While Grant Robertson looks at the big economic picture with the Future of Work initiative, Andrew Little is working on the practical politics of building a government in waiting. A piece by Jo Moir on Stuff yesterday read:
Labour looking to the Greens and NZ First to forge joint policy ahead of the election
Labour leader Andrew Little wants to give voters a taste of what policy would come out of a Labour Government with the Greens and NZ First.
The first of what could be many joint policy announcements between Labour and the Greens will be made in the next couple of months.
Electioneering is stepping up a notch for the Opposition – Labour, the Greens and NZ First are all actively hunting for policy to jointly campaign on ahead of next year’s general election. Labour leader Andrew Little said the public would know “well in time for next year’s election” where all three parties line-up and where there are differences. …
Excellent news on closer cooperation between Labour and the Greens. I think this is an obvious platform win which should have been put in place two elections ago. I am much more ambiguous about having NZF in the mix. Clearly Winston is too, because the piece above has subsequently been revised:
NZ First leader Winston Peters doubts it was “deliberate” but says Labour leader Andrew Little is wrong to say there are plans for the two parties to jointly campaign on policy.
Peters didn’t think Little had been “deliberately wrong” in his comments because the two parties do meet to discuss issues, but not policy ideas. “It’s a fact to say we’ve had talks on various issues…I have conversations with most political parties, but not all.”
Back to the Labour / Greens discussion:
The first taste of the idea came on Sunday with the Green Party announcing its plans to strengthen Kiwibank by injecting $100 million of capital. While its a step removed from joint policy, Little said Labour supported the idea and would look at implementing it in a coalition government. “There’s certainly nothing we’re allergic to in this proposal,” he said. The idea is to repurpose Kiwibank so it can compete against the big four foreign-owned banks, which the Greens say will lead to better interest rates.
More on the Kiwibank proposal here.
It would be great to see a coherent Labour / Green platform presented nice and early in the run up to the next election. I think a lot of people now know what they want to vote against, but they also need to know what they are voting for. The Left needs to provide both the vision and the details of a government in waiting.