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Green Party candidates and vision speech (updated)

Written By: - Date published: 12:55 pm, February 26th, 2017 - 14 comments
Categories: election 2017, greens, james shaw - Tags:

Green Co-leader James Shaw, speaks at the Green Party Candidates Conference.

“Our Vision: 2017” – Speech to Green Party Candidate Conference, 26 February 2017
Excerpts,

Welcome to election year!

Today we can boast more party members than ever before, and also that we will likely field more candidates in the election than ever before.

This is a real vote of confidence in the future of the Green Party. And, actually, in the future!

We build on the best ever result for the Green Party in last year’s local body elections. There are now more Greens sitting around Council tables all over the country, than ever before.

For many New Zealanders, that will have been their first time voting Green.

And as we all know the first time is always the hardest.

By the end of this year, we will have new Members of Parliament elected from a list of people who are farmers, scientists, lawyers, teachers, local councillors, sports people, musicians, climate change negotiators, landmine campaigners, small business owners, Maori, Asians, Pasifika, young people, and many, many more.

We are, though, all out of former tobacco lobbyists.

Look around you. You are more diverse. You look more and more like the faces of modern New Zealand.

And we need that if we’re going to grow our vote and build a bigger, broader, deeper Green Party and Caucus – one that can exert real influence at the heart of a progressive Government.

So let’s look after one another and let’s stay focused on the goal ahead.

Now, have I mentioned the mountain we have to climb?

National is a political machine: well financed, disciplined, and sensitive enough to the polls to know when the tide is turning against them and when to adopt another one of our Green policies.

Shaw then outlines his assessment of English and where National have been dropping the ball (all the usual things).

On the Greens and Labour,

Today, I want Kiwis everywhere to know what you can rely on us for in Government and how we intend to govern.

Our Memorandum of Understanding with Labour was a strong first step for us.

The MoU is not just a commitment to work together to change the government, it is the foundation stone on which we are building a solid, long-term, relationship with Labour.

One that is going to last the distance.

We all know that Government involves compromise. It is, in fact, a defining feature of MMP.

And if we are to govern responsibly and for more than one term, we’re going to have to work together with Labour.

And we won’t always get our own way.

And neither will they.

I believe most New Zealanders want to see their elected representatives rise above petty partisanship to work together for the good of the country.

Coalitions are, of course, worked out after Election Day, when we know what the numbers are.

But our MOU with Labour shows Kiwis that there is a steady, alternative government-in-waiting.

I have to tell you that my experience of working with Andrew Little over the last few months, has given me a lot of faith that we will be a great team in Government.

Not in spite of our differences, but because of them. A creative tension between two progressive parties, with different heritages and different ways of seeing the world.

In a few weeks, Grant Robertson and I will announce our shared principles for how we manage the country’s finances when we’re in government.

He reiterates the Greens’ policies on transparency and their commitment to this.

I want families to know that we’re using all the resources of Government on the things that are going to most improve their lot in life.

I want them to know that a Green Government will invest in the basics so that all our families, including those who are hardest up, have what they need to provide for their children.

Central to this is income.

Climate change is not just the greatest challenge of our time.

It is the greatest challenge of all time, the most far-reaching consequence of the industrial revolution.

It is the greatest challenge of all time, the most far-reaching consequence of the industrial revolution.

In New Zealand, the three sectors with the highest emissions are agriculture, transport and energy.

And in all three– in fact right across the economy – there is a new industrial revolution taking place.

This high-value, low-carbon, clean-tech, green economic revolution, is not just the solution to climate change.

It is also the greatest economic opportunity in at least a generation, rich in well-paid jobs, investment, and industry.

Our greatest risk is that we are twiddling our thumbs and letting this opportunity pass us by, and at the same time missing our emissions reduction target by a country mile.

Today, I’d like to announce a new initiative to keep our rivers and lakes alive and to protect the quality of the water that comes out of our taps.

New Zealanders shouldn’t have to question their access to – or the safety of – fresh water.

A Green Party in Government is going to set a crystal clear bottom line on drinking water.

We intend to strengthen the law around how aquifers are protected under the Resource Management Act.

Our aquifers are water bodies of national importance, so we will update the Act to ensure that future development does not put them at risk from contamination and overuse.

A small tweak to the Resource Management Act will require that all those responsible for administering the Act recognise the importance of our aquifers to our health and to the health of rivers, lakes and streams.

So that is what you can count on a Green Government for.

We will be a stable Government that you can depend on to go the distance.

We will be held to the highest standards of transparency, responsibility and accountability.

We will work for decent incomes, housing, and education for all New Zealanders.

We will invest in clean energy, clean transport, and clean agriculture for a sustainable economy.

And we will protect and restore our forests, our birds and our rivers.

That is our commitment to you and to Aotearoa. That’s what you can depend on us for.

And yes, I know Bill English will say his Government is committed to those things too, and we should all just keep voting for them.

Well, let me tell you, National make announcement after grand, sweeping announcement: Swimmable rivers. Predator-Free. Electric cars. Housing. Climate change.

National are a whirlwind of activity and announcements, but devoid of results.

A Green Government will measure our success, not by mere activity, but by our results.

The former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said, “We are the first generation that can put an end to poverty and we are the last generation that can put an end to climate change.”

14 comments on “Green Party candidates and vision speech (updated) ”

  1. weka 1

    The Greens always do the best speeches at their conferences. This is the first speech I’ve heard in a while that makes me want to vote Green not just for pragmatic reasons but because I feel inspired.

    Shaw is basically game on, both in the challenge of changing the govt, but also in building a good strong relationship with Labour.

    then,

    “Climate change is not just the greatest challenge of our time, it’s the greatest challenge of all time”.

    Then, biodiversity, water and the interconnected nature of those things and what government can do in reality to protect us all.

    “Minister, I can smell the e-coli on your breath as you lean towards me”

    😈

    • coffeeconnoiseur 1.1

      Nup still a lost opportunity. Political parties don’t no how to engage with people.
      They need to paint the picture of the world they envisage and do it in plain English. Then when asked how have the answers on how.
      I had hoped for more from Shaw. But then he is an ex consultant.
      I don’t give a toss what your going to invest in…….well actually I do but that’s not the way to put it.
      I care about the outcomes!!
      I care about being able to drink from our rivers
      I care about every New Zealander being able to meet there essential basic needs
      I care about moving to a low cost or even free energy society.
      I care about having more time to be able to live my life and to not simply have to work in order to survive.
      and so on
      and so on…..

      • weka 1.1.1

        “They need to paint the picture of the world they envisage and do it in plain English. Then when asked how have the answers on how.”

        They just announced a pretty specific policy on aquifer protection. What didn’t you understand about that?

        btw, this speech was for GP candidates, that’s who it was pitched at. And GP activists to gear us up for the election campaign. If you are an undecided voter, I think you will get more direct messages during the campaign proper.

        edit, I just saw your comment below, so get it now. You want policy specifics. I agree, and I expect we will see them more over the coming months. This speech was more a motivational one IMO for those gearing up for the leg work.

        • coffeeconnoiseur 1.1.1.1

          Yes but to be clear not policy specifics (although I do want them and they are important) what I want is outcomes!
          Outcomes on everything and plain English aimed at the level of a 10 year old.
          and no not because I’m stupid. Its because I know what works. How to get peoples attention and get them on side.
          Outcomes for them (New Zealanders) and this country pitched at the level of a ten year old.
          Yep I am an undecided voter. My decision is whether to waste my time voting or not. I think this time I will have to as more of the same is unacceptable.

          My biggest issues are
          Clean water.
          Housing prices – The solution I want to see is shut the door on foreign buyers. You want to buy a house you better be a NZ Citizen or be living here.
          Child Poverty.
          The last two are parts of system collapse. I’d like a political party to have the balls to stand up and tell people this and explain why.
          Then paint me a picture for a better world and how to get there.
          Paint it so that it becomes my idea too.
          Its not hard, Its really not. It just means not doing things the way they have been done up until this point.

          ffs!

  2. weka 2

    Green Party NZ‏@NZGreens 7m7 minutes ago

    We are going to set a crystal clear bottom line on drinking water – @jamespeshaw #Green2017

    Green Party NZ‏@NZGreens 7m7 minutes ago

    Protecting our fresh water is something so basic, we’ve mostly taken it for granted. We can no longer be so complacent. #Green2017

    They’re now taking about not just swimmable rivers, but drinkable in terms of aquifers and aquifers needing specific protection under the RMA that forces those administering under the RMA have to take aquifers into account not just for human health but the health of waterways.

    Water as a taonga left to us by our ancestors, with acknowledgement to Māori culture for this concept.

  3. weka 3

    Coverage from Shub,

    Irresponsible water bottling companies and irrigating farmers who rely on underground freshwater aquifers are being eyed up by the Green Party.

    Co-leader James Shaw is promising a crackdown on intensive aquifer users by giving the underground water sources greater legal protection if the Greens are elected to Government.

    “Protecting our fresh water is something so basic that we’ve taken it for granted. We can no longer be complacent,” he says.

    He’s launched a Private Member’s Bill in the name of his MP Catherine Delahunty that adds a “clean groundwater” amendment to the Resource Management Act, making it a “matter of national importance”.

    “Taking too much water from aquifers for private commercial uses such as irrigation and water bottling has become an issue of increasing public concern,” says Mr Shaw.

    He says the flow-on effects of aquifer depletion are huge – with many spring-fed rivers and water holes in Canterbury especially, drying up into “puddles of algae”.

    The proposal will see tougher hurdles and mitigation measures for commercial users and farmers wanting to take water from aquifers.

    “Companies are bottling and exporting our freshwater, without paying for it. While at the same time, communities are on water restrictions and boil notices.”

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/02/greens-want-aquifers-protected-by-law.html

  4. weka 4

    People & Planet‏@DeborahMTNZ 2h2 hours ago

    [email protected] affirming the core role of Government in enabling families to thrive & protecting water for all NZers. #Green2017

  5. Roy 5

    Hell yes. They’re on-message all right. Surely people understand clean water is more important than some vague promise about being ‘competitive’ and such crap right? Right??

  6. Jenny Kirk 6

    Weka – I have David Parker’s speech in Christchurch recently about Labour’s policies and views on freshwater. Its fairly long. And substantial.
    Should I put it on here ? or should I just send it to you as a moderator for you to put up – if so, email address please.?

  7. saveNZ 7

    It’s not a bad speech, but sounds more like a policy document or check list than inspiration.

    The Greens should be able to both inspire with all the Natural landscape we have in NZ and make you angry with National for stealing that and make you determined to fight for that.

    I did not get enough emotion from that speech. It was not personal enough. There needs to be more storytelling.

    People remember anecdotes. I liked Metiria’s speech in 2016 .. in particular

    ‘There’s this story about Michael Joseph Savage before he became the first Labour Prime Minister. He was an opposition MP for a very long time, and during the 1920s he used to tour the country building support for his new party. And he warned people that the economic system was broken. That it was unfair. And that it had corrupted the political process. That the system was rigged in ways that were dangerous and unstable. And he talked about the role of government in fixing these problems. Preventing collapse. Making things fair again.

    And one day, the story goes, he asked a farmer at one of these meetings, ‘Do I have your vote, sir?’ And this farmer said, ‘Well, you’ve got a lot of big ideas. Some of them sound right. But you and your party have never been in government. And I’ve learned on the farm that you never let a man watch your stock unless they’ve done it before. So you do not have my vote.’

    Years later, in the mid-1930s, Labour still had never been in government. By then New Zealand was in the depth of the depression. The agricultural sector was the backbone of the economy and it had collapsed. There was mass unemployment. Mass farm bankruptcies. Riots. During the election campaign in 1935 Savage was by then the leader of the opposition. He went back to this province and saw the same farmer and said, ‘Do I have your vote yet? Are you going to let me look after your stock?’ And the farmer replied, ‘I don’t have any stock anymore and that’s why you have my vote.’

    I’ve been in parliament nearly fourteen years. I’ve been an opposition leader for almost seven of those. One of my goals and the aim of the Green Party is to try and stop history from repeating itself.”

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