- Date published:
7:38 am, March 3rd, 2017 - 19 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, climate change, greens, labour, Left, mana, maori party, nz first, Politics, sustainability, winston peters - Tags:
I am really pleased to hear this. Following the election this year the first call that Andrew Little will make is to the Greens. For Labour they are the first cab off the rank for the next coalition Government to use a concept introduced by Helen Clark.
Labour is to treat the Greens as “first cab off the rank” for post election talks in a signal it is firming up its plans to work in coalition with its allied party.
The two parties signed a memorandum of understanding to work together last year, but it was due to expire on election day – a sign that Labour was not certain what stance NZ First would take towards the Greens if it held the balance of power.
But in an Opposition two-step Labour leader Andrew Little on Thursday first announced he was nominating Peters for the intelligence and security committee – with the Greens support.
He then made it clear that in a “quid pro quo” the Greens would be the first cab off the rank and the first party to receive a call if Labour was able to build a government after the September 23 election.
“After September 23 and if the numbers go our way and I am in the privileged position of putting together a government they are the first phone call I will make. No question about it,” he said.
“We haven’t spent the last many-a-year now formally strengthening our relationship and working out common ground … for it to mean nothing at all when it comes to a general election.”
He said there were no guarantees, and the numbers would dictate what will happen.
“They will be the first party I will talk to to interpret what the numbers might be and what that means. It’s a commitment that the relationship does mean something after the election.”
But would he be prepared to leave the Greens out of government if Winston Peters insisted and Labour needed NZ First to govern?
“I think that is unlikely.”
I hate to sound a note of caution but at this stage Winston Peters will probably have a significant say in the shape of the next Government. I hope he does not. The last two times he was involved in Governments they ended in tears. The 1996 National Government was terminal thanks in no small part to his party’s implosion and the 2005 Labour Government was on the receiving end of all sorts of attacks that National aimed at Winston.
I am convinced that if we want to have a Government that will deal with New Zealand’s problems then it has to be a Labour-Green Government without the need for support from any other parties.
If further support is required then I suggest that if Hone Harawira makes it, and if the Maori Party are returned then serious consideration should be given to working with them. Their voting record is actually impressive, much more impressive than other parties in the Parliament. I much prefer Kelvin Davis being returned and Labour winning all the Maori seats but if this does not happen then the left need to do deals.
Peter Dunne? He is a waste of space. The sooner he disappears from New Zealand’s body politic the better.
If we want a Government that will address child poverty, the housing crisis, climate change and the need to make our cities more sustainable and stop the onslaught of neoliberalism we will need a brave government. One without the need of pandering to a populist.
Labour-Green needs to get over 45%. And I believe that for stability and longevity Mana/Maori Parties are better bets than Winston.