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The Standard

Taking the gap

Written By: - Date published: 12:23 pm, December 3rd, 2012 - 157 comments
Categories: greens, labour - Tags:

Russel Norman’s taken advantage of the gap in Labour’s economic skills and vague positioning to cement the Greens as the main alternative voice on economics. Labour lacks any strong economic voice now Cunliffe’s on the outer, and they don’t know where they stand – they attack National but essentially adopt their neoliberal approach. The free rein Shearer has given Jones to attack the Greens’ economic policies just shows the leadership’s instincts are rightwing, which is why their economic position comes across so weak (‘hands off vs hands on’? Really? Doesn’t that imply you’ll still drive in the same general direction?). Norman has clearly seen the opening left by Labour’s lack of leadership on the economy.

Norman’s taken advantage with his op-ed in the Herald today (not online at time of writing). He opens by doing what he knows Labour can’t do – articulating a powerful economic vision in a paragraph. He then lays out the failure of National’s management of the economy. Then, he puts it to Labour- which side are you on? The failed National side, our the smart, green side? Or, if Labour has its own alternative, what is it? By allowing Shane Jones to be spokesperson for everything, and by spending so much time attacking the alternative to National without offering their own alternative, it looks like Labour really doesn’t want to change much, it just wants to be the one in the driver’s seat.

In short, Norman’s saying ‘Labour doesn’t have the balls and/or brains to offer you a real change in direction, the Greens do’. It’s not a declaration of any split in the opposition to National but it’s a clear sign that the Greens no longer view themselves as second fiddle to Labour. It’s a sign that the Greens plan to be the leaders on the economy and take votes from both major parties in the process. So far, they’re going about it the right way.

157 comments on “Taking the gap”

  1. toad 1

    Russel Norman’s op-ed is online here.

    • It reads very similar to David Cunliffe’s speech the dolphin and the dole que

      • ad 1.1.1

        …without the strategy, metaphors, breadth, or penetration …

      • Shane Gallagher 1.1.2

        That is because he borrowed the key concepts from the Greens in the first place… just saying great minds think alike and all that… :-)

        • lprent 1.1.2.1

          Ever study why Microsoft (and for that matter Apple, and….) always did well in the tech area?

          They were almost never first, just very good at borrowing ideas (typically by buying the companies with the ideas) and then doing it better second.

          • George D 1.1.2.1.1

            It doesn’t say much to me. Given the constraints of an editorial, there’s still more room than he used.

            Nevertheless, that he’s been given the platform to present himself speaks to the success the ptarty has had in striking its ground.

      • Jenny 1.1.3

        It reads very similar to David Cunliffe’s speech the dolphin and the dole que …

        mickysavage

        The striking difference between David Cunliffe and Russel Norman’s speech is that Norman does not, even once, manage to choke out the two words climate change, or global warming.

        Where Cunliffe gives this subject multiple paragraphs under a subject heading.

        This is not a simple mistake, or even something new, but a deliberate long term policy decision to actively ignore this issue by the Greens leader. In this he is aping the behaviour of David Shearer who is also a notorious Climate Change Ignorer. But where this policy might be seen by some to be marginally acceptable for the Labour Party leader, with that Party’s links to the trade unions as an excuse. For the Green party leader it is completely inexcusable and stinks of rank opportunism..

        • mickysavage 1.1.3.1

          Good point Jenny.  Not much room in the column but is there a bit of soft selling going on?

           

          • Jenny 1.1.3.1.1

            More than a little I’m afraid mickey. It not just a shortage of column inches. Take a look at all of Norman’s latest speeches where he is not constrained by any restrictions that might (just possibly be), imposed in writing an op-ed piece.

            http://www.greens.org.nz/advancedsearch?tid_1=174

            It is like someone took a sharp pair of scissors to each one of Norman’s speeches and deliberately cut out any mention of climate change or global warming.

            I have no trouble calling it as I see it. The co-leader of the Green Party, like David Shearer, is a Climate Change Ignorer. In the struggle against climate change Russel Norman will be worse than useless.

            • weka 1.1.3.1.1.1

              Yeah, the Green Party has never done anything good or useful when it comes to Climate Change :roll:
               
              /sarc
               
              Norman’s job is to win as many votes and seats at the next election, and to position the party so it can be part of the next govt of NZ. It’s not his job to raise awareness about CC, nor champion solutions. There are others in the party to do that. In fact it makes sense to let Labour do it, if you think about it.
               
              Looking at the GP’s website, there are 14,600 hits for climate change.
              Number 6 is Kennedy Graham’s speech in parliament on CC and the Kyoto protocol, dated 25/11/12.
               
              http://www.greens.org.nz/speeches/kennedy-grahams-general-debate-speech-climate-change-and-kyoto-protocol
               
              Here’s their CC policy summary
               
              http://www.greens.org.nz/policysummary/climate-change-policy-summary-kicking-carbon-habit
               
               
               

              • Colonial Viper

                Smart analysis weka. Labour needs to prove its CC and peak oil credentials – Cunliffe was doing this. The Greens need to prove ther “sensible economic” credentials – Norman was doing this.

              • Socialist Paddy

                But it is a slippery slope Weka. You start off by failing to mention climate change then you are chipping at non existent sickness beneficiaries who fix their roof and then you are saying that the South Pole’s fishing stock has to be plundered for the economic benefit of some all.

                • weka

                  That’s one possible interpretation SP. Another is that the GP did the hard yards on CC for years when no-one else wanted to talk about it. They put it on the public agenda and kept it there. They deserve to focus on other things IMO.
                   
                  It’s fairly inevitable that when the GP gets some actual power in govt that they will need to compromise more. If NZ was ready for real sustainability politics (environmental, social, economic) it would have given the GP enough votes to form govt with Helen Clark’s Labour. NZ demonstrated very clearly that it wasn’t ready for that, so the GP have taken the time to position themselves where they can do some good. I don’t agree with alot of their policy shifts, but I support what they are doing because I think it will work. Once they become mainstream, and the mainstream adjusts to accommodate them, other parties will come along to keep them honest. That’s the beauty of MMP.

                  • Jenny

                    “It’s fairly inevitable that when the GP gets some actual power in govt that they will need to compromise more.”

                    weka

                    All political parties hoping to win public office come eventually to a crossroads where they have to choose, do we compromise principle for power?

                    It may work for some parties, and they can stagger on for decades bearing no resemblance to their original principled beginnings.

                    Unfortunately for the Greens, this section of the political spectrum is already over filled.

                    And for the Greens this sort of opportunism will end badly. The Greens vote in 2014 will be their biggest ever. But swapping principle for power will come at a cost. When voters see that the Greens in government behave just like any other mainstream political party, voters will realise they might as well vote for one or the other of the major parties. Green support will never recover from their first term in government and their vote will drop off. In my opinion this will be a terrible tragedy, not just for the Greens but for the climate and the planet, just at the time when we need a Green Party in parliament that doesn’t compromise on principle.

                    “Voters do not want a subservient and compliant Green Party in any future coalition, if that was the case they would just vote Labour”

                    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/12/greens-want-more-disciplined-labour.html

                    • weka

                      hi Jenny,
                      yes, there is the risk that the GP will compromise too far, although I don’t see the particular risk that you name – getting enough support for only one term and then losing it (the shift in NZ towards green politics is more substantial than that). They’re still on the ascendency and once in parliament will have a steep learning curve, but I think by then that NZers will be more aware of how crucial those issues are that the GP has been talking about all along. It’s possible that the timing will work very well for NZ, we will have strong green representation in govt just at the time it is needed most.
                       
                      I don’t see the GP as becoming subservient, on the contrary I see them maturing and being able to stand their ground. But in a realistic way that allows them access to power. Were they to stay truer to their original values, they wouldn’t be part of govt, at least not in a meaningful way, and IMO that would be worse for NZ than the path they are on now (they would essentially be glorified lobbyists). As I said, as they become more mainstream, it opens a space for others to fill.

                    • You assume that pragmatism and principle must always be opposed.

                      When your goal is to implement your principles, pragmatism means sacrificing group or individual gain towards that end when it’s important, but it also means working together on areas of common interest with both opponents and friends in order to build credibility in a wide array of areas, and eventually towards meeting your larger goals.

                      The Greens have performed admirably on both of those fronts in their time in parliament but out of government- what makes you think they would be pushovers in coalition talks? Certainly the reality of government is different, but I don’t see them pulling a Maori Party to Labour’s National, even if it introduces a different set of constraints to the cross-benches and opposition.

                    • Skinny

                      Having once attended a local GP meeting I can assure you punters their barking mad. Ask M Wilson, they chose caged chickens over humans for Christ sake & Labour formed a Government with NZ First instead.

                       On the surface they may  ‘appear’ to have changed but I doubt that very much. Putting that aside & excepting they are needed to form a Government.
                      The question still remains who in Labour has the goods to negotiate the deal. Laila Harre is probably the Greens go to person & I know GR reckons he’s it! still be hear a name or two?
                       
                      I wonder if the above pair can pin down tricky Peter’s getting him on board of a L/G coalition? I just can’t see those 2 parties ( G & NZF ) excepting each other, which is my biggest concern. Peters playing 3rd fiddle would be too much for his ego, as would stomaching some of the Green’s policies.
                          

                    • Jenny

                      Weka never underestimate the power of lobbyists

                      Were they to stay truer to their original values, they wouldn’t be part of govt, at least not in a meaningful way, and IMO that would be worse for NZ than the path they are on now (they would essentially be glorified lobbyists).

                      weka

                      I disagree. The Values Party were never in Government but they made New Zealand nuclear free.

                      Would the country had been better off if the Values Party had compromised their anti-nuclear principles to be in government?

                      The members of RAM could have met in a phone box yet they mounted a lobby to take GST off food. Phil Goff responded to RAM’s campaign by saying, over my dead body. But RAM collected tens of thousands of names to their petition to take GST off food. Which they handed over to parliament where it was accepted and tabled by the Maori Party. Who then put it up their own private members bill. Labour was in quandary. Vote with ACT and National, or vote for the bill. Despite reservations they voted for the Maori Party private members bill to remove GST from fresh fruit and vegetables. From there it became Labour Party policy. (a position Shearer has said he would like to revisit. Need I say more.)

                      And for an example of the power of lobbying you don’t have to look much past the example of the Right. The Business Roundtable and the banksters lobby seem to continually get whatever they ask for and haven’t got a single seat in parliament.

                      Politics is all about pressure. You don’t have to be in government to exercise this pressure.

                      The Greens need to make their bottom line for coalition with Labour on principle, not pragmatism. So what if the Labour Party balks. More can be achieved outside of parliament. Especially if the Greens use the public pulpit provided by having seats in parliament to call for a mass campaign to stop Deep Sea Oil Drilling or Fracking or open cast coal mining for export.

                      This will achieve real change where going with the flow will not.

                    • Jenny

                      All politics is about pressure.

                      Let me put it another way.

                      Do you think that there is a powerful fossil fuel and roading lobby?

                      Of course there is.

                      But is there a powerful opposing lobby?

                      No there isn’t.

                      With out this counter pressure even if the Greens dominated parliament I don’t believe they would be able to achieve a fraction of the things what they would like to. The pressure of the fossil fuel lobby is too great.

                      A counter posing lobby needs to be built.

                      So how could this counter lobby be built?

                      Not compromising for one thing would be a start.

                      I often use the example of Winston Churchill who uncompromisingly thundered away from the backbenchers about the dangers of fascism.

                      He was appealing over the heads of parliament to the country.

                      He was building a lobby.

                    • weka

                      Not sure how much you know about how the GP works Jenny, but where you are concerned about their voters, I am thinking about members. Members have much more say in what happens than in other parties. I’m not concerned at this stage that Norman will end up in the pocket of big oil. He is not the party (as much as he is being portrayed as such at the moment), and as far as I can tell, there is still alot of integrity within the party as a whole.
                       
                       

                  • weka

                    Citations needed for all those claims Jenny (@9.11pm)
                     
                    eg the GP position on Deep Seal drilling, both from the last 6 months –
                     
                    http://www.greens.org.nz/oralquestions/russel-norman-questions-prime-minister-about-dangerous-deep-sea-oil-drilling
                     
                    http://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/deep-sea-drilling-not-worth-risk

                • The Greens will mention Climate Change, don’t worry.

                  What you can’t expect reasonably is for it to be mentioned in every speech or every policy just because it has some relevance. It will obviously be omitted from things that don’t connect at all, but just because you’re Green (or green) doesn’t mean that every topic related to climate change rates a mention, especially not when you still have to convince the portion of the country that has its heads up its bums that being Green is about more than climate or the environment. :)

                • Jenny

                  Already the Greens have agreed not to challenge Deep Sea Oil drilling, or the opening of the Deniston plateau for strip mining coal for export.

                  Not to mention the Green’s continuing support for the notorious Pollution Trading Scheme. Which right from the very beginning protected polluters rights to keep on polluting. And has overseen a big increase in CO2 emissions.

                  And for what? So their leader can prove that he is a pair of responsible hands with the country’s finances?

                    • Jenny

                      I have no doubt Weka that the Green are opposed to deep sea oil drilling. The point is not whether the Green Party are opposed to deep sea oil drilling, or open cast strip mining of coal to be burnt in China. Of course they are. The point is whether the Green Party is prepared trade off these principled positions to get a coalition deal with Labour. All indications are not good.

                  • weka

                    “Already the Greens have agreed not to challenge Deep Sea Oil drilling,”
                     
                    Your words. Citation needed.

                    • Jenny

                      Au Contraire weka. It is you who has to show any statement that says that the Greens will not agree to accept Deep Sea Oil drilling as a condition of being in government with Labour.

                      It is very hard to prove an issue when it is not even discussed openly.

                      The Greens should be stating loud and clear that they will not accept Deep Sea Oil Drilling by any government that they will be a part of.

                      Anyhow your rebuttal is specious.

                      You very noticeably left out challenging my assertion about the opening of the Deniston plateau for strip mining coal for export.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Here’s what you said jenny:

                      “Already the Greens have agreed not to challenge Deep Sea Oil drilling, or the opening of the Deniston plateau for strip mining coal for export.”

                      Where is this agreement, that you claim already exists?

                      You claim it is something that has already happened, something that exists. So it really is on you to provide some evidence for this agreement, that you claimed exists.

                    • Jenny

                      Here’s what you said jenny:

                      “Already the Greens have agreed not to challenge Deep Sea Oil drilling, or the opening of the Deniston plateau for strip mining coal for export.”

                      Where is this agreement, that you claim already exists?

                      You claim it is something that has already happened, something that exists. So it really is on you to provide some evidence for this agreement, that you claimed exists.

                      I ask you to provide evidence that it doesn’t.

                      weka

                      I take your point, weka. Maybe I was a bit in haste in not qualifying my statement properly.

                      How’s this?

                      “Already the Greens have agreed not to challenge Deep Sea Oil drilling, or the opening of the Deniston plateau for strip mining coal for export. As a condition of entering into coalition with the Labour Party.”

                      I ask you, Will the Green Party will let these two things stand, to get into government?

                      I and all those concerned about climate change await your answer.

                      All the evidence is that to secure cabinet positions, serious action against climate change is off the table.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      I assume you are talking to me, but again, you are still claiming that this has already happened.

                      What are you basing that on?

                      It’s nonsense from beginning to end Jenny, and while we are at it, what mandate do you have to claim to speak on behalf of everyone who cares about climate change?

              • Jenny

                Yes Kennedy’s speech is good and he doesn’t have an aversion to the mention of the words “climate change”. But his speech is not a patch on Cunliffe on climate change.

                Also Kennedy is not the leader. (not even number 2)

                The Green Party is being outclassed on the biggest environmental issue of all time, by a parliamentarian, not even a member of their party.

                You gotta worry when the leading parliamentarian on climate change is not their party leader, in fact is not even a member of the Green Party.

            • karol 1.1.3.1.1.2

              I have heard Norman talk about climate change in the House recently, in Question Time and in the general debate.  I think the danger with Norman is, not that he might ignore climate change, but that he might go for weak, compromise, neoliberal solutions like the ETS.  He also has talked about it in the last couple of years.  And he has submitted at least one question for written answer on it.

              • toad

                The Greens’ preference is and always has been for a carbon tax and a regulatory regime rather than an ETS. There was a strong internal debate within the Greens over whether to support Labour’s ETS legislation or not – many Green MPs and activists considered it far too weak a response to climate change, but eventually the decision was made that it was better to support some response than oppose Labour’s ETS and have no response at all, given that the ETS was the only response on the table.

                The strength of the response to climate change post-2014 really comes down to how the numbers stack up in a Labour-Green Government. If Labour have twice the number of MPs as the Greens, we probably won’t get much stronger response than Labour’s 2008 ETS legislation, as the Greens simply won’t have the bargaining power. If the numbers are closer to equal, expect a much stronger response

                • Jackal

                  I’m hopeful that the Greens will be in a position after the next election to not have to compromise on such issues. As I’m sure many Green MP’s agree there should be no further compromise in the future if it can be avoided at all costs. Documented recent events show that drastic political action is now required to avert global disaster, and every little county like New Zealand counts.

                  Labour’s ETS could have worked if it was more focused on penalties when industry failed to meet its reduction obligations. A market placed solution based on financial incentives or disincentives is always going to be the best answer to addressing the interests of private businesses, especially when those interests impact on and contradict the interests of the environment.

                  The reason the ETS hasn’t worked properly is because it has been undermined by industrialized countries, including our own under a deluded National government. As far as I can tell John Key is still a climate change denier, meaning that he doesn’t represent the majority of Kiwis who want New Zealand to live up to that clean and green branding.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    A market placed solution based on financial incentives or disincentives is always going to be the best answer to addressing the interests of private businesses,

                    :roll:

                    • Jackal

                      They only care about money in other words Colonial Viper… Why do you find such an argument so hard to comprehend?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Business isn’t the reason for the existence of society nor, in fact, is it the reason for the existence of the economy.

                  • Jenny

                    John Key is not a climate change denier.

                    He openly admits it is a problem. However Key has said that the economy and growth and jobs take precedent over addressing climate change.

                    John Key is a Climate Change Apologist.

              • Jenny

                Even in a question about the corrupt and rotten Pollution Trading Scheme, Russel Norman still manages to avoid saying the words “climate change” (except when the two words “climate change” are in the title of the bill and in the title of the Minister.

                http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/D9129EE3-74C4-4B4E-9194-C11BFCF2EF1C/244666/QWA_06946_2012.pdf

                He also omitted the words “climate change” from his written submission.

                http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/D9129EE3-74C4-4B4E-9194-C11BFCF2EF1C/244666/QWA_06946_2012.pdf

                This is a truly remarkable achievement.

                It seems that Russel Norman has developed an unconscious aversion to the term climate change.

                And why not, Norman is trying to seek an accomodation with a political party that is committed to overseeing a huge expansion in coal mining. Especially massive opencast strip mining for export which sneakily avoids being accounted for under our international commitments to cut back our CO2 emissions.

                Any meeting with Hansen can only be about climate change.

                Russel Norman as leader of the Green Party could not have avoided meeting with James Hansen, when Hansen toured here in 2011.

                In his quest for a cabinet position, to not to offend the Labour Party, Norman has chosen to ignore Hansen’s key message about coal being the number 1 cause of green house gas emissions. And instead of being expanded as the Labour Party insist, must be phased out. This is why it is easier for Norman to just ignore the issue. If he has to talk about it, then he will have to take a stand on it. Russel Norman is walking a tight rope, either offend Labour, or offend the Green grass roots. Far easier not to mention climate change at all.

                • Jackal

                  More rubbish from you Jenny… Not only does Russel Norman often talk about climate change, coal is not the biggest contributor to GHG emissions in New Zealand as you claim, Agriculture is, providing around half of all New Zealands emissions.

                  I also don’t see any evidence that supports your claim that Labour wants a huge expansion in coal mining or open cast strip mining.

                  I think you’ve got the future Labour led government under David Shearer confused with a defunct and failure of a National government under John Key… Idiot!

            • alex 1.1.3.1.1.3

              Yes, the phrase climate change doesn’t appear, but he talks repeatedly about environmental degradation, the need to avoid growth based on wanton resource exploitation and how our environment is crucial to our global brand.

              In short, this is still a very Green article.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    Seriously considering party vote Greens in 2014, especially if Mr Bumbles stays in the hotseat.

    • Galeandra 2.1

      +1

      What reason to change the habit of years, having recently signed up to oppose the ABC’s notwithstanding?

  3. xtasy 3

    Shane Jones keeps popping up with unhelpful comments, and it is justified for Norman raising this.

    I continue to be flabbergasted about Shearers rushed, almost “dictatorial” style demotion of Cunliffe. If he (Shearer) was a smart, competent and skilful leader, he would never have done this, certainly not in the manner he did.

    There goes the probably best qualified “economic” spokesperson Labour has, who did a tour of Europe, to see how Denmark and other countries do better than NZ, and he gets sent into the wilderness, without any spokesperson area at all. And all mainly due to media speculations and hype, distracting from what matters.

    That is plain desperate and/or dumb, to “discipline” a suspected contender for the top job. The front bench has been substantially weakened, for sure.

    While Shearer dares to state to the media that HE will “lead” Labour into the 2014 election, he seems to forget what the members voted for on their last major conference. It is not good, what I see and hear from him.

    I am still waiting for more details of their Kiwi Build policy, as what I see so far is not sufficiently convincing.

    It seems that the Greens are making headway in support, so far in the shadow of Labour. But with more of that going on, what we have seen the last few weeks and months, I still believe, that given they also come out with some solid, well thought through and soundly calculated policy measures in the economic, financial and social areas, complementing what they stand for in regards to the environment, the Greens will catch up with Labour, while I cannot – presently – see Labour gain very much more support.

    Recent polls seem to indicate the government is now performing so poorly, that even a weak Labour alternative becomes more appealing to voters. My fear is that the increased support comes from former Nat voters, more so than the non-voters. But others surely will see this differently.

    Interesting times lie ahead for NZ.

    • Craig Glen Eden 3.1

      +1 the problem now for Shearer is the only way for him is down. The Greens really just have to keep working away doing what they are doin and it will reap rewards for them.

      Labours problem is their Caucus with so many just clinging on for power, Shearer was the willing fall guy and he has badly miscalculated. Shearer was never ready for the leadership of Labour let alone being a Prime Minister. It takes about 6-9 years in my opinion in that place to understand just how Parliament works.

      The fact that Shearer agreed to run to be the leader of Labour after less than a term is quite unbelievable, what the hell was he thinking.

      Labour need a big clean out but Shearer cant do it cos the ones who need to be cleared out are the ones who gave him the job.
      Until we have a leader who is voted in by the members Labour are stuffed. Democracy in Feb is our last chance I think. As an a side.
      I thought Materia did well on Q and A getting that message across about “valuing our young” its a message that will ring in many socialists ears as we draw closer to election day.

    • Anne 3.2

      I continue to be flabbergasted about Shearers rushed, almost “dictatorial” style demotion of Cunliffe.

      Me too. Somebody or some persons got to Shearer before the Labour Conference and then circumstantial evidence (during the conference) of a supposed imminent coup attempt by Cunliffe finished him off.

      I am waiting for an outcome to the New Lynn LEC’s formal complaint. I understand it was on the agenda at last weekend’s Labour Council meeting. There are 3 possible outcomes:

      1) the Council agrees that a set of circumstances at the conference was misinterpreted by some Caucus members, and that Mr Cunliffe should be reinstated to his former position.

      2) the Council recognises there was an injustice but – at the request of the Labour parliamentary leadership – agrees to keep the matter under wraps and decides to take no action.

      3) the Council was/is itself implicated in the conspiracy to discredit Cunliffe, and attempts to silence the New Lynn LEC (long term) by issuing a threat of some sort. A caveat perhaps? Not unheard of in these sorts of situations both in the political arena and the Public Service.

      My money is on No.2.

  4. Saarbo 4

    The Greens are so lucky, they have a clear articulate Leader (in fact they have two!). I wish we could have one of those (we’d settle for one). I think he is sitting on the back bench somewhere.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      The Greens are so lucky

      Of course luck plays some part. But more importantly: the Greens have a membership which values ability and skill, and they have a democratic process for that membership to select those leaders who can best represent their views.

      Yes the process is still highly political, but in the end it allows a meritocracy to function.

      So some of it is luck, but a lot of it is good design and leadership.

      • Saarbo 4.1.1

        Yes, they have good process. Also Norman’s timing is impecable. He knows voters are now searching for an alternative to National (having finally relised that they are hopeless). Voters still feel that the NZ is vulnerable, particularly if we dont have a government strong in the economic area. So Norman is selling his party in an area that he knows he can win some of the swinging voters. I reckon ultimately it will be the party that can best sell its economic vision which will win over the swing voters in 2014. Putting Shearer’s shortcomings around his inability to put across a coherent message, he simply does not have experience in this complex and technical area…that’s my worry.

        However I do think that Labour have better policy in the economic area…they just dont have the ability to communicate it and sell it!

  5. ad 5

    If Norman would never get Finance, could he reasonably ask for MoBIE?
    Nice shiny new machine with large levers attached, Russell.

    • King Kong 5.1

      Whatever Ministerial portfolio he gets hopefully he will use the pay rise to buy a suit that actually fits him.

      Always be wary of people who don’t know how to dress properly.

      • ad 5.1.1

        Absolutely agree. Needs to pop down to the Parliamentary gym for 6 months and then head down to Zegna or Working Style. Generally take the concrete pill. And harden up.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2

        I’m more wary of people who judge people by what they wear.

        • Murray Olsen 5.1.2.1

          I’m wary of people whose jacket sleeves need to be longer than their trouser legs.

          • George D 5.1.2.1.1

            I’d recommend Crane Brothers; he can afford it. Gareth also could do with a slightly better fit. Nevertheless, their projection of sensibility and authority over their subject is working for them.

            People are superficial, and also respond to cues which are on the edge of their consciousness. Dress plays an important part of this. If you’re not dressing well, you should have an important reason to do so – and some MPs do, such as dressing in a way that resonates with their constituency.

  6. The Fan Club 6

    This post betrays a fundamental misapprehension about the nature of neo-liberalism. Neo-liberalism is a political ideology premised on the dogma of the hands-off state (or rather, on the fiction of the hands-off state.) By repudiating hands-off, you repudiate neo-liberalism, in the same way that by repudiating the incarnation you repudiate Christianity.

    In practice, Labour’s broken with two key neo-liberal planks by promising reform of the Reserve Bank Act, and large scale intervention in a market. (This, of course, follows a series of breaks undertaken by the Clark government.)

    You might say that Labour’s looking insufficiently redistributionist, or insufficiently committed to reducing inequality, or whatever, but saying they are neo-liberal is just misusing the word.

    In practice, the Greens aren’t offering a concrete set of proposals. There’s no attempt to cost, no attempt at fiscal credibility. The numbers don’t add up. Of course it’s trivial for Norman to come across well — he’s not constrained by the reality of making the sums work. (And he knows he never will be.)

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Neoliberalism isn’t hands-off at all. That’s a bullshit definition.

      For instance, Margaret Thatcher put daily attention and planning into breaking the coal miners in the UK. That was hands on with meticulous detail and intervention using every lever of government against the workers.

      For a better definition read about the Washington Consensus.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Consensus

      • The Fan Club 6.1.1

        `the fiction of the hands-off state’, you fucking clown. Now of course the Washington Consensus isn’t about neo-liberalism as practised in New Zealand or the UK or etc, because the Washington Consensus is about development economics. (It is the application of neo-liberalism to development economics.)

        • mickysavage 6.1.1.1

          Um Fan Club as soon as I hit your expletive my brain turned off.  You should  try a more reasonable discursive tone.  It does wonders for the persuasive ability of your comments.

          • The Fan Club 6.1.1.1.1

            Yes yes very cute, but really, if people can’t bother reading things properly, and use expletives themselves, they will be responded to in a like tone.

            • quartz 6.1.1.1.1.1

              You’ve got a little anger problem going on. Hope you don’t behave like that in real life.

              • Murray Olsen

                I doubt very much if that behaviour would be visible in real life, at least until he/she gets rewarded with cabinet rank. People who are vicious attack dogs behind their keyboards are usually fairly shy and retiring when out on their own. But yeah, this behaviour provides a good example of those who put party loyalty above all else. I don’t want to be part of a fan club, although it’s the most some can hope for. I want to be a participant in a democracy.

    • ad 6.2

      FanClub you are dead right on being challenged – Norman has had as big a free ride as Key did in his first term.
      In practise, as you say, he isn’t being asked for concrete proposals, nor their costings.

      It’s not really a new point, but one of the reasons for this is that their policy detail is substituted by consistent and now ambient narrative. Greens and National get away with it because they have superior smoke and mirrors; narrative penetration.

      So while it feels unfair for Labour to be required to answer policy detail, it is in some part because Labour are in the public mind neither one thing nor the other; being Oppositional is not enough. Superior storytelling covers it……

      …. at least until the first TV Leaders’ debate. 2 years away. That’s quite a long free ride to puff his polls.

      • The Fan Club 6.2.1

        Yeah — no point whinging about it, we just have to deal with it. But it does mean we should be wary of claims about how awesome the Greens are; they are playing a different game.

    • weka 6.3

      “In practice, the Greens aren’t offering a concrete set of proposals. There’s no attempt to cost, no attempt at fiscal credibility. The numbers don’t add up. Of course it’s trivial for Norman to come across well — he’s not constrained by the reality of making the sums work. (And he knows he never will be.)”

      Really?
       
      http://www.greens.org.nz/greenjobs
       
      http://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/green_jobs_initiative_one-pager.pdf
       
      http://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/gp_jobsbooklet_20final.pdf
       
      http://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/fiscal_implications_november_6_2011_0.pdf

      • The Fan Club 6.3.1

        Yeah. Really. For instance, the Greens haven’t priced into that any of their educational policies. The figures on the cap gains tax are optimistic and scanty — compare to Labour’s costings.

        • aerobubble 6.3.1.1

          I think the notion that unquantifiable costings of policies is a neo-liberal propaganda.
          How much does a child cost the economy, how much does your grandparents health,
          to you its immeasurable, to the state its fungible since the state doesn’t control value
          it merely turns up or down the flows of money.

          Up to now government loosen the leveraging sluice gates, tax payers took their tax cuts and borrowed heavily, and now the flood of future value is here, so much so that just like Japan, now the US, has no problem printing money to tied themselves over. This is why selling assets to the world, directly or indirectly by kiwis renegotiation their debt is utterly stupid.

          Nz is badly governed as it has funneled money into housing by not taxing capital gains,
          among other policies mistakes.

        • No thanks, I’ll compare to National’s costings, which are outright fictitious.

    • Ennui in Requiem 6.4

      Here in Purgatory we see the souls of sentient beings come and stand on the viewing platform from whence Heaven and Hell can be viewed. These are “dreams” and in this state “dreamers” can see where their actions will take them…some are having nightmares, others visions.

      The most disturbing of views is that of the First Ring of Hell….Limbo, a sort of low grade Heaven reserved for those who are basically good but don’t have sufficient faith or belief to proceed to Heaven. There are many Green voters and politicians aimlessly driving around Limbo in SUVs, using I-Phones and wearing corporate ties. They all say they “were right”, and that “they meant well”. To get to Heaven however a greater degree of faith and commitment is required.

    • HatBat 6.5

      By the same token Neo-Liberalism is also a political ideology premised on the promotion of inequality. Given that the Labour party only has a weak commitment to doing anything about inequality, at least part of their policy seems to be rooted in Neo-Liberal ideas. In short, I wonder if you are working with a too narrow definition of NL.

      By the way I don’t think Neo-Liberalism it is just an ideology, instead it relates to fundamental shifts in the balances of class forces. In the same way that repudiating the incarnation does not repudiate the objective social institutions of Christianity, repudiating one part of the NL ideology does not repudiate the objective class based economic structures of NL. But thats another point….

      • The Fan Club 6.5.1

        The thing is, the base problem there is bourgeois capitalism: that is to say, with the ordering and structuring of society around certain relationships to power and wealth.

        But neoliberalism isn’t the same thing as bourgeois capitalism. It has a more precise technical meaning. Lots of political ideologies are premised on inequality: feudalism, fascism, technocracy and so-on. Socialism is pretty much unique in advocating equality. So yes, the Labour Party isn’t going far enough to fight inequality. But that’s not because it’s a neo-liberal party; it is because it is not, at this juncture, a socialist party.

        That might be because it’s still got a Third Way hangover. It might be because fundamentally parliamentary reformism never goes far enough (you can smell the stinking corpse.) But it isn’t enough to just say it is neoliberalism. Because the Kirk government didn’t go far enough. Fraser didn’t. Savage didn’t. And that wasn’t neoliberalism.

  7. karol 7

    Good on Norman for taking on Labour over Shane Jones out-bursts, and some of its policies.  He does point to some better directions for economic and employment policies.

    However, Norman is still into the “growth” meme, rather than focusing on a steady-state economy.  I don’t see fully repudiating the neoliberal scam.  I think other Green MPs, including Metiria Turei, may be more focused on a new direction: one where people, community and the unacceptable level of inequality is put centre stage.

     

    • Saarbo 7.1

      “However, Norman is still into the “growth” meme, rather than focusing on a steady-state economy.”

      Given that Karol, how do we stop our kids heading to Aus?

    • weka 7.2

      I agree Karol. I think this is what they have to do to get into power. They will pull NZ back to the left somewhat, and start us in the right direction, but won’t scare the horses. It will be easier to move from that to steady-state, than from where we are now. Peak oil, CC. GFC etc may be enough for the GP, once they have some power, to make the shift, or it may require a different party.

  8. The Fan Club 8

    Oh joy, steady-state economics. Your kids will never be better off than you are, you will never enjoy rising standards of living, this is as good as it gets.

    Have fun convincing voters, and have fun convincing the economy.

    • But our political leaders should be brave and say it the way things are.  And if there is a looming crisis or crises then they should be acting now.

      I hate to say it TFC but our kids will never be better off than us and everyone has to consume less.

      Otherwise we will completely and utterly trash the place in a few generations.

      Principled leadership ought to be raising this as an issue and parties should stand on principles. 

      • The Fan Club 8.1.1

        Yes! It is impossible for us to build a better future for our children! Decline and fall await! Here, us, at the end of history…

        Like I say, good luck with that.

        • mickysavage 8.1.1.1

          It can be better.  Just less consumerist.  And more respectful of the environment.

          There you go, a perfectly good line for our political gods to “sell” to the masses. 

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.2

          The end of the ancient Greeks, the end of ancient Rome, and the end of Great Britain wasn’t the end of history. Just the end of their respective empires.

          Read more John Michael Greer

          Yes! It is impossible for us to build a better future for our children! Decline and fall await!

          We’ve already done this to NZ children since the 1980’s. Why are you acting so surprised when asked to face reality?

    • quartz 8.2

      Not happy where you are now, fan club?

    • Lanthanide 8.3

      It is quite possible for many many people to improve their quality of life in a steady state economy, compared to where they are now.

      All it means is that those at the very top, with most of the wealth, will have to give a lot of it up.

      Pretty simple.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.4

      Your kids will never be better off than you are, you will never enjoy rising standards of living, this is as good as it gets.

      Steady state economics provides a higher standard of living than the growth meme which just enriches a few and impoverishes the many.

  9. infused 9

    Russel Norman and economic skills made me lol.

  10. Ramlea 10

    Methinks the Greens would loooooove to have Cunliffe on board.

    Cunliffe has articulated the Global Warming issues better than any current Green leaders.
    Cunliffe has always had very good relations with Green in the west adn in Wellington.
    Cunliffe fits the Green’s Liberal values.
    Cunliffe would give the Greens the dept they need to overcome their flakey reputation.
    And we would win them an actual seat.

    The only fly in the ointment is that Cunlifffe is deeply committed to Labour and would turn the Greens into an alternative Labour party.

    • lprent 10.1

      The only fly in the ointment is that Cunlifffe is deeply committed to Labour and would turn the Greens into an alternative Labour party.

      Which is exactly the same reason I’m not that interested in joining the Greens. I value the ecodiversity. 😈

    • Jenny 10.2

      Cunliffe fits the Green’s Liberal values.

      Ramlea

      Just as Norman fits Shearer’s Climate Change Ignoring values.

  11. gobsmacked 11

    @Fan Club (various comments)

    You’re willing to debate the issues. But your leader can’t. That’s Labour’s problem, right there. And economic policy is pretty basic stuff for a would-be Prime Minister.

    It would be great if Shearer could go beyond wanting to “make a difference” and actually articulate what he believes, and how it would work. Doesn’t need full costings, just some indication that he’s saying what he thinks, not what some seal-trainer has told him to remember and repeat.

    Until he can do that, you popping up on blogs to do it for him isn’t going to help. Ironically it does the opposite – it just further reminds us that he can’t do it for himself.

    I don’t believe Shearer is a “neo-liberal”, but then I don’t really have any evidence to believe he’s anything at all. It would be good if he could provide some. (In person, not a staffer’s press release).

    • The Fan Club 11.1

      Actually, no, I think the Leader’s job is firstly to be Prime Minister after the next election, and secondly to preside over a successful Labour-led government. If he does that, I don’t care at all about how little he’s willing to “debate the issues”. So there’s no mileage for Shearer in going around talking about his views on the capital account controversy and export-led growth.

      What I want from Shearer is competent political management backed up by top notch policy development. That’s what we’re getting. From what I saw at conference, I’d back the draft Labour platform for depth, breadth, and coherence against any other party’s policy in New Zealand. And it’s social democratic policy.

      • lprent 11.1.1

        Not what I saw. I saw someone badly in need a few years of rapid political training, and someone so insecure that his minions manufactured an artificial crisis to get rid of a potential competitor. The lobbying was somewhat pathetic.

        • The Fan Club 11.1.1.1

          (a) ffs look this is why you guys keep losing. Either Shearer’s a dastardly genius who managed to knife Cunliffe while convincing the vast majority of observers Cunliffe did it to himself, or else he’s reasonably competent manager who didn’t handle a situation brilliantly but got away with it.

          (b) I never said I observed political management at conference: I observed the platform there.

          • lprent 11.1.1.1.1

            ffs look this is why you guys keep losing.

            Why I can remember only a few weeks ago when you were portraying yourself as a loyal Labour supporter/member. I guess your mask is slipping and your language kind of betrays you. Not that many really seemed to believe you anyway.

            I just think that Shearer is politically incompetent. If he’d had even another couple of terms, and ideally some time as a minister then he’d have been quite competent. But jumping him in too fast with inadequate support looks more like an act of desperation than intelligence.

            And this current caucus has been looking increasingly like a clusterfuck all year because it is so incoherent, and that reflects directly back to their leader. They’ve been looking less and less capable of growing the vote from the low base it has been for the last 4 years, and that is completely irritating for any activist. Each time some traction gets generated, sure as hell some caucus ego goes off and screws up destroying the momentum. Frustrating doesn’t quite describe it – especially when you’re involved in a site like this.

            BTW: I didn’t have to observe the lobbying, in fact most people wouldn’t have needed to. You just talk to the people around and they will usually tell you what is on their mind. As I was being a good wee media representative for The Standard I wasn’t wandering around too much and didn’t go to the social events just because there were too many eyes on me after my post of the previous week.

            However I did have rather a lot of people telling me about what was happening via cell txts, emails, and facebook conversations during conference, and a lot more after conference from both sides. There was a pretty concerted and almost brutal lobbying campaign against the 60% leadership vote mostly by MP’s, and a complete lack of anything similar from the other side. The nearest thing to it was in the affiliates meeting where there was a clear and obvious intent by many to push for it which kind of overwhelmed the people against.

            It was similar with the Shearer / Cunliffe stories. Most of the people I heard claiming a Cunliffe campaign seemed to start by claiming there was a conspiracy. Most of those claimed that this site was part of it as well as across other blogs. That is something that I know was completely false.

            The bullshit wound up irritating a lot of people, me included. Finally gave me the push to stop supporting our incompetent caucus and decide to put my party vote to someone who looked like they could use it.

            • The Fan Club 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah imagine having to put up with incompetent, ego driven clowns spoiling moments of traction… It’s the kind of thing that’d drive a Whip to distraction.

              (“You” here refers to the tendency of the activist left in NZ to get played at. every. single. opportunity.)

          • felix 11.1.1.1.2

            “you guys”

            Yep, it was pretty obvious all along that you were never one of us.

            • The Fan Club 11.1.1.1.2.1

              Yes, clearly a National plant. (Unless I’m a brainwashed acolyte of Robertson.) Or whatever the next irrational slur is.

              • felix

                I was just thinking you’re a dick who tells lies on the internet.

                But yeah, your explanations sound way more exciting.

  12. AmaKiwi 12

    A Green’s version of Shearer’s housing speech would have emphasized the enormous improvements we must make towards eco-friendly sustainable communities.

    We don’t need 10,000 crap Fletcher designed cheap houses. We need socially and environmentally designed communities which are, in fact, less expensive in the long term.

    We are 50 years behind the northern Europeans and many Asians (as Cunliffe probably knows from his recent European study trip). The Greens know it, too.

  13. Binders full of women 13

    The Labour MP currently talking the most economic sense is also busy bagging the Greens & Greenpeace. Please don’t go to NZ First Shane.

  14. karol 14

    Norman has tonight staked his claim for the finance portfolio – a Lab-Green government, plus election-result proportion of ministries for Green MPs.

    • George D 14.1

      I’m not sure that’s wise, especially as it brings the media closer to attacking the Greens. However, the testy response from Shearer isn’t a great one.

      • karol 14.1.1

        I’m not keen on Norman acting/talking like he’s the sole party leader.  Also, in spite of Shearer’s snappy response, he and Norman look a little too cosy…. stitching up a deal between them?

    • Socialist Paddy 14.2

      Interesting that 43% of all voters thought Shearer would be the best leader of the Labour Party. That is almost the exact same proportion of voters that voted National.

      • xtasy 14.2.1

        Strange this, is it not?

      • Don’t make the mistake of assuming only Nats like Shearer. There is a strong authoritarian presence among the Labour party, which could euphemistically be called its centre wing, and many of them are no doubt thrilled with his performance. (not the ones that want a benevolent dictator, but the rest are probably quite well behind)

        Remember, while we have a large coalition, that also means we can’t blame all of our problems on right-wingers. Almost always the implosion of left-wing governments is internally-oriented, Helen Clark’s Labour was more of an exception than a rule. The trick won’t be wresting shearer out of the labour party, it will be coming up with a coalition that works at all, whether Shearer is at its head, still present, or gone entirely.

    • weka 14.3

      Wow, could Gower’s bias and spin be any more obvious?

      • Socialist Paddy 14.3.1

        Aye it was really bad, designed to stroke people’s prejudices.

        Gower should have said Genter for Transport and most of the thinking population would have thought “good idea”.

        • Ad 14.3.1.1

          She’s a fox.

          But weak.

          Perfect for those in local government.

          Therefore ideal minister material.

          • outofbed 14.3.1.1.1

            You think Julie Anne weak?
            You obviously have not met her :-)
            Gower is a joke btw

          • Socialist Paddy 14.3.1.1.2

            AD

            Everything I have seen her say was coherent and principle based.

            She would be extraordinary.  Labour’s transport spokesperson (is it Twyford or Jones?) are not cutting it.

            Tamihere may agree with your comments but I am not sure lefties would do the same. 

          • toad 14.3.1.1.3

            Huh? Haven’t you seen her tearing Gerry Brownlee to shreds at Question Time.

    • Bright Red 14.4

      All Norman said was it would be up for negotiation like a whole number of portfolios and Gower beats that up into ‘Norman makes claim for Finance!!!!!!’

      • Jackal 14.4.1

        Am I naive in asking is there any reason they both couldn’t hold the portfolio? Finance is a huge job and made all the more difficult because of the mess National has mismanaged us into. Having Labour and the Greens working together from the get go might reduce any division on financial issues and help to find the best way forward.

        I don’t think Labour will really want Russel Norman in the job as some of them, like the right wing, will view him as a radical (he’s not of course, and often professes policy that most other countries are currently following).

        It will be interesting to see how this one plays out because the Green party co-leader is infinitely qualified for the job and knows it. Let’s hope they can sort it out sooner rather than later as public squabbling does them no favours at all.

        • The Fan Club 14.4.1.1

          I hate to say it, but Finance is not going to the Greens, and if it was offered I’d advise them to turn it down anyway.

          If Norman’s at Finance, he will be forced to just stick to the Cabinet line, and Parker will likely run Finance similar to the way Birch used to. At best he’s going to have to front essentially Labour policy, and will be forced to break with important Green promises. At worst, he’ll be a figure-head for Parker. It’s asking for Clegg-style pain.

          • Jackal 14.4.1.1.1

            Unfortunately you haven’t really answered my question apart from making a rather weak argument against Russel Norman as finance minister.

            I also disagree that Parker would emulate any National party financial policy (currently neo-liberal bullshit) and the different fiscal beliefs of Birch and Parker are clearly apparent. Birch was a somewhat rehabilitated Keynesian if you like due to the failure derived from mismanagement of think big and was then ideologically blinded to only provide conservatism and laissez-faire policies at a time the economy needed further government investment to repair the social damage caused by Piggy Muldoon. Birch effectively went against the reason Bolger appointed him in the first place. There is no comparison between Norman and Birch.

            Parker is perhaps more like Michael Cullen in that he will do what is right but is a bit staid and will not react as quickly as someone like Russel Norman could to financial changes and opportunities for New Zealand. Parker would plan ahead and potentially gift National another large nest egg to flit away on tax cuts for the rich, which has been of no benefit to New Zealand at all. Parker and Norman aren’t really all that diametrically opposed in terms of financial beliefs as far as I can tell, which is why I ask whether a joint portfolio might be more advantageous for New Zealand?

            Of course the government would probably need to review the current hierarchical system in order for such a system to be implemented.

            • The Fan Club 14.4.1.1.1.1

              I mean, Parker will exercise real power, in the same fashion that Birch used to run Finance when Peters was installed there. (Not that they will share policy goals!) Cabinet collective responsibility would be excruciating for Norman in that role, because he would have to front for policies determined by a Labour majority.

    • Bill 14.5

      Not sure he ‘staked his claim’ at all. Seemed to me his response to Gower was that everything would be on the table (normal negotiating scenario). And then Gower follows with a specific about finance – edits and spins accordingly. (Before running to Shearer with another ‘he’s out to get you’ line) Well, the finance position anyway. And tough toilet paper man – he say ‘No’.

      • xtasy 14.5.1

        That was just another prime example of a “Gower shower” (or “spun together” “tv media vomit shower”) coming from the television screens.

        Any politician would be well advised to not talk to that unprofessional journo at all, or deliver a Winston Peters style media treatment to that idiot.

        I am getting totally sick of that guy being given so much airtime on 3News, it is almost, as if he is leading a kind of vendetta war against certain politicians, presently the ones from the left spectrum.

        Norman did not claim anything, all he did was state, that such portfolios like finance would certainly be up for discussion in any likely coalition deal, noting more or less.

        Then “gutter Gower” comes with wild presumptions about who from the Greens could or would perhaps get whatever ministerial job.

        That’s not “journalism”, that is playing political poker at a fictitious “political casino”, or playing an “act” in a theatrical performance, nothing better.

      • karol 14.5.2

        Yes, Bill.  On second look, I agree. Norman;’s response did indicate Norman might be interested in Finance, but he wasn’t making a bid for the role. Gower has a tendency to make a mountain out of a mole hill, then call it the discovery of a new planet.

        And he was certainly spinning hard about Shearer’s leadership and potential role as PM.

        Gower’s spin was reinforced as “reality” by the studio anchors stating, as if it were uncontested fact, that Norman had made a strong claim for the finance portfolio.

        • Jenny 14.5.2.1

          That Russel Norman coverts the finance portfolio, has been an open secret for some time now.

          What he hopes to achieve in this portfolio however, is a much greater secret.

          • Jackal 14.5.2.1.1

            Fuck that! It hasn’t ever been a secret that Russel Norman has the credentials to manage the financial portfolio. What he wants to achieve has been well documented and promoted by the Greens on numerous occasions. But hey, arguing from a position of ignorance seems to be your forte recently Jenny… Don’t let me stop you from developing your ignorance into a habit.

            • Jenny 14.5.2.1.1.1

              Maybe you would like to enlighten my ignorance Jackal.

              So what is it, that Russel Norman “wants to achieve” with the finance portfolio, different to what Labour politicians would or could?

              • Jenny

                Still waiting to be enlightened. Please save me from my ignorance. What are you talking about?

                What documents? Which occasions? C’mon Jackal, help me out here. How’s about some links?

                • weka

                  It’s hard to do a direct comparison between Labour and the Greens, because Labour don’t publish policy on their website.
                   
                  However, is this what you were meaning?
                   

                  1. Taxes come from a broad base to avoid excessive reliance on income tax and in particular the tax base should include:

                  Personal and business income taxes that reward sustainable human activity and enterprise;
                  Consumption and expenditure taxes that discourage wasteful use of energy and resources;
                  Targeted environmental taxes designed to reduce and eliminate behaviours that are not sustainable in a finite world;

                  Taxes that acknowledge the value of common property through resource rentals, and which encourage long-term sustainable business practices.

                  2. Investment income from different sources is treated equally for tax purposes.

                  3. Tax policy contributes to the overall quality of life of New Zealanders and the sustainable development of New Zealand, and to this end:

                  Productive and sustainable work and enterprise should be encouraged and speculative investment in non-productive assets should be discouraged.
                  The taxation burden should be reallocated away from income and towards resource use, waste, and pollution.
                  Resource rentals and related eco-taxes should be extended to promote more responsible management of the planet’s finite resources.
                  Those in society who have the least ability to pay tax should face the least burden, while those who have a greater ability to contribute to the welfare of society actually do so.
                  Concentration of income and wealth should be discouraged and the gap between rich and poor narrowed.
                  New Zealand’s local economy should be strengthened and foreign purchases of local assets should be limited.
                  The tax system should be consistent, fair, transparent and simple, and avoid unintended consequences.

                  4. Monetary policy assists people and businesses to plan their lives with a degree of certainty.

                  5. Monetary policy contributes to the overall quality of life of New Zealanders and the sustainable development of New Zealand;
                   

                   
                  You can see the specifics here
                   
                  http://www.greens.org.nz/policy/green-taxation-and-monetary-policy

  15. Colin 15

    Thank goodness Shearer said no Lets hope he holds to that
    The Greens are a joke and have never produced an alternative budget
    If they ever did it would greatly advantage Labour as it would recover lost votes

    • Jackal 15.1

      The Greens have never produced an alternative budget? Clearly you fit the profile of a National voter Colin, being that you’re deluded by your own bullshit!

      The Green Budget Paper 2011 (PDF).

      • Colin 15.1.1

        Thats not a budget just a wish lisy

        • Jackal 15.1.1.1

          A wish lisy list based on budgeting ie a budget. I can assure you that all those numbers in that budget are based on actual real world projections for what is able to be achieved. When the Greens say they will create 100,000 jobs through green initiatives they will, which is more than can be said for National promising to create 170,000 jobs. I know the greens numbers are achievable because I double checked, which is obviously something you never bother to do eh Colin. I know Nationals numbers are not achievable through their neo-liberal agenda because they have proven it with a 7.3% unemployment rate. Oh well… Ignorance seems to define National supporters these days.

  16. lurgee 16

    “Green development and green jobs provide a clear vision and economic direction for our nation. We can have good jobs without destroying the environment, and we can take advantage of the huge green economic opportunities overseas to supply exports with a premium. That’s what smart green economics is all about.”

    Can’t help thinking if the above was published in one of Shearer’s newsletters, it would immediately be dismissed as vacuous, pretty words with no meaning … by the same people who are proclaiming Norman so wise and brave and forthright here.

  17. You reap what you sow 17

    RN needs to put his dialogue into the context of some real hard core economic analysis. A Smart Green Utopia is not a hard to sell to any New Zealander, but the reality is we need a strong economy, to minimise poverty and provide the investment to move towards that Goal. It doesn’t happen overnight and (unfortunately) fairies don’t exist. Greece is a real example of what you get if you ignor the economic numbers and to selectively kneecap industries. RN would probably turn NZ into the Greece of the south. The problem then is bankers will control your future poverty abounds and the Smart Green Utpoia wont be on the agenda.

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    New figures released by the Reserve Bank show there’s been an explosion in mortgage lending with most of the growth going to property investors, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank data shows mortgage lending was up 6 per… ...
    2 days ago
  • Spring is here – not pollen your leg
    It’s the first day of spring, and many people will be thinking about getting stuck into the weeds in the garden ready for planting. This year September is also Bee Aware Month. While there is a lack of movement from… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 days ago
  • Government must do more to help global refugee crisis
    John Key must urgently increase our refugee quota and let New Zealand play its part in helping address the tragic humanitarian crisis unfolding around the world, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The refugee crisis in countries like Lebanon and Austria… ...
    2 days ago
  • The latest equal pay case – Go the Midwives
    ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Key’s threat to veto premature
    John Key’s threat that he might use a financial veto against the Bill that will introduce 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave is premature and based on inflated costings, says the bill’s sponsor, Labour ‘s Sue Moroney.  “The Government keeps saying… ...
    3 days ago
  • Reflections on the plastic bag tour
    After a marathon public tour around New Zealand that took me to 29 different places around New Zealand from the far north of Kaitaia to the deep south of Invercargill to talk about phasing out plastic bag use, I wanted… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    3 days ago
  • Labour celebrates Tongan language and diversity
    Tongan Language Week is a timely reminder of the importance and beauty of our Pacific culture, identity and language in New Zealand, says our first Tongan born, Tongan speaking MP Jenny Salesa.  The theme for Tongan Language Week in 2015… ...
    3 days ago
  • Privatising CYF about ideology not care
    John Key’s suggestions today that Child Youth and Family could be privatized will be a terrifying thought for New Zealanders already dealing with the mess created in private prisons and plans to sell our state houses to Australians, Opposition Leader… ...
    3 days ago
  • Govt must make most of Jetstar competition
    Government agencies should pledge to always buy “the best fare of the day” to maximise competition between Jetstar and Air New Zealand and ensure savings for taxpayers while boosting services to regional New Zealand, Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Phil Twyford says.… ...
    3 days ago
  • Time for inquiry into petrol margins
    It’s time for an inquiry into petrol companies as margins are once again at the high levels that prompted concerns late last year, says Labour's Energy Spokesperson Stuart Nash. "Over the December January holiday period, petrol importer margins jumped to… ...
    6 days ago
  • More talk as Auckland congestion worsens
    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    7 days ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    7 days ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    7 days ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    1 week ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    1 week ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    1 week ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    1 week ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    1 week ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    1 week ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    1 week ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    1 week ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    1 week ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    1 week ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago

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