The Greens launched their economic policy today – I attended on behalf of the Fabian Society. Titled “100,000 green jobs for New Zealanders, it follows their plan to bring 100,000 children out of poverty by 2014. The focus was on leveraging green priorities, by using direct government investment, changing the way state-owned companies work, and shifting the drivers for green jobs in the private sector.
Entrepreneur Nick Gerritsen spoke about the opportunities for leveraging green technology for New Zealand, and the main presentation came from Russel Norman, who spoke of “a commonsense economy that is transformative of opportunity” – you can watch it here. Media questions focussed around costings and priorities, all of which were laid out in the documents and presentations.
Compared with Labour’s economic policy launch I thought while Labour had done the heavy lifting on capital gains tax and budget priorities, the Greens focus on jobs made for better political marketing, even though Russel Norman waffled when asked what the jobs would look like for tonight’s television audience. Overall it was an impressive presentation and while there is no doubt that the policy fit is much closer with Labour, with opposition to partial asset sales, capital gains tax and support for government procurement, the Greens also had an eye for gains they might be able to make with a National-led government.