel Norman often becoming the first stop for news media wanting a 30-second sound bite or hard-hitting quote. Reclaiming that role should come easily to Mr Cunliffe.

            And here on ODT:

            Too many small parties have been destroyed while part of MMP-derived governing arrangements for the Greens to be able to fool themselves into thinking the worthiness of their cause makes them exempt from extinction.

            Russel Norman, in particular, has shifted into a higher gear in terms of tenacity in both promoting and defending his party. He is now de facto leader rather than just co-leader. He grabs people’s attention. And they listen. The same cannot be said for Labour’s leader.

  8. A point that’s been made Shane Jones’ exit is that it might weaken Labour’s hand with Winston. Jones got on well with Peters and could have been a valuable conduit between Labour and NZ First in any coalition negotiations.

    Same applies for Labour and the Maori Party if they get to play a significant part post-election.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      A point that’s been made Shane Jones’ exit is that it might weaken Labour’s hand with Winston.

      Only by the RWNJs and their pets in the MSM. In reality, Jones leaving Labour has made Labour stronger.

    • I don’t think any number of ‘valuable conduits’ will matter in the end if Winston is given the kingmaking position. I think Winston will be Winston, and no number of BFFs within National or Labour are going to make him do anything which doesn’t perfectly suit him.

      • Ron 8.2.1

        Agreed we should also ponder this may be Winstons swansong so we might be dealing with Martin who seems to be the only possible leader for NZ First

        I think Winston will be Winston, and no number of BFFs within National or Labour are going to make him do anything which doesn’t perfectly suit him.

  9. fisiani 9

    All very well but no matter what Labour or Green members or voters feel you have ignored the power that Winston would wield. Labour plus Greens you must admit will surely be less than 50% and so there cannot be a Leftist government without Winston and co taking them over the 50% threshold. Winston can then dictate terms. Failure to placate him could mean he could side with National. Winston hates the Greens. Winston has been in government. The Greens have never been in government, Winston would like to maintain that. The Cunliffe would have no option but to agree. It does not matter if the Greens have 8,9,10,11,12,13 ,14 15, 16 MP’s. They would just be confidence and supply voting fodder.
    This reality poses a problem for the genuine floating intelligent voter. If Winston First do not get their vote then they may not reach 5% and thus National redistributed vote rises by at least 2%.
    If they vote Green they would see the Greens excluded as the price of Winston’s support.
    If they vote Labour then they would not get a Labour/Greens government.
    Given this dilemma I suspect many will vote for National or simply not vote.

    The post above states “And I think the Greens need to be taken a bit more seriously.”
    That is just the plaintive bleating of someone who knows that The Cunliffe needs to win to keep his job and so will shaft the Greens in a heartbeat if that’s what it takes. It don’t look good for the Greens.

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      ” If Winston First do not get their vote then they may not reach 5% and thus National redistributed vote rises by at least 2%.”

      There is no such thing as “National redistributed vote”.

      How it plays out in practice, is that the largest bloc in parliament benefits the most from ‘wasted’ party votes that are won by parties that subsequently don’t win seats in Parliament.

      This means if National got 43% and Greens/Labour got 45% and NZFirst got 4.9%, Greens/Labour would actually get a bigger benefit from it than National would.

      • fisiani 9.1.1

        Nanthanide you are wrong wrong wrong. If National gets say 47% which is less than current polling and less than 2011 and NZF get 4.9% then the NZF votes are ‘wasted’ and the redistributed in proportion. Simple arithmetic 47% of 4.9% is another 2.3% to National taking them to 49.3%. I claimed that National would gain at least 2%. For this not to be true then the National vote under such circumstances would have to fall to less than 41%. If you think that will happen I have a bridge to sell you and if you give me your bank details a Nigerian prince will deposit 20 billion dollars in your account.

        • Lanthanide 9.1.1.1

          You’re making up things that don’t exist.

          If National wins 47% of the party vote, then their final tally is 47% of the party vote. There is no magic redistribution of party vote if some party fails to get over either threshold to gain a seat in parliament.

          Now you may like to say National end up with 49.3% of parliamentary seats, but that also is wrong, because seats aren’t fractional and it is further complicated by electorate seats. Either you have a full seat, or you don’t. The exact number of seats is determined by the Sainte-Laguëuë which can produce quirky-looking results: if in 2011 National had won either Epsom or Ohariu, they would have ended up with 60 seats in support of asset sales, but if they had won or (as they did) lost both of Epsom and Ohariu they would (and did) end up with 61 seats in support of asset sales.

    • Naturesong 9.2

      The Greens have never been in government

      Isn’t the line you lot are supposed to continually repeat is how bad the Greens were last time they were in government?

      I have said it thrice:
      What I tell you three times is true

    • Nobody ‘must admit’ anything. We’re still five months out from the election and it would only take a small swing one way or the other to completely change the picture.

      Once again I see a lot of people assuming that the Greens will just quietly sit back and rubber-stamp everything a Labour/NZF government wants to push through. I really doubt that’s going to happen.

      • MrSmith 9.3.1

        And if the Greens don’t play ball Labour could have to look to National for support (which won’t be hard as it appears National own a section on the Labour party now), now a percentage of Labour voters may be able to hold their noses, but a lot of them will see this as treachery! So Labour will pay for this in time.

      • Mike S 9.3.2

        What else are they going to do, not give confidence and supply to Labour / NZ First thus ensuring another term of Key, English, etc?? That would be extremely immature and irresponsible. I think that there may be many voters out there who might be thinking about voting Labour instead of National, but are scared back to National or even to not voting when they think about the Green party being in government.

        I don’t have any actual evidence for this, it is just a gut feeling I get from conversations I’ve had and observations I’ve made..

        • MrSmith 9.3.2.1

          “What else are they going to do”

          Perhaps form an alliance with the Greens now, I really don’t see what Labour are so scared of the two parties agree on most things or is it that deep down Labour are just National in Drag.

  10. Rogue Trooper 10

    According to Karl Mannheim, while ideological systems are necessarily distortions, each offering a partial and necessarily self-interested view of social reality, objectivity concerning these Weltanschauung are the preserve of the socially unattached intelligentsia, who alone can engage in disciplined and dispassionate enquiry because they have no economic interests of their own.
    -in Heywood, Political Ideologies 3rd Ed. 2003.

    anyway, there is a drift towards social conservatism, including the prediction of 1.2M eligible voters aged over 65 by 2036.

  11. jh 11

    Winston Peters (and NZ First) has taken a lot of stick.

    John Carran, 2 April 1996
    “Vehement opposition to immigration, particularly from Asian countries, in New Zealand from an ill-informed and xenophobic rabble persists despite overwhelming evidence that immigration will improve our long term economic prospects.
    In 1988 The Institute of Policy Studies published detailed research by Jacques Poot, Ganesh Nana and Bryan Philpott on the effects of migration on the New Zealand economy. The research, which abstracted from the social and environmental impact of immigration, concluded that “…a significant migration inflow can be beneficial to the performance of the New Zealand economy and subsequent consumption and income levels.” The authors point out that this is in general agreement with Australian research on the economic consequences of immigration.


    Of course there is more to life than attaining economic excellence. The social and environmental impact of immigration also needs to be considered. But here the reasons given for restricting immigration range from pathetic to extremely dodgy. Most of the accusations are barely disguised racist piffle backed by tenuous rumours and cloudy anecdotes. Winston Peters’ stirring of the masses has exposed the ignorance and racial biases of a small and distasteful section of New Zealand society. These people yearn for a cloistered, inhibited, white (with a bit of brown at the edges) dominated utopia fondly envisaged by racists and xenophobes everywhere.

    http://www.gmi.co.nz/news/1021/opposition-to-immigration-why-let-the-arguments-get-in-the-way.aspx

    and not helped by selective journalism

    January 2011
    “The big adverse gap in productivity between New Zealand and other countries opened up from the 1970s to the early 1990s. The policy choice that increased immigration – given the number of employers increasingly unable to pay First-World wages to the existing population and all the capital requirements that increasing populations involve – looks likely to have worked almost directly against the adjustment New Zealand needed to make and it might have been better off with a lower rate of net immigration. This adjustment would have involved a lower real interest rate (and cost of capital) and a lower real exchange rate, meaning a more favourable environment for raising the low level of productive capital per worker and labour productivity. The low level of capital per worker is a striking symptom of New Zealand’s economic challenge.

    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/reviews-consultation/savingsworkinggroup/pdfs/swg-report-jan11.pdf
    Savings Working Group

  12. Crazy that Labour even entertain an alliance with the Greens.

    Labour supposedly stand for the working class.

    The elitist Greens want to shut down manufacturing and mining and and investment and everything that allows the working class to get jobs and make money.

    The reality is Labour and the Greens mix like oil & water.

    When is someone in Labour going to wake up to how idiotic and unworkable this alliance is???

    If Labour wasn’t led by a bunch of lawyers, pen pushers and academics things might be different. More real.

    Labour would see an instant increase in votes if they turned their backs on the elitist Greens.

    • Sacha 12.1

      “Greens want to shut down manufacturing and mining and and investment and everything that allows the working class to get jobs and make money.”

      That line seems boringly familiar. Read their economic/jobs policies lately?

      • weka 12.1.1

        Redbaiter is telling lies. The GP want to replace some kinds of jobs with others, because they want those jobs to be sustainable into the future. If they wanted to protect the environment at the expense of employment, why would they have a work and employment policy that promoted job creation?

        https://www.greens.org.nz/policysummary/work-and-employment-policy-summary

        https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/work-and-employment-policy

        Work towards full employment and a progressive conversion of the economy to sustainable forms of employment by:

        Encouraging a shift in the emphasis of overall government policy towards supporting job creation in local and regional projects that are socially and ecologically sustainable.

        Starting the shift to an organic nation, an energy efficient nation, and a waste free New Zealand, all of which will create more local employment.

        Shifting tax from work and enterprise onto pollution and wasted resources in order to encourage employment while reducing resource use.

        Effective Government support and funding for community-based employment creation.

        Supporting the community sector and small businesses as sources of locally appropriate, meaningful and sustainable paid employment.

        Working with and support local government economic development agencies to further improve coordination of local employment strategies including seasonal labour, accommodation affordability and locally relevant training.

        Working with key sectors with high casual employment use (especially horticulture, viticulture, tourism and hospitality etc.) to establish best practice of employment and safety.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      The elitist Greens want to shut down manufacturing and mining and and investment and everything that allows the working class to get jobs and make money.

      That’s outright lies. The Greens want to increase our ability to support ourselves sustainably and that means mining and manufacturing – just not to the level to keep the worthless rich.

      When is someone in Labour going to wake up to how idiotic and unworkable this alliance is???

      More lies. The Greens and Labour aren’t allies. In fact, the Labour party rejected the offer.

      If Labour wasn’t led by a bunch of lawyers, pen pushers and academics things might be different. More real.

      Blinglish: lifetime Bureaucrat.
      Key: lifetime Bureaucrat.
      Brownlee: lifetime Bureaucrat.

      Of course, you don’t support National as they’re too namby pamby socialist but you won’t find any doers in any hard right-wing party. All you’ll find there is yes men who kowtow to the rich and you won’t find any real doers there either – just bludging scum.

      Labour would see an instant increase in votes if they turned their backs on the elitist Greens.

      Considering the polls indicate that 70% of the Labour membership want an alliance with the Greens in the labour party did as you say then we could expect that the Labour party would decrease by 70% and the Greens would grow by those same people. The votes would probably go the same way.

      • Lanthanide 12.2.1

        Er, Key was a money trader, not a bureaucrat.

      • Redbaiter 12.2.2

        I am not telling lies. All over the net you can find the truth about the Greens and their job destroying policies.

        1) The industries they call sustainable can only survive with massive taxpayer subsidies. When the subsidies run out, the industries die. They’re not “sustainable”.

        2) The drain on the economy as a result of these subsidies crushes investment in real areas of economic development, meaning the loss of thousands of real jobs. Objective studies show that for every so called “Green” job created, many real jobs are lost.

        The Labour Party if its interested in the working class has no business being in the thrall of the bunch of loony misguided job destroying religious elitists that are the Green Party.

        • Draco T Bastard 12.2.2.1

          1.) You obviously have no idea what sustainable means. HINT: It’s got nothing to do with money and profit making is its exact opposite
          2.) Actually, the studies show the exact opposite

          To be honest, I really couldn’t give a fuck about the Labour Party – it’s as much as a dinosaur as you.

        • freedom 12.2.2.2

          Can you please provide us an example that supports either of your statements?

          That is, can you please provide an example where Greens policies have done what you ascribe to them in points 1 & 2 . (only policies presented by NZ Greens are relevant of course)

          Especially interested in seeing these objective studies you refer to …

          • Redbaiter 12.2.2.2.1

            Ha ha, thanks for the laff. Greeen policies that have failed miserably in every other part of the world are magically going to work in NZ?

            The Labour Party are crazy to get mixed up with you loons. Mostly just brainwashed uneducated kids.

            At least Winston is an adult.

            But if Labour dumped the Greens and joined the rest of NZ in wiping them off the political table, they’d at least have an equal share of the vote with National.

            • Draco T Bastard 12.2.2.2.1.1

              So, can’t answer the question – not surprised as all you ever do is talk out your arse.

              • Redbaiter

                I just find it mind boggling that anyone would be so blinkered as to claim such studies don’t exist. Its as if the old Berlin Wall surrounds your mind.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Yes, there are no sustainable businesses in New Zealand. There are no sustainable farms, nor vineyards, nor even any dwellings. Not a single one.

                  It’s astonishing that The Greens could be so stupid as to suggest that a business model that doesn’t exist already, no sirree, could be promoted here.

                  Riparian planting, for example, is not only not resulting in higher per-acre yields, no-one is even bothering with it. That’s how we can tell that sustainable business practices must be sheer baloney. Yes indeedy.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Well, if they exist you should be able to find some as I found one that contradicts what you said and can, in fact, find studies that contradict nearly everything you say.

                  • Redbaiter

                    Well, if that is so, it would point to the truth that no matter what publicly well known study I referenced you would find it unreliable.

                    No sane person would bother, especially seeing as your implication is that such studies don’t exist.

                    Just makes me wonder once again where leftists are in relation to what’s happening in the real world.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Well, if that is so, it would point to the truth that no matter what publicly well known study I referenced you would find it unreliable.

                      Of course I would – popularity doesn’t make it right (IME, it makes it wrong). Now, if it was peer-reviewed I’d take a look at it.

                      especially seeing as your implication is that such studies don’t exist.

                      You haven’t produced any so it’s obvious that they don’t. You’re the one who made a claim so that makes it your responsibility to provide the proof of that claim.

                      Just makes me wonder once again where leftists are in relation to what’s happening in the real world.

                      We’re in the real world, it’s you mad dog RWNJs that aren’t.

                  • Redbaiter

                    Just staggering to me that you would insist that they are hard to find or do not exist.

                    Just go to Google or any search engine and type in “true cost of green jobs”.

                    That will be a $50 consulting fee for advice that you should have known.

                    Please donate it to the http://semperfifund.org/

                  • Redbaiter

                    No, its just that I am usually unwilling to help anyone too lazy to help themselves.

            • srylands 12.2.2.2.1.2

              Redbaiter’s point about the economic cost of “green” (aka “subsidised”) economic activity is uncontentious, and self evident. You should get that from a simple perusal of the Green policies on their website. Most of them are job destroying and wealth diminishing.

              Jo Nova has been writing on this stuff for years:

              http://joannenova.com.au/2013/06/the-data-is-in-more-green-jobs-means-less-real-ones/#more-28909

              Or this from the Institute of Energy Research

              “Each Green Job Obama Created Cost $11 Million”

              http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/each-green-job-obama-created-cost-11-million/

              I could go all day. The reason is simple – what the Green are calling for is SUBSIDIES. The talk of the great green nirvana is BS. If there were these stacks of opportunities in NZ the investment would be there. So you get stuff like this from the Green Party Policies:

              “Investigate preferential tax treatment for green technologies, low emission vehicles and other sustainable practices.”

              i.e a subsidy

              “Make it easier for businesses to invest in appropriate technology and research.”

              i.e a subsidy – I guess the Government will decide what is “appropriate”

              “Providing financial encouragement for the adoption of new technologies”

              i.e a subsidy

              Subsidies impose economic costs.

              But luckily, it looks like we are safe from having such policies tested in the real world, at least for another three years.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The reason is simple – what the Green are calling for is SUBSIDIES.

                Every industry out there started with government subsidies. Many, such as the oil industry, still get them. Saying ZOMG, SUBSIDIES!!!! isn’t a reason not to do them especially when we have to move away from fossil fuels.

                The thing that you just don’t get is that the green jobs will still be there in 100 years, the mining and fracking won’t be as everything would have been mined. Now which is the real job that creates real wealth?

        • MrSmith 12.2.2.3

          “The Labour Party if its interested in the working class has no business being in the thrall of the bunch of loony misguided job destroying religious elitists that are the Green Party.”

          The Labour party came close to having a Leader brought and paid for by the National party for fuck sake and you Red B think a Labour/Green alliance will be bad for the Labour party, what a joke!

          The Labour Party need the Greens more than ever now sunshine and a smart move for Cunliffe would be to form an alliance with the greens ASAP to show the Labour party supporters it isn’t completely rotten to the core, I can see plenty of Labour supporters jump ship over this Red and you know which ship they will be jumping on.

    • Once was Tim 12.3

      I once had an Morris Minor and it seemed to function best when both the radiator and sump were a mixture of oil and water. It went on for bloody years including weekly trips between Wellington and Auckland. An oil and water mix kept its running costs down – it just seemed to be the viscosity that made the difference – thick sludge in the sump, and somewhat thinner in the radiator.

      • Redbaiter 12.3.1

        Morris Minors are extinct.

        Like Labour’s working class connections.

        • Once was Tim 12.3.1.1

          They might be extinct but it proved the point that in certain circumstances – oil and water do indeed mix

          • Lanthanide 12.3.1.1.1

            Chemically they do not mix. They may form an emulsion however.

            • Once was Tim 12.3.1.1.1.1

              Nothing wrong with an emulsion – I’d vote for that as long as it doesn’t have a pallid blue shade to it

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    I’m seeing a tendency to assume that New Zealand First, while hazardous to handle, can be domesticated; whereas the Greens are inherently untrustworthy.

    In a world of corruption those most feared are the trustworthy.

    The Greens have shown, beyond anything else, that they stand by their word.

    • jh 13.1

      The Greens have shown, beyond anything else, that they stand by their word.
      ………
      But they are only green on the outside and that is false labelling. Their blending of social justice and biology requires a discourse akin to a fundamental religion explaining Adam and Eve.

  14. jh 14

    National, Labour, Green have one thing in common, they are pro-immigration. The media mob has successfully informed the public that all the arguments are done and dusted. The world is looked at through the lense of social justice rather than biology (except climate change but that too is a social justice issue).

    • karol 14.1

      Making sense of your comment is hurting my brain. What has biology got to do with immigration?

      Edit: Oh, I see, it has to do with earlier comments above about birth control and immigration.

      • jh 14.1.1

        Making sense of your comment is hurting my brain. What has biology got to do with immigration?

        which comment are you referring to?

        • karol 14.1.1.1

          Your comment was out of sequence. On reflection it looks to be part of an earlier thread above. Although, I think your linakges between the Green party, immigration, biology etc is a bit all over the place.

          The problem I see with immigration policy as it now stands, is that there is more free movement of money, and people with a lot of money, than of workers and/or people looking for work.

          It is particularly the relatively free movement internationally of the activities of powerful corporations that is doing the most damage to society and the environment.

          • jh 14.1.1.1.1

            The problem I see with immigration policy as it now stands, is that there is more free movement of money, and people with a lot of money, than of workers and/or people looking for work.
            ……
            do we need workers? if so for what (the construction industry has grown enormously since 2006)?

            it is important to pay attention to the characteristics of individual
            country experiences, and the possible role of combinations of circumstances. In
            New Zealand, migration policy has made a large difference to population growth,
            throughout history and over the past 20 years.

            In the late 19th century and early 20th century, immigration to New Zealand could be seen
            as reflecting a favourable shock to the tradable sector. Opening up new lands to
            production, falling transport costs, refrigerated shipping combined to lift the population
            capacity of New Zealand while still offering high wages and high rates of return.

            By the middle of the 20th century, New Zealand was settled and producing, and
            technological change in the key export sectors was no longer as rapid (relative to other
            producers). The factor price equalisation justification for strong population growth had
            dissipated, yet population growth remained high. Across the OECD, there is some
            evidence that rapid population growth in post-war advanced countries was associated with
            143
            an apparent cost to per capita growth rates.

            http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/research-policy/wp/2014/14-10
            Migration and Macroeconomic
            Performance in New Zealand:
            Theory and Evidence
            Julie Fry
            New Zealand Treasury Working Paper 14/10
            Should we all try to be Japan (losing it’s crown to China) or Singapore (on a trading nexus)?

          • Populuxe1 14.1.1.1.2

            I’m more concerned with being able to maintain a robust welfare system, which is simply not viable in the long term with relaxed immigration

      • jh 14.1.2

        National, Labour, Green have one thing in common, they are pro-immigration.

        [that isn’t hard to prove]

        The media mob has successfully informed the public that all the arguments are done and dusted.

        [I base that on a lack of media reporting of counter argument]

        The world is looked at through the lense of social justice rather than biology (except climate change but that too is a social justice issue).

        [I’m referring to a paradigm that sees world issues as human rights issues rather than basic biology (population, gene, thermodynamics, evolutionary psychology). I presume this reflects the academic pursuits of many journalists and politicians?

        • karol 14.1.2.1

          Your terms are used pretty loosely. Putting paragraph spacing between them, doesn’t make them any more meaningful – and adding some big words at the end clarifies nothing.

          For instance, “Pro immigration” is a bit meaningless. Those parties also have policies limiting immigration in various ways, and promoting certain criteria for immigrants to meet. For instance, Green policy.

          We support an appropriate and sustainable flow of migrants, including skilled migrants and those accepted for humanitarian and family reasons.

          Our United Nations refugee quota can increase from 750 to 1,000 and we need to prepare for climate change refugees.

          New migrants need increased support such as better funded settlement services and English language training.

          We need to ensure that temporary migrants have decent working conditions and pathways to residency appropriate to their skills.
          […]
          Maintain a sustainable net immigration flow to limit effects on our environment, society and culture.
          […]
          Ensure that the setting of immigration levels would be reviewed regularly, based on:
          *net population change;

          *the need to have spare population capacity for returning NZ citizens and climate change refugees

          *the capacity of systems in place to cope fairly and effectively;

          *the ability to encourage settlement outside areas under infrastructure and population capacity stress;

          *the ability of our environment to cope with population increases

          *New Zealand’s humanitarian obligations with regard to refugees

          The media can be skewed on the way it reports immigration issues – but it does not tend to promote open unrestricted immigration.

          • jh 14.1.2.1.1

            For instance, “Pro immigration” is a bit meaningless. Those parties also have policies limiting immigration in various ways, and promoting certain criteria for immigrants to meet. For instance, Green policy
            ….
            So the Greens have made an about turn?

            Anti-immigration feeling has no place in the Green party Immigration and Population policies released today, Green MP Keith Locke says.

            “Our policy is the opposite of Winston Peters’,” the Party’s Immigration Spokesperson Keith Locke says.

            “We have no fear of migrants. The Green Party says ‘Welcome Home – this is your country now’. Our welcome extends to the families of new migrants. The Green Party policy is fundamentally humanitarian, not exclusionary like Mr Peters’.

            https://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/greens-counter-peters-welcoming-immigration-policy

            Executive Summary
            Relative to other OECD countries, New Zealand has high rates of population inflow and
            outflow. These are related: there has been a deliberate policy choice since the early
            1990s to more than replace departing New Zealanders with immigrants.
            Significant
            benefits were anticipated from increasing the number and quality of people working within
            New Zealand’s reformed economy and institutions.

            http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/research-policy/wp/2014/14-10
            So we have had a deliberate policy of population increase but I haven’t heard much from the Greens or Labour on that.
            we have had a million new citizens with a claim to the NZ landmass and 80% of population growth has been due to non NZ citizens (when you take out NZ’s leaving).

            • karol 14.1.2.1.1.1

              The Greens are about keeping the population level to what is sustainable, environmentally and socially. So what do you have against immigrants if they contribute to NZ society positively, and are environmentally sustainable?

              I repeat, the biggest damage is done by foreign corporates that drain off our resources for their own benefits, resulting in decreasing wages and infrastructure.

              The Greens are also about upskilling the NZ workforce, and providing jobs for people who are already here.

              • jh

                The Greens are about keeping the population level to what is sustainable, environmentally and socially. So what do you have against immigrants if they contribute to NZ society positively, and are environmentally sustainable?
                ………….
                It is significant that construction drives manufacturing and:

                The construction industry has grown by 10,000 firms since 2002, a new Government report shows, but still lacks capacity to deal with the massive demand of the Christchurch rebuild and the Auckland housing boom.
                The Construction Sector Report was released this afternoon, the fourth of seven reports designed to improve understanding of the economy.
                Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said that the construction sector now employed 7 per cent of the New Zealand workforce – around 170,000 people – and generated annual revenues of $30 billion.
                He said that the industry was experiencing unprecedented growth, driven by the Christchurch rebuild and demand for housing in Auckland.
                The report showed that despite the global financial crisis and an associated downturn in construction, the construction workforce grew by 30 per cent in the last decade.

                http://m.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11160225

                Like Melbourne Auckland is growing on (unsustainable) population growth.
                http://artsonline.monash.edu.au/cpur/melbourne-a-parasite-city/
                the tourist industry isn’t sustainable our main industries don’t benefit form returns to scale.
                What’s more the evidence for benefits from population growth is “asymmetrical” as we have already had 20 years of rapid population growth with no improvements in GDP per capita.

          • Mike S 14.1.2.1.2

            I wish parties would stop using the word sustainability. The greens seem to be the worst culprits but all of the major parties prattle on about ‘sustainable economic growth’ and so on. Plus they all want more immigration, they just differ in the who, how and what for. Well they all need to wake up, as do many on this forum as to what sustainability involves.

            The first law of sustainability:

            Population growth and/or growth in the consumption of resources CANNOT be sustained.

            Taking that law into account, economic growth as we know it relies completely and entirely upon ever increasing consumption of resources. This needs an ever increasing population to consume those resources. Therefore economic growth (as we know it) is not sustainable.

            It doesn’t matter which side of the political divide you sit on or how clever you are around resource management, based upon the above law and under our current economic and monetary system, economic growth is not sustainable. The system as it stands will crash entirely, that is a mathematical certainty based upon the exponential function. What we need is political leaders, regardless of party, with the will to start thinking about and acting upon the radical changes needed to our economic system if we are to avoid economic disaster on an unprecedented scale.

  15. captain hook 15

    why does pete geroge always post here about a party he doesn’t belong to.
    doesn’t national have any policys or is he just a snivelling sneak?

    • Ron 15.1

      Yes!!!

    • Chooky 15.2

      all the petes and not petes are from the dark side imo…they have crawled up out of the undergrowth…add Pop to that as well

      • Not Petey 15.2.1

        We are all paid up servants of the illuminati, who are the driving force behind the banksters those who seek to cover up the truth about 9/11, vaccination, chem trails and the moon landings.

    • Not Petey 15.3

      Rrrrrrrrrrave on Randal

    • Paul 15.4

      They have policies they want us to talk about.
      Policies that benefit the 1% tend not to be very popular
      That’s why they focus on personality politics and do everything to distract folk with celebrity nonsense and sport.
      Sadly an increasingly dumbed down population falls for it.
      The Romans Emperors worked out the trick of bread and circuses.

  16. aerobubble 16

    Let’s think about that statement, that Greens have no power. Imagine for a moment Banks and Dunne suddenly telling Key they will force an election if he doesn’t give them something politically unsaleable, knighthoods with perks. What would Key do? Well Labour wouldn’t equally want to be held over the barrel, so would also been keen to come to an understanding with National and have two MPs abstain, in return for when Labour are in government National returning the favor if a minority party got too powerful.

    So the idea that Winston Peters could over sell, and Labour-Green or National in government do a abstaining deal isn’t that unworkable. Its call compromise.

    Why isn’t this talked about. Well National wants to go far-right off some of the nonsense of ACT, and wants to shrift right of center off some of UF’s nonsense (asset sales). But both Banks and Dunne know this and wouldn’t push the nuclear button.

    So it follows, why would National want Peters to have all that control over them either. Peter knows this, and so whoever he works with it will be qualified.

    So then the question becomes, why were the Greens kept out of the last term of Clark. Well I can think of a few reasons. Voices in the Labour party like Shane Jones. Voices in the Greens who know what a monster a turd term is. And the usual patsies of Banks, Dunne and Peters to blame for the break up.

    As a Green voter I dont care whether in or out, just not in awith a third term National party.
    We heat homes with windmills now, the politics of Green economies is the only pragmatic,
    sustainable and resilient way to run an economy. The idea there won’t be growth is entirely
    delusional since all economies need grow to over come inflation else the government collapses,
    and in fact the step change from petrol to alternatives is hugely costly and will mean opportunties
    for the free market to make heaps of money. Oops, did I just say the Greens were more free marketers than ACT and National. Well of course they are, ACT-NAT want to maintain welath of the wealthiest against the prevailing weathering of a free market. Everyone else knows the GFC was due to the Green wave of petroleum peak, financial centralizing wealth and pollution crisis’s that stymie free markets.

    Get it, Green economics are not just the only option growth option, they are also the free markets choice of future looking economy(GFC). Blue Green, Keys attempt to get in bed with the Greens, its all too obvious. So, lets give Shane a round of applause, his anti-green sentiment is now smear all over the National brand, and will harm his future political prospects as Green become bedded in as a staple of our economy.

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