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Green MP Gareth Hughes speaking bold truth ahead of his retirement at next election

Written By: - Date published: 9:54 am, November 17th, 2019 - 105 comments
Categories: economy, Gareth Hughes, greens - Tags: , ,

In this interview with Stuff journalist Henry Cooke, Gareth Hughes talks about wanting to spend time with his kids while they’re still young, and his frustration with the slowness of change in the face of the enormity of the climate and other crises we are facing. There’s some solid green analysis here from Hughes and much of the interview is spent talking about Hughes’ concern at our lack of the large scale social, political and economic change necessary to meet the situation we are in,

“Across my 10 years here, things have actually got worse. Emissions have increased, we are still losing a hundred million tons of topsoil every year – our most precious resource – homelessness is growing,” Hughes says.

“I don’t think the Government has been transformational. There’s been pockets of transformation, but you know, I don’t think historians are gonna look back at it and say ‘This was a turning point on the scale of the 1930s or 1980s’. And I think that’s desperately needed.”

Hughes says New Zealand needs a change on the scale of those revolutions – the first Labour Government creating the welfare state and the fourth one tearing it apart.

“As I reflect across 20 years of activism I realise that I’ve spent 20 years winning campaigns, but each one’s kind of like chopping off the head of the hydra. There’s always another equally important campaign right behind it. I’ve spent 20 years fighting the symptoms, not the source.”

“I’ve grown up knowing nothing but the revolution of the early 1980s. This is this operating system which was uploaded in New Zealand and people have tried to install better policies or better programs, but if they don’t work with the system, they are crashing.”

Hughes thinks it is key that the Greens push the country towards a new economic system able to properly fight climate change, and it isn’t yet.

“Our ambitions have to match the scale of the emergency.

Based on a leak, Henry Cooke reported last week that a review by senior Green Party members was recommending that the Greens scrap the Budget Responsibility Rules, which are seen as embedding neoliberalism in legislation and the national accounts,

The review sets out a proposed new fiscal strategy for the party to be inserted into its wider economic policy, which would “incorporate the need to transition to a circular economy which does not rely on unlimited growth” and “recognises the multiple roles of the tax system as set out in the Taxation section of this Policy”.

“The Green Party supports a broader and more balanced approach to fiscal policy in line with both the overall principles of this Policy, and the recognition that unlimited material growth is impossible,” the reviewers write.

Fiscal strategy should “maintain macroeconomic stability, including full employment and controlled inflation” and “uses the full range of tools available to finance government expenditure, and choose the mix between them on the basis of their effects on broader goals”.

The review was commissioned, its writers say, because “we are a party that believes in bold, progressive economic policies that focus on the health of our planet and the well-being of our people”.

This will make many Green members and lefties much happier about the direction of the party (myself included, I’m particularly pleased to see the front footing of the Green Party Principle that unlimited growth is impossible).

There’s an irony in Hughes’ retirement, one that plagues our parliamentary system. We want the people who retire because they want to spend time with their kids before they grow up to be the people running the country. The good MPs tend to leave before they get too damaged by the system and because they recognise the value of what really matters. Maybe we need to change this system too, so that they can stay.

Hughes has been in parliament for ten years, and I’m relieved to hear he will stay involved with the party. His passion, focus, analysis and experience are still very much needed.

All the best for the next phase of your life Gareth.

______________________________________________________________________________

Front Page image from this 2016 Spinoff piece by Hughes on parenting while in parliament.

105 comments on “Green MP Gareth Hughes speaking bold truth ahead of his retirement at next election ”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    Funny to compare the quotes you chose, weka, and those I posted on OM just before you put this post up. Gareth's calling it all out and good on him.

    • weka 1.1

      It's a great interview and I'm very grateful he said what he said.

      Hoping that more Greens will speak up and get some momentum. I don’t think the ‘we need to be cautious and careful to get into govt’ thing will run next year. Time to be bold now.

    • Adrian Thornton 1.2

      Yep I like your post, this one pretty much say's it all

      " "I don't think the Government has been transformational. There's been pockets of transformation, but you know, I don't think historians are gonna look back at it and say 'This was a turning point on the scale of the 1930s or 1980s'. And I think that's desperately needed."

      I guess Gareth has come to understand that a Free market Liberal Labour (and Green) govt is not going to fundamentally change anything, and could be said to be almost ideologically opposed to transformative change.. I mean sure it's better than having National in power…but this time and going forward that is not nearly enough..no where near enough.

      Turn Labour Left!

  2. Rosemary McDonald 2

    Excellent post weka, and sadly, all too true.

    There was a window of opportunity to effect true change that was lost as our elected representatives chose continued obescience to neoliberalism.

    Julius Ceasar comes to mind…'there's a time in the tide etc, etc…'

    What a bunch of numpties we are.

  3. Ad 3

    Who is next on the Green list?

  4. marty mars 4

    You gave it a go and for that I thank you.

    "Across my 10 years here, things have actually got worse. Emissions have increased, we are still losing a hundred million tons of topsoil every year – our most precious resource – homelessness is growing," Hughes says.

    Sadly that is the truth and it's not great.

    • Bg 4.1

      The Stuff article states that

      "Hughes will remain a force in the party, as many other former MPs do, and is looking forward to supporting his wife in her career for a while, after a year of "world-schooling" his kids around the globe."

      I wonder what the carbon footprint of that was?

      Hypocrisy thy name is Gareth Hughes

      • observer 4.1.1

        When the go-to argument for deniers is "ooh, you're on a plane" (accompanied by a witless smirk of self-satisfaction, like it's soooo clever) … then the debate really is over.

        • Bg 4.1.1.1

          So you're not denying his hypocrisy. Glad you agree with me.

          Look if someone wants to play the Green agenda card, then at least walk the walk

          • Drowsy M. Kram 4.1.1.1.1

            Bg (Blue-green?), just curious – are you 'playing' an anti-Green “agenda card"?

          • weka 4.1.1.1.2

            what's the carbon footprint of Hughes' proposed trip? You seem to think you know what it is, so please share with us all. Also please share what you have done to reduce your own carbon footprint, otherwise you might end up sounding like a hypocrite yourself.

            • Climaction 4.1.1.1.2.1

              Why can no one question a “greens” carbon footprint and carbon intentions without having to prove they’re greener?
              No one deserves a free pass just because they vote the way you like if their actions are at odds with their words.

              • weka

                BG wasn't doing that. He was assuming a large carbon footprint and jumping straight to accusations of hypocrisy without any evidence and zero attempt at political analysis. I'd welcome a thoughtful analysis of Green MPs' footprints, but right wingers jumping into threads about Green MPs just so they can use them to bash them, can get fucked. This is a political discussion, and there's an expectation that people don't troll and actually bring something to the table.

          • Incognito 4.1.1.1.3

            Can you explain why you think it is hypocrisy?

            For example, how is dropping off kids at school (once or every day?) by car (EV?) hypocritical in regard to the “Green agenda card”?

            I’d suggest that you either have poor understanding of the “Green agenda card” and showing you’re ignorant or you’re deliberately having a go at Mr Hughes and the Greens, in which case you also show you’re ignorant.

      • alwyn 4.1.2

        I think the "world schooling" is meant to be after he leaves Parliament, ie in 2021.

        He looks as if he intends to serve out his term and then go travelling for a year.

        I am basing this on the following story on Stuff. Weka hasn't posted a link. as far as I can see, so she, and you, may be looking at a story that gives a different emphasis

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/117439116/outgoing-green-mp-gareth-hughes-says-the-government-has-not-been-transformational

        It says "is looking forward to supporting his wife in her career for a while, after a year of "world-schooling" his kids around the globe". I took this to mean that he, or they, would be doing it, not that his wife has already done so.

        • Incognito 4.1.2.1

          The first three words of the OP are hyperlinked to the exact same link as in your comment 🙂

          • weka 4.1.2.1.1

            followed by a big cut and paste from the same article 😉

            • alwyn 4.1.2.1.1.1

              Indeed you had and yes it is. I must get my eyes checked. It looks just the same colour as the typed material and I didn't see it as a link..
              The blue simply isn’t really standing out. Perhaps it is the lighting in the room.

              • weka

                some software is better than others with this format.

                • Incognito

                  It is more work for the author but I believe you can bold the text of a hyperlink. That might help a little. Readers have to choose (personalise) the display setting on their device that works best for them. However, most people I know seem to use the default setting 😉

                  In this interview

                  In this interview

                  In this interview

                  • weka

                    I think it's usually clear enough from the context and that authors link when quoting 😉

                  • Andre

                    Surely authors can expect readers to have at least the minimum of observational skills and interwebz savvy to make that extra effort unnecessary? Even though it is alwyn under discussion …

                    • weka

                      Yes, and I think alwyn acknowledged he was distracted/not paying attention.

                    • Incognito

                      Not all readers are equally able. I know one author here who has particularly bad eyesight. I also know that quite a few commenters here have trouble with hyperlinks and the likes. What’s bread & butter for one can be alien to another. Easy to forget. When you teach or mentor, you’re constantly reminded of it though.

              • Anne

                Perhaps it is the lighting in the room.

                I have the same trouble. The blue is indistinct and if not separated from rest of comment can be missed altogether.

                • lprent

                  Try a green color. You may need to shift-refresh or shift-F5 to load the effect.

                  I’ve left the colors blue on the admin and side bar for comparison. Also I must check the mobile which uses a different CSS – that is blue and underscore. Something that doesn’t work for headers.

                  • weka

                    that's worse on Firefox mac. How do I turn it back to blue?

                  • Incognito

                    Yup, much worse on laptop using MS Edge.

                    • lprent

                      Ok – try a dark red

                      Incidentally I’m changing the server side theme styles.

                      a{ text-decoration:none; }
                      /*
                      a:link{ color:#005689; }
                      a:visited{ color:#005689; }
                      a:hover{ background-color:#005689; color:#fff; }
                      a:active{ background-color:#005689; color:#fff; }
                      a:focus{ outline:#7f0101 dotted 1px; }
                      */
                      a:link{ color:#890012; }
                      a:visited{ color:#890012; }
                      a:hover{ background-color:#890012; color:#fff; }
                      a:active{ background-color:#890012; color:#fff; }
                      a:focus{ outline:#7f0101 dotted 1px; }

                    • weka []

                      that’s the most visible of the three to me.

                    • weka []

                      but I could see the blue, so it’s Anne and alwyn that should check.

                    • weka []

                      Just looked at the Front Page, red is not a good look style wise. Clashes with image colours, and is a tad intense.

                    • lprent []

                      Yep agreed. I went through this exercise a number of times.

                      Reverting.

                    • Incognito []

                      Can you try a light colour text highlight? Like what you see when you hover your cursor over a hyperlink. Currently, it is some dark hue blue.

                    • lprent []

                      The default for :active and :hover is to reverse the colors?

                      Hard to beat that…

                    • Incognito []

                      I wouldn’t know 🙂

                    • lprent

                      That is what is there now – when you wave a cursor over a link it changes to while on a blue background.

      • Sacha 4.1.3

        Yeah, the thing about leading change.. https://twitter.com/GreenSolitaire/status/1189992163590987777/photo/1

        The inventor of the engine used a horse every day.

        The inventor of the lightbulb worked by candlelight.

  5. greywarshark 5

    Really good post and true stuff for us to absorb and keep at the top of our minds.

    There is synergy with the Nick Kelly post yesterday on the choice for austerity in the UK after 2008 – a choice of one economic policy from a number, being used to club the country into line; but what sort of line? The Brits don't understand that the neoliberalism carrying out Ayn Rand's zeitgeist is killing their social contract and the culture that enabled the Brits to feel proud of their country. Brexit alternative spelling – desperation!

    NZ became the bellwether for the world when Labour's precocious spoilt children joyfully took on the role of game-changers. And treated us as pawns in a game of Monopoly. The people who managed to land on the houses and could afford them, did well. Some who did went to jail, a lot who didn't do well went for longer, some who fell by the wayside got a free pass and stayed out of jail, and some trudged on with heads down because there seemed nothing to look up for. And we fish in the lucky dip for the stats and outcomes we want, replacing those we disdain, until we get what matches our wishes, and leave the rest for the others.

    This morning Ian Cross was being honoured on Media Watch. https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/mediawatch/audio/2018722092/ian-cross-editor-broadcast-boss-critic-and-conscience He felt we were inured to what was going on round us, being challenged and debated woke us up. Anyway that is my take on the piece on him.

    When the old ones who have been both idealistic and practical, but who have not been able to prevent the direction of NZ going awry, die out, will that be the end of the challengers who looked for equality for all, not just empty references to it while actually self-interest triumphs? If change only comes when desperation spills over, it's not good, and likely to bite us in the bum like Brexit will in the UK.

  6. Dukeofurl 6

    During the 'horror week' during the last election campaign Hughes says this

    "I crashed my car, dropping my kids off at school. "

    Sounds very typical middle class family , even one thats not very green aware, what was all the 'revolution' rhetoric about ?

    Even looking ahead to his ‘gap year’
    ” is looking forward to supporting his wife in her career for a while, after a year of “world-schooling” his kids around the globe. ”
    Around the globe ….. so very 80s!

    He seems so very out of touch compared to what ex Mps like Sue Bradford and Jeannette Fitzsimons .

    • Drowsy M. Kram 6.1

      …what was all the ‘revolution‘ rhetoric about ?

    • weka 6.2

      have you given up flying and driving Duke? What do you do when its raining?

      Full quote,

      "I was doorknocking in Gisborne by myself. Not a single person said they were gonna vote Green. It was in the rain. I crashed my car, dropping my kids off at school. That was the sort of horror period."

      • Dukeofurl 6.2.1

        I see kids going to school in the rain all the time, as I did once, there is these things called 'raincoats'

        . And yes Auckland traffic is made even worse by the car being used for the school run…every day. It was Gisborne though, so whats that all about.

        • weka 6.2.1.1

          You didn't answer my questions.

          • Dukeofurl 6.2.1.1.1

            Im not a Green party MP who claims some sort of revolutionary zeal but he instead is just like any other middle class MP.

            "Our ambitions have to match the scale of the emergency." he has the rhetoric but doesnt even seem to have scaled back his future travel. If he wants to give an exclusive to a middle class paper like the Sunday Times, those are the sort of readers who are going to be wonder, like me, whats he really all about.

            I gave examples of 2 ex Green Mps who have by their subsequent lives seem to still follow their principles and still have authenticity. It doesnt seem too hard.

            Maybe his final words say it all really

            "I was just a working class kid from Gisborne who cared about girls and cars and rugby more than politics that somehow fell into a passion for environmentalism, somehow got to Parliament."

            A modern day Being There

            • weka 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Ok, so link me to something that shows that Fitzsimons and Bradford don't drive cars (I'm assuming this is what you have a problem with) and how they manage without them, and what kind of car Hughes drove his kids to school in, how often he does that and why, how far it is from home to school and what other options exist for that family.

              The point I am getting at here is that having green integrity isn't a purist thing, and it's not black and white. We're all trapped in the system that insists on burning fossil fuels. Hughes just spent 20 years trying to change that. Your comments come across as largely ignorant of both his personal lifestyle choices and his politics. They look like someone took a superficial look at a MSM interview that was about something else, and decided to take some potshots at the interviewee for not living up to imagined standards that you don't even support or agree with.

              • Dukeofurl

                The travelling the world, after he leaves politics which really stunned me. Driving a car wasnt the issue so much as the 'school run'

                Dont seem like Metiria is 'travelling the world' either.

                Hughes wasnt even someone I was barely aware of, so reading the story is what Im basing my comments on. Others seem to know him better, they are saying so.

                • weka

                  Right. So there might be something there in terms of MSM representation and how the general public interpret what they read, but basically you just decided to run some stupid shit lines that you made up from your own ignorance.

                  • Dukeofurl

                    Why do other ex Green Mps seem to avoid the trap of wanting a globe trotting lifestyle.

                    Im saying he s not like the rest. Maybe I have a rosey view on Sue, Metiria and Janette and others, I dont think so.

                    They arent shit lines , its direct quotes in the story and its put out there in the most attention hes got in the media the last 2 years. As Hughes seemed to find his critical voice and thinks the pace of change should step up ..but not in the year after he leaves parliament.

                    With 5-6% of the vote , that isnt going to happen either, connecting with his working class roots back in Gisborne ( ha!) might tell him why.

                    • weka

                      We have a *single sentence to go on. Maybe they're going to travel by boat. Maybe they're going to fly and then travel by train.

                      How many times has Fitzsimons been overseas since she retired from politics? Or Bradford?

                      The making up shit lines stuff was more about you casting Hughes as a superficial greenie when you freely admit you know almost nothing about him. It's fine that you don't know much about him, but why not find out instead of making things up?

                      It might also be true that Hughes thinks flying is ok. Many climate activists do, likewise greenies. The Thunbergs and Holmgrens of the world are not the dominant part of that culture. There *is a conversation to be had about that, but it won't be a good one when it starts with superficiality and casting aspersions based on sfa.

            • Incognito 6.2.1.1.1.2

              Many (…) of the current Green MPs don’t conform to the stereotypical ‘tree-hugger’ and this is often used to accuse them of some level of personal moral failing (AKA hypocrisy). This may seem a powerful rhetorical argument but it is intellectually lazy, lame, and weak.

              I also think your analogy with Being There is flawed in a similar way. The main character is simple, naive, and misinterpreted (and thus misunderstood) who finds himself in unusual circumstances by chance, not by personal choice and determination.

            • PB 6.2.1.1.1.3

              It's people like you that are hypocrites – you say individual impact on the climate is minimal, yet then decry Green MPs for their individual efforts (without having a single clue how they balance their lives.)

              Bu what environmentalists know is that it is INDUSTRY that is responsible for 90% of the harm to our planet. Yes, if 7 billion people were just going about their business, no problem. But the global financial sector are funding the exploitation of the planet for decades into the future – every year. Just to feed the accelerating profit of the global growth engine, which only serves the digital bank balances of the super rich. Not the human race.

              So, yeah, the focus on the individual wouldn't be such a problem if you accept the Green movement "agenda" and let fix the system properly.

              • Dukeofurl

                I have mentioned 3 ex green Mps who seem to have skipped the middle class lifestyle after parliament . Maybe theres more that dont aim to travel the world while at the same time claiming a climate emergency. Discretionary personal travel using fossil fuels is at least one of those things XR supporters can avoid now.

                'Speaking the truth' after you signal that you are leaving , works in unusual ways.

            • Robert Guyton 6.2.1.1.1.4

              Maybe his final words say it all really

              "I was just a working class kid from Gisborne who cared about girls and cars and rugby more than politics that somehow fell into a passion for environmentalism, somehow got to Parliament."

              I think you missed the "passion for environmentalism" bit, Duke. He developed a PASSION FOR ENVIRONMENTALISM.

              K?

              • Dukeofurl

                A story back about 2011 in ODT told the real truth about how he became a Green MP.

                He left Gisborne to study at Victoria, choosing politics and and was a student activist with Greenpeace, including working for them. he even said people in Gisborne who knew him sort of predicted he would have gone into politics.

                So much for the version of the Kid from Gisborne, rugby , cars and girls who sort miraculously ended up as an MP …pleeese.

                If he gets around to Sweden in 2021, they will be casting some serious flygskam his way!

                • Robert Guyton

                  Hmmmm…but how does this:

                  "He left Gisborne to study at Victoria, choosing politics "

                  Not equate with this,

                  "I was just a working class kid from Gisborne who cared about girls and cars and rugby more than politics that somehow fell into a passion for environmentalism"? He left Gisborne, then chose to study politics from which he was drawn to environmental politics; I don't get your angle.

                  The stories line up well and your "So much for the version of the Kid from Gisborne…" has no credibility, imo.

                  • Dukeofurl

                    Why didnt he just say , he 'was avid follower and student of politics ( and religion) and was a Greenpeace and Green party activist' so being a Green Mp was a natural thing to end up as.

                    "After a few years with Greenpeace, Hughes started working for the Green Party. Working closely with the MPs made him realise it was something he wanted to take further."

                    Nothing about that is 'falling' at all. Clear progression for many Mps…work for the party ..get on the list.

                    The Gisborne -MP jump had a lot of steps including Victoria, Wellington ..Green peace , Green party.

                    Reminds me of the Bill English 'story ' Dipton farmer to Parliament , when in reality he was married and living in Wellington as a Treasury analyst just before he was elected.

                    Its my thing about ( all) Mps who try run the PR spin over their real background before parliament… National is full of them ( remember Keys 'investment banking' , when he was a currency trader) but I didnt think a Green Mp would play the same game. Disappointing as I generally have a good point of view over their authenticity.

                    • weka

                      You do get that Hughes didn't write either article. Someone else compiled them from an interview.

                  • weka

                    Duke, who by his own admission knows almost nothing about GH, knows the Real Truth. Cos he knows how to read and had a solid capacity for confirmation bias.

                    ODT headline from the article he refers to: "Gareth Hughes: From boy-racer to MP"

                    At this stage I'm tossing up between Duke not having very good logic, or trolling.

                    • Dukeofurl

                      Check the " first person quotes" dear Weka from your link which is correctly described as an 'interview with Stuff

                      "I was just a working class kid from Gisborne who cared about girls and cars and rugby more than politics that somehow fell into a passion for environmentalism, somehow got to Parliament. So I've always pinched myself, the fact that I'm here."

                      That DOES mean its what Hughes said …you must know this is how its done . Direct quotes are what all journalists live for .

                      yet your claim is 'You do get that Hughes didn't write either article."

                      Like to retract that ?

                    • weka []

                      Of course not. Henry Cooke wrote the article and made the choices about which quotes to include.

                      No idea what you are on about. Hughes has said some things about his background, and you’re trying to make out it’s some big thing but you appear to be grasping at straws so you can declare he’s somehow now what he says he is. Seems stupid and a waste of time to me, especially coming from someone who knows nothing about him.

                      If you can’t tell the difference between a reporter reporting and someone writing an article themselves about themselves, that just takes me back the lack of logic in your comments here.

    • alwyn 6.3

      His plan for the first year out of Parliament actually sounds very similar to what Fitzsimmons said she was planning, as stated in her valedictory speech. There she said the following

      "Retirement is not really a concept I can imagine, but I do intend to take the gap year I never had after school – or maybe a gap six months – while the head clears and the future takes shape. I am looking forward to a lot of work on our farm where Harry has held the fort for too long on his own. I am looking forward to more family time, more music, films and theatre, and to three months in Europe visiting my son and old friends."

      That is admittedly only 3 months of overseas travel rather than a year but the principle doesn't seem that different.

      https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1002/S00123.htm

  7. solkta 7

    So a huge thanks to Gareth from me. Some people on here like to bleat about politicians but it is obvious to me that many have no idea just how hard Green MPs work and how this impacts on their family lives.

    • weka 7.1

      This. Also MPs like Hughes who are doing all that mahi but who don't get a lot of media attention for it. Solid. I wish parliament was full of MPs like him.

      • Rosemary McDonald 7.1.1

        " …wish parliament was full of MPs like him."

        In this vein I am organising life to fit in an evening event featuring Marylin Waring and her recently published memoir of her days in the Pit. I have read her book, but am looking forward to hearing her speak in the flesh. I understand she has presence.

        • weka 7.1.1.1

          If I was in the right part of the country, I would totally do that too! I saw her speak many years ago in Dunedin, it was formative to my politics. She is one of my favourite political people. Another one that got out early before the damage was done. In that Dndn talk, she addressed this, looking at what happened to women MPs over time the longer they were there (Shipley, Clark, Richardson and so on). Parliament is brutal.

  8. observer 8

    Given that he had a decent chance of a job in the Lab/Green government of 2020, it seems fair to take his stated reasons for quitting at face value. A hack would have hung around.

    He's half-right about the government not being transformational, if the measurement is rhetoric v reality. (That's hardly new in politics: Key was "ambitious for New Zealand". "on the cusp" of something or other, etc).

    But in terms of shifting the ground underneath, it has been skillfully managed, doing more than Clark, with less (she had two terms before the Winston veto kicked in, Dunne's veto in the second term was weaker). It has been transitional, and I do wish people would take a moment to consider the counter-factual: a Nat-NZF government more reactionary than anything under Key or Bolger, and a climate change nightmare.

    Anyway, good luck to Gareth in his retirement, and to the Greens, get some Ministers in on your list please, they will be needed!

    • weka 8.1

      good points. Transitional is a good framing. Best thing that could happen next would be a L/G govt with substantially more MPs. The problem here isn't the GP, or Shaw, it's that lefties in NZ won't vote Green in numbers. I don't get it. The more MPs they have the more they can match policy to their Principles. I've been waiting a long time for them to go back to the steady state economics stuff, but it's always been there waiting for the support from the public.

      Re more Green ministers, with Hughes leaving, there are only 3 MPs who aren't already ministers and two are first time MPs this term. If the number of MPs increases next year, there will be lots of inexperienced newbies, unless Mathers and Coates stand again.

      • The Chairman 8.1.1

        The problem here isn't the GP, or Shaw, it's that lefties in NZ won't vote Green in numbers.

        I (and dear I say others) stand with with Jack on this one.

        "His [Shaw's] approach to politics is, I think, different to what the Greens should be and I think the Greens were in terms of our roots," he says. "I'm concerned about the centrist drift of the party, particularly under James Shaw's leadership."

        https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/08/green-party-candidate-jack-mcdonald-quits-over-james-shaw-s-centrist-drift.html

        And with Gareth now departing (another left voice gone from within) will they drift further to the centre?

        • weka 8.1.1.1

          How many times have you voted for the Greens in the past 30 years? How many of those years have you been a member. Jack has his reasons for his opinion, and I agree with some and disagree with others. Your opinion just looks like drag 'em down reckons (again).

          I'm confident that Shaw is still the left of you. Have you listened to his maiden speech?

          • The Chairman 8.1.1.1.1

            3 times. Been a member for 20 years.

            I'm confident that Shaw is still the left of you.

            Your opinion just looks like drag 'em down reckons.

            [away you go out of my posts. Don’t troll me and if you want to comment under my posts in the future learn where the boundaries are. We’ve been over this before, too many times – weka]

            • solkta 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Bullshit. As someone who has been a member for more than 20 years i can tell you that you could not be as ignorant of the Party as your concern trolling has revealed if this were true.

              And are you really trying to tell us you were a member while not voting for them in three or four elections??

            • Robert Guyton 8.1.1.1.1.2

              Well, I'm cheering your decision, weka.

  9. Pat 9

    Does anyone else find it disturbing that politicians only feel free to 'speak the truth' upon exit?

    • Andre 9.1

      Well, speaking the truth before leaving would simply feed a media frenzy of political theatre critics frothing about internal dissent.

      So props to Gareth for keeping something that clearly bothered him a lot out of the public spectacle arena until he was taking himself out of it, for the sake of the party and the government.

      • Pat 9.1.1

        I know many of the rationalisations used to justify it but my point is it is a tacit admission that our society is organised and directed on deliberate delusion and falsehood…any wonder the result?

        • Andre 9.1.1.1

          I guess that's a reflection of whether one's worldview is about trying to do the best one can given the way things are, or about bemoaning that things aren't the way they 'should be'.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 9.1.1.2

          "…our society is organised and directed on deliberate delusion and falsehood…"

          Thanks Pat for stating that point succinctly, with an example – a useful lens IMHO.

          Must be draining trying to achieve progressive change in such and environment – think quicksand!

        • weka 9.1.1.3

          I don't think what Hughes is saying is news to people in green circles, so perhaps it's also about what the MSM does. At the moment, getting something supposedly contentious going on with the Greens will always get more media attention.

          Parliament is centred on concepts like collective responsibility. The Greens operate from consensus, so aren't usually going to speak outside of what they've decided together is the way to present things. They are definitely much more closed than they used to be, but that is largely because of the shit they got from the MSM in the past.

          We would definitely be better served with a more open and transparent political system, but I think to have that we need a shift from macho politics.

          • Pat 9.1.1.3.1

            Its not news to anybody but it lends credence to the meme"they do it too" and has led us to a place where the likes of Trump, Johnson et al can say anything and its dismissed as more political rhetoric….there was a time im sure when politicians said what they meant and had the courage of their convictions…and consequently the voting public had more confidence in what their vote meant

            • weka 9.1.1.3.1.1

              Hughes has in no way lied about his own politics or that of the Greens. There is a huge difference between respecting party unity and Trumpian politics. People who say that all politician lie are abdicating responsibility for useful political anaysis.

              I often hear the politics of MPs in their maiden speeches. This is why I'm not too worried about Shaw, he laid out where he stands right at the start.

          • The Chairman 9.1.1.3.2

            The Greens operate from consensus, so aren't usually going to speak outside of what they've decided together is the way to present things.

            Perhaps part of the reason for Gareth departing is so he can be more outspoken?

            • weka 9.1.1.3.2.1

              perhaps Winston Peters is sitting at home having a sherry.

              • The Chairman

                And your point is?

                Consider this if you wish, Gareth has just announced his departure, yet he's being more outspoken already. Could this be an expectation of more to come?

                • weka

                  My point is you're making shit up and concern trolling. No-one knows if Peters is having a sherry, and likewise you just pulled it out of thin air that Hughes is leaving so he can speak out more. He just described clearly why he is leaving and I wrote a post about.

                  See my mod comment above, and stay out of my posts for the next week.

  10. David Mac 11

    Steering a country must be a bit like steering a fully laden oil tanker. A tiny input can have immense repercussions. A turning circle of kilometres and brakes that take 20 minutes to result in a stop.

    We live in an accelerating world, remember when it took a blockbuster 12 months to come out on VHS? Younger people know nothing but this pace where a new phone is a relic in 18 months. This creates an appetite for fast obvious transformational change. We bash on, year to year touting…"Everything will be fabulous as soon as you vote us in next year". The rising super power China work with decade sized pieces.

    I don't think we should be doing much more than moving the oil tanker wheel more than a few degrees, monitoring what happens and expand on the sweet spots.

    Countries don't go from ugly duckling to swan overnight.

    • weka 11.1

      I would largely agree with this if it weren't for the extreme time pressures around climate change.

    • Stuart Munro. 11.2

      Ships don't have brakes, my friend.

      If we could get a process that net puts people into houses, instead of out of them, we would be heading in roughly the right direction.

      The commitment to that isn't there yet, and until it's happening, "left hand down a bit" won't quite suffice.

      • David Mac 11.2.1

        Yes, we have addressed the housing issue. We didn't move the wheel a few degrees and build on what worked. We constructed a hugely expensive new government department, wasted oodles of money and time, promised the earth and gave birth to Kiwibuild. Before it was even afloat the CEO had serious doubts and disembarked from the tanker as it chugged towards the rocks.

        • Stuart Munro. 11.2.1.1

          Housing is as much an economic as a construction issue. The decline in home ownership is a measure of rising poverty, and also reflects intemperate immigration policy. The neoliberal engines that have ground the faces of NZ's poor have not ceased to do so merely with the change of watch officers.

          Kiwibuild was neither fish nor fowl, and attempting to continue dysfunctional aspects like foreign companies building for offshore markets skewed it away from the necessary local focus.

          There are a lot of state 'CEO's to be rid of before the public service will function reliably, and until it does it won't deliver solutions.

        • David Mac 11.2.1.2

          Kiwibuild suited our appetite for bold transformational moves. It was great sound-bite fodder, Twyford said 100,000 homes 100,000 times.

          2 years on, offered the choice of having Kiwibuild or 500 new modern robust emergency housing apartments..I think we'd be better off if we acknowledged the stupidity of paying Viaduct penthouse apartment prices for tired motel units in the semi commercial districts in the less desirable locations of Auckland. 'Go and play on the Greenlane 5 ways Johnny.'

          I'm not suggesting we act slowly, I'm suggesting we do what works. If banning plastic bags at supermarkets earns some noticeable and valuable go forward, lets get all plastic packaging out of supermarkets. Watch those food producers move to change on their own coin.

          • Stuart Munro. 11.2.1.2.1

            I'm all for things working.

            But it astonishes me that a country that was once quietly notorious for its practical bent can no longer get houses built expeditiously.

            There's much to be said for careful incremental change – but that hasn't been the governance model in my lifetime – we've had drastic ideologically driven change, and it has sent poverty and inequality to unprecedented levels. I'd like to see solutions implemented with comparable enthusiasm and speed.

  11. The Chairman 12

    It's disappointing he's leaving. Another left voice from within lost.

    Wonder if he would have stayed if he was given a ministerial role or won the leadership?

    Nevertheless, on a lighter note his "hey Clint" moment was a classic.

  12. Blazer 13

    A near invisible M.P who won't be missed.

  13. mosa 14

    Reading Gareth’s comments i totally agree with him and i think it reflects the disillusionment in the wider Green party and beyond that the real change that is needed will not happen.

    This government has not and will not be able too make the bold decisions that are needed and if it secures a second term with the current ministers and members , there will just be incremental tinkering as that is their version of ” transformation “not the revolution that is sorely needed and Gareth talks about.

    His departure is regrettable but understandable.
    I hope he will be available for a new political movement that has too happen sooner rather than later.

    All the very best Gareth and thank you for serving.

  14. Exkiwiforces 15

    I could never get my head his campaign to send a Frigate down Sth when the Japs were conducting their so called “scientific whaling”, when the same time the Greens want to disband the RNZN’s Frigates and you are playing into the hands of the people like me who pro Frigate and pro blue Navy. As you can only have one or the other, but in saying I support his POV that something must done to protect the whales at the time and the Southern Ocean environment must protected as it will so become the next “Grey Zone” like has now happened in the Sth China Sea.

    https://www.aspi.org.au/report/grey-zone-operations-and-maritime-domain

    I hope the Greens keep him on as mentor for future young Green MP’s like him who step up to plate as we are going to need theses youngsters to step up into future and this coming from someone you completely disagree with the Greens Defence Policy.

    If it wasn’t for that muppet Keith Locke and that other what’s her name muppet and it’s Defence Policy I would a proud supporter of the Greens.

    All the best Gareth for the future and the family must come first, thats from my own experience after 20 odd years in the Queens uniform in NZ and OZ Force.

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