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Kia kaha Greens

Written By: - Date published: 9:06 am, August 29th, 2020 - 304 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, covid-19, greens, jacinda ardern, james shaw, Metiria Turei, Privatisation, uncategorized - Tags:

The last three years have been an interesting time for the Green Party.

Back in 2017 for a short period of time the Greens looked like they may overtake Labour in terms of voting preference and become the dominant opposition party.  I remember Metiria Turei’s speech about her time on a benefit and the surge of support it generated.  I also saw push back by progressives who had a different recollection of what happened.  And I also saw the push back from ordinary people that thought that Metiria had gone too far.

Then there was the perfect storm.  Andrew Little was a great leader, so great that he realised that he was not optimal for the time and he stood down as leader.  Then Jacinda took over.  She was the worst possible Labour leader as far as the Greens are concerned.  A young liberal urban female leader who is deeply concerned about climate change will eat into their support. And so it happened.  Labour’s support surged as the Green’s support declined.

Then everyone went into Government with the Greens provided a supportive role.  They have been careful in their approach to governance, totally pragmatic and professional, and occasionally as Eugenie Sage has shown their totally rational and legally defensible approach to decision making has upset their base.

Recent turmoil generated by James Shaw’s decision to back funding for a shovel ready project for a private school, albeit one with a decidedly Green bent, is being lapped up by the right and used by some lefties keener to practice the politics of the inner glow than the realpolitik of election campaigning. Thomas Coughlan at Stuff has the details.

Green party co-leader James Shaw has been asked by party members to explain why his name appeared on a press release announcing $11.7 million of public funding for a private school.

The Greens support the phasing-out of public funding for private schools. Despite this, Shaw announced funding for a project at the Green School in Taranaki, which charges more than $20,000 a year in fees.

The announcement was made in his capacity as minister, rather than Green co-leader and went out on ministerial rather than party letterhead. Shaw is an associate finance minister and is jointly responsible for the $3 billion shovel-ready projects fund, which is where the money has come from.

He backs the project as something that will help create jobs in the Taranaki economy, and support the green construction industry, which aims to reduce emissions from construction.

“It’s not perfect but if you’re trying to achieve a number of objectives it achieves a number of those: it creates a number of jobs in the region, it supports the green building industry, and it’s in Taranaki, the region we’re trying to move on from oil and gas,” Shaw said.

To deal with matters Shaw last night called a zoom meeting of members and apparently hundreds attended. Radio NZ described the meeting in these terms:

Shaw apologised to members in a Zoom meeting last night, saying he would not make the same decision if given another opportunity.

He told the group of 460 people he had thought of the project as a building and construction project rather than an education one.

He said he has listened to the concerns raised and is working to find a solution.

I feel for Shaw.  Politics is difficult and when you have a pandemic and a major economic hit and you need to shovel lots of money out the door into projects that have to be ready to go you can quickly get yourself into awkward positions.

There is lots of money flowing around, shovel ready projects that will create jobs.  Many will go into roads which to be frank is the wrong decision.  Wanting to divert some of those funds into a private school that teaches the importance of the environment is not something that I am unduly upset about.  Sure public schools should be getting resources, and they are with their own separate allocation.  But the overwhelming goal behind the shovel ready projects is to create and maintain employment.

Of course National has responded in the same way that Labour and the Greens have for the past few years relating to internal party issues and have kept well away from it.  Nah just joking they are lapping it up big time.  Their hypocrisy levels are off the chart.  A party that can spend the same amount of money flying sheep to Saudi Arabia and building a sheep farm on private land in the middle of the desert in an effort to solve a non existing legal problem are not in a position to point the finger at anyone.

I hope the Greens sort this out quickly and get on with campaigning because this election is important, more important than possibly any previous election.  If they were to dip under 5% the prospect of a Judith Collins stint as Prime Minister increases significantly.  I cannot think of a more vital time for there to be a Green presence in Government, let alone Parliament.

As someone with long standing affiliation with the Labour Party pretty and a deep family commitment to the movement I will go into the voting booth and without hesitation vote for my Labour candidate, the talented Deborah Russell.

And I will then exercise my party vote.  It will almost inevitably be for Labour.  But I will think of my granddaughter and wonder if a Green Party vote may mean that the next Government may be braver in the decisions that it makes concerning our future and especially her future.  And I will then decide.

So to the brothers and sisters in the Green movement please sort this out. See you on the campaign trail.

304 comments on “Kia kaha Greens ”

  1. bwaghorn 1

    I agree with the imperator fish. Not worth sinking a party over

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      I don't.

      It may not be the best way to get a school dedicated to protecting the environment but it does, as a matter of fact, get us one.

      Now we just need to keep an eye on it so that any lessons learned can be propagated out to state schools.

      Basically, put some demands in with our largess.

      • Incognito 1.1.1

        The Green School already exists and is open for business [intentional pun]. The CRRF funding is for construction, not for the development of a new curriculum or something ‘educationalistic’ like that.

  2. weka 2

    Nice one micky!

    "…and used by some lefties keener to practice the politics of the inner glow than the realpolitik of election campaigning"

    that line is so good 😈

    • mickysavage 2.1

      Something Goff Whitlam said many years ago. I tried to find a source but could not …

      • RedLogix 2.1.1

        Same here Mickey. A great line that proves little is ever new in politics.

        • KJT 2.1.1.1

          Because following party policy and being morally consistent is so, "old fashioned".

          • Incognito 2.1.1.1.1

            Ethics is for academics in Ivory Towers.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethical_dilemma

          • RedLogix 2.1.1.1.2

            Judging by the anguish and volume of comments this piffling little issue has generated this past two days, I can only conclude the so called 'Green Party' membership seems far more possessed by a marxist hatred of the middle class than the anything to do with environmental policy.

            You really need to think about re-naming the party you support. It's turned a remarkably puce shade of Green.

            • solkta 2.1.1.1.2.1

              The Green Party IS the fucking middle class. Man you talk some shit.

            • Incognito 2.1.1.1.2.2

              I think the Green Party is a broad church and it seems that the ‘congregation’ is more than happy to socially distance in small groups of no more than 10 😉

      • Adrian Thornton 2.1.2

        @mickysavage….Strange that you would use this line… "…and used by some lefties keener to practice the politics of the inner glow than the realpolitik of election campaigning" hasn't Shaw just shown all of NZ that he is a incompetent and inept political player by the very action we are discussing right now? doesn't seem like 'realpolitik of election campaigning' to me.

        • Robert Guyton 2.1.2.1

          Psssst…Adrian…I think you've been left behind on this issue.

          Just sayin'

          • Adrian Thornton 2.1.2.1.1

            Look I know that Shaw exposing himself as the type of elitist green politician that is the reason greens have never been able to relate to the working classes or poor and disenfranchised doesn’t bother you in the slightest, but that says more about you than it does about me pal.

            • weka 2.1.2.1.1.1

              I'll just name what you are doing because I think it is arch bullshit. You already hate Shaw because you believe he is a neolib. In this instance you use his mistake to present him as incompetent and politically inept, despite producing no evidence to support that, and despite him being a widely well regarded politician across the political spectrum.

              Maybe we're not used to politicians being as honest as he is now, and I'm sure some will call his honesty political naivety, but he made a mistake. He hasn't demonstrated a pattern of incompetence nor political ineptitude. In fact his history of how he handled the political campaign, with no co-leader, after the fall out from Turei's speech, demonstrates that he is highly competent.

              I'd hate to be in your life where a single mistake gets one branded across one's whole skill base. Worse still that the branding is highly self serving. In some ways this is one of the worst tactics of political debate, dishonest even. You hate Shaw, that's fine. But misusing an event such as this to promote the hatred is odd given what it means for the left.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                yes Maybe Adrian's never made a mistake, but give them time.

                Shaw's public support for his co-leader in the run up to the 2017 general election provided some insight into his character, IMHO.

                https://www.teaomaori.news/greens-co-leader-james-shaw-supports-metiria-despite-benefit-and-electoral-fraud

                • weka

                  thanks for that link. Bookmarking for the next time a leftie starts running lines that Shaw abandoned Turei after the fallout from her speech.

                  Lots of people don't like Shaw, but mostly it seems to be based on things other than politics.

                • Adrian Thornton

                  This wasn't a mistake it was a political Freudian Slip that shined the spotlight on Shaw's ideological beliefs..which I personally find repugnant.

              • Adrian Thornton

                Firstly I don't hate Shaw, as I said a couple of weeks ago I was going to vote for him..

                " In this instance you use his mistake to present him as incompetent and politically inept, despite producing no evidence to support that, and despite him being a widely well regarded politician across the political spectrum."

                1. He personally just did one of the most inept political blunders so close to an election I have ever seen…what other evidence do you need?
                2. John key could be seen as well regarded across the political spectrum…who gives a shit about that? I would rather they feared and respected him like they did Helen Kelly.
                3. The Greens handling of Turei's speech was political ineptness at it's peak…I seem to remember them most days not putting out statements until the afternoon though out that crisis, thereby letting National front foot them and control the narrative..like a bunch of amatures.
                4. He is a centrist free market green liberal so I don't really see what he has to do with the left.
                5. I have employed many people though out my life and am still good friends with every single one of them, and I can tell you right now they all made plenty of mistakes while working for me…as we all do, so wrong there as well.

                This was no mistake it was more like a ideological freudian slip.

                • weka

                  1. He personally just did one of the most inept political blunders so close to an election I ave ever seen…what other evidence do you need?

                  I already said, a pattern of behaviour. One swallow doesn't not a summer make. What is the political purpose of presenting him as incompetent and inept as a politician and Minister?

                  2. John key could be regarded as well regarded across the political spectrum…who gives a shit about that? I would rather they feared and respected him like they did Helen Kelly.

                  The problem with macho politics is that we end up with a lot of macho dickheads in parliament and govt. I'll take Shaw's humanness over that any day.

                  3. The Greens handling of Turei's speech was political ineptness at it's peak…I seem to remember them most days not putting out statements until the afternoon, thereby letting National front foot them and control the narrative..like a bunch of amatures.

                  And yet this time they handled the fallout well. Looks to me like they learned a lot from 2017.

                  4. He is a centrist free market liberal so I don't really see what he has to do with the left.

                  citation needed. He is co-leader of the only party in parliament running a left wing policy platform.

                  5. I have employed many people though out my life and am still good friends with every single one of them, and I can tell you right now they all made plenty of mistakes while working for me…as we all do, so wrong there as well.

                  This was no mistake it was more like a ideological freudian slip.

                  Ah, so you do think it was a mistake not intentional. Good to know.

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    I'm just wondering..how do you (and earlier Robert Guyton) compose such a comprehensive answer to my comment…which appears before my answer is even out of editing time?

                    Surely, the whole point of editing time is to allow the us to, well, edit, without comment?

                    counting…1…2….3…

                    • weka

                      the number system you used made it very easy to reply quickly. In fast moving conversations there is no time to edit, unless it's for clarity in which case I put a note at the bottom of the comment saying I've edited. I'm used to twitter, there is no editing at all there and often things move very fast.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      For myself, I anticipate what you will say and write my response before your fingers even touch the keys.

                    • Incognito []

                      Minority Report; you are the Tom Cruise of TS, Robert!

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    2. John key could be regarded as well regarded across the political spectrum…who gives a shit about that? I would rather they feared and respected him like they did Helen Kelly.

                    "The problem with macho politics is that we end up with a lot of macho dickheads in parliament and govt. I'll take Shaw's humanness over that any day."

                    Therein I think lays the fundamental difference between you and me and I feel myself and a lot of people on this site. You see I don’t give a shit about whether a politician delivers his or her policies gently or robustly. What and all I care about is what the core ideology is that lays behind those words and actions.

                    You could argue that National is in fact the most honest political party in NZ, I mean everyone knows, and they proudly proclaim (usually) their revolting selfish ideological beliefs unashamedly, whereas you have to be pretty politically aware to know that both Ardern and Shaw are avid free market liberals, and are barely even left leaning where it counts, economically.

                    Labour and to a lesser extent The Greens ( certainly under Shaw’s leadership) either use or at times hide behind (when it suits them) the perceived softer cover of a left wing ideology that does not actually exist in Labour and only on the fringes of The Greens today.

                    So I guess I feel that while today (and Labour since 1984) both these parties trade off the good work done in the past by the actual Left wing elements of the NZ Labour Party and The Greens, then we lefties should hustle and bustle and shame and yell and scream and generally kick up a fucking uproar to at least make them keep tracking Left as much as we can, because if we don’t, then I can tell you right now they will naturally track right….as every other liberal left leaning party has done in the western world over the past few decades, including our own.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  "This was no mistake it was more like a ideological freudian slip."

                  Adrian, is that opinion, or fact? If the latter, then summarise the evidence (facts only please) so that I can join those baying for Shaw's blood.

                  God, how NAct party MPs and candidates must be cackling right now.

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    I think the green members have "sorted this out" and are, while somewhat shaken, relieved that the loose ends have been tied off. James said sorry, as he had to, given the reactions from many potential Green voters, but was clear (to my mind anyway) that the decision was a fair one, in the context it was made. I think his eating of humble pie will satisfy most of the Outraged, bar one or two of the Deeply Outraged who comment here, and in fact gains him credit and credibility: what – a politician admits he was wrong and apologises??? Tough week, James. For what it's worth, I rate you still.

    • mickysavage 3.1

      Good to hear Robert. I suspect that the media will give this more of a thrashing in the next day or two and National will be all over it for a while while ignoring the hypocrisy of their unwavering support for private schools.

    • weka 3.2

      My respect for him has increased. He looks like he fully understands the implications of the mistake for the Greens in the election campaign. His fronting up with the apology, engagement (members and those affected in education) and making amends, pretty much immediately, not only does him credit but sets a high bar for politicians and gives the public an example of how it's humans running our country and they have choices about how they behave. None of that was perfect, but I'll take doing the right thing over perfection any day. We are lucky to have him.

      Marama Davidson was really good in the zoom last night. My trust for the party has also increased in the past day.

      • gsays 3.2.1

        I couldn't agree more weka.

        Upon hearing about Shaw's my initial response was 'this is democracy in action'.

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    Well we shall see – a week is a long time in politics and there are a few yet to go before the election. But this is not the only issue that has been problematic for the Greens.

    It should concern Labour, in fact. The Greens need to get some wins on the board to be available as a coalition partner after the Covid issue is no longer dominant.

    Shaw made a good showing in the aftermath of the loss of Metiria. Perhaps he will do so again.

    • Labour 44 National 39 ACT 6 NZF 4 Greens 4.9 Wasted 2.1 PM Collins.

      • Stuart Munro 4.1.1

        Look, I understand the argument – though National 39 seems at present to be fantasy.

        But to secure my franchise as a voter, a party must meet my standards, not yours or Roberts or anyone else's. My sense of volenti non fit iniuria requires that I require more of the Greens than they have delivered to date, for all that I quite like some of them. It is the same yardstick by which I have rejected Labour since they went off the reservation and came down on the side of the slave ships — That crap was supposed to end with Wilberforce.

        • Bearded Git 4.1.1.1

          Stuart….fair enough…all voters have many things to weigh up…I just wonder how you and lots of other people would feel on the day Collins appointed her cabinet under the voting outcome above.

          • Stuart Munro 4.1.1.1.1

            It is less the appointments and more the carts moving down the streets, past the shuttered houses, crying "Bring out your dead!" that concerns me at present.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2

          I require more of the Greens than they have delivered to date

          The Greens have delivered quite a bit despite not being in government.

          • Chris T 4.1.1.2.1

            How many of those in the link are Greens specific influence and how many are Labour achievements?

            • Incognito 4.1.1.2.1.1

              How many did get through the NZF checkpoint despite the ‘handbrake’?

              • Chris T

                I was just wondering how much of those the Greens can genuinely claim as achievements due to their ideas and how many Labour would say are due to them.

                • Chris T

                  Sorry that was badly explained by me.

                  What I mean is how much of that would have happened if the Greens weren't there and their votes were given to Labour.

                  Purely hypothetical silly question I know.

                  They just come across as thinking they are more relevant to the govts changes than they probably should be given credit for,

                  • Incognito

                    Without the Green Party we wouldn’t have this Government.

                    Is that relevant enough for you?

                    • Chris T

                      As I said. It was purely hypothetical.

                      If the govt hadn't needed the Greens, how much of that link would have been done any way?

                    • Incognito []

                      In other words, if Nat/ACT/NZF had formed a coalition how much of those achievements would have been achieved?

                      Answer: none.

                      Next!

                    • Chris T

                      I am obviously struggling to get a point across.

                      I agree with you most if not all wouldn't in your scenario.

                      But the thread is about the Greens, and my question was about the link posted of their proclaimed achievements.

                      I am simply questioning their parties relevance. If you don't like this please just tell me you are giving me a warning, and I apologise now before you ban me again.

                    • Incognito []

                      Your point is hypothetical. My answers/replies to your hypotheticals are aimed to keep it as real/realistic as possible.

                      I have already stated that I think that all of the listed achievements are real and that the Greens can rightfully claim credit for these.

                      I have also pointed out the relevance of the Green Party in and to this Government.

                      If you find yourself going in circles maybe it is time to consider ditching the irrelevant hypotheticals and instead providing some meaningful input into the conversation, yes?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      "I am obviously struggling to get a point across."

                      Yes, and the question is; why do you keep trying?

                    • Chris T

                      Thanks.

                      All good.

                      I might be wrong, but I seem to remember Labour claiming credit for some.

                      I suppose you would argue it is a joint effort thing.

                    • Incognito []

                      Yup

    • Anne 4.2

      Stuart Munro @ 4
      Its my view the Nats and their media shills are paranoid about the formation of a Labour/Green government so they're aiming to destroy the perceived weaker link – the Greens. The boot would be on the other foot and could spell an end to the you scratch my back I"ll scratch yours number they have operated for years. It was never more apparent than in the John Key era.

      If I had my way they would be scooped up and tossed out of the country. HDPA can crawl back to Sth. Africa taking her sugar daddy hubby with her. The Hosk and his wife could be packed off to Trump Land and we could drop Duncy boy off in Perth – far enough away for his squeals to be unheard.

      Dreams are free.

      • Stuart Munro 4.2.1

        Quite right. The relationship between the Gnats and certain journalists is what is described in studies of corruption as a Log Rolling Alliance . A famous example was the so-called 'marriage of iron and rye' in 19th and early twentieth century Germany, whereby the land owning gentry supported the industrialists against their common progressive enemies.

        Of course, for a journalist to go far down this road they must completely abandon their professional responsibilities to truth and balance, and they become vulnerable to being ousted. There may be studies on breaking up such pernicious relationships somewhere.

  5. Andre 5

    Much of the commentary inflates this one issue into the entire judgement and record of the Greens, and lacks the perspective that this particular issue is just one part of a big picture. Often deliberately. By critics and defenders.

    It's also a tiny amount of money in the context of how much is being thrown around with abandon at the moment. It's a rounding error in the extra cash just thrown at Transmission Gully, for just one example.

    Having said all that, for mine I'm still of the view that this coming on top of many other aspects of the Greens I find unpalatable, may have shifted my balance away from the Greens. Because of what it says about the priorities and decision-making and simple fitness to govern of those that made this decision.

    • Andre…presumably you are shifting your vote to those great socialist and green advocates The Labour Party then? (sarc)

      • Robert Guyton 5.1.1

        I suspect the truly reactionary will sign-up to the Billy Party for the comfort that provides the most jittery amongst us.

        • Bearded Git 5.1.1.1

          smiley They have my vote Robert-wonderfully balanced and progressive policies.devil

          • Robert Guyton 5.1.1.1.1

            What impresses me most about Billy is his willingness to work alongside of others: Hannah Tamaki, whom he wooed, but unfortunately failed to coalesce with (she spurned his advances) and Jamie-Lee Ross, that paragon of virtue and trustworthiness, who embraced Billy without reservation. Sadly, the White Ribbon people failed to get Billy's story, and showed him the door, citing their concern about his grip on reality. His followers, or at least the ones I've spoken to, are open-minded to a fault; you can see the farthest reaches of the universe when the light is behind them. Their plethora of concerns; from 5G to Jacinda's contract with the Illuminati, weighs heavily upon them and Billy's willingness to represent those existential concerns in Parliament (all they have to do is vote him in; he'll do the rest (if Jamie-Lee doesn't grab his seat out from under him). So yeah, your support for the Billy Party is heartening and given that you're a bearded man like myself, not unexpected. With your vote and mine, Billy's as good as in!

      • Andre 5.1.2

        Yes, at the moment it's looking a bit more likely I will vote Labour rather than Green.

        You say socialist like it's universally axiomatically agreed to be a good thing. It's not. As far as I'm concerned, it's not fucking wanted. I've seen too much of places and times that call themselves socialist, and they have been far more fucked up than even what we have now. I much prefer a mixed economy like we have now, but with some things that are currently privatised that are really better provided by the state moving back into the state sector.

        • left_forward 5.1.2.1

          Socialism is a good thing. Axiomatically, it aims to organise the means of production, distribution, and exchange to be owned and regulated by the community as a whole.

          Why are you so afraid of such a great idea?

          • Andre 5.1.2.1.1

            Collective ownership is fine – indeed preferred – for natural monopolies (eg water), mature industries with high barriers to entry (eg grid-level electricity generation and distribution), services needed rarely where the consumer really can't make informed choice (eg hospital level medical care), services universally needed that have significant effects on life options (eg education).

            Where collective ownership is really crap is in innovation. Advances like Tesla or Apple or HP etc have made are vanishingly rare under collective ownership structures. It's the individual drive of a Musk or Jobs or Hewlettt & Packard that causes the development of ideas into products that wide numbers of people want enough to part with precious resources to get. Under collective structures, that drive either gets suppressed or diverted into creating useless wank for the glorification of the collective.

            So that’s why I’m a fan of mixed economies. Collective ownership where it makes sense, capitalism where it helps create a more vibrant interesting society.

            https://theconversation.com/russias-great-at-invention-but-stinks-at-innovation-35940

            • Incognito 5.1.2.1.1.1

              Sounds like a familiar circular argument:

              The Public Service needs to cut costs to the Taxpayer and therefore focusses on so-called core services – they are still expected to break even because of the user-pays dogma. Specialist expertise is lost and contracted out to expert consultants and private specialised companies. In the process, Public Service loses any capability and capacity to innovate and develop, including leaders and visionaries who are replaced by managers, as this is not their mandate, which further fuels the perpetuum mobile (merry-go-around) of shifting more to the Private Sector.

              It is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    • weka 5.2

      The decision was made by Shaw as one of the budget Ministers, the GP caucus wasn't involved, the details were restricted because of the Budget confidentiality rules. I'm confident that had the GP caucus been involved, the decision wouldn't have been made. If you think what Shaw did is such a big thing as to question his competency to be in government, you might want to look at Labour's involvement in that decision making process and their education policy.

      The explanation of what happened is reasonable and doesn't suggest incompetency by Shaw or the Greens.

      The reason people are so upset is that publicly funded education is dear to many people's hearts. The concern about that is valid imo. What I see missing is the public having good understandings of how government works, which is why it's taken a few days for the message to get through about the funding streams and how the process happened. I struggle to understand a lot of what govt does, but I find it prudent to assume that the issue is usually my lack of knowledge rather than the usual reasons people jump to in the haste to assign blame.

  6. Cinny 6

    All this division over one small school, what the actually fuckery people?

    He's admitted he got it wrong, that in itself speaks volumes about his character.

  7. Are there really Green voters who will now not vote Green because one of the shovel-ready building projects to receive Covid-19 response funding is for a private school? I can't really picture that level of fuckwittery, but people never do cease to surprise me so maybe there are one or two out there somewhere.

    • Cinny 7.1

      Nailed it PM yes

    • weka 7.2

      the hubris in thinking that we can rely on Labour alone for the forseeable future is astounding. It's like the clock's been wound back and climate change isn't lapping at our toes.

      I am more and more convinced that the Greens have this role in the NZ psyche where we want them to be our conscience, the Good party, but at the same time we hate them and look for any opportunity to tear them down. Probably because they reflect values we know we aren't living up to but want to.

      That and their very presence pokes at the left's inability to work coherently together.

      • Cinny 7.2.1

        Probably because they reflect values we know we aren't living up to but want to.

        YES !!!! So very well said Weka

      • Psycho Milt 7.2.2

        …their very presence pokes at the left's inability to work coherently together.

        Hadn't thought of it that way, but yes – in theory we shouldn't need a dedicated environmental party, but in practice it turns out we sure as hell do.

    • Precisely Psycho. In fact this obvious media attack over a relatively minor issue should be a warning to anyone hoping for a Lab/Gr coalition government.

      Sue Bradford should STFU….or make sure her comments are proportionate/give them some context.

    • Wayne 7.4

      Some voters will shift from the Greens to Labour, which judging by the reaction of some Labour MP's is not seen as a bad outcome.

      • Robert Guyton 7.4.1

        I expect no discernible shift at all. James Shaw mopped-up well and we are a forgiving tribe when we see contrition and ownership of mistakes smiley

      • Jester 7.4.2

        This will be a win for Labour as Hipkins and Robertson are not looking to help Shaw.

      • Psycho Milt 7.4.3

        You may be right Wayne, but I find that no more comprehensible. If someone is outraged enough to change their vote because a private school's building project got some funding, they're going to die of apoplexy when they see the things Labour's willing to fund.

        • Dennis Frank 7.4.3.1

          Wayne is only likely to be correct in regard to leftists doing moral outrage while unable to think simultaneously. A tiny percentage!

          As soon as they realise that the funding proposals came from Grant Robertson, after he had approved their inclusion in his budget, they may think Labour is just as biased against using that extra money for state schools (instead of the Green School) as they believe James is.

          Perception that Labour has no better a moral compass than the Greens is likely to ensue. Their tiny wee brains may deduce that there is no rational basis for a switch to Labour.

          • Drowsy M. Kram 7.4.3.1.1

            Some with "tiny wee brains" have even learned to read & write, dontcha knowwink

            • Dennis Frank 7.4.3.1.1.1

              But rational deductions are way harder! Imagine the Greens having to decide whether or not to amend their education policy, to authorise taxpayer part-funding of educational facilities dedicated to teaching resilience and sustainability to enable the survival of future generations.

              Imagine the difficulty some members will encounter with this prospect. "You mean I have to change my mind?? How does rational deduction even work?? Too many long syllables, makes my head hurt."

              • In Vino

                'Rationalise' is a good term for people who justify the betrayal of a principle, then try to sound superior about it.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                "looking askance at the weirdos"

                "tiny wee brains" "Too many long syllables, makes my head hurt."

                These jibes can change hearts and minds – keep 'em coming Dennis.

                • Incognito

                  People love mental shortcuts such as ‘common sense’, as it saves them from doing the slow thinking required to digest complex issues.

                  • In Vino

                    Complex rationalisations for the betrayal of principles?

                    If you look at my comment 11 below, you will see that I was earler appeased by James's apology, etc.

                    The scorn you and Robert have since shown to anybody not prepared to immediately join the simplistic instant forgiveness and approval group has provoked me to argue back.

                    Privatisers always offer sweeteners with their policies, then accuse opponents of ridiculous, ideologically-based opposition to innocent policies that can only do good for the beloved kiddies…

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Hey! Demanding people instantly forgive? No way! I called for calm, reflection, information gathering and reason. I don't care a whit whether the hot-headed forgive James. I would like them, if they could be bothered, to understand what happened, rather than just giving voice to how they felt at various points in the release of the story.

                    • Incognito

                      The scorn you and Robert have since shown to anybody not prepared to immediately join the simplistic instant forgiveness and approval group has provoked me to argue back.

                      O’kay then, I confess I am the self-appointed Leader of the Simplistic Instant Forgiveness and Approval Group. I also happen to be a founding member of the Wait Until You Have All The Facts Cult. Membership is free and all you have to do is sign up; you can leave any time you like because we can still enjoy freedom of thought and speech. I refuse to be a member of the Simplistic Unthinking Cacophony Kindergarten Syndicate (SUCKS) but that is my prerogative.

                      For the record, again, I think the CRRF funding for the Green School is justified and I really don’t care who signs off on that. Shane Jones thinks “we should step aside from the ideological tantrums” and I think that is an excellent suggestion.

                      Green School funding: Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones says controversial project isn't a 'pig in the poke'

                      Now, heap your scorn upon me as much as you like but remember to be kind.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Shane Jones said something worthwhile!

      • miravox 7.4.4

        "…which judging by the reaction of some Labour MP's is not seen as a bad outcome."

        In New Plymouth I've seen a lot of anger over funding going to a private school they care nothing about ahead of adequate funds to build and repair public schools (they don't believe the education build funds distributed earlier will do it). There's even a petition going around to get the decision overturned.

        The Greens don't have a hope here, but labour may believe they do have a chance of increasing their own vote, but the vote is soft. I can't imagine Labour want to be seen as being to blame for funding decision in Taranaki, or even to try and explain or excuse it.

        If James Shaw can sort this out with his party, all the better for everybody.

        • Sacha 7.4.4.1

          In New Plymouth I've seen a lot of anger over funding going to a private school they care nothing about ahead of adequate funds to build and repair public schools

          Interesting. Who is explaining to them that this fund is not for schools?

          • miravox 7.4.4.1.1

            "Who is explaining to them that this fund is not for schools?"

            Certainly not the Nationl incumbents. It will be pretty hard for Lab/Green to explain the nuances of funding pots to people in a blinding rage about their children not having a learning environment parents feel they deserve. Tbf the petition organisers have explained this clearly.

            • Rosemary McDonald 7.4.4.1.1.1

              …people in a blinding rage about their children not having a learning environment parents feel they deserve.

              Simply shocking! That folks would get all emotional at state schools not having enough money to fix the leaks and hire support staff so the common kids can do the learning.

              Tbf the petition organisers have explained this clearly.

              Doubly shocking!! These reactionaries actually do understand the difference between Education $$$ and CRRF $$$ and they're still going all petioney on the Greens arses? Who would have thunk it?

              • miravox

                "Simply shocking! That folks would get all emotional at state schools not having enough money to fix the leaks and hire support staff so the common kids can do the learning."

                Yup – this decision reeks of being totally unaware of how patiently people have been waiting for improvements in schools, and therefore totally unaware that public anger would erupt when a decision was made to give money to a venture their children are excluded from. First they came for their jobs, and now they're ignoring their kids.

                I'm tired of seeing all the changes that keep getting made for environmental improvements or social good as buckets of money are moved from one cash-starved group to another and the middle classes and wealthy sit above it expecting public goods they don't want to pay taxes for, and raking in profits.

                It's these kinds actions from the apparent left over the last couple of decades that have led to increasing the working-class conservative vote all over the world – it's directing their anger somewhere and at least the hypocrisy is absent.

                However, I'm not a Green Party member (I want then in govt though – I do want our planet to have a chance of surviving) so it doesn't really matter to me how the party politics plays out for them… as long as they hold onto that 5 percent of the vote they need to stay in parliament.

                • weka

                  One of the useful things to come out of this is more discussion and getting informed around how government works. The buckets of money analogy is useful in making visible the realities of what happens, although it also makes visible the core problem for NZ, that the middle classes want poverty and environment solved just not at the expense of their lifestyles and aspirations.

                  Thus, a GP on 5% while necessary is nowhere near sufficient.

                  • miravox

                    "Thus, a GP on 5% while necessary is nowhere near sufficient"

                    Totally agree, 5% is only the first hurdle. Frustrating that it's jeopardised. However, I do believe the Greens have done a good job in working this through.

              • RedLogix

                That folks would get all emotional at state schools not having enough money to fix the leaks and hire support staff so the common kids can do the learning.

                Meanwhile back in the real world, as distinct from "politics of the inner glow", the awkward truth here is that the existence of the private independent school sector actually saves the taxpayer money to the tune of some hundreds of millions per year.

                All those horrible middle class parents who can afford to pay for the specific style of education they want for their children … actually subsidise in a small way the education of the rest.

                Exactly what is it that you are objecting to here?

                • miravox

                  "the private independent school sector actually saves the taxpayer money to the tune of some hundreds of millions per year."

                  Even if that's true (I'm not going to argue it – I'll leave it to someone who knows more about this than me) the massive objection I have to it is that elite schools lead to elite jobs for their elite pupils and kids at state schools do not easily get the opportunity to compete if they don't have the same resources to learn. Remember, New Plymouth has a highly-educated, well-paid population and their future is being threatened – moreover the same people who are getting rid of their jobs are neglecting their children's needs, and their opportunity for a well-paid future. Children of oil & gas engineers need as much knowledge of the new economy as anyone else, and if not in a state school here, then where? How is this boil-over of anger for anyone with an ear to ground so hard to understand?

                  I can't believe I'm having to stick up for New Plymouth – a place I have no actual affinity for, but really, alarm bells should have been going off in all directions when this proposal was presented.

                  • weka

                    largely agree with this, except it's not like Shaw could have shunted the funding to the state schools in need. None of the shovel ministers by the time the Green School proposal was on the table.

                    The boil-over anger makes sense to me. Harder to see is the wedge that is being driven deeper via the covid response. It's easiest for me to see in the two tier benefit system that Robertson now wants to make permanent, but I think what you are pointing to needs to be expanded on and made much clearer.

                    • miravox

                      "it's not like Shaw could have shunted the funding to the state schools in need"

                      Yeah, they're different things. It's how people are seeing it is the problem – what the policitians call the optics, I suppose.

                      I'm not losing sight of the reality that the Greens have no hope here anyway! – quite ironic really, but Labour does.

                  • RedLogix

                    the massive objection I have to it is that elite schools lead to elite jobs for their elite pupils and kids at state schools do not easily get the opportunity to compete if they don't have the same resources to learn.

                    All a bit of a leftie myth really. Most independent schools offer a specific style of education, rather than being 'elite' or offering an overwhelming advantage of any sort. Here in Australia (where private schooling is even more prevalent than in NZ), the data shows very little difference in general outcomes between the two types of school on the whole.

                    The blunt truth here is that the best predictor of educational outcomes is still the socio-economic status of the parents. You can look at the examples of say Auckland Grammar (public) and Kings College (private) who both use different mechanisms to attract children of upper middle class, and yet both deliver reliably strong outcomes.

                    • miravox

                      Sorry, RL totally disagree with you here. I'm highly educated working class and also married to a person who is the product of an elite childhood and education. I'm talking about what I see here, which is just as valid and lacking in statistics as your observation.

                      The thing with the green school – it offers itself to the elite. It offers schooling for the new economy for kids that is not available in state schools. Those jobs are Taranaki's future, the population has been told, and their kids are excluded from accessing the tools they need so to allow for kids from elsewhere to get them – and the higher-end professional jobs at that. That's the blunt truth to many mums and dads here.

            • Incognito 7.4.4.1.1.2

              Some confusing if not misleading stuff in that petition. I’m not surprised after all the commentary here on TS. However, it is grassroots democracy in action, so be it.

              https://www.change.org/p/james-shaw-reduce-the-green-school-funding

        • Incognito 7.4.4.2

          Don’t worry, Labour is playing it safe and Chris Hipkins has already said he wouldn’t prioritise it. Good man, because he wasn’t even part of the decision-making process of the CRRF and I doubt he even knew the criteria. FFS, that guy hadn’t even read his own Ministry’s COVID-19 testing strategy.

          https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2020/08/health-minister-chris-hipkins-admits-he-hasn-t-read-ministry-of-health-s-covid-19-testing-strategy.html

          By all means, vote for Labour but at least let it be an informed decision based on facts and not mis- and disinformation.

          • miravox 7.4.4.2.1

            "By all means, vote for Labour but at least let it be an informed decision based on facts and not mis- and disinformation."

            Oh, I feel pretty informed. I will vote left – which party will depend on what we need to form a government, not an individual’s mis-steps.

            I can’t say the same for many Taranaki parents who have already taken a few blows from the coalition govt and are natural National (albiet wavering) voters.

  8. Dennis Frank 8

    The announcement was made in his capacity as minister, rather than Green co-leader and went out on ministerial rather than party letterhead. Shaw is an associate finance minister and is jointly responsible for the $3 billion shovel-ready projects fund, which is where the money has come from.

    That's the key point, I reckon. Leftist partisans onsite here have been pushing the betrayal framing since the story broke, but their sectarianism prevents them seeing the reality of what happened. He was just doing his job.

    The story around the decision-making process is murky still however. James was long-winded in his detailed report of the history of that on Zoom last night, and I suspect the 400+ members in his audience didn't achieve clarity of comprehension.

    I got a few impressions. First, it was a bureaucratic process. Second, it was a budget initiative – so already had the coalition seal of approval before it reached James. Third, his list of exclusions didn't contain the category into which the Green School falls.

    Re that third point: such Green schools are a new social organism and must be treated as such. I've always agreed with the relevant principle in our education policy (`phase out taxpayer funding of private schools') but I agree with the decision James made. Such schools will serve as the default pathway to the future (to enable collective survival) unless the state curriculum designers can be dragged kicking and screaming from the 19th into the 21st century!

    • Robert Guyton 8.1

      It took a while, but now we're getting some reasoned thinking and reasonable conclusions coming through. Flare-ups like this one are becoming the new norm. Riding them out or letting them wash harmlessly over is the challenge for people like me who believe themselves to be considerate and rational smiley

      • Dennis Frank 8.1.1

        considerate and rational

        I prefer considerate and irrational, inasmuch as my intuitive mind always gets better results than my rational mind. 🙃 And yeah, surf those rogue waves of sociopathic leftism!

        James, in his assoc ministerial finance role, was serving a higher moral purpose: consensus governance. That's been enabled by MMP. Party principles have insufficient leverage to apply at the upper level of the coalition. Leftists who don't get this are liable to be condemned as wreckers if they persist in their ignorance.

        • Robert Guyton 8.1.1.1

          Irrational or beyond rational? The creative power of non-rational, visceral, intuitive contemplation is the way forward for us humans. I do believe though, that anything conceived in those non-rational, creative spaces needs to be brought under the microscope of rational thought, tested for soundness before being presented on the open market of public awareness. If you want it to sell. Artists need not concern themselves with this requirement. Poets neither.

          • Dennis Frank 8.1.1.1.1

            That's very true Robert. I recall having to use my rational faculties via discipline when working with the Greens in the early '90s.

            It's like you create a space in your mind for the group, and evolve a language to use there. Your spontaneous personal reactions get marginalised. That disciplined thinking gets articulated on a common-ground basis, and via repetition this combo then embeds as political praxis…

  9. Pat 9

    I understand that Shaw has taken ownership of this decision but there are elements that appear to be being overlooked.

    This was a cabinet decision after work by a panel provided a short list of projects that met criteria by the IRG…

    https://www.rmla.org.nz/2020/04/02/government-seeks-infrastructure-projects/

    …its responsible Minister would appear to be Shane Jones.

    The initial response of the upset public was to direct thier ire at 'the Government" as demonstrated by the acting principals open letter to the PM….Labour quickly distanced themselves from this , something Shaw could not do as he the previous day had publicly promoted it. NZ First are nowhere to be seen.

    The Greens are going to carry the can for this poorly thought through Government decision because of Shaws eagerness to present it as an environmental (debatable) win.

    With nowhere else to go the electoral damage is likely to present as a non vote rather than a changed vote…..hopefully insignificant.

  10. Ad 10

    OMG the amount of shit Labour gets on this site for actually running the country, and the Greens need a whole post of hand holding?

    Harden up Greens.

    Time Shaw and Co were in Cabinet doing actual hard work and taking the knocks every week, not fucking around on the sidelines pandering to squealing infants in your base.

  11. In Vino 11

    We used to scorn the 'My country right or wrong' attitude. What about political parties?

    I personally am much happier now that James has fronted up, admitted the nature of the error, and apologised.

    I now feel better about party vote Green. Provided that the damage has in fact been controlled, and the Greens can maintain a realistic hope of getting that 5%.

    If not, my fear of the Nats getting in would prompt me to swallow principles, and party vote Labour, just to avoid the utter waste of my Party vote. The lesser of two immediate evils.

    Now that the error has been apologised for, I am glad that the election was postponed.

    The Greens need no more errors in the recovery time available.

  12. Shanreagh 12

    Storm in a teacup built on the back of a lack of knowledge how government works. Also built up and up by a 'gotcha' media and other players intent on taking out a confrere of the Labour party and a possible future coalition partner should one be needed.

    The sooner those wanting

    a) a Green showing in Parliament

    b) a Labour led coalition, if need be

    quieten down about this the sooner we will be able to see the role of an unsympathetic media and the sooner this will go away.

    He announced it as a member of the Government ie as aMinister in the Coalition government. What say he had announced a shovel ready local road or something like that…..

  13. Jester 13

    At least Shaw has done done something that no other MP from Labour, National or NZF ever do…………………….he has admitted making a mistake!

    • Herodotus 13.1

      Are you spinning this !! – Just like every other "acolyte" – He listened to others and couldn't but hear the roar of criticism pointed in his direction, and had to do something to reduce the damage he has instigated . And to read hear the justification of this is not as bad as National – So the Greens now are at the low point with followers now justifying JS actions against National ?

      "Shaw reportedly apologised to members in a Zoom meeting last night. He told the group of 460 people he thought of the project as a building and construction project rather than an education one.

      He said he’d listened to the concerns raised and was working to find a solution. He said he wouldn’t make the same decision if given another opportunity."

    • Dennis Frank 13.2

      I didn't hear any explanation of why he thought it was a mistake (on the Zoom call). I heard him acknowledge that he didn't realise it was a private school. If the budget proposal was framed as a regional infrastructure development, that would explain why he approved the funding.

      Just guessing, but probably a mistake facilitated by how Grant Robertson and/or treasury document writers implementing his instructions described the project. Understandable. James seems to have been acknowledging he ought to have read between their lines. He mentioned the pressure of the times (trying to process his workload during the intensifying of the pandemic). That would tend to hurry one up.

      • weka 13.2.1

        Why it was a mistake? Because it contradicted GP policy at the values level, and created controversy during the election campaign.

        • Dennis Frank 13.2.1.1

          So, the hindsight theory, eh? I'm not disagreeing. Fits with the flawed way humans operate. Perhaps James does believe he ought to be able to exercise godlike powers at all times, and it was a mistake not to do so. I think my explanation is more likely although so prosaic that I can see why others aren't impressed.

          So in essence the critics believe these thoughts ought to have occurred to James when he encountered the line item in the long list of many such: "Green School, eh? Hmmm, I wonder if it is public or private, better google it & have a look because I can't reasonably expect the Greens to endorse Green education regardless – to do so would imply that the brand isn't just meaningless drivel."

          • Dennis Frank 13.2.1.1.1

            Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. I took, from his comment about not realising it was a private school, that he was mentally framed by the list of items to be rejected that he also mentioned, and private schools teaching sustainability as the primary objective of the syllabus weren't on anyone's radar (let alone on that list).

            So could be his apology for the `mistake' was for not realising that one may have suddenly entered into existence in Aotearoa, last summer. Apologies for lack of omniscience could be a good idea on that basis. Perhaps!

            If he had been omniscient and detected the manifestation – or had it reported to him – then he could have realised he ought to run the situation by the Green caucus. I can see how the hindsight theory can be thus rendered elegant… 😉

            • weka 13.2.1.1.1.1

              afaik, he wasn't allowed to run it past caucus, the projects were to be held confidential to the budget Ministers. Pretty sure if he had been able to take it to caucus, the decision would have been no.

              He could have asked his staff to check GP policy, but to do that he would have had to think about it in Ed terms.

              I don't know if he forgot about the private school policy, or if he knew about it but still didn't make the connection. Or maybe he remembered the policy but didn't think it through because he wasn't looking at Vote Education, but at a special covid regional development fund for saving jobs and here was a climate friendly project.

              To me it looks like someone working under stress and making one of those highly regretable mistakes, the significance of one only gets in hindsight.

              It was a mistake though.

              • weka

                Catherine Delahunty's comment about maybe he has become isolated from the party was a good one. Initially I thought she meant it as a criticism of Shaw, but now I see it more as an acknowledgement of the structures that he has to work within that he doesn't actually have much choice about. I expect the Greens to look at this and how to mitigate and adapt around that.

  14. Descendant Of Smith 14

    Hmmmm Greens as part of the Labour dominated government decision making progress to fund a private school as part of a quick access shovel ready project fund vs Labour first asking for a group to come up with considered recommendations taking months to consult and arrive at and then refusing to implement the WEAG recommendations to substantially increase benefits against the Greens wishes.

    If we are going to get down to single issues then as they would say on Sesame Street – "one of these things is not like the other".

    Labour you still suck.

  15. PaddyOT 15

    The hypocrisy of the Right to criticise education issues . The Green's and Labour's education goals are more in touch and a progressive response to future issues facing us.

    National's education policy 6 weeks out from an election. The screwing of and dumbing down the peasants comes to mind in their pursuit of noble beliefs -:

    * Still on policy finder – Allow tertiary institutions to bring international students into NZ

    * Notify local schools if a sex
    offender is living in the area ( measures already exist)

    * Reverse recent vocational
    education reforms

    ( as in REVERSE Labour's policies re- Continue to subsidise apprenticeships , assist young people gaining entry requirements, provide free targeted trades training, Continue employment programme for people at risk of long term unemployment, Continue to support night classes, Continue to reform vocational education sector.)

    * Remove teacher registration fees

    * Build new primary school in
    Waikanae by 2025

    * Consider ( such a sneaky, loaded
    word ) reintroducing fees on
    first year of study and first two
    years of training.
    ( if ACT is Natz coalition then it's gone along with taking the cap off student fees and dumping student allowance )

    * ECE no policy

    Nothing on NZ history, nothing for Maori or Pacifica achievements, nothing on food in schools, nothing on support for children's and community health needs in educational settings and nothing on increasing any learning support. And very blank on any curriculum or 'Standards' reforms.

    https://policy.nz/

  16. Patricia Bremner 16

    How would the Greens get on in Government. First mistake a Green PM makes and the vote goes out to sack said polly? Right!! that would work!! sarc.

    All the grand plans would be vetoed by committee?…. slowed by referendums?… gee try progress then.

    Factions which demand mea culpa better be ready for the right to use that as a rod to beat the Greens to distract from the rights failures.

    Each small error will be pounced on with glee, especially if the left appear divided by it.

    • Sacha 16.1

      Handling the inevitable tensions and compromises brought on by involvement in governing is part of the maturity journey for any party. Takes a lot of internal work – after acknowledgement that it actually exists, which purists may deny for quite some time.

  17. mosa 17

    Amongst all this bad press of late the policy mix is excellent as are members like Chloe and Genter and new talent coming on to the list.

    Leaders heading political parties are only temporary and it is the party , its membership and those of us that have worked out that the environment must be at the centre of everything we do and an economy that makes people before profit a priority will continue to support the movement.

    The policies some of which will be adopted only if we have a Green party to form our first centre left government after October 17th

  18. ScottGN 18

    I’m with Ad on this. How many times have we all watched the PM front up to the press gallery day after day to try get the government and/or the Labour Party out in front of an issue that’s threatening to go pear shaped? It’s part of the messy business of governing.

  19. Reality 19

    Mickey, as someone with historic knowledge I hope you are able to put forward to Labour powers that be, reminders of the funding of Whanganui Collegiate some years ago and the Saudi sheep deal for use particularly in the debates etc. There will be other examples also.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      the funding of Whanganui Collegiate some years ago and the Saudi sheep deal

      Both of which were National.

  20. ScottGN 20

    Reality let’s not forget the 10s of millions of dollars that National was happy to funnel to the ACT party so they could progress their pet Charter School projects. All of which got vastly more money per student than any state school and none of which ever delivered a measurably better result per student.

  21. Red 21

    What National does and doesn’t do around private schools is not the point National have no ideological bias against private schools and is not running around one minute saying they are the devils spawn and then funding them the next

    • Tiger Mountain 21.1

      A moronic reply. National’s response is purely an attack line.

    • Draco T Bastard 21.2

      You're right. National doesn't have any ideological bias against private schools and are quite willing to use public funding for them.

      What they do seem to have an ideological bias against is everyone who can't afford to go to a private school getting a decent education.

      And what Tiger Mountain said.

    • Incognito 21.3

      Your comment is highly misleading and disingenuous, as expected from you. I have no qualms banning you if you keep it up, as that 100% aligns with my ‘Party Policy’.

    • weka 21.4

      "National have no ideological bias against private schools"

      Really, it's getting hard to tell.

  22. Tiger Mountain 22

    Regardless of Green and Labour deficiencies, mainly their supporting the Parliamentary neo liberal consensus, they need to be re-elected to allow 3 years of political space. Rolling back neo liberalism in all its forms is possible in the Covid era–but it will take organisation and direct action from the working class to achieve. A National/ACT plus nut job fringe Govt. would render that task much more difficult.

    So strangely enough Labour, and particularly Greens, need to remain in office so “Roger’n’Ruth’s” legacy–can finally be defeated!

  23. RedBaronCV 23

    On the plus side

    -460 members took part on a zoom call. Could you see ACT of the Nats rounding up that number of members, who could use zoom and who would be listened too by the party hierarchy. Nope- they would fail on the just about all those tests.

    -James has explained apologised and is looking to see if a reset is possible. It's really refreshing to see both labour and the greens over the last months admitting that they are human , that policy actions can have variable outcomes and need to be fine tuned and listening to what the country thinks. Nacts used to just dump policy and no matter what the electorate thought arrogantly refused to change it. ( sale of power companies).

    On the minus side

    • how to get the MSM to move on.

    And yes I’d like to see a number of economic functions moved out of the private sector and back into the public.

    • Incognito 23.1
      • how to get the MSM to move on.

      Monday: Auckland moves to L2 and some other Covid-related screw up somewhere.

  24. mary_a 24

    Although I was gob smacked when this issue came to light, James Shaw has now taken ownership of his failing here and apologised. Obviously a leader with some credibility, willing and able to face up to the consequences of his poorly thought out actions. No doubt a lesson well learned by him as well as his team hopefully and is very unlikely to be repeated, allowing a united, stronger, more constructive Green party to emerge.

    Given Shaw's accountability, my vote will not change … Labour candidate vote, party vote Green.

    Time to move on towards electing a progressive Labour/Green coalition government in October.

    • weka 24.1

      got to say this about the Greens, they know how to learn from their mistakes and demonstrate good process as they do so.

  25. Climaction 25

    What amuses me the most about this is how James Shaw’s decision is painted as some hands-tied, gun to his head choose about “shovel ready projects” that need to have money spent on them. How it’s not hypocritical. But rather quite saintly given the unfortunate the position he is in.

    i can spin around and point in any direction at any state school that would greatly appreciate that level of funding. I can also poke my tongue out of my mouth, pick up my crayola (as I still haven’t passed my pencil test) and draw a circle around a group of schools in any Nz urban environment that aren’t private and have shovel ready projects to the tune of $12 million. 8 figures. It wouldn’t take me the length of time I need to drain a juice box.

    you can rail against private schools, even go to the office extent of removing funding from private schools as you don’t agree with them on a principled level about education funding. That’s what your voters expect and that’s why they vote for you.

    but you can’t then turn around and grant a private school funding to the tune of $100k per pupil as its shovel ready apparently. The fact that it aligns politically and ideologically with the greens is just by accident correct? The timing, so impeccable in a covid crisis, is unfortunate of course

    • Robert Guyton 25.1

      Climaction: Did any other schools apply for this fund?

    • Incognito 25.2

      The fact that it aligns politically and ideologically with the greens is just by accident correct?

      I am confused, did it or did it not align with the Green Party? You seem just the right person to explain this.

    • SPC 25.3

      The fund set up 1 April had criteria.

      It was to grant money to business impacted by the pandemic. A private school qualified as a business, and as their plan was the intake of foreign students it was impacted by the pandemic.

      • Gabby 25.3.1

        And the remedy is apparently to build capacity for MORE of the foreign students they can't have.

  26. PaddyOT 26

    Why is there still the deliberate confusion when mis-connecting the CRRF funds with the massive School Infrastructure Improvement fund already available to uphold the misleading idea that other schools are missing out ?

    Since 2018 improvement programmes expenditure has $2.4 billion on the go in the pool of funds for all schools to apply for to use on infrastructure. ( This is also on top of all other Educational state spending. )

    These additional improvement funds were Labour's addressing of the specific needs of rundown or insufficient infrastructure in schools created by National's neglect.

    NZ is still at the top of the game among OECD nations in its education spending as a percentage of GDP AND as a percentage of all public expenditure.

    • Robert Guyton 26.1

      Because those claiming the connection are seeking to create further misunderstanding and division.

    • Incognito 26.2

      Because the people who are now looking for their spit dummies need to cling on to their excuse for their visceral reaction. It’s become kinda existential dilemma to safe face and protect Ego and those who cannot do this cry.

      • In Vino 26.2.1

        I don't like your arrogance in assuming that those who don't sympathise with your tendentious rationalisations are inconsistent or trying to sow division. Some may be, but as I said above: you have provoked me into arguing back after I had accepted James's gesture. Just for the record, I am not calling for his resignation.

        • Incognito 26.2.1.1

          I don’t know what you said above (will read it later no doubt as I read comments in reverse chronological order) and have no idea how I made you do anything here let alone “arguing back” but clearly you felt the need to do so – don’t blame me for your urges. No wonder you label me arrogant and it doesn’t spark much joy with me.

          Nowhere have I called or asked for sympathy so that’s a nice strawman too.

          I love to hear what my “tendentious rationalisations” are, in your opinion, and what makes them “tendentious” but for now I assume it means you disagree with some things I said and/or can’t deal with them. Yeah, yeah, I know that sounds arrogant. Bite me!

          Now, in my comment @ 26.2, which clearly went down the wrong way with you, I did not imply that people are “inconsistent or trying to sow division”. If you had parsed it properly then you would have realised that I said that some people are trying their best to stay consistent within their own biased framework AKA confirmation bias and all that yadayada. There is no shame in that at all because we all do it and the truth hurts.

          The tedious labelling of commenters is for dimwits who have no interest in genuine debate and take cheap lazy pot shots at others. I know this, because I do it myself when the mood strikes; I’m not here to make friends or form a fan club.

          I’m delighted to hear that you don’t demand his head on a plate because the loss of Shaw would be much greater for the Party and Parliament than justified by his minor misjudgement that led to this, IMHO.

          • Robert Guyton 26.2.1.1.1

            "The tenditious labelling of commenters is for dimwits"

            smiley

          • In Vino 26.2.1.1.2

            My apologies for a misguided attempt at trying to reply to both you and Robert at 26.1 at the same time. I was getting tired of the 'party line' that seemed to be emerging from Robert and Dennis Frank with you in general support – an attitude that James had not, in fact, even made any mistake to apologise for, and the whole affair deserved celebration rather than criticism.

            However, since you invited me to parse your comment at 26.2 correctly, let me attempt to do so. You use the metaphor 'spit dummies' to imply that critics are infantile and having kiddies' tantrums rather than expressing concerns with any rationality. The term 'visceral reaction' again implies a thoughtless, purely emotional reaction. In the next sentence you accuse them of continuing to argue merely to 'safe face' (sic) , preserve their own self-pride, and you then, if for some reason they cannot do this (do you mean that they are not capable, or not allowed to? – unclear) they burst into tears, again like infantile kiddies.

            Indeed, that does not go down well with me: I find the tone both arrogant and insulting. I suspect you have indulged in the use of emotive comparisons with little thought about the actual effects. And I find that rather dimwitted.

            • In Vino 26.2.1.1.2.1

              P S Reading the comments from last back to first seems to me a very silly practice. Why do you do that? I have tried it, but found it worse than going back to where i was, and reading things forward.

              • Incognito

                It is a back-end peculiarity where the most recent comments appear at the top regardless of the post they’re under. In that way, Moderators can see everything (user names and e-mail addresses, etc.) that appears in real time, including Pending comments that require manual checking and intervention (usually just approval) and comments that go straight into Trash because the commenter is in the Blacklist. And there is the Spam, of course. We’re having a lot of fun in the back-end 😉

                PS the text editor is different too in the back-end, to keep us on our toes.

                • In Vino

                  Ok I no longer envy you your job (not that I did) but I even sympathise!

                  • Incognito

                    Thanks! It’s worse than it sounds, otherwise I wouldn’t do it, but at times it as stressful as a real job. Fortunately, the pay is excellent 😉

            • Incognito 26.2.1.1.2.2

              Thank you for your considered comment, which is well made.

              You may not like it but my phrasing was entirely deliberate, word for word.

              Much commentary I had read here and elsewhere had jumped the gun. Facts and useful information came later and although there are still some gaps and unanswered questions, things are much clearer now, at least for me.

              How many here on TS have openly changed their views after the facts came in or held their fire until the facts came in?

              People were not behaving like adults, in my view. I changed my stance somewhat from thinking it aligned well with the Green Party to realising it reflected badly on the Party. When I came to understand more about the CRRF criteria for the decision I moved to being supportive of the funding. I did separate this from Shaw & Green Party. In doing so, I did resolve what could have been an internal conflict. In other words, no figurative tears for me.

              People go to great lengths to keep up their persona, i.e. the psychological mask they wear in public, including when commenting here on TS. You can see it here in the discussion threads and in the idiosyncrasy of the comments (AKA SSDD), some of which are predictable like clockwork.

              I tried to avoid making it too personal but I was not going to watch this go by in silence.

              I am ok with being labelled arrogant or dim-witted because of what I said here because it means that some do not agree with my views or they disliked the way I presented them. I won’t view anybody here with less respect than before because of that; how they view me is beyond my control. I favour robust debate on issues rather than acting like a red flag myself and I do think carefully about my comments and how I frame things but sometimes I draw too much attention to myself, which is my bad.

              • In Vino

                Thanks for not banning me, Incognito. I admired James Shaw for his manning up, and I really can't complain about you now…

                • Incognito

                  You have to work much harder to receive a ban here and you were not even close 😉

                  Thanks for speaking out and I have taken notice of what you said, you can be assured of that.

    • PB 26.3

      Well for one thing that was capped at $400k. For another it was roll based and so for a school like mine where it has been identified that we need just over $2m of replacement and new buildings, a sewage upgrade, the pool fixed and a toilet block and ancillary building upgraded we got $120k which in todays terms means that we can move a playground so that my overcrowded school has a place for kids to run around in. Anything more and we have been told to wait for five years for that to be considered. I hope they are still in government come 2025 but who knows. You can talk all you want about the politics and what funds the money comes from but the absolute bottom line is that the governments job is redistribute taxes where it is most appropriate. The question is whether spending $11.7m on building a private school for the wealthy is more appropriate than fixing a number of schools like mine. And yes we are ready to go – shovel ready, funding not quite so. I'll still vote Labour and if it looks like they need it Green but man I'll be doing it through gritted teeth.

      [I have fixed the same error in your e-mail address again and could you please stick to one user name here, thanks – Incognito]

  27. Climaction 27

    That’s a great point Robert. Did other schools know it was available instantly?

    incognito, it doesn’t align with funding for private schools, but aligns with green policy on developing future green leaders. Could you please now tell me which requires more money to be effective?
    a) State schools?
    b) private schools with state funding

    • Robert Guyton 27.1

      It wasn't a point, Climaction, it was a question and I await your answer, which I expect you'll soon furnish.

    • Pat 27.2

      "This will include any project, either public or private, that will benefit the wider public or a particular regional area due to its nature. Given the breadth of infrastructure it is acknowledged this may include private sector projects that demonstrate wider public benefits. Examples include (but are not limited to) transport (including public transport, roads, cycling infrastructure and bridges), wastewater treatment, potable water, stormwater, schools, hospitals, tertiary education, community facilities, energy, regionally or nationally significant infrastructure such as airports and ports or infrastructure that supports our key industries such as tourism and agriculture. Projects that have a strong regional benefit will also be considered. Ministers will be particularly interested in investments that modernise the economy and set it up to enhance sustainable productivity into the future rather than those that replicate the current economic arrangements. In line with Treasury’s Living Standards Framework2 and Sustainable Development Goals3 consideration will also be given at a high level to whether a project brings real value (in an economic, social and/or environmental sense) to New Zealand as a whole or the region in which it is located."

      https://www.crowninfrastructure.govt.nz/wp-content/uploads/Shovel-Ready-Project-Information-Guidelines.pdf

      • Robert Guyton 27.2.1

        " Ministers will be particularly interested in investments that modernise the economy and set it up to enhance sustainable productivity into the future rather than those that replicate the current economic arrangements. "

        Goodness!

    • Incognito 27.3

      If you read Budget 2020 you’ll see how much money was allocated.

      I don’t think you’re familiar with Green Party Policies. So, you were indeed just the right person to ask to find that out.

  28. Jum 28

    If the owners of the private school are so in love with the 'green way', they should offer to repay 10% or more of the 'LOAN' on an annual basis, until the 'loan' has been paid plus interest, from the enormous school fees the wealthy parents pay annually, from their offshore funds.

    Then the tax paying New Zealanders that paid for it may accept it.

    Otherwise, it will prove what most of us already know – greed sucks the life out of everything around it.

    • Robert Guyton 28.1

      Yeah. Same for all the other projects that won money from the "shovel-ready" fund!!

      Hang on…
      “this may include private sector projects that demonstrate wider public benefits. ”
      You mean, the Green School demonstrated wider public benefits and that was accepted by all of the Ministers on the panel??? The plot thickens!

    • Incognito 28.2

      The capitalist motto: privatise profits, socialise losses.

      The two sides should not cross over and must never meet because that would lead to widespread chaos, cognitive dissonance, and civil unrest.

  29. Shanreagh 29

    I am still a bit confused by the outrage.

    Is the 'mistake'

    • being a Minister who happens to be a Green Party MP announcing the approval after consideration by a Govt Committee & its approval? or,
    • the proposal did not meet the shovel ready concept? or,
    • we all think the proposal does not meet the shovel ready concept and we would not have approved it? or
    • would it have still been concerning if NZ First had announced the results of the Govt's consideration?
    • would it have still been concerning if PM had announced the results of the Govt's consideration?
    • It could have been announced by the local coalition MP and not by a Minister at all as sometimes happens….would that be concerning?

    The fact is that (in my experience 4.5 years working for both Nat & Lab) Ministers of all persuasions once granted a warrant by the GG sort of become apolitical in the exercise of the duties of their portfolios as the warrants are to govern for the people of NZ not for Labour, Green, National, NZ First people or whatever, people of NZ.

    Though obviously those who won an election and form a Govt will do on their terms and so would put forward policies & push them through using a majority or whatever coalition they can call on that they believe were voted on favourably by the electorate (whole of NZ).

    Papers that come across to Ministers and Ministerial Committees from our apolitical Public Service will mention if the proposal meets Govt criteria and any issued manifesto policy, possibly any coalition deals where these are known, but will not (thankfully) discuss issues politically any deeper than this and neither should they.

    In constitutional terms this is bemusing and obviously driven by players with a view to finding fault. As I said before the issue is a storm in a teacup. We should not be beating ourselves up, we should not let others beat us up. Talk of leaving this or doing that or not voting this or that are pushing us just where these 'players', who are relying on us not knowing how Government works, are wanting us.

    There are sound constitutional reasons behind what happened and in fact I feel quite heartened that Associate Fin Minister Shaw 'forgot' he was a Green Party person as it is the ultimate in working to the Warrant he was issued to be part of the Government.

    In the attached released information about the warrants shows that there is nothing whatsoever about being members of this or that party in the form of the warrant that the GG issues.

    https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2018-09/R%20-%20A%2020180907%201307%20-%20%20Appointment%20documents%20for%20signature_0.pdf

    To me, if there are queries, it is about whether the application put forward by the school meets the concept of these shovel ready projects NOT who announced the approval publicly.

    • Robert Guyton 29.1

      Too much considered thought and balanced reasoning there, Shanreagh; go to the back of the class!

    • Sacha 29.2

      being a Minister who happens to be a Green Party MP announcing the approval

      That's the one. And not thinking how it might come across.

      • Robert Guyton 29.2.1

        That was his mistake alright. Hanging offence? Sure had the vultures circling smiley

      • Shanreagh 29.2.2

        So if the approval had been publicised by anyone else on the committee, that included Hon Shaw, it would not be concerning?

        So there are no concerns about the actual issue of whether the school met the criteria? Just concerns about the mouthpiece?

        Well to me if whoever chose the wrong mouthpiece to announce a piece of Govt approval it does not take away from the fact that the committee felt the concept met the criteria.

        Why are we assigning such power to a mouthpiece announcing Govt approval.

        In fact we are messenger shooting.

        The actual approval is what is important. Did it meet criteria yes/no?

        If yes then what does it matter who announces it?

        • solkta 29.2.2.1

          It did meet the criteria of the stimulus fund. It didn't meet the criteria of Green policy.

          • Shanreagh 29.2.2.1.1

            And? and? This is a Govt process. It is not a Green Party process. So the objection is to the mouthpiece used to convey the approval of the Govt Cttee to the application.

            • solkta 29.2.2.1.1.1

              Shaw backed the thing. He made a mistake.

            • Sacha 29.2.2.1.1.2

              It is purely about the way it looks.

              • Incognito

                A private Green School is a euphemism for a quasi-criminal money laundering activity that is pretty legal but morally so wrong that folks from all walks of life are choking on their facemasks, even Nicola Willis and Judith Collins of the National Party and that is saying something. \sarc

            • mauī 29.2.2.1.1.3

              Yes, he had his Government hat on.., not his Green hat. Not sure if potential Green voters really want Shaw to remind them of Key.

            • weka 29.2.2.1.1.4

              "So the objection is to the mouthpiece used to convey the approval of the Govt Cttee to the application."

              Not quite. Shaw was involved in the process of selecting shovel ready projects that were less harmful to the climate. He should have picked that the Green School clashed with the GP Ed policy, but he didn't. That's the mistake. Following on from that was that he wasn't prepared for how it would come across to members and education sector people and Māori when he made the announcement, hence the big drama and the initial impression that he had pushed funding for a private school and supported that.

        • Incognito 29.2.2.2

          The way I see it, mostly, is that Shaw was in fairly similar situation as Eugenie Sage when she approved that water bottling application (she had to). The difference is that Shaw supported the application and took pride in and credit for this ‘win’. Had he not supported it, it may still have been approved, who knows, but the fall-out would have been little to nothing for Shaw as it was a Government decision by four ‘shovel ready’ Ministers from a fund that had been approved in Budget 2020 IIRC. In that case, Shaw could have done the Hipkins Manoeuvre stating that he wouldn’t have or hadn’t ‘prioritised’ it or weasel words to that effect.

  30. Climaction 30

    @roberguyton

    While impossible to prove now, it would be fascinating to see the oia email audit regarding James Shaw’s near college age kids and this school.

    [My understanding is that Shaw has said he has no personal connections with the school. If you have evidence to suggest otherwise, post it. If you don’t, then take this as a warning that if you continue to run these lines you will get moderated. Criticising the Green Party or Shaw is fine, implying corruption is not unless you can back it up.

    Reading your other comments, you’ve been told multiple times now that the shovel ready fund sits separate to Vote Education. If you continue you conflate the issues around this I will assume it is a deliberate attempt to confuse the debate, and you will likewise be moderated. – weka]

    • Shanreagh 30.1

      If you have no proof then I view this as muckraking. I would say put up or shut-up if I had any say.

      You are potentially taking this to a new and horrible level.

    • weka 30.2

      mod note for you Climaction, please acknowledge you have read and understood.

      • Shanreagh 30.2.1

        Weka this poster Climaction has not responded about this that I can see. I think what he was starting was the lowest of the low and and would welcome your advice on when the poster is coming back to put up the supporting info or to 'withdraw and apologise'.

        I don't consider smears to be 'debate'

        • Climaction 30.2.1.1

          I don't run to your timetable. my weekends are dedicated to managing small children while trying to get extra income in. couldn't care less about your outrage about my timing.

        • Robert Guyton 30.2.1.2

          Climaction's being sly and intends harm.

    • Climaction 30.3

      There is a difference of opinion as to what constitutes shovel ready here. Focusing solely on education and business, plenty of builders could have been used to spend 12m fixing up public schools around tarankai and provided help to far more worthy and far greater numbers of children.

      I withdraw my aspersions about James Shaw.

      • Incognito 30.3.1

        No, it is not a difference of opinion whether the construction project met the criteria for funding by CRRF. You’re still trying to make up your own ‘facts’.

      • weka 30.3.2

        What Incognito said. The criteria for the funding was set early on in the process. If you have an objection about that then argue that from facts, instead of saying the the funding allocation could have been given to state schools generally (it couldn't).

  31. Grey Area 31

    For the record I have voted left (or "centre left") my entire life as far back as Values, have been a party member and have contributed at branch level.

    What disappoints me most about the current situation with the Greens is that it is not a one-off. Since 2017 there have been a number of stuff-ups or situations which have seen the parliamentary petal out of step or at odds with many members of the Party.

    In this case James Shaw has admitted a mistake but only after another blowback from members.

    Greens retain my party vote but I roll my eyes as once again the party shoots itself in the foot.

    • weka 31.1

      "In this case James Shaw has admitted a mistake but only after another blowback from members."

      People are saying this like it's a bad thing, but this is the GP system working as designed. They are responsive to the members because the party is the members. He admitted the mistake very quickly, on the first day from memory. That's a good thing.

      • solkta 31.1.1

        Yes i think this has been a huge success for Green process. Having a leadership team of six, the Co-Leaders, Party Co-convenors and Policy Co-convenors, means issues such as this can be grappled with quickly and then taken out to the wider party. Having a leader front up to 460 members and say that they made a mistake is not something that i think happens in other parties.

        • RedLogix 31.1.1.1

          A mistake?

          A Green Party worthy of the name would fund 1000's more schools like this.

          Nah. Shaw has been bullied into a grovelling backdown by a pack of miserable, resentful far left activists who only pretend to care about the environment.

          • Robert Guyton 31.1.1.1.1

            Agreed, RedLogix.

            • weka 31.1.1.1.1.1

              whereas I see the membership as a broad range of people who all care deeply about the environment, and who are deeply committed to the long held kaupapa of social and ecological justice being inherently intertwined and inseparable.

              The Green School is doing some very important things, and it still needs to overcome the problem of doing those things in an elitist way (by which I mean the high fees which lead to socioeconomic class structures within the students and graduates). There will be a better model and I'm hoping that this whole process will prompt some meeting points between the wealthy folks and those who want a more equitable society. Both sides need to learn from each other imo, and both need to shift their positions somewhat.

              • Dennis Frank

                I will continue to believe that James made a mistake in describing his approval of the funding as a mistake unless he justifies the description. So that puts me with RG & RL, altho I share your perspective too somewhat.

                I suspect Rosemary et al are reluctant to integrate realpolitik into their world view. I agree our party leader acting contrary to GP policy seems morally wrong – but only if you subtract out how MMP works via the current coalition govt. Doing that mental subtraction is unrealistic and makes opining on the mistake illusory.

                Re the school fees making the school elitist, I agree a better model would be good. However the supply & demand equation suggests the founders got it right: they have ample applicants at current prices.

                Since neither Labour nor the Greens are campaigning to replace the current dinosaur education system with one fit for purpose, anyone wanting the $11.7 million to be spent on state schools has zero credibility. Therefore the funding approval was not a mistake. It was a clever Green political move. It creates hope for the future. Those who hope the state system will improve are up against more than a century of status quo. Can their blind faith in the system work an act of magic? No hope, I reckon.

                • weka

                  I would only become a moral issue for me if Shaw had intentionally and consciously chose the Green School despite being immediately aware of the GP Ed policy and what it would mean to go against it. That didn't happen.

                  As for the GS, in the neoliberal market it may be working as a model, but I think we can do way better than that and what interests me more there is where their commitment to social justice sits. Because there is a balance point between building green buildings that cost a large amount and whether that is actually better for the environment than going lower. I would hazard a guess there have been some solid middle class, wealth culture values at play in the development of Green Schools, which would have driven the models developed. If so, that will need to change.

                • Gabby

                  Not all that clever, in praxis.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  "Therefore the funding approval was not a mistake. It was a clever Green political move."

                  Dennis, we'll know whether you're correct after 17 October, but please, no more ‘clever’ Green political moves of this type until then.

                  The petition to "Reduce the Green School Grant" now has 10,000+ signees – with any luck most won't have changed their voting intentions.

              • Incognito

                Elite has become such a negative word when, to me, it describes excellence and mastery through sheer hard work, perseverance, and personal sacrifice, e.g. an elite rower or Jacinda Ardern, who is an elite leader according to many. In the context of the Green School, there is the goal of producing elite students and there is the issue of exclusivity because of the high attendance fees.

            • Rosemary McDonald 31.1.1.1.1.2

              Shame on you Robert Guyton.

              Agreeing that someone like Catherine Delahunty is part of the pack of miserable, resentful far left activists who only pretend to care about the environment.

              I guess they don't do bridge building down there in Riverton.

              • Robert Guyton

                And yes, Rosemary, your comment alerts me to the mistake I made in agreeing with the "who only pretend to care about the environment" part of RedLogix' comment. I apologise for that carelessness; almost everybody cares about the environment, especially someone like Catherine Delahunty.

                • RedLogix

                  If some so-called Green Party activists are so keen to humiliate and undermine their most successful leader since Donaldson right at the start of a difficult election campaign, because their inner marxist took fright at the notion of a 'private school' … then I'm very much entitled to question exactly where their priorities lie.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    And that makes sense to me also.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Fair enough, and that's the question some “so-called” GP activists, and many more “so-called” GP supporters, will be asking too: "exactly where [do] their priorities lie?"

                    And they're ‘entitled‘ to ask that question, now more than ever – just hope all those 'inner marxists' come up with the correct answer, ’cause we’re all in this together, divisive and shaming jibes notwithstanding.

                    Party Vote Green.

                    • RedLogix

                      Well look at the evidence here on The Standard alone. Lynn's highly relevant and important post on the melting of the Greenland icecap gets barely 32 desultory comments, and half a dozen are mine … while this destructive distraction over independent schools, that in my opinion reflects a rump marxist framework lurking on the far left, has generated at least 200 comments, over several posts and Open Mike at last count.

                      And still going.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      The Marxists are coming!’ 'It’s the Marxists what did it!'

                      Characterising perfectly natural Green voter concern over Shaw's decision as a destructive distraction that "reflects a rump marxist framework lurking on the far left" is inaccurate, and unhelpful at this time, IMHO.

                      Party Vote Green

                    • RedLogix

                      Collins has conducted a precision strike right where the Greens are vulnerable; the political safe harbour they provide for the far left extremists of this country. National did it with the last election, and look like a repeat this one.

                      And it works because while middle NZ has a soft spot for an environmentalist party and will vote for that, it's much less enamoured with what's been on display here this past two days.

                      Yeah only a few throw-backs still call themselves marxists and use terms like proletariat, bourgeoisie and all that. These days the framework goes under an intentionally confusing range of other names, most with vague definitions. But the basic idea is all the same:

                      1. Divide people into classes of oppressed and oppressors.
                      2. Insist that the status quo is propped by a false consciousness of the oppressors
                      3. Demand that the only possible solution is a revolutionary reconstruction of society
                      4. And then insist that once the oppressed are in control, that all class antagonisms will magically disappear.

                      Of course the catastrophies of the formal marxist states in the 20th century so discredited the brand, that like Amway they've had to change the name. But the business model has barely changed.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      IMHO you're wrong when you suggest that precision strikes by National party MPs are/were responsible for the GP's self-inflicted wounds now or in 2017. [Fwiw, I thought Turei’s political last stand was inspiring, but a majority didn’t see it that way.] At least we can agree that the GP should be in the parliamentary mix, and be a growing part of that mix for the foreseeable.

                      We're all in this together, and must not turn a blind eye to the fact that there are oppressors, and so many more oppressed in this world, and even in NZ.

                      Personally I find your scaremongering about the threat of "far left extremists in this country" extremely tedious. IMHO we have more to fear from far right extremists if recent events are anything to go by.

                    • In Vino

                      Well said Drowsy M Kram. You are doing better than I am at resisting what I see as an unhealthy 'My party right or wrong' thrust,

                    • RedLogix

                      Personally I find your scaremongering about the threat of "far left extremists in this country" extremely tedious.

                      On the day some far right extremists are foolish enough to turn up here at The Standard, you'll find me being extremely tedious about them too.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      "On the day some far right extremists are foolish enough to turn up here at The Standard, you'll find me being extremely tedious about them too."

                      Yes RL, can't argue with you there. IMHO genuine extremists (such as the Aussie Islamophobe, and even (on occasion) notionally ‘friendly‘ western governments) represent a threat that is incomparable to 'extremist' comments on The Standard, but your commitment to vigilance is noted. Have you checked under the bed lately?

                    • Incognito []

                      There are good and obvious reasons why extremists and extremist leaders get much of our attention. However, this tends to overlook and miss the real danger that is latent and lurking in the faceless masses, which is where the true banality of evil takes root and spawns. Don’t look under the bed, look in/upon it. Mild mannered intelligent people harbour dark thoughts and feelings in the Shadow of their psyche. It has happened before …

                    • In Vino

                      Drowsy – you are the God of riposte.

                    • RedLogix

                      @ Mark My Sword

                      1 out of 10.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      laugh Generous but fair as always RL; you’d make a great umpire.

          • Rosemary McDonald 31.1.1.1.2

            …a pack of miserable, resentful far left activists who only pretend to care about the environment.

            Those of us who intended to give two ticks to the Green Party (again) are not only being pilloried for expressing disappointment at this tone- deaf blunder from Shaw (that even Party insiders have rejected) but we are now being told we care nothing for the environment.

            Way to go RedLogix…some of us were willing to put aside our revulsion and still support the Greens.

            And judging by Robert Guyton's (a Green supporter willing to die in a ditch for the Party) agreement with your judgment of 'miserable' folks like myself, I guess the Party would reject the votes from the likes of us.

            • weka 31.1.1.1.2.1

              Let's see which bits RG agreed with. RL is not in any way a supporter of the Green Party.

              Feelings are running high, and there's a degree of stress for all involved given the importance of the issues and the impending election. Maybe it's time to mend the bridges here, and take more care in how we communicate with each other? There will always be those that won't do that, that prefer to stick the boot in, but I think many here are on the same essential side and we need to find common ground.

              I certainly learnt a lot in the last handful of days about just how important education is to so many people. It's not a big issue for me personally, so I forget how central it is to many people's politics.

              Always grateful for your perspectives Rosemary, even where we disagree.

              • RedLogix

                RL is not in any way a supporter of the Green Party.

                Which probably explains why I voted for them in 4 of the past 5 elections.

                But yes, it probably depends on which Green Party you have in mind, the environmental one that values innovation and human success, or the rump marxist one that wants to shut the human system down.

            • Pat 31.1.1.1.2.2

              i fear you expect too much Rosemary…acts of public contrition are rare and sadly in these times are deemed a sign of weakness despite the rhetoric….James Shaw is a prime example.

            • Robert Guyton 31.1.1.1.2.3

              You can thank your lucky stars then, Rosemary, that I'm nought but a lowly foot-soldier for The Greens, with zero influence over anything or anybody; just as miserable, in fact, as you claim to be. I do fight for The Greens and their positions, once I've determined whether they have kept within their ideological and behavioural sphere, defaulting to, "I've followed them for a long, long time, met many of them, and base my reckons on the wider team and their history, rather than the momentary actions, as reported by the ever-so-fair media and blog commenters", and tend to get involved with discussions like this one where I believe I can parse sufficiently well to help with bringing the reality of the situation into focus. I try not to tease the headless chickens that head over here to squawk their indignation (I'm teasing, Rosemary) but sometimes I succumb to the temptation. People like Climaction though, really p me off, as they are insincere. You, otoh, Rosemary, could never be accused (by me anyway) of insincerity.

            • RedLogix 31.1.1.1.2.4

              some of us were willing to put aside our revulsion

              NZ has a long and successful experience with the state funding independent schools that cater to specific target educational markets. The Catholics schools are the generally the most obvious, but there is a plethora of others. Montessori and Steiner schools being at least two others that pop to mind.

              If the existence of all these ‘non-state’ schools provokes 'revulsion', I have to say that's an unfortunately delicate constitution you have there.

          • Gabby 31.1.1.1.3

            like this, but state owned.

          • solkta 31.1.1.1.4

            The Green Party has a policy of defunding private schools. You might think this is a mistake. It is however a fact. James made a mistake by not including that fact in his judgement. Green Party policy is member driven and, unlike other parties, MPs do not have the power to change policy.

            Personally i'm conflicted. From a green construction perspective it looks good and it is important to try and support the green construction industry in these times. I can see that such a school could do some trailblazing work that could be replicated in the state sector. Without any first hand knowledge and only a website to look at i can't judge whether this school is likely to achieve this.

            On the other hand the school has an icky elitist feel about it. I attended two private schools and four state schools, and i can tell you from that experience that elitist private schools create stuck-up wankers. These schools also cannot teach to the New Zealand Curriculum which has a key competency of Relating to Others. This competency requires that students be able to interact effectively with a diverse range of people in a variety of contexts.

          • Incognito 31.1.1.1.5

            As I said previously, it was mostly a PR & communication screw-up. The Party and many of its supporters could not come to a synthesis of the conflict the different aspects of the Green School presented to them. If they cannot deal with these kinds of issues, they will have a tough time if/when the Green Party gets a seat(s) at the Cabinet table.

        • weka 31.1.1.2

          I don't do party stuff hardly ever, but I'm impressed by the process. It reminded my why I like the GP so much, imperfect as they are.

  32. sumsuch 32

    I don't give a prick's worth of regard to this petty issue. Their policies are right. Unless you're suggesting there is a better leader? And almost anyone with understanding, fury and acuity would be.

  33. Foreign waka 33

    The price to pay in a coalition. And since everybody wants a slice of the taxpayers money, its the ones closer to the trough who will get it. Nothing ever changes. I wonder what Rod Donald or Jeanette Fitzsimonds would say. But I guess principles move with the times or maybe its more like ethics on quicksand.

    • Dennis Frank 33.1

      ethics on quicksand

      Nice framing. In a complex system – such as politics – contexts are always in flux to some extent. Current societal trends amplify this flux considerably.

      Since ethics are relative to social context in practice (while not being so in principle) players in the political game must learn to become adept at judging the relativity of any particular ethic to any particular political context. If you thought relativity applied only in physics, you just learnt something new… 🤔

  34. georgecom 34

    Personally I think it was a mistake given the Greens position on funding for private schools. It is not a reason to replace Shaw as leader. Nor is it I think a nail in the Greens election chances. I heard Damien Grant on the radio on friday calling this an existential crisis for the Greens and how the election is an existential crisis for the Greens. I guess he meant the Greens AND his party ACT. every election has been an existential crisis for ACT.

    Contrary to the call that the Greens missing out this election hampers Labours chances, it might actually not be so. The Green vote will be invalid and Parliament made up from valid votes, ie the parties who have made it over 5%. I cannot see National and crACT out voting Labour as things stand, subtracting the wasted votes gives all the parties an extra boost. When you strip away the wasted votes, eg conservatives, Bill T/Ross party, Tamakis party there goes a few %. Minus Winston First and there is probably near 5% in total. Add the Greens and you probably get 10% or near enough wasted votes and invalid votes. Labour on say 47% of the valid votes becomes something like 52% under that scenario, enough to govern alone.

  35. Dean Reynolds 35

    Speaking as both a LP & a GP member, Shaw is a dick head, but not sensible to sack him over this, so close to the election. Labour needs the Greens to stay in Parliament for 2 reasons:

    1) To drag the next Labour Govt to the left, because without a full blown Social Democratic program, NZ will never survive in a post covid world

    2) If Labour doesn't need Green MP's to get over the line in 2020, it will cerainly need them in 2023

    • solkta 35.1

      How can you be a member of two political parties at the same time? You are in breach of the Greens membership agreement. You should resign your membership immediately.

      • Dean Reynolds 35.1.1

        Get a life, you poor sad bastard

        • In Vino 35.1.1.1

          Justify your apparently illegal status, big mouth.

          • Dean Reynolds 35.1.1.1.1

            I don't need to justify myself to you or any other contributor hiding behind a fictious name. I'm an environmental Social Democrat – the Greens & Labour together encompass my political beliefs. If I want to support both parties by paying a membership fee to each, then I will. If the Greens then want to expel me because I'm in 'breach' of some regulation that makes me 'illegal' then so be it, I'll still keep voting Green & Labour

            [there’s an expectation here to not post abusive comments at other commenters, stick to the politics. Pseudonymous commenting is fully supported here (for what should be obvious reasons on a political blog) and we take a dim view of attack other commenters for using a pseudonym. – weka]

            • solkta 35.1.1.1.1.1

              The membership fee does not even cover the cost of being a member. You could just as easily pay money while not being a member. If you notify head office or your local membership secretary then yes your membership will be terminated.

            • weka 35.1.1.1.1.2

              mod note for you Dean.

  36. Ad 36

    Hey Mickey you got a shoutout in Bryan Edwards' wrapup of of the whole episode so far.

    https://democracyproject.nz/2020/08/30/bryce-edwards-political-roundup-the-greens-private-school-funding-scandal/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bryce-edwards-political-roundup-the-greens-private-school-funding-scandal

    I hadn't realised that all the education unions had come out against Shaw, as well as the Young Greens, and Mojo, and Delahunty. Quite a lineup.

    • Dennis Frank 36.1

      And you can see what they all have in common: preference for their sectarian interests, rather than for our common interests, and the future of humanity. I prefer the high road with James.

      • Ad 36.1.1

        Those with the qualifications to speak on educational funding who have come out against Shaw's move:

        – The Principal of Marvell School New Plymouth

        – The New Zealand Educational Institute representing about 50,000 teachers

        – The NZ Principals Association

        – The Post Primary Teachers Association

        – Parents of a Special Education school in Taranaki

        – A number of other Taranaki school leaders

        – Current Green MP Mojo Mathers

        – Previous Green education for 9 years spokesperson Catherine Delahunty

        – Previous Green MP and core left activist Sue Bradford

        – The Green Party's Young Green wing.

        Now of course, diss them all as merely "sectarian interests" if you like, but with just a few weeks to voting that a lot of your core pretty pissed off.

        • Dennis Frank 36.1.1.1

          Getting all those folk pissed off is a tremendous achievement! None of them are providing Green education to the young folk who need it, right?

          Ain't part of the solution, then you're part of the problem. Prime candidates for consciousness-raising, the lot of them!

          Maybe it'll get raised so high they'll all start demanding that Jacinda & Grant provide parity funding for state schools to level the playing field in the next budget, whereupon I will be delighted to acknowledge here that they have finally joined the side of the angels! 😇

          • Ad 36.1.1.1.1

            That's the spirit Dennis! Angels are with you!

            Now set up a meeting with James and E Tu would you?

            We can line one up with Kevin Hague and his 80,000 members after that. You’re on a roll.

          • In Vino 36.1.1.1.2

            "None of them are providing Green education to the young folk who need it, right?"

            Strangely enough, Dennis, not at over $20,000 a year. No, you have made a great point there…

        • solkta 36.1.1.2

          Mojo Mathers is not a current Green MP.

        • Incognito 36.1.1.3

          Just as well that it was not funded from or through Education but from CRRF. Do these qualified people understand the different funding streams?

  37. Chris T 37

    It is a really weird scenario this.

    Shaw is one of the very few politicians I hold any respect for having meet him, (though I couldn't see a scenario where I would ever vote for his party), but this is just really odd.

    Maybe it is one of those things where he signed something off, and this was just in amongst it.

    • Ad 37.1

      I know right? I've signed cheques like that as mere Variations. Piece of paper.

      • Chris T 37.1.1

        Was just trying to give the bloke the benefit of the doubt.

        He is a good dude.

        • In Vino 37.1.1.1

          He has apologised fair and square, and I respect him for that. Not so impressed with Dennis who thinks he had nothing to apologise for.

          And, Dennis, you are not the only one to have read and been impressed by A. S. Neils' "Summerhill" back in the 70s.

          • Dennis Frank 37.1.1.1.1

            So you probably get where I'm coming from re Green education, resilience & sustainability. Our policy seems in need of revision.

            It's possible his apology was appropriate – I just haven't got sufficient info on it to form that opinion. He called it a mistake but didn't say why. Hindsight would give him an inkling re the political downside within the GP, but if he meant a process mistake it would have been helpful for him to have explained that.

            It's true that I agree with the funding decision. I also agree that schools deprived of funding by the coalition ought to get some. Blame Labour/NZF for that. Anyway, I suspect that James is now in damage-control mode and if he gets proactive he may negotiate something remedial. I saw a hint of that in the media somewhere…

            • solkta 37.1.1.1.1.1

              He called it a mistake but didn't say why.

              He did say why. He has acknowledged that backing this was against Green policy and that he neglected to consider Education policy when making the decision.

              • Dennis Frank

                I didn't hear him say that on the Zoom call. Can you link a media report of it?

                • weka

                  “I want to apologise to you and the wider Green Party whānau for creating a mess right at this time at the start of an election campaign,” Shaw said.

                  Shaw said he wouldn’t have made the same decision if given another opportunity.

                  “I want to apologise for the decision itself. If I was in the same position again I wouldn’t make the same decision,” he said.

                  Aware that Green members had been disappointed with previous carbon-intensive infrastructure commitments, Shaw said he tried to make sure this set of projects had a greener, less carbon-intensive tinge. He created an exclusions list of projects he didn’t want funded, like roading, irrigation, and private university halls – the school, he says, was something he missed.

                  “To be honest with you, I missed it,” Shaw said.

                  He told the call that other, greener projects were funded, including transport projects for Julie Anne Genter and conservation projects for Eugenie Sage.

                  “We were thinking about it in terms of building and constructions, not education.

                  “As long as it’s not a motorway, an airport, a convention centre,” Shaw said, referencing projects he wanted excluded from funding.

                  https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/300093942/james-shaw-apologises-for-school-decision-saying-he-wouldnt-do-it-again

                • solkta

                  I am not going to discuss a confidential party zoom call in detail on the open web, but if you didn't hear him say that you either weren't listening or are very dim-witted.

              • weka

                I don't understand why Dennis keeps saying that. Maybe he is asking why it matters to go against the education policy?

                • Robert Guyton

                  Wellllll…he said, "“To be honest with you, I missed it,”

                  That's not neglecting to consider, nor is it ignoring the policy.

                  He missed it.

                  • solkta

                    He missed the fact that it conflicted with Green policy.

                    • solkta

                      ie he was certainly aware of the school project because he backed it. That is why the press release came out with his name on it. He was tasked with creating two lists, one that went definitely against green policy to oppose, and one that was congruent with green policy to support.

                    • weka

                      yep. 400 pages of GP policy, an unprecedented nationwide and global crisis, working within a system that is not conducive to good governance or transparency, fatigue and stress, an election campaign, and so on. He fucked up, sometimes shit happens. I'm more interested in what happens next tbh.

                  • weka

                    I don't believe he intentionally consciously ignored policy, but 'I missed it' doesn't actually tell us very much about what happened. Personally, I'm good with his explanation and how he has handled the process since it came to light. But I'd guess there are some pragmatics in framing right now.

                    • weka

                      Thankfully the country has another drama to focus on today, so it's left to the hard core greenies to argue over semantics in a corner of the internet 😉

                • Dennis Frank

                  Like I said yesterday, he didn't explain it fully. I can understand why someone would want to gloss over it in that situation, mind you, but could be Robert's explanation covers it. A mental blind spot at the time.

                  If so, I don't agree that it was a mistake – unless he thinks he ought to be a paragon of perfection. Everyone makes mistakes, it's human nature.

                  So I guess want bothers me is the blaming in the media, which seems rather OTT & inappropriate (particularly when done by people who think they are Greens).

                  • weka

                    I think the blame was quite out of line, but also understandable because people generally don't know how govt works and have to go off what the MSM report.

                    "If so, I don't agree that it was a mistake – unless he thinks he ought to be a paragon of perfection. Everyone makes mistakes, it's human nature."

                    Are you using some obscure meaning of 'mistake'? Whether it was intentional or not (I don't think it was), it was still "an act or judgement that is misguided or wrong" (from my dictionary). Humans make mistakes all the time.

                    • weka

                      we can call it a fuck up, error, blunder, oversight if you like (all synonyms of mistake).

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Yeah, the nuance. A memory failure can't be helped, but blame for political misjudgment is fair enough. I'm now going with the former option, and feel the latter is inappropriate…

                  • Robert Guyton

                    That's also how I see the issue, Dennis (11:41am) but I think we're (quite justifiably) being given the "Time, gentlemen!" call and I'm okay with letting it go. Knowing I was right all along (just teasing).

  38. Ad 38

    On Greens and gold …

    Nothing Gold Can Stay

    Nature's first green is gold

    Her hardest hue to hold.

    Her early leaf's a flower;

    But only so an hour.

    Then leaf subsides to leaf.

    So Eden sank to grief,

    So dawn goes down to day.

    Nothing gold can stay.

    Robert Frost

  39. greywarshark 39

    edit
    Arguing about minor details compared to the enormity of the problems facing us, for which most seem to have no capacity of mind to tackle head on when early intervention keeps intervention simplest and yet very effective.

    Perhaps you are secret followers of the ACT Party from which dear leader Seymour spake this morning accusingly along these lines:

    'The government is making up policy about Covid-19 as it goes along. It should have decided months ago on policy instead of all this ad hoc stuff.'

    ACT of course knows all about how not to form policy that fits circumstances. It is entrenched in economic thinking which tries to enforce circumstances to suit its avowed policies. And dear God, many of the commenters here seem to be imbued with this thinking.

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Wellington Pasifika Business Awards
    Thank you for having me join with you as we celebrate the success of Pacific businesses tonight, and recognise the resilient and innovative entrepreneurs who lead them. Equally important to me is, that we are also able tonight to offer up our gratitude to those leaders who have organised and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Commemorative address at Act of Remembrance for Armistice Day
    Tuatahi māku  Ka mihi tu ki a koe Pita E pīkauria ana i te mana o Ngā tūpuna o te whenua nei. Thank you Bernadette for your warm introduction. I would also like to reflect on your acknowledgments and welcome Peter Jackson, Taranaki Whānui; Members of the National War Memorial ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New fund launched to reduce carbon emissions from coal and gas
    The Labour Government is quickly delivering a key election policy that will help business to switch from fossil fuels like coal and gas to clean energy for process heat while accelerating the economic recovery from Covid. The $70 million fund will allow business and industries to access financial support to ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Support for flood affected Napier community
    The government will contribute $100,000 towards a Mayoral Relief Fund to support those most affected by the recent severe weather in Napier, the Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan announced today. “I have been in the region overnight meeting with locals and emergency service responders to discuss their needs, and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New vaping laws take effect today
    New laws intended to discourage young people from vaping while allowing smokers to continue using vaping to give up cigarettes take effect today, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Today’s changes mean the laws around vaping are now similar to those around tobacco smoking,” Andrew Little says. The Smokefree Environments and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • $84m to support research in science
    The Government is investing $84.7 million in innovative research projects including those focussed on health, climate change, astronomy and the impact of Big Data on social equality says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. This year’s Marsden Fund will support 134 new projects including explorations of the connection between ...
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    2 weeks ago