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A message from the base

Written By: - Date published: 1:39 pm, April 8th, 2009 - 164 comments
Categories: greens - Tags:

As regular readers will know I’ve been an active Green supporter since the Alliance left parliament. I’ve not agreed with all of their policies and over the years I’ve had serious issues with the more amateur aspects of their campaigns but they have been the party in parliament that most accurately reflects what I’d like to see done.

Today that political amateurism has made me seriously rethink my support for the Greens.

By cutting a deal with the National party the Greens have provided National with a smokescreen of centrism that they desperately need right now as the electorate starts to cotton onto their hard right agenda and even the Maori party is turning on them. In short it’s a PR coup for John Key and his government.

And what have the Greens got in return? The home insulation fund that National were already moving toward anyway and some local regulations on health supplements.

Now is the time for the Left to oppose the new Right, not to facilitate them in exchange for stuff that is already being done or rats and mice policies about who licenses ginseng-based penis enhancement pills. But that’s what the Greens have done today and I didn’t spend time and energy campaigning for them for that.

My problem is that I believe that it is the duty of citizens to participate in representative democracy. Not because I believe we have the best system available but because I believe in working with what you’ve got.

I’m currently looking at a Labour Party membership form. I haven’t been a member since the 1980’s and, as you’ll know, I’m not a great fan of them now. I’m gonna have to sleep on it.

Update: Need I say more?

164 comments on “A message from the base”

  1. Tane 1

    I know you’re angry now bro, but just be careful Labour doesn’t catch you on the rebound. Those are always the messiest relationships…

  2. infused 2

    Poor you… Maybe it’s time to start The Standard party? Makes sense really… then you can’t complain 😛

    • BLiP 2.1

      More in-depth analysis from Infused. You know, you really need to pull your socks up.

      • Tane 2.1.1

        I think he was just having a laugh.

      • infused 2.1.2

        Wasn’t an analysis at all. Was a statement. Stop trolling. I really don’t care for the Greens at all… hence my in depth analysis.

        I genuinely think a “The Standard” party is probably a good idea…

        • ripp0 2.1.2.1

          hey, hey Inf — you doing these F-slips about national lacking standard/s is not helpful. Not one bit.. or byte..

  3. archdupe 3

    I wonder what Andrew Little is thinking ?

  4. Gareth 4

    Personally I hope it signals the shift in the Greens from a Left/Right framing, to a Sustainable/Unsustainable framing that Nandor has long espoused.
    However that’s clearly not for you and fair enough.

    It’s a pretty narrow “deal” that sees things that the Greens want to do get done. So long as they don’t feel any more “muzzled” than usual political positioning then go for it.

    • Chess Player 4.1

      I would like to see the Greens make such a move too, however I suspect that as long as Bradford and Locke are involved, they will have a hard time convincing the wider electorate that the Greens are anything other than ‘extreme Left’.

      Having those two involved seems to guarantee the Greens sufficient support that they don’t have to sweat to get over the 5% every 3 years, but also means that many other potential supporters are turned off even though they seem to occasionally have some sensible policies.

      Interesting challenges for the Greens ahead…

      • ripp0 4.1.1

        how ‘left’ and where left are national..??

        would such a party – National (name) certainly implieth a broadness in political discourse if not in fact – hold merger possibs in its left margin..?

    • Lew 4.2

      This is my hope as well. I think they’ve taken a leaf from the māori party’s book and are trying to create a bidding war between the two major parties for their constituency’s favours. Risky game, though.

      L

      • chris 4.2.1

        Exactly, I can’t stand the greens because most of their policies are just far too left for me. If they got rid of the hard left element, reconciled the fact that the market can create real innovation whilst protecting the environment then I think they will connect with a lot more people than the renegade left who support them now. Why the greens have to be a party for labour’s dreggs is beyond me

        • SjS 4.2.1.1

          “the market can create real innovation whilst protecting the environment”

          Any examples of the market doing something that protects the environment without being forced to do so by regulations?

          Captcha: Goodwin Lincoln

          • Chess Player 4.2.1.1.1

            Ever heard of the Body Shop? Or numerous other similar stores….?

            How about shoppers reverting to reusable bags rather than plastic bags?

            How about people voting for the Greens?

            How about all those regular donations to Greenpeace?

            Need any more examples?

            It’s really quite easy once you get past the prevailing dogma on this blog that making a buck is by definition Evil…

          • George Darroch 4.2.1.1.2

            The Body Shop is a scam. A veneer of greenness and social responsibility which have been been pushed from the core of their business model.

            Good moisturisers though.

          • jono 4.2.1.1.3

            Chess player – Sorry – how is a donation to Greenpeace a market innovation? It is actually possible for people to do things without the market being involved. There’s a good article in Prospect about the future of capitalism that may help elucidate the differences between society and the market.

        • ripp0 4.2.1.2

          chris,

          example please of real innovation in the market.. just one will do.. but of course if you have a mind… for more than one feel free..

          • chris 4.2.1.2.1

            hemp based plastics?

            • lprent 4.2.1.2.1.1

              Plastic is a property – means it will deform or bend. Typically made out of longer chain molecules with high degrees of covalent bonds. You can make plastics out of almost anything organic. The oil-based ones happen to have most of the pressure/heat work largely done, so they are cheaper to make.

              • Chris

                exactly, but hemp is proving to be more and more capable of being a good petroleum based lastic substitute, regulations governing the cultivation of hemp crops are dubious though….

          • ripp0 4.2.1.2.2

            addendum for chris’s reply (there’s no ‘reply’ button to his reply)

            hemp-based plastics

            tell me how this is not an oxymoron — hemp is natural – plastics (excepting perhaps biodegradeable polyamides) are not natural

  5. Welcome back IrishBill

  6. bobo 6

    I don’t understand it either, whats in it for the Greens really, no way will National be spending 1 billion on retro fitting.., I wonder if Rod Donald would have done this if he was still around. Could this be a clever double bluff by the greens to walk out on National on some point in the future but somehow I think they are too naive for political posturing, Ryall and Sue Kedgley working together, odd mix I guess stranger things have happened.

  7. DeeDub 7

    Even the Greens seem to want ‘the centre’???!!! Bizarre.

    You have my sympathies Irish . . .

  8. Felix 8

    From the NBR:

    In return the Greens will be asked to “consider facilitating government legislation via procedural support on a case by case basis.’

    Is this any different from how the greens have always voted? I’m finding it difficult to understand what the Greens are bringing to the table apart from lending more legitimacy to the govt.

    And as IB says, even harder to see what the Nats are bringing. Does anyone really believe that the Nats won’t just piss all over the Greens whenever it really matters, just like they do to the maori Party?

    • bobo 8.1

      Golden Shower politics at its best 🙂

      • Felix 8.1.1

        Trickle down democracy?

      • ak 8.1.2

        yep….honeymoon over, roll out the kinky sex with reprobates (and let Culs watch) to keep the marriage alive. Never mind the kids – where can they go? – but I wonder what the spotty teens over at the sewer think of all this…..

        (cap: calarina watching, freakish…)

    • BLiP 8.2

      Nope.

  9. Bill 9

    That MoU is one very fucked up document from a Green perspective.

    Yes. They are ‘allowed’ to say what they want about anything they want.

    But. Not if it involves something both parties are in discussion/negotiation over.

    Because then only joint statements can be released. And where does the power reside?

    The Greens have gagged themselves.

    Sickening idiocy.

    http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/0904/Memorandum_of_Understanding_between_the_National_Party_and_the_Green_Party.pdf

  10. Doug 10

    It?s John Key making Labour irrelevant, will be an interesting few years ahead.

    • vidiot 10.1

      It’s a bloody good example of MMP working.

      He’s (John Key) not showing any of the old FPP mentality that was previously around in previous NZ governments.

      • jono 10.1.1

        I think its more JK telling whatever audience he’s speaking too what ever they want to hear without really meaning any of it.

  11. toad 11

    Not sure what you’re getting so upset about IB.

    1) The Greens will continue to vote against National on confidence and supply.

    2) The Greens will continue to vote against any National legislation that moves in a direction contrary to Green policy – including it’s anti-worker and anti-environmental legislation and any moves towards privatisation.

    “…consider facilitating government legislation via procedural support on a case by case basis” means helping them out occasionally in the House when Gerry Brownlee stuffs up procedurally. I can’t imagine the Greens doing this on Bills thay oppose.

    There is no compromise of Green policy involved in this MoU, so as a Green supporter I don’t have a problem with it.

    IrishBill: in a perfect world the detail would be all that mattered. But it’s not. All this does is facilitate National’s right wing agenda by providing them with the appearance of centrism. And it’s been done for very little policy gain. One of the problems I’ve always had with the Greens is their inability to see the consequences of their actions within a broader social and political discourse. Especially since Rod died. Previously this has been kind of endearing in a morris-dance-dressed-as-frogs kind of a way. But in this case it is causing actual political harm to the Left. You may be able to tolerate that but I can’t.

    • Bill 11.1

      The MoU means the Greens are now gagged on home insulation and health supplement regimes.

      All they can say on such issues will now be determined by Nat as per ‘joint statements’.

      In the future, the Nats merely have to engage the Greens in dialogue…go through the motions of cooperation….and the subject of that dialogue cannot be commented on by the Greens.

      Which means that we, the voters get kept even more in the dark than at present.

      I have a deep sense of unease…a sense that the democracy we have ( for what it’s worth) is being subjected to death by a thousand cuts. And the Greens are now complicit in that.

    • ak 11.2

      Agreed Bill: the morris-dancing frogs thing (luv it!) never did a lot for the Alliance, which is when I went right off them…. too naive and middle-class for the real world.
      Top PR coup for the tories, played up by their media. Thanks, Jeanette.

      • frog 11.2.1

        Sorry, IB, I don’t Morris dance! If you don’t think that the consequences of this MoU have been thought out, you’re in la la land. Of course they have.

        One of the consequences is that almost 900,000 kiwi homes are likely to get insulated and energy efficiency retro-fitted. Just in health terms – forget energy – there are over 400,000 kiwis with asthma and COPD who will not be running to the hospital 3 or 4 times each winter and costing us both a bomb in cash and themselves some serious misery. That’s a terrible consequence!

        Another is that OMG! The Australian’s may not in fact be dictating to kiwi supplement firms what they can and cannot do and say. That too would be terrible. We can’t have choice in our own market, can we?

        • IrishBill 11.2.1.1

          The retro-fitting was happening anyway. On your second point I can only say that the freedom of health supplement firms is not exactly the kind of issue I think is worth undermining the broad Left for. If you do then all power to you, but I’m not going to deliver your leaflets or nail up your hoardings next time around.

        • kinoy009 11.2.1.2

          “likely” hmmmmmmmmmmm do you relly beleive that the national party will go through with it? Where is the money coming from you fool…. Do you not listen to John key saying everyday that their is NO more money?

          Cant wait for the green party support to drop…. Good one jeanette!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Russell – your a joke

  12. This is particularly bad timing given the Maori Party’s rejection of the Auckland Governance review decision. Just when a wedge was appearing the Green’s action will ease National’s angst.

  13. Ag 13

    Well, they’ve lost my vote.

    I can’t be arsed voting at all now. It’s a waste of time.

    • Lew 13.1

      Ag: if that’s the case, aren’t the forces of evil winning?

      L

      • Ag 13.1.1

        No. It just demonstrates that democracy isn’t very good at enabling us to solve environmental problems. Any effort to that end would be better directed at influencing government bureaucrats, businesspeople and others in positions of authority, rather than wasting time trying to convince the voting public.

        The environmental stuff is the only genuinely important issue. Everything else is just the usual squabbling.

        • Lew 13.1.1.1

          It just demonstrates that democracy isn’t very good at enabling us to solve environmental problems.

          Or it demonstrates that the environmental movement isn’t very good at turning democracy to its ends.

          Frankly, I prefer to believe that the environmental movement is politically incompetent (that is, unable to use the tools at its disposal) than that it’s politically evil (that is, prepared to abandon democracy as a means to its ends).

          L

          • Ag 13.1.1.1.1

            Nope. Environmental problems are exactly the sort of long term, slow developing problems that democracies are hopeless at dealing with.

            The most obvious example of such a problem is the re-arming of Germany in the 1930s, and the failure of the democracies to do anything other than appeasement until it was too late. It’s just very difficult to get people to give things up now to prevent problems in the future, especially when the evidence is not immediately apparent, as it is in a movie like “The Day After Tomorrow”.

            The environmental movement has scored numerous victories where people did not have to give up much, or the problem was obvious, or there was a cheap solution. Air quality in major cities is an example, so is our ever decreasing reliance on chlorofluorocarbons, and so is increased awareness of problem pesticides and so on.

            Climate change is a much tougher proposition than that. The current political wisdom is to talk big, but do nothing. It’s not anywhere close to good enough, and the people who engage it in will look like the appeasers to future generations.

            People like to blame corporations or propaganda or whatever, but they should really blame their own voting habits.

  14. jarbury 14

    It seems as though all the Greens are “offering” is the potential support for National legislation on a case-by-case basis. I agree with others that’s what they were likely to do in any case.

    The worry is how badly the Greens will be gagged on issues they are working with National on.

    Seems like the Greens get more out of this than National. The wingnuts on Kiwiblog are spitting tacks – which is always a good sign.

    • Tane 14.1

      The wingnuts on Kiwiblog are ideologues who don’t understand realpolitik. Key’s people know exactly what they’re doing.

      • gingercrush 14.1.1

        That isn’t a fair comment when Irishbill himself is very ideological as are others in this thread.

        • Tane 14.1.1.1

          You can have strong political views and still understand realpolitik, but the folks on Kiwiblog don’t. They’re fucking unhinged is what they are.

      • lprent 14.1.2

        ideologues
        idiotlogues

        Damn woke up and found that the world has gone beyond the looking glass

  15. Christopher Nimmo 15

    Irish, the environment is more important than maintaining a class war. This won’t shut the Greens up for one instant

    • Tane 15.1

      I’d say all they’ve done is provide a smokescreen for National’s winding back of the few environmental protections we currently have.

      And I don’t see anything in the deal promising action on the ETS, a backdown on the RMA reforms or anything else meaningful.

      Forget the detail, most people out there will see John Key on the working with the Greens and read it as “National is centrist and cares about the environment”.

      They’ve betrayed the Left through their own stupidity.

      • Chess Player 15.1.1

        And Labour is therefore becoming even more shut out of the picture than now….they really do look ineffectual these days, and National are taking full advantage of that.

  16. tommy onions 16

    I am surprised that anyone is surprised. I see the Green Party as a lobby group more than a political party – so it’s no surprise they’d hop into bed with the Nats albeit they’re claiming they’ll be keeping their knickers on so there’ll be no funny business.

    How can there be any accommodation with the political party that advances the political and economic interests of corporations – which see environmentalism as the last barrier to the complete global domination of free market capitalism?

    Post WW2 corporate activism splintered the political left and broke the back of the Labour movement, then turned its focus on the environmental movement which, without its natural allies, has been consistently out-manoeuvred and outgunned everywhere in the world.

    So, I agree with Irishbill – this strengthens National’s hand in presenting themselves as the ‘natural party of government’ and as guardians of the centre ground – just as the Maori Party support did.

    • Quoth the Raven 16.1

      Post WW2 corporate activism splintered the political left and broke the back of the Labour movement.

      Very very true. But the corporatism started with the disgusting New Deal and people who consider themselves left are still praising that.
      The left has always been more fractious than the right, though.

  17. Tom Gould 17

    Isn’t Russell Norman a closet tory anyway?

    • frog 17.1

      Goodness. On my blog they’re calling him a communist. Make up your minds!

      • Chris G 17.1.1

        saw him labelled as a ‘marxist’ over at kiwiblog. Oh, they also called Cullen that.

      • Pascal's bookie 17.1.2

        Did the people saying that on your blog vote green last year, frog?

        • Macro 17.1.2.1

          Very few who respond on frogblog have even the remotest interest in the environment or social justice, they are simply there to troll. Which is a real pity for they stifle any meaningful debate.

          • lprent 17.1.2.1.1

            Which we don’t tolerate here for any length of time. If you can’t contribute to the debate usefully or be amusing and innovative then my attitude is that I really don’t want to read it – so I ensure that I don’t have to.

  18. chris 18

    Why does the left have to be the custodians of the environment? I think that’s what pisses off a lot of people about the greens. All the wingnut lefties who use the party to further their social cause instead of actually protecting the environment. Why can’t they be like green parties in other countries that are a credible voice on the environment and are able to enact environmental policies accross ideological boundaries?

    • Chess Player 18.1

      “Why can’t they be like green parties in other countries that are a credible voice on the environment and are able to enact environmental policies accross ideological boundaries?”

      Perhaps this is the first move in such a strategy?

      Choice of leadership through this transition will be critical…

      • Tane 18.1.1

        I’ll lay it out simply:

        – Environmental protections cost businesses money.

        – Businesses by their very nature try to reduce costs, which means they tend to oppose environmental regulations.

        – Parties of the Right, such as National and ACT, are the political expressions of business.

        – Therefore these parties tend to oppose environmental protections as much as possible.

        Most of the environmental policy you see from the Right (when they’re not scrapping it) is greenwash to avoid losing the support of voters who are concerned about the environment.

        • Daveski 18.1.1.1

          Perhaps historically Tane but not so in the future.

          Green IT is about smarter business use of technology.

          NZ’s “clean and green” image (however unjustified) will increasingly become a major business differentiator.

          Your fundamental premise is wrong anyway. Business by their very nature try to increase their profits.

          The Greens have stuffed themselves in the past by trying to be left and green. This move allows them to be seen as a genuine green party, not a more extreme version of Labour.

          Frankly, the only real loser out of this is Labour which is why we can expect to see so much angst here.

          • Macro 18.1.1.1.1

            “Your fundamental premise is wrong anyway. Business by their very nature try to increase their profits.” That is the fundamental premise of Tane’s argument! They do this in the short term by ignoring the consequences of their behaviour both environmentally and socially.

    • Chris

      Just look at the RMA reforms and what the Nats want to allow individuals to do to trees on their properties.

      The intention is to allow open slather unless a tree is specifically protected. All apparently in the name of reducing democracy and supporting individual rights.

      And look at what they have already done to biofuels and emissions trading in the first 100 days.

      They cannot be trusted. They try to appear “blue green” but the reality is that they will undermine and did oppose every effective environmental measure that the previous government put up.

      • chris 18.2.1

        my point exactly, if the greens appealed to voters who leaned towards the neo-liberal economically but still appreciated the reality of climate change they may have got more votes and been able to be part of this govt. I’m not a right winger, I voted labour beccause I like their balance. I am something of a fan of Australian Economist Steven Keen. I believe economics is a good framework to analyse policy, good economics, however. neo-liberal supply and demand and it’s demonising of monopoly are complete fallacies but that’s for another time…my point is that if the green party really cared about the environment they would work out that national voters do too and leave the left stuff to someone else (alliance perhaps?) and try and become a cross boundary voice for the environment

        Wishful thinking though.

  19. tommy onions 19

    “Why does the left have to be the custodians of the environment?”

    Um, could it be because the people who are most likely to see the need to protect the environment sit on the left of the political spectrum whilst those on the right are more likely to see the environment as something to be exploited for corporate and/or personal gain?

    “I think that’s what pisses off a lot of people about the greens. All the wingnut lefties who use the party to further their social cause instead of actually protecting the environment.”

    Oh, so if all the ‘wingnut lefties’ went away, the green movement would suddenly become credible and able to cross ‘ideological boundaries’ without being shot at and the public would suddenly see through all that anti-environmentalist propaganda and sign up to become eco-warriors and the Greens would save the world?

    Lovely.

    • jimbo 19.1

      Tommy do you have any views that don’t begin with “people on the right are only interested in money and/or personal gain”?

      • tommy onions 19.1.1

        Jimbo – I doubt I’ve ever actually said anything quite that reductionist. My statement was posed as a question and included the words ‘more likely’.

        I don’t dispute that some ‘people on the right’ may care passionately about the environment and work tirelessly to protect it – I just fail to understand how they can do so and remain right wing. 🙂

        I also accept that some left wing regimes have wrought havoc on the environment – usually in the course of pursuing a western style model of industrialisation – oh and not forgetting the arms race.

        • jimbo 19.1.1.1

          Well I might be wrong but I’m not sure anyone has ever found any statistical correlation between voting “left” and willingness to recycle, for example. In my view, even when you add the word “likely”, you’re simply pulling that characterisation out of your arse. You’ve based in on some sort of Hollywood Gordon Gecko view of what constitutes the Right’s core constituency, and a conversely rainbow-tinted view of what constitutes the typical left-wing voter.

          There was a pretty big swing to the right over the last couple of years – do all those swing voters give less of a sh1t about the environment than you…? Have they suddenly stopped caring now that they abandoned Helen Clark?

          The Left needs to quickly learn that the other side is (generally) not inherently evil, uncaring, selfish or money-driven. A lot of the time, people on the Right simply believe that Left policies DO NOT WORK. HC’s government had lots of great-sounding policies on the environment – but none of them were working.

          The Left needs to start engaging on policy, rather than simply saying: “I am an inherently better person that you because I am left-wing, therefore whatever you say on the topic should be disregarded or belittled.”

    • archdupe 19.2

      [Tane: Higherstandard, you’re still banned under this handle and every other handle you’ve posted under.]

  20. George Darroch 20

    I think that 9 years of being outside the tent has softened the resolve of the Greens. I also think that the composition of their membership has become more conservative. I was mightily frustrated by their refusal to engage with the working families of Aotearoa in the last election, instead trying to be a slick party of ‘middle NZ’.

    Is it too late to change the Greens? I don’t know for sure, but I think it isn’t. Of the MPs there are a few who disturb me with their analysis, but I think that the majority are either sympathetic to the left or can fit within a left party (I’m thinking of new MPs).

    If I was you IrishBill, I’d wait the few months until the new co-leader assumes her role, see what direction the party is headed in, and then leave if things haven’t changed. I’d also group with those in the party who are properly concerned with the issues of workers and poor to see what can be done.

    • IrishBill 20.1

      You might be right George. I must say I’ve missed the Alliance today more than I have since they, well, imploded.

  21. jimbo 21

    This sort of move by the Greens is to be admired. Labour could have formed a relationship (or welcomed into Government) the Greens but it chose not to. Labour assumed the Greens would always support it in a choice between Labour and National (and they would have, if the election had not been a landslide).

    So National is quite sensibly looking to change that situation. National is saying, “Your ‘friends’ Labour ignored you even when they held power. Why not try and work with us rather than simply risking it with Labour. Labour will probably not be back for 6-9 years – do you rekon you’ll survive if you continue to follow them around like a little puppy hoping for a treat?”

    Labour talked a good game on the environment but achieved little. Lets hope National – with Green influence however that turns out – achieves a hell of lot more.

    • George Darroch 21.1

      Yeah, there is a hell of a lot of frustration with Labour and their cheap talk.

      But thus far National have been even worse. I see this as an attempt to stop things getting worserer [sic]. A worthwhile attempt? I don’t know. Pros and cons on either side.

  22. the sprout 22

    there are times when the Greens’ naivity is endearing.
    this isn’t one of them.

    • Macro 22.1

      Well said sprout!
      Yes I have to agree. I fully support the desire to have NZ homes retro insulated and the desirability of having our own regime on herbal suppliments. But while the tactics are good – the overall strategy is lamentable.

  23. gingercrush 23

    What a strange thread. What strange responses. If anything this week has truly exposed the utter disdain and utter incompetence that is the blogosphere in New Zealand. With the right shrieking at Cullen being put on a SOE board and now with the left decrying the Greens actions today.

    Yet isn’t this what MMP is supposed to be about and surely what most of New Zealand would like. When New Zealand voted to change from a First-Past-the-Post system to a Mixed-Member-Proportional system it wasn’t just to change how we vote and who gets represented in government. It was a response to a parliament that was too partisan, that too quickly allowed ideology to get in the way of actual policy. The public quite rightly expected a change when we got MMP, they no longer wanted a parliament that was adversial but rather a parliament that co-operated. Key has signaled he has the ability to do it. Its no surprise that the media and quite rightly point out how efficient Clark was in managing MMP party relationships. Key has proven himself I think to be even better than Clark was. And while it may upset the real ideologues of the left and of the right. For most New Zealanders it will show that MMP itself has evolved. Co-operation of parties is surely in the best interest of democracy for almost all New Zealanders.

    I also find it ironic. Since whenever I have debates with people over how the Greens should focus on environment issues and not on social justice and other things. I get criticised for not understanding the Greens philosophy. Yet if my understand from that thread somewhere here at The Standard is correct. By the Greens signing a Memo of understanding and further implement Green goals. That by itself is furthering the Greens philosophy, furthering their goals. And by its very nature is what the Green movement is all about in the first place.

    • Tane 23.1

      gc, you seem to misunderstand the criticism being levelled. It’s one that I share.

      The Greens, by signing this deal with National, have gained little if anything in concrete terms. What they’ve done is provide a hugely valuable PR smokescreen for National’s trashing of the few existing environmental protections we have.

      If they’d managed to get a decent ETS in place or averted the worst elements of the RMA reforms I might have some sympathy with your argument. But they haven’t.

      All the Greens have done is strengthen the hand of a government intent on trashing the environment, and that’s far more harmful in the long-run.

      • George Darroch 23.1.1

        Perhaps they think that they will be able to speak about other issues. They will, technically, of course, putting out releases and making speeches.

        But will the media listen to them? Given their current track record of talking about what parties actually do, I’m not very certain of that.

      • gingercrush 23.1.2

        They’re already working on the ETS as there are cross-party talks on it. These are two specific areas where the Greens and National have signed an agreement. As for this being a PR exercise. Everything in politics is effectively PR. This has benefits for National but I actually think it does a lot of good for the Greens as well.

        Personally, I think its great the Greens have signed up to such an understanding. I can understand somewhat why some on the left are disappointed. But I think such moves should be part of MMP and I do believe it enhances democracy.

        • jimbo 23.1.2.1

          Tane – you describe this government as: “intent on trashing the environment”.

          Is that an honestly held view of what the current government’s policy goals are, or is it a little bit of poetic license?

    • Daveski 23.2

      Well said GC

    • Quoth the Raven 23.3

      Ginger – Don’t just to denounce everything because of ideology. People have ideals and beliefs as I’m sure you do. It is ludricrous and disingenous to simply denounce something just because you say it’s “ideological”.
      Environmentalism is an ideology. Simple.

      • gingercrush 23.3.1

        Ideals and beliefs are fine QtR. But blind ideology which I believe to be a symptom of both the right and left are in themselves unnecessary and inherently stupid. Eventually, all ideological positions must undergo negotiation and ultimately involves a compromise.

    • Chess Player 23.4

      “And by its very nature is what the Green movement is all about in the first place.”

      Correct, but it was then gazzumped by the rejects from the Alliance. Even Jim Anderson couldn’t stand them……

      What we see now is, I believe, a good step forward and a very shrewd move to ensure that the Greens get some good publicity over the next 3 years.

      Looks like everyone’s now ‘in the tent’ except Labour……..poor loves…

  24. dave 24

    I think it is as great agreement and good politics. Key manages to get both the Greens and the Maori Party on side at the same time. That’s a bit like Labour getting Act and United Future onside at the same time.

    Clark could never do that. Which makes Key a good Prime minister already. In fact Clarek pissed the Greens and the Maori Party right off. . National are now the natural party of Government. Andrew Little must be really pissed off that hes presiding over a party that is the last cab off the rank – but a cab without wheels.Yussssss! And there’s not much use for a cab with a good steering wheel if it hasn’t got wheels.

    • the sprout 24.1

      ah Dave, Clark could’ve done that, it’s more she wouldn’t do that because she’d be shrewd enough to see it’s political suicide.

      it’s easy enough to get into bed, much harder to make it last without tears – or catching something nasty.

  25. gingercrush 25

    BTW why do you need to consider joining Labour? What about being completely outside any party. That doesn’t mean you don’t participate in representative democracy. By your very nature, as a blogger you consistently uphold left values particular around issues such as workers right.

    • IrishBill 25.1

      I do plenty outside of party politics GC, but I believe in being active in party politics as well. It’s about using every tool at your disposal to drive change and party politics is too big and useful a tool to ignore.

  26. Quoth the Raven 26

    I think this is the time for the left in New Zealand to start seriously advocating participatory democracy. Particularly with the issues on Auckland’s governance and the Green party’s decision. The left ought to call for decentralisation for devolution of powers and for broader participation in governance. Truly principled people of the left should begin to disentangle themselves from party politics. I know this is all far too radical for the social democrats and for the right self-governance and self-ownership are a threat to their interests and privileges.

    • The Baron 26.1

      God, I’m all in favour of participatory democracy, but are you kidding about everyone having a call on the Greens decision here? What exactly would you be putting up for decision – ahh that the Greens need their loyal fans’ permission to make deals in the House?

      Look, the Greens have always been a Green party first, and a left party second, despite what Bradford thinks. They have obviously determined that the best way to advance their green priorities is trading on some of the other stuff – a simple case of expediency.

      If you don’t like it, here’s some options:

      1. don’t vote green next time you have a chance

      2. Or, join the green party and push for change internally. Their structures are oh so ponderously democratic!

      3. Or start your own Green party that stays true to its watermelon-ism…

      You’ve got to give Key credit though – such coalition management used to be a strength of labours… now you seem fundamentally outplayed. And all I see in response here is Labourites freaking out – that ain’t a strategy, team!

      • Quoth the Raven 26.1.1

        I’m not passing judgement on the Green’s decision. Merely noticing that some green supporters are unhappy with the decision of their representatives – hence my call for participatory democracy. To each of your points: I wasn’t even considering voting for the Greens. It is ridiculous to ask someone who doesn’t think much of representative democracy to start with and supports participatory democracy to “start your own green party” or join a party and change it internally.

  27. The Voice of Reason 27

    Got the answer to your difficulties right here, Irish.

    https://secure.labourparty.org.nz/join/

    There is no such thing as an ‘independant lefty’. If you believe in collectivism, joining a party of the left is the best expression of that belief.

    • Quoth the Raven 27.1

      There is no such thing as an ‘independant lefty’. If you believe in collectivism, joining a party of the left is the best expression of that belief.
      This is a statement based on nothing more than your absolute ignorance. Your ignorance of collectivism and your ignorance of the left. Individualism is the domain of the left. The right is characterised by authoritarianism and hence the denial of the individual. There need be no contradiciton between collectivism, if the word is to be rightly understood, and individualism. Individualism does not mean atomism. Humans are social animals and hence work together cooperatively, collectively. To put individualism and collectivism up as an absolute dichotomy is nonsensical. Moreover, many on the left, many more than on the right, detest party politics.

      • The Voice of Reason 27.1.1

        ‘This is a statement based on nothing more than your absolute ignorance. Your ignorance of collectivism and your ignorance of the left.’

        Ooooh, did I touch a nerve? The only absolute ignorance is that which you display by assuming you know anything about me. You don’t. Those who do know me, know that I have an intimate knowlege of collectivism, in all its many forms, and I’ve been a socialist my entire adult life. A bloody well read socialist at that. And well bloodied too, on more picket lines, actions, demos etc than I could possibly list here. I have made a difference, QTR, by being involved, not sitting on the sidelines carping and moaning.

        You have misread or misunderstood what I said. Here it is again; ‘There is no such thing as an idependant lefty’. If you style yourself as such (cf Chris Trotter), then you stand aside from those you claim to be part of and you are a dilletante at best and tool of the boss class at worst.

        If there is a union on site, join it. If its a good union, join it to make it better. If it’s a bad union, join it for the same reason. If there is a left party, join it to make it better too.

        I put the link to the Labour party sign up page because I think it’s the right time for Irish Bill to look at putting his political energies into returning a left wing, Labour led government. And the best place for IB, me and most of the saner contributors here is still the NZ Labour Party.

        But as for you, comrade; No more, QTR, no more!

        • Quoth the Raven 27.1.1.1

          Yes, I took it to mean something else, entirely. You touched a nerve because I thought this was the general right wing misunderstanding of indiviudalism vs collectivism. If you’re saying as a lefty you should join a political party that is absurd as I have pointed out – many on the left don’t even believe in party politics. Just like you I would encourage people to join unions &c, but unions and other organisations are not political parties. If you believe in social democratic parties than by all means join the Labour party and support them, but if you don’t think the social democrats have achieved much and have all too often had a cosy relationship with the power structures of big business than don’t. And I would encourage Irish not to join the Labour party. Lastly, there is such a thing as an independent lefty – the man alone, the drop-out, the lifestylers. The left has a long tradition of these sort of people. I think dropping out is useless and doesn’t achieve anything, but saying that there is no such thing as an independent lefty is simply wrong.

      • jimbo 27.1.2

        QTR – you have such an outdated view of what the right is that it’s not funny. To say “the right is characterised by authoritarianism” is simply not correct, unless you believe all right-wing dogma to have descended from Fascism.

        Sure, you can base your worldview on your own position as an anarchist, but the philosophy of “let’s all act in our own self interest (within boundaries) and everything will work out for the best” is certainly not a left-wing position.

        You have to expect to be called out when you say something as patently ridiculous as “Individualism is the domain of the Left”, especially when many of your fellow-lefties often go to great pains to claim the exact opposite.

        • Quoth the Raven 27.1.2.1

          Jimbo – I don’t have an outdated view of left and right I have a view of left and right that many people share. People have different views of left and right and that’s fine. There’s not some clear dividing line between left and right, they’re relative terms and not set in stone, they’re part of an ongoing discourse. You clearly disagree with my characterization of the right. If you wish you can give me a definition of what you think the right wing is. I personally think you’ll have a hard time escaping the label of authoritarian and you can’t just hold some ahistorical view. If you look at history you can take it all the way back to where we get the terms left and right from the French Legislative Assembly after the revolution of 1789. Where those who sat on the right were supporters of the ancien régime – the dethroned monarchy and the aristocrats. On the left sat those opposed to this. On the left you had people like Frédéric Bastiat, a radical laissez-faire advocate and Proudhon, the first self-described anarchist. It’s interesting to me that people like Murray Rothbard, an austrian economist who came from the right to libertarianism, saw his anti-state, anti-authority position as as far left as you could possibly go. He struck up a brief alliance with those in the New Left in the sixties before his opinions changed again. Then there is people like Karl Hess who was a speech writer for the republican party, who became an anarchist and characterised his position as as far left as you could go. Logically then if you take that view, like I do, then as far right as you can go is some authoritarian nightmare. Here is an article by Karl Hess: the Left-Right spectrum – which is basically the view I accept.

  28. mike 28

    Gee wizz Keys good. Phil and Andrew will have to drown their sorrows at Hels leaving bash tonight…

  29. toad 29

    The Greens are not “on-side” with the Nats.

    We oppose the Gnats politically, and we oppose Labour politically. We do that because neither of those Parties has any real environmental analysis. Labour has somewhat of a class analysis, but has progressively lost the plot since, um, actually, since when Joe Savage died.

    Helen got them slightly more on track that they were when Roger and Richard ruled the roost in Labour, but they still made minimal progress on workers’ rights over the 9 years they were in power.

    But Labour never got there, either on the environemnt or on workers’ rights. Just look at their weak emissions trading scheme. Or look at their Industrial Relations policy (if you can find it) and their record in industrial relations. Far less pro-worker than the Greens’ Industrial Relations Policy,

    The MoU with National doesn’t compromise any of that. The Greens will continue to oppose, with all our strength, National’s anti-worker policies.

    The Greens’ aim is to maximise their vote, be it at the expense of Labour or National, so we can implement some of those pro-environment and pro-worker policies that Labour are too scared to go with and National are ideilogically opposed to.

    The MoU with National is a tactic to help achieve that, by showing we can work with either Labour or National on policy areas where there is a common agreement. It doesn’t compromise Green policy, and it doesn’t demonstrate a shift in Green political positioning.

    The vast majority of Greens would prefer to work with Labour (albeit with the Greens as the senior, rather than junior, partner). But in the world of realpolitik, we’re not there yet and have to show we can achieve some (even small, and after all Labour didn’t allow us many anyway) political gains, whoever leads the Government.

    • kinoy009 29.1

      How can you not think your not on side with the nats? Your blind!!!!

      Have you watched the news tonight? or read any online articles?

      The Greens have botched it up….

      Sealed with a Sickly kiss……….

    • But toad the MOU is a gift from heaven to Key.

      It makes him look centrist and able to do a deal with all parties.

      He would have caved in on the retrofitting, the economics are too persuasive, not to mention the feel good factor. And no corporates will be offended because they do not have to do anything except perhaps sell some materials to local builders. The project would have succeeded because it is too logical.

      Now instead of the progressives trying to entice the Maori party over to the forces of good the public perception is that Key has a further alternative and can deal with all parties.

      I like Greens and their principled stand on many issues. There was no principle in evidence today.

  30. toad 30

    Quoth the Raven said: Truly principled people of the left should begin to disentangle themselves from party politics.

    Yeah, and what would that achieve QtR? Silly little sectarian groupings of a few dozen people like the Socialist Action League, Workers’ Communist League and Socialist Unity Party in the 70’s and 80’s that achieved next to nothing politically.

    I’d suggest disentangling themselves from the Labour party might be a good idea for truly principled people of the left (remember the era of Roger and Richard, and even under Helen few of the neo-liberal reforms were reversed, although I will commend the last Government for the ERA (to some extent), and re-nationalising ACC and (eventually) the railways.

    But if you really want a pro-environment and pro-worker party, Green has got to be the way to go!

    I just can’t believe those on this thread who think the Greens are selling out because of a tiny tactical deal with National to progress without compromise a few Green policies are considering the Party that had Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble driving the policy 20 years ago, and in its last term made minimal progress to reversing the damage Douglas and Prebble did, might be a better bet for advancing workers’ interests. Look at the history!

    • IrishBill 30.1

      Toad, you’re talking about a time I am very familiar with. In fact I suspect my political history is a lot longer than yours.

      Was this “tiny tactical deal” taken out to the membership? Did you consult the base? No. And you know it. Let me tell you “principles” are what people in politics start invoking when they know they’ve fucked up. They did it in Labour and they did it in the Alliance. Every prick was talking principles up front while they were desperately running their numbers out back. Stop being a shill.

    • r0b 30.2

      I’d suggest disentangling themselves from the Labour party might be a good idea for truly principled people of the left

      There is, sadly, nowhere in politics for “truly principled” people of any persuasion. The adversarial system brings out the worst in everyone. It all becomes about compromise and “realpolitick”. It’s all rather depressing really.

      IB – much as we’d love to have you in Labour, take a few deep breaths. Yes, The Greens have stuffed up, but we still need them in politics, their overall goals are as crucial as they ever were. Presumably they will come to their senses at some point. You can deliver the message more effectively from within than from without.

      Ag – far above – don’t stop voting! It’s what the bad guys want.

    • Pascal's bookie 30.3

      Toad, goody, an old fashion internecine stoush, with the dragging out of the long buried corpses and the wailings about what your Hennrietta said to our harold after great uncle Albert’s wedding to that money grubbing two faced cow from up north.

      I’m in. 😉

      It’s a bit rich to try and beat labour over the head with the Roger Douglas angle when:

      1) it was twenty years ago (as you say), and
      2) he’s sitting in the backroom’s of the current government presumably spending some of that leadership council dosh that ACT’s agreement got them for ‘research’.

      Are the Greens going to be in those rooms with him? How exactly are the Greens going to influence what this government does? The MoU seems a bit non committal on this point.

      Good thing you have to keep quite about those areas of discussion with the Nat’s until the Nat’s decide what they are going to do. That part seems concrete.

      What exactly am I getting as a Green voter out of this, because it seems to me all it’s done is shift the center to the right.

      The Nat’s have promised to talk to you, listen to what you have to say, but nothing beyond that. In return, Key gets his centrist credentials polished, (for no policy outcomes, just perception), and the Greens have to keep quiet about whatever the Nat’s tell them, until it’s too late. When they’ll be accused of bad faith if they complain too much.

      The alleged apocryphal blue green voters feel even more comfortable now about voting blue, and the red greens appear to feel like they’ve been kicked in the teeth. Non greens seem to think that the Greens have left aside all that silly ‘leftie’ baggage to focus on the cafeteria green issues.

      From where I’m sitting it doesn’t exactly seem to be made of WIN.

    • lprent 30.4

      …and in its last term made minimal progress to reversing the damage Douglas and Prebble did…

      Bullshit. Looked at the unemployment figures? Changes to employment law? Substained economic growth with the RMA in place? etc…

      The first thing that you have to do with a trauma patient is to stabilize them. That is effectively what was done through the noughts. The economy after the 1960’s was lunging from one crisis to the next and the citizens of this country were getting inter-generational damage to them and their prospects. We are now in a position that we’re likely to handle the economic storm sweeping in from the US and UK without the type of over-reaction that characterized our response to external shocks in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

      What you mean is that Labour have done little for the Greens core policy patch. Yes – I’d agree that they’ve been slow. It is also true to say that they moved the environmental debate along faster than I expected. It is the usual problem that it is bloody hard to get a starving family not to chop down the forest. You have to convince them that it is a bad idea, and it is a lot easier to do when they aren’t starving.

      As you’re probably aware, I’m heavily into both Labour, and some environmental issues. The latter is largely because of my old scientific training rather than the usual emotional responses so prevalent in the Greens, that you articulate so well.

      In the late 90’s it was damn hard to get any Labour (or for that matter New Labour) supporter to get concerned at all about ecological issues if it didn’t directly affect them – ie the difference between conservation and environmentalism. Now they are both aware of the latter and mildly concerned about it.

      But if you really want a pro-environment and pro-worker party, Green has got to be the way to go!

      No – because the party is fundamentally incompetent. Sure there are a few that I have time for because they are able to focus (like Sue Bradford). But generally I’d look at the Greens as being more like Sue Kedgely – scatter-gunning across the policy range and never actually achieving anything.

      It was the reason that I didn’t join Values and never got into the Greens. The likelihood of them achieving something coherent was close to zero. If you want to push environmental issues, then your best bet is to join the Greenpeace. They will help get it on to the agenda doing stunts and endlessly talking.

      If you want to actually get something done about structural environmental issues, then you’d be better supporting Labour and preferably inside the party. Because until you get them on board it is unlikely that anything will change except simple conservation issues.

      That is why the red-green bloc inside Labour is probably larger than the Greens and a damn sight more effective. I’m pretty sure that the Greens are going to get a lot of reaction similar to IrishBill. Thats good, we need more people in Labour supporting environmental issues.

      • chris 30.4.1

        this is a great point lynn. ngo’s have done more for the environment than the greens could ever hope

  31. I had a “WTF?” moment reading your post, but then reading the press release on the Greens web site put it in context and it makes a lot of sense. “Pragmatism and principle” summed it up well for me. This way, the Greens are able to get some good stuff done. They can’t do anything about the other horrendous nonsense National is getting up to in many portfolios with the support of Act and United Future.

    I wonder how Peter D-Who? is feeling right now……..

    • IrishBill 31.1

      The insulation was already going ahead. And I may be wrong but I’m pretty sure National voted with the Greens on the health supplements stuff last time around.

      My only consolation from this is that Kedgley and Ryall now have to work together. Good. They deserve each other.

      • Steve Withers 31.1.1

        The Kedgley / Ryall thing was one of the aspects that made me giggle. Two brittles in the same room will be like walking on a floor covered in broken china plates. I doubt they will have much to do with each other Ryall is the epitome of kiss up / kick down…..and Kedgley will be down as far as Ryall’s concerned.

  32. tommy onions 32

    “The Greens will continue to oppose, with all our strength, National’s anti-worker policies.”

    Well, that’s going to cause John Key to have many a sleepless night.

    You are right that there hasn’t been a viable Labour party in NZ since it was hijacked by the monetarists. But if you think that the Greens are ever going to morph into a viable opposition – think again. I’d rather join Labour and fight to reestablish that as a viable party for representing the best interests of ordinary Kiwis than try to turn what is basically a big lobby group into a political party.

    And it’s not just a tiny tactical deal – it has real political value – TO THE NATS! And I expect there are a lot of Green Party members who aren’t quite as sanguine about who they’ve just woken up next to.

    Consider how effective anti-Green propaganda has been in NZ over the past couple of decades and who has propagated that – and for what purpose.

    It isn’t the Left that has whipped up a frenzy of anti-Green sentiment among people whose best interests lie in a truly sustainable economy not in short term / quick profit exploitation of the environment. It’s the Right that has done that – at the behest and in defence of big business.

    The Right will yield a few small concessions where it suits to buy votes from those environmentalists whose sympathies lie somewhere other than to the Left – but anyone who thinks that there is any sort of compromise with corporate capital is well, downright stupid – or self serving.

    It’s interesting that we have Robber Banker Jennings in town to deliver his pearls of wisdom – ‘you too can be obscenely rich – just do what I did and asset strip a politically weak country – or, in the case of Africa, an entire continent’. And – the first step towards gaining the keys to the gates of Richistan is to stop pandering to minorities (except the smallest minority of all – the obscenely rich) – and that means get rid of MMP..

    So the Robber Banker is opposed to MMP – and so is Totalitarian Talley. The difference is that Jennings gets to deliver his anti-MMP message to an auditorium full of movers and shakers and Talley to a school hall full of sixth formers. 🙂

    Jennings is a great deal more subtle and keeps his cards a lot closer to his chest than Talley who is just an uncouth yob – ‘me big tough guy, eat genetically modified whales and seals for breakfast.’ We can probably ignore Talley but is it an accident that Jennings is invited over to deliver a prestigious lecture and tells a packed house that MMP is bad for BIG BUSINESS – which of course is where the future of NZ lies?

    Oh, and the Greens have just negotiated a principled but pragmatic memorandum with the government. Shame.

  33. dad4justice 33

    Yes, Labour would do well to distance itself from the looney social engineering greens. I am lost for words with the blue green cuddle fest. Who would have ever thought a get together was possible? It does not surprise me, as John Key went with silly Bradford’s anti smacking bill. Socialism is the winner on the day.

  34. Quoth the Raven 34

    toad – I disagree. I think much more can be achieved through direct action, education, and setting up alternative social institutions than can be through parliament (and I’m not saying nothing can be achieved through parliament). I’m not saying don’t vote, although I know that many from my position do. I support reform. I’m not talking about setting up “silly little sectarian groups”. You could easily characterise parliament that way. The fact that two of the groups you mentioned were political parties that contested elections (I don’t know what the Workers’ Communist League was) demonstrates to me that you simply don’t understand or aren’t willing to understand what I’m talking about.

  35. Te PC 35

    I know of right wing people that vote Green (it’s a feel-good lifestyle thing for them I assume).

    I have never heard of any right wing people voting Labour.

    The Greens looked far too comfortable with the National/Act overlords.

  36. toad 36

    IrishBill said: Was this “tiny tactical deal’ taken out to the membership? Did you consult the base? No. And you know it.

    The specifics were not, because they are totally consistent with promoting Green policy. But the framework was – extensively – through over a year of consultation with the Green membership before the last election. The culmination of that consultation, endorsed by the 2008 Green Party Conference, was expressed in “this media statement from Jeanette Fitzsimons on 20 October 2008:

    Depending on the outcome of the election, the Greens would prefer to work with Labour to form a Government, as their policies are more closely aligned with our own. But, no matter who forms the Government we will look for areas of common ground where we can work together.

    There is nothing about the MoU that deviates from what has been endorsed by the Green membership.

    Oh, and as for the Douglas/Prebble era in the Labour Party, I can assure you I was very much around politically in those days and know the history first hand. I even (briefly) joined up as an Auckland Central member to try to get Prebble de-selected as their candidate.

    • r0b 36.1

      and know the history first hand

      History is exactly what it is Toad. Times have changed, and if you keep fighting the battles of 20 years ago, you’ll lose today’s battles completely

    • Tane 36.2

      As a Green voter I took that to mean they’d support particular pieces of legislation as they came up and as they fitted with Green policies and principles. I certainly didn’t take it to mean a formal agreement that gives PR cover for National’s hard right agenda.

  37. toad 37

    Hey, IB, on a lighter note, if it pisses off d4j that much, it’s gotta have some merit hasn’t it?

  38. dad4justice 38

    toad the blue coats have a greenish underbelly. It’s a jungle out there!

  39. toad 39

    d4j, you’d know everything there is to know about underbelly I suspect!

  40. outofbed 40

    Don’t worry Irish
    she’s right

  41. dad4justice 41

    toad, as the Amphibian you are truly cold-blooded.

  42. ripp0 42

    Irish Bill,

    have ye turned up the wailings and gnashings here.. from those of little faith.. to those too much.. through those with none at all..

    re the MOU.. surprise me.. would clause 15 amount to a revocation of all preceding clauses.. save itself… and if so.. what do succeeding clauses contain..?

    methinks little hath changed at the political level though I’d prefer surer ground of legal knowledge.. in the circumstances..

    And in the present prevailing and most likely immediate future circumstances twould seem to me that the so-called green political minds have every capability of realising the greater good.. in what they do..

    in effect by no means green or wet behind the ears in action.

    Sleep well IB, awaken wise.

  43. Bill 43

    I’d have thought a vocal opposition was integral to Representative Social Democracy. And that is what is being incrementally muted by the Nats and their various arrangements. The MoU with the Greens appears to give National discretion as to when the gag on issues of common interest will be removed and neuters dissent completely insofar as statements must be joint statements.( ie agreed content).

    In practice that will mean no statements being issued that are critical on matters of common interest and no robust public debate while those matters are being discussed by the parties. (Corridors of power, closed doors and all that jazz.)

    Is it just me, or does that smack of authoritarianism.

    Taking a so-called left example, the USSR had governance that contained party factions. The public were not informed on the positions of the different constituencies within The Party…instead, being fed the Party Line when all was done and dusted.

    I see no reason why parties from across the political divide cannot agree on certain matters and even work in concert. But to set out formal ‘codes of conduct’ that prevent a party from informing the public on where they stand on a particular issue at any given point in time; that effectively ‘turn off the gas’ with respect to the public’s ‘right to know’ and so, by extension parliamentary accountability is simply poison.

    NZ has several parties in Parliament, but with silence being enforced on all but two parties on a range of matters, are we not embarking on a jolly jaunt down a road whose final destination is not too dissimilar to what we might find in a one party state?

  44. gomango 44

    Bill – it can’t be Authoritarianism if the Greens willingly signed up to the deal. Plus they are obviously free to repudiate the deal at any time. That can’t be authoritarianism by any definition. But it may well be completely stupid and naive by a party which has shown a complete inability to formulate a workable strategy for influencing govt in a meaningful way ever since their inception.

    What we are seeing by Key is inspired. He is as effective if not more so than Helen at MMP (so far).

    What odds on the factions within the Greens tearing the party apart over time? I’m guessing there is a large rump within the greens with an anti-tory, anti-business, anti- rational economics, anti-establishment outlook who won’t be very happy with this.

    • r0b 44.1

      What we are seeing by Key is inspired. He is as effective if not more so than Helen at MMP (so far).

      You can say that when he has run 9 years of successful government, Actually, I think Key has already sown the seeds of his own electoral destruction. You can’t treat an MMP partner the way Key has just treated the Maori Party.

      • ak 44.1.1

        Spot on r0b: what we have is Helen-lite leading Labour-lite pedalling cheerily to the brink of a steep economic cliff. The Helen-hate bike they rode to power is starting to squeak already, and both Greens and MP need a divorce by 2011 to ensure their own survival. Seeds indeed.

    • Bill 44.2

      “it can’t be Authoritarianism if the Greens willingly signed up to the deal. Plus they are obviously free to repudiate the deal at any time. That can’t be authoritarianism by any definition.”

      The effect has definite shades of authoritarianism. Less informing of the public by it’s representatives on issues that matter to it as those issues are unfolding. That’s not good for democratic process.

      The public being ‘informed’ after the fact is authoritarian.

      • BLiP 44.2.1

        . . . and the timing of the announcement is near immaculate. Stage managed, perhance?

  45. ripp0 45

    Notable folks..

    What odds on the factions within the Greens tearing the party apart over time? I’m guessing there is a large rump within the greens with an anti-tory, anti-business, anti- rational economics, anti-establishment outlook who won’t be very happy with this.

    Late brain (someone’s and for-others’) take as this thread extends. Relies does it not what hath been uttered prior.. thusly avoiding entanglement with prior hurdles among your goodselves..

    Seen thus so revealingly. And the emphasis on what the object of attack IS rather than what the commenter is..

    The politics of iRonnie so expertly deployed by a latter day student, no doubt.

  46. DavidW 46

    Have to say that the Greens get more out of this than it first appears in terms of increasing their political influence and access to information. Now that the arrangement with Labour that gave them additional secretarial and research capacity have evaporated, there must have been a bit of a vacuum but you gotta recognise that they now have a seat on the SIS oversight committee and I understand that the MOU gives them access to Cabinet Papers. That alone must be worth Gold to a politician to the extent that to get access otherwise would involve constant OIA requests.

    Perhaps the Greens have finally decided that they are, after all, politicians.

    HEH Captcha “nothing Blue”

  47. Paul Robeson 47

    This is a betrayl. I think this would be the fairest way to describe it.

    By doing this the Greens are supporting: private prisons, NZAID being screwed, ACC being screwed, Auckland being screwed, the ETS on hold until the science is settled, the lack of respect for democratic procedure and select commitees shown by the government, the inaction over the recession, the readying for sale of state assets such as TVNZ, the acceptance of pay inequality between the sexes in the public service as a necessary evil of the recession and so on…

    If the Greens wanted to campaign on environmental issues as a centrist party they should have started off doing that. I had little respect for them before, though I had strong environmental values.

    Now with this Australian out front they are allowing anybody who might have voted Key, but been discorncerted by the speed and obvious lurch to the right to be reassured because even the Greens (you know those commie scumbags) like them.

    A centrist green party would be fine. but to do it know is dumb politics. Or what we’ve come to expect from the Greens.

    The Alliance: Kiwibank, 4 weeks paid parental leave. less than a term in government.

    The Greens: Sue Bradford

    Russel Norman’s credibility has to be low and dipping.

  48. jarbury 48

    I think the issue is perception versus reality. We all know that in politics perception is just as important as reality.

    The reality is that the Greens have gained out of this deal. The $1 billion insulation programme will happen now and that is great. They also get some gains out of seeing what cabinet is up to, and have to give little back in response. So the reality is good for the Greens.

    However, the perception is bad for the Greens. It “looks” like the Greens are now supporting the National government, who they disagree with on about 95% of issues. The perception is that National now have shifted to the centre by getting the Greens’ support, and that the Greens have “sold out”.

    That’s why my brain is happy with this, but my heart hurts.

  49. The Alliance getting stuck into the Nat-Green Toxic Sludge deal.
    A very rare opportunity for the Alliance Party.

  50. mike 50

    Rippo – the word ‘Plastic’ just means “a long chain chemical”. You can get casein from milk – its a plastic – a long chain chemical – and from any carbohydrate you get ‘plastics’ – from corn, rice, wheat, etc, etc.

    Ah – and you can get long chains chemicals from ethylene gas. Its the source that matters you see.

    BUT the BIG problem is that very few people will pay the cost non-oil plastics.

    And there are another few problems – things like corn sourced ‘plastic’ bags are very damaging to the the environment. You see they break down into METHANE -.oil based plastics break down into CO2. Methane is 25 more pwerful as a greenhouse gas than CO2.

    Now – the dilema – look good (good cause marketing) , buy Biodegradable “plastic’ bags and really fuck the environment, or us oil based ones and slightly fuck the environment, or use natural fibre ones and really fuck the water system that is used to produce them.
    Solution – go live in a cave, or use nuclear power to effectively end the production of CO2.

    • sunny 50.1

      Mike, your views sound very familiar…have you been Born Again baptised in Dunedin by any chance? Worked long and hard for Bill English?

  51. Tigger 51

    I feel like I’m at one of those weddings where the girl is marrying some rich, ugly tosser who you know will eventually end up porking some other chick but you can’t say anything at the time because it’s considered impolite but two years later when she leaves him you’ll go ‘I never liked that guy’.

    Even when Jack sold the cow he got magic beans. I mean a few Pink Batts and some rescue remedy is hardly worth getting into bed with the NACTs.

    Definite FAIL.

  52. toad 52

    Paul Robeson said: By doing this the Greens are supporting: private prisons, NZAID being screwed, ACC being screwed, Auckland being screwed, the ETS on hold until the science is settled, the lack of respect for democratic procedure and select commitees shown by the government, the inaction over the recession, the readying for sale of state assets such as TVNZ, the acceptance of pay inequality between the sexes in the public service as a necessary evil of the recession and so on

    Sorry, wrong on every count there Paul. The Greens continue to oppose National on all of these positions, and will do so very strongly and vociferously, both in voting in Parliament and publicly. Green MPs are required to by the policy which, uniquely among political parties, is democratically made by the members, but the MPs are bound to support.

  53. Paul Robeson 53

    Really toad?

    so you are a candidate for the leader of the Greens then.

    You must have heard all the loud and successful opposition the Greens have been raising to these policies trumpeted from every corner of our sycophantic media?

    No?

    Well perhaps the swing voters are only hearing that the Greens are the latest to sign up for mana enhancement-

    they give all these policies respectability as the National government brand is much enhanced by the Greens ‘environmental credibility’ and once bitterly slated ‘left wing’ policies.

    You say the opposition is strong and vociferious. It needs to be succesful opposition or the Greens are propping up the credibility of a government heading right like a T junction.

    perhaps you don’t understand the argument, are stupid, or actually don’t care what happens as long as there is some opposition to quaker like observe a re-run of the 80s and 90s.

    The point is to be seen to be working with the government through an officially announced agreement adds to the fraudulent belief that they are centrist.

    I voted Green once and they did nothing with my vote. Perhaps it is all right though. Perhaps no one apart from Kiwiblog really cares what the Greens do. grrr…

    that may have come out harsh…but really…

    if they are part of a sucessful coalition that protects the RMA, ACC, ETS, the superfund, Auckland’s many different identities, the assets of the country, gets the shameful pay inequality for a 1st world nation back on the agenda after the discarded report, and helps to present an alternative Keynesian option to get us out of this recession great! Until then you are wrong and aiding and abetting all of the above as I previously stated…

  54. Smithy 54

    Paul Robeson, what you’re suggesting is that the Greens be driven only by what our shoddy media says. I think this is wrong, period, but consider at least that a media driven by conflict may well pay more attention to the Greens disagreements with the Nats than ever before.

  55. RedLogix 55

    Someone once said, that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results. While I can understand and sympathise with the many Green supporters who feel confused or even betrayed by this MOU with National, I can only suggest that the Party had to do something different in order to move out of the ‘isolated off to the left of Labour’, 6% ghetto in which it has been stuck for three to four elections now. Worse still, doing nothing risked being completely marginalised as Labour’s rump party with no role, or voice in the public arena.

    The simple fact is that not enough New Zealand voters will, anytime in the foreseeable future, give their votes to a Party perceived as well to the left of Labour to ever make an actual role in government a reality. Something has to change.

    Was this the right move? Too soon to tell, but the question does beg another; what other strategic options were usefully available to the Greens? Not many I suggest.

    • Edosan 55.1

      I wonder also whether this term will see a change in the Greens outlook toward a more purely environmental ethic. There seems to be less point in being the party that is more left of the Labour party when the Labour party is in opposition. That would put the Greens evn more on the fringe, a little like Act in the last term, but without a remotely winnable electorate seat. If they define themselves by what environmental measures they can pass, they will do more to turn that growing environmental awareness into a stronger political movement.

  56. SPC 56

    I guess that the first sign that the “billion dollar” investment in home energy efficiency is being delayed is when the Greens should walk away. Who knows, by then the Maori Party might follow.

    After all, National is playing MMP for now, but has future plans for a referendum to move us to SM.

    Just as they say they won’t privatise the SOE – but are moving to enable options such as non voting shareholdings to investors (issuing debt rather than borrowing from banks is now in in the corporate sector) This inevitably results in weakening resistance to share sales the same way foreplay … .

    The MP is promised a continuance of Maori seats while Treaty claims are yet to be finalised – so if National invests in this area its a sign …

    PS As for the Greens and the NZF – the two parties which increased the minimum wage from 9 to $12 over 3 years. National has removed one already. SM would remove the Greens down to two MP’s (if there were 80 electorate seats and 40 supplementary seats at 2.5% of the vote per seat).

    • IrishBill 56.1

      The greens aren’t getting a billion dollar insulation retrofit initiative. They’re not getting anything more than National was going to pony up in the first place. In fact they may even get less now they’ve legitimatised it.

  57. tommy onions 57

    What this MOU does is to leave Labour isolated – actually and symbolically.

    Why not enter into a formal agreement with Labour and build a strategy to pull the left leaners in the MP back into a broad left coalition? It’s what we are going to need to counter the broad right coalition that Key is forming – which will eventually show its true blue colours under pressure from its ‘natural demographic’ and its paymasters (gender specific term used deliberately).

    The one good thing about it – and I’d love to think this was the Green leadership’s real agenda but it isn’t – is that it is causing grave concern amongst the section of Nat supporters who already think Key’s a bit wet.

    Getting into bed with brown AND green people – that’s a couple of steps too far for the rabid right.

    • r0b 57.1

      Lynn – look at the time and position of tommy’s comment (cf yours below) – something is odd with the reply indentation lately (and also noise in the recent comments side bar sometimes I think). Odd.

      Tommy – agreed!

    • Smithy 57.2

      The best way to help Labour get their act together is show them the Greens really are independent. They need this poke in the eye. I only hope its enough.

  58. Allan 58

    Any story that starts with you stating your position i.e. “some of my best friends are gay – but…” generally means you’re full of crap. In your case, “Now i’m as Green as the next guy, but….”

    Can this blog please get over its near psychotic attachment to hard right wing agendas? you’re as bad as the tools from the other side talking about Helen’s secret lesbian socialist agenda.

    Grow up. National at best has no real plan and is making it up as they go along

    🙂

  59. TopKat 59

    I’m a lifelong environmentalist that loathes socialism xxx

  60. TopKat 60

    I’m a lifelong environmentalist who loathes socialism xxx

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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
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    1 week ago
  • Worth repeating forever
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    1 week ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
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    2 weeks ago
  • On The Rebound.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
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    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
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    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
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    2 weeks ago
  • A mountain of a challenge in banning glyphosate
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • This government has a problem with secrecy
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A small New Zealand songbird that hides food for later use provides insights into cognitive evolutio...
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Referenda on Euthanasia – NZ First’s Victory – or a Major Miscalculation?
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn the Mighty vs BoJo the Clown
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    2 weeks ago
  • Public health, externality, and vaccination
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    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago

  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    9 hours ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    5 days ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    5 days ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    6 days ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Two years of progress
    This week, we’re taking action on climate change, expanding trades education – and celebrating two years of progress! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit the Republic of Korea and Japan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week. “The Republic of Korea and Japan are two of New Zealand’s closest partners in the region with whom we share common values and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to lead Bougainville Referendum Regional Police Support Mission
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters has announced today that New Zealand is leading a police support mission in Bougainville as the region prepares to vote in a non-binding referendum on its political future. “New Zealand has accepted an invitation ...
    3 weeks ago
  • We’re taking action on climate change
    “I refuse to accept the challenge of climate change is too hard to solve.” – Jacinda Ardern ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones annoyed at “elevated sense of entitlement from a lot of immigrant leaders”
    New Zealand First MP Shane Jones is defending Immigration New Zealand (INZ) after it instructed officials to stop granting visas as an exception to instructions. He has also lashed out at immigrant leaders upset with the tightening of the rules, saying they had an “elevated sense of entitlement”. Members of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand public likely to vote on euthanasia bill thanks to NZ First
    A change to the End of Life Choice Bill was passed in Parliament, meaning if politicians decide to vote for the law it must be approved by the public first. A binding referendum was a condition insisted on by New Zealand First, and Jenny Marcroft’s supplementary order paper (SOP) successfully ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
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    6 hours ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Future secured for Salisbury School
    Nelson’s Salisbury School is to be rebuilt, creating a modern and suitable learning environment for students at the residential special school, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The school for girls aged 8-15, in Richmond, was earmarked for closure by National until the process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
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    21 hours ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
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    1 day ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
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    1 day ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
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    1 day ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
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    1 day ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
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    2 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
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    5 days ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
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    5 days ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
    The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today. The landmark legislation which provides a framework to support New Zealanders to prepare for, and adapt to, the effects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
    The review of Oranga Tamariki practice around the planned uplift of a Hastings baby in May shows significant failings by the Ministry and that the planned and funded changes to shift from a child crisis service to a proper care and protection service need to be accelerated, Children’s Minister Tracey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has wished students the best of luck for this year’s NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams which start tomorrow. Around 140,000 students will have participated in 119 NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship exams by the end of the exam period on 3 December. “I want to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New High Commissioner to the United Kingdom announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of Bede Corry as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. “The appointment of a senior diplomat to this important role underlines the significance New Zealand places on our relationship with the United Kingdom,” said Mr Peters. “The United ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Police recruits making Auckland safer
    An innovative approach to boosting the number of frontline Police has seen 20 new officers graduate from one of the uncommon training wings in Auckland. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of 20 constables today means that 1,765 new Police officers have been deployed since the coalition government took ...
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    6 days ago
  • Over 1.2 million hours of community work helps local communities
    Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the 1.2 million hours of community work completed by offenders in the last financial year has helped local communities right across the country. “Community work sentences are a great way for people to pay something positive back to society. There is a massive benefit to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Te Huringa o Te Tai – Police Crime Prevention Strategy
    "A pathway for Police in leadership with Iwi Māori, to achieve the aspirations of Māori whānau." Police launch of Te Huringa o Te Tai, Pipitea Marae,  Thorndon Quay, Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou. Hello everyone, warm greetings to you all. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis getting higher pay
    Working New Zealanders are getting more in their back pockets under the Coalition Government’s economic plan. Stats NZ data today shows average weekly ordinary time earnings are up by $83 since the Government took office. This shows that working New Zealanders are getting higher take-home pay, and that employers are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for schools to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact
    The Government is supporting schools to cut down their energy consumption and reduce environmental impacts, with a quarter of all schools having their lights replaced with LEDs, a sustainability contestable fund and a plan to improve the environmental sustainability of all schools in the future. Education Minister Chris Hipkins and ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s manaakitanga highlighted in China
    Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis heads to China on Friday to lead the New Zealand Government presence at the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism closing ceremony. The ceremony will take place at Canton Tower in Guangzhou on Sunday 10 November. “The Year of Tourism has been mutually beneficial for both New ...
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    1 week ago
  • Climate change research boost
    Should we plan for drought or deluge and how is CO2 released from the ocean’s floor? Several climate change projects were given a boost in the latest Marsden Fund investment of $83.6 million, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods said today. “Climate change is long-term challenge that requires out-of-the-box ...
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    1 week ago
  • Significant progress on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
    Leaders of 16 countries negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) have announced the completion of negotiation on the text as well as agreement on virtually all market access issues between 15 countries. The leaders said they will work with India to resolve its outstanding concerns in a way that ...
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    1 week ago
  • Learn how to stay safe on World Tsunami Awareness Day
    Civil Defence Minister Hon Peeni Henare says World Tsunami Awareness Day today (5 November) is a chance for all New Zealanders to learn more about the tsunami risk in our regions and the right actions to take to stay safe. “All of New Zealand’s coastline is at risk of tsunami. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Formal recognition at last for paramedics’ frontline medical role
    New Zealand’s more than 1000 paramedics are to have their role as key frontline health professionals formally recognised and regulated in the same way as doctors and nurses, Health Minister David Clark says. The Government has agreed to regulate paramedics under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. “Paramedic leaders ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government improving protections for consumers and workers when businesses fail
    Changes to insolvency law announced by the Government today will include requirements to honour up to 50 per cent of the value of gift cards or vouchers held by consumers, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi says. “When a business is insolvent, these consumers are often left out of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Outstanding public service recognised
    Six New Zealanders tonight received medals for their meritorious work in the frontline public service. The Public Service Medal, established by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, is awarded annually. “For the second year this Government has recognised public servants who have made a real difference to the lives of New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Global trade, business promotion focus of Shanghai meetings
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker heads to Shanghai today for the China International Import Expo and meetings focused on reforming the WTO. Over 90 New Zealand companies will be exhibiting at the second China International Import Expo (CIIE), which runs from 5-10 November. “China is one of New Zealand’s ...
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    1 week ago
  • Drivers to get more time to gain full licence
    Drivers holding a current five-year learner or restricted car or motorbike licence, expiring between 1 December 2019 and 1 December 2021, will receive an automatic two-year extension, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Over 144,000 drivers’ time-limited licences are due to expire in the next two years; 67,000 ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ-China FTA upgrade negotiations conclude
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker have announced the conclusion of negotiations to upgrade New Zealand’s existing free trade agreement with China.   “This ensures our upgraded free trade agreement will remain the best that China has with any country,” Jacinda Ardern said.   She ...
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    1 week ago