Local Bodies: Greens Immediately Become the Opposition.

Written By: - Date published: 7:16 am, September 27th, 2014 - 63 comments
Categories: election 2014, greens, labour, national, nz first, same old national - Tags:

I admit that I was disappointed and slightly gutted that I wasn’t part of the new Green Caucus this week, the way we were polling the week before it looked as though I had a real chance. It never happened and the celebratory feeling at the beginning of our election night party slowly morphed into a that of a wake when we realized that the 10% wasn’t going to grow.

I actually ended up grieving, not for myself, but for our party. We had put together an amazing team of people to lead our campaign and fundraising and we had worked extremely hard since 2011 in becoming prepared to govern. Our aspirational policies had been shaped into practical first steps of a transition to a cleaner, fairer, smarter future. We were the only party to have a clearly expressed economic vision that was independently reviewed. Our 6000 volunteers, door knocked, phone called, leaflet dropped and put up more billboards than ever before. Our online campaign was impressive and we easily out interneted the Internet Party.

I have already shared my views regarding where things went wrong, but a number of things went well. I couldn’t work out initially why our membership in Invercargill had doubled since 2011, a heap more people were volunteering and yet our vote didn’t increase. What I think has happened is that our committed Green voters actually strengthened. I have had more people tell me proudly, in voices loud enough for others to hear, that they had voted Green. Even the taxi driver who took me to the airport this morning told me he had voted Green and wants a billboard on his fence for the next election. In 2011 most told me this privately (with nervous looks behind them) that they had voted for us and in 2008 people who had quietly promised to vote for us couldn’t make eye contact afterwards. There has been a noticeable acceptance of the Greens as player in mainstream politics and voting Green has become more than a protest vote.

The remains of Labour’s caucus will have to spend some time licking its collective wounds and trying to sort out a leader under the constant scrutiny of the media sharks. It may result in Labour ending up having four different leaders during the last four years and this instability and distraction does not lead to strong opposition. National loves to neuter each incoming leader before they can settle into the role and there will obviously be a replacement for Jason Ede (positioned somewhere near Key’s Office) to continue the work that has proved successful in the past. Once they finally confirm a leader (a lengthy process now), Labour will be too busy fighting yet more innuendo and character assassinations to function effectively in opposition.
Even with the experienced Ron Mark joining New Zealand First’s new lineup, over half of Winston’s new team lack parliamentary experience and one even has asecret past. New Zealand First will be mainly relying on their leader, yet again, to lead their opposition and few will be effective in select committees for some time. Winston will also have his hands full appointing more staff and working out what kind of team he has brought in this time round.

There is also a good possibility that we Greens will retain fourteen MPs after the overseas votes are included in the total, thirteen of them are experienced and joined by the talented James Shaw (who will hit the ground running). We are the only opposition party largely intact and ready for immediate action. We are stronger, smarter and more able than at the beginning of 2011 and National’s frontline has taken some hits over the last few months. With the likes of David Seymour as an associate minister the Green opposition team are bound to wipe some smug smiles off a number of Government faces and the work has already begun.

63 comments on “Local Bodies: Greens Immediately Become the Opposition.”

  1. karol 1

    Yes. I was disappointed with the fact that the Greens didn’t increase their vote this time. I was one of the volunteers that helped with the election campaign – first time in my 6 decades of life I have contributed to a campaign.

    But, I was pleased the Green vote held.

    I also have come across one or two people at work who said they voted Green Party.

    I think that Dirty Politics and the MoT came too late. they tended to hog the headlines, and that mean that the Greens campaign got somewhat sidelined.

    I do think that there probably needs to be continuing work to strength the GP organisation and networks within communities from the beginning of this term – starting now – maybe more of the localised meetings GP MPs did last term, but also with more socialising and/entertainments.

    I was very pleased to see the rise in support for the GP in Auckland among Maori & Pasifika women.

    I hope the Greens public transport campaign continues strongly, too. i am very pleased with some of the changes to Western bus routes – connecting more easily and regularly with buses to other parts of Auckland. it means I’m using public transport now more than ever.

    Metiria Turei’s focus on poverty and inequality has helped keep that issue front and centre in and out of the House. I’m hoping to see that continue.

    • AmaKiwi 1.1

      I watched Julie Genter’s speech in the House rebutting Key’s $12 billion highway plans.

      Genter was brilliant!

      • phillip ure 1.1.1

        i am bummed genter is not the minister of transport..

        ..i was looking forward to her rejuvenating auckland..

        ..her ‘greening’ of transport..

        ..now for the next three years..

        ..it’s just more of..who is it again..?

        • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1.1.1

          bit of a disconnect with the above story

          ” Even the taxi driver who took me to the airport this morning told me “

      • Murray Olsen 1.1.2

        Julie Anne has to be the next Minister of Transport. No other party has anyone half as good.

    • Karol, I am sure strengthening our local networks will help but there is no getting around the fact that despite all our increased capacity on the ground this time it didn’t increase the votes. We ran a strong campaign in Invercargill and yet New Zealand First got 1000 more party votes than us with few billboards, no leaflets and a local candidate who was trying to cover three electorates. There is no getting around the fact that having a presence in MSM in the last weeks is crucial for all the non committed voters. Winston was able to capture that space over the Greens as the supposed ‘Kingmaker’ and any attention we did get was around fabricated controversy (like us looking for a coalition with National).

      The Greens became almost invisible in the MSM in the last weeks as we did in 2011. Jane Clifton again managed to ignore us in her columns, our policy releases were barely acknowledged and our leaders were unfairly placed in the ranks of the minor parties again with those struggling to get even 1%.

      In Invercargill our local newspaper refused to cover my campaign opening with Metiria and Catherine Delahunty, and we had attracted a good crowd with our focus on education. The Southland Times also ignored Labour’s Big Red Bus when it arrived in town and yet John Key gifting our new sports stadium $2 million dollars was on the front page in the last week. Rather than reporting the news it looked to me that Fairfax was shaping the news to a large extent.

      We connected well with our support base but could not capture the MSM to get wider exposure. Solid and sensible doesn’t grab headlines although it makes for good governance.

      • karol 1.2.1

        Thanks, Dave for a very useful analysis.

        I do think the marginalising of the Greens by the MSM is a major problem. Along with the way the infotainment media works – they thrive on drama, conflict, celebrity culture, and sensationalism, which, as you say, is totally opposed to the Greens’ MO.

      • Ant 1.2.2

        I think the Greens were just starved of oxygen in the media, had a few smears chucked their way, and those “Love New Zealand?” billboards were off the mark — a lot of the left needlessly overcomplicated their advertising.

        Anecdotally the smear about the Greens going with National in coalition might have lost a few votes in some sectors. I had to convince a family member who was withdrawing their Green party vote that it was a beat up.

        There are still a generation of people who consume traditional media that dirty politics of that variety works on, they still have a innate trust of mainstream journalists.

        I think that vote went back to Labour in the end, so it could be a case of an average Green result ameliorating what would have been an even more terrible Labour result.

        • weka 1.2.2.1

          I also think its likely that people didn’t vote GP because of the smear. Seeing the reaction of people here in ts who didn’t understand the actual GP position and instead got caught up by the smear, and then extrapolating that into the general public, most of whom will be unaware of the GP’s actual position and why they have it, it’s not hard to see votes going elsewhere.

          There is a lesson here for the GP though. You can’t rely on people understanding the complexities of internal party process and choices, esp during an election campaign. I don’t expect this to be done in public, but I hope to hell there is some reflection in how Norman and the wider party machine responded to the smear and better strategy for next time (because tehre will be a next time).

          Having said that, it looks to me like there was a lot of vote shuffling between many parties and in the end it’s really hard to tell where the votes went and for what reason.

          • KJT 1.2.2.1.1

            I know a few people who did not vote Green because of the smear that we would go with National. A clever bit of dirty politics, false flag, by the National parties cheer squad.

            From my, admittedly, small sample size, a hundred of so people, it translates into much more than 2%

  2. AmaKiwi 2

    During the Shearer era I joined the Greens. My political opponents were:

    1. The Key government
    2. The Labour caucus.

    I returned to Labour when Cunliffe became leader. Since the prospects of Labour becoming a democratically governed organization are near zero, I expect to be re-joining the Greens shortly.

    Labour Caucus dinosaurs take note: In this election I worked more than 300 hours for Labour and donated $2,000 cash and more than $500 in other bits and pieces. By rejecting my participation in governing the party, you reject me. Goodbye.

  3. karol 3

    Yeah. The right will do their best to destroy any potential challengers, by fair means or foul.

  4. marie 4

    In many ways the Greens’ campaign was strong and the polling before the election reflected this. However, frequent attempts to try and position the Greens as the main opposition party damaged both the Labour and Green vote. Attacks on Labour’s budget, e.g., played into National’s hands. Most importantly though, Russel’s talk of cosying up with National scared off many new voters and worried their long time supporters. The Left will not be in power unless all of its parts are united. The Greens have to accept that they played a part in the outcome on election night. Unfortunately, I don’t see any evidence yet that this is the case. As National is very well aware…..united we stand, divided we fall.

    • karol 4.1

      marie, two of the criticisms you make of the Greens are things manufactureed by the MSM:

      1) The Greens didn’t attack the Labour budget: they said they would have it scrutinised in the same way that they had their own budget scrutinised by an independent body. The aim of this is to giver more credibility to any budget the Greens promote or support.

      2) The talk of cosying up to National was all the MSM.

      Furthermore, what Dave said above.

      • marie 4.1.1

        Unfortunately, the MSM will take whatever parties on the Left say and twist it to sound as if the parties/factions are at odds. The Greens may have only wanted to look at Labour’s budget as they looked at their own, but, let’s not be naive here…..there was always going to be only one way the MSM would portray that comment!

        This also goes for Russel’s comments on TV about working with National.

      • weka 4.1.2

        “2) The talk of cosying up to National was all the MSM.”

        Yes, Corin Dann made a sensation out of nothing, but if the GP want to be the main opposition they will have to wise up on this. I don’t think we have any way of knowing whether what Dann did or Norman’s response cost the GP votes, or whether it gave them soft right wing votes. Myself, I think it’s better to stick with the core vote than try and pick up the soft right ones and to that end the GP need to lift their game on responding to media manipulation.

        I can see how some people thought the GP attacked Labour over the budget, but I think it only looks that way because Labour were struggling so badly. The GP’s point about the audit was valid, but perhaps they could have made the point earlier in the campaign?

        • KJT 4.1.2.1

          It was very clear what the Green position was about working with National.

          The media chose to invent their own story.

          I don’t know how you can counter that degree of deliberate representation, when the media publishes the initial BS on the front page, and the rebuttal is deliberately buried on the business section.

          And the Greens said that all parties should get their polices independently costed. Not Labour in particular. Another example of shameless spin from an unabashedly partisan media.

          • KJT 4.1.2.1.1

            Mis-representation.

          • weka 4.1.2.1.2

            Norman was on the telly the next morning, he had the chance to shout out that the GP would (a) support Labour to change the govt and (b) wouldn’t support a National govt because of policy. He did actually say that, but he didn’t say it clearly enough for the people that want and need a clear statement.

  5. as a green insider..

    ..cd you please tell us if the greens are doing any work on how to instruct their supporters to vote tactically..

    ..to try to avoid a repitition of the vote-splitting/gifting to the right up and down the country..

    ..with perhaps the most egregious/irony-drenched example being dunne..the man who has previously kept the greens out of govt..

    ..winning his seat by 900+ seats..

    ..and the green party candidates..getting 2,400 electorate votes..

    ..how can that fact/result have you not both face-palming..and smashing yr foreheads into yr desks..?

    ..and until the greens/progressives get their shit together..and learn how to both work together and to tactically vote..

    ..the progressives will just continue gifting election results to the right..

    ..and gifting his seat to that utter douchebag..dunne..

    ..w.t.f. are you thinking..?

    • marie 5.1

      Absolutely agree!

      • weka 5.1.1

        There are a few problems for the GP with giving instructions to voters on tactical voting.

        One is that there are always going to be people who you can’t reach, and that number may be significant. People who already know they vote GP but aren’t following the election. I suspect there are quite a few of those.

        The other is that if the GP starts telling its voters how to vote tactically, it loses some moral high ground and starts to looking like the dirty dealing right. The dirty dealing right can get away with that, I don’t think the GP can, because its voters actually value ethics.

        Better that the GP simply don’t stand candidates in crucial electorates. They didn’t put anyone in Te Tai Tokerau, although it’s never been clear if that was intentional or because they didn’t have anyone suitable. They could have chosen to do the same for Ōhāriu.

        I’m not sure if there were any other electorates this time that could have affected the outcome of the election, so beyond that it’s about granting concessions to Labour so they can have a seat MP over National. That ain’t gonna happen unless Labour start working contructively with the GP as an ally. Even then I’m not sure it would because (a) the GP appear to have pretty staunch policy on not doing this (see my questions for Dave below) and (b) the GP would be giving up party votes if they did this (the main point of standing someone in an electorate is because it increases the party vote for the GP).

        • outofbed 5.1.1.1

          I think you will find that any discussions of electoral accommodation between the Greens and Labour would have to have two willing parties.
          I think the question therefore is best addressed to Labour

          • weka 5.1.1.1.1

            yes, which is what I am saying, but I’m not suggesting that the GP do accomodations with Labour, I’m suggesting they don’t stand people in key electorates for the greater good. Nothing to do with Labour.

            • KJT 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Labour, in many cases take the attitude that they own the left vote and the Green upstarts are pinching it.

              My answer is they abandoned the left vote in 1984, and it is up to them to earn it back.
              However as both parties membership aims are so close, we should be working together.

            • phillip ure 5.1.1.1.1.2

              of course it has to ‘do with’ labour..

              ..labour and the greens have to learn to make accomodations with each other..

              ..(the mechanics of which they will have to work out..)

              ..these repeated battles to the death just lead to splitting the vote and defeat..

              ..and just hurt the progressive-cause..

              ..but if they can’t even get it together to throw dunne out..

              ..and turei after the election claimed ‘there was nothing more the greens could have done..’

              ..i do kinda despair..

              • KJT

                It means that Labour MP’s also have to be progressive. The Labour caucus seems more “regressive”.

                And, like Weka I do feel for Labour members who, I think, have been let down badly by MP’s who do not respect Democracy within the party.

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                Well NZ First didnt run any electorates at all. None Zero Zilch

                How did that turn out for them ?

                Of course you cant give labour a gift without something in return.

                I electoral terms, Green doesnt seem close to winning any electorates, so why divert resources.

                In fact voters ‘could be seen to be Ok’ with giving electorate vote Labour ( or even national if they like their MP) but give their party vote Green.

                Phil ‘Ure are a genuis”

                • weka

                  “Well NZ First didnt run any electorates at all. None Zero Zilch

                  How did that turn out for them ?”

                  Let’s see how well that works for them once the Peters factor is gone.

                  The GP stand in electorates to increase the party vote. How many times does this have to be said? They’re not going to give that up without some meaningful quid pro quo.

                • alwyn

                  “Well NZ First didnt run any electorates at all. None Zero Zilch”

                  What on earth are you saying here? In my tired mood this morning I read it to be claiming that New Zealand First didn’t have candidates standing in any of the electorates. Silly me. When I look at the official website –
                  http://www.elections.org.nz/
                  I discover from a casual look at the first 12 electorates they give results for, that is Bay of Plenty to Epsom, that 5 of them had New Zealand First candidates.

                  What were you really trying to say, since my interpretation must be wrong?

                • Wynston

                  NZ First did run electoral candidates in at least some seats. We had one here in Invercargill.

              • weka

                “..labour and the greens have to learn to make accomodations with each other..”

                That’s not possible until Labour sorts its shit out. In the meantime the GP can choose to not stand in key electorates, irrespective of Labour. The key electorates (Ōhāriu and TTT) didn’t require any kind of deal with Labour.

                I’m also not convinced that formal accommodations are the way to go at this point. It really depends on what Labour does.

                • ..why did they stand in ohariu this time..?

                  ..it is bone-headed stupidity..

                  ..they could have done away with dunne..

                  ..the man who blocked them from govt..

                  ..and they chose not to..?

                  ..they gifted him his 11th term..?

                  ..but there is ‘nothing the greens could have done better..?

                  ..whoar..!..

    • The Al1en 5.2

      Rather than going way off topic, if you really want to know the answer to your questions, you could always go here to find out https://www.greens.org.nz/contact

      Replace the first line of your post with Dear Green party, then copy and paste the rest of it and press send.
      Let us know how you get on.

    • We had a very good article in our members magazine on voting in an MMP environment. Communicating tactics to our wider supporters is hugely problematic. When it comes down to it, the Party vote is the simplest message and ensures us of the best result. Electorate voting can be a distraction and only really becomes a real issue in electorates like Epsom.

  6. CeeH 6

    I also am looking to leave Labour if DC does not get to retain leadership. So sick of Labour changing leaders every time they lose. I have always admired the Greens for their unity – in the party and especially between the 2 leaders. Russell and Metiria look like they can handle the pressure of the right wing media. In the chch debate I will never forget Russell’s response to a question when asked why should someone who organized his life differently help feed someone’s children who made wrong choices? His reply was because it’s not the kids fault why their parents make unwise decisions then added and when they grow up they will provide for his super. Touched my heart that did. I hope the Green Party can outwit the Nats.

  7. Jay 7

    Like most kiwis I love our beautiful country, but I could never vote greens as their social policies are too far left for me, and I believe wealth for our country is in exports and therefore extraction. If I was planning party strategy going forward I would be like the Maori party and position the Greens to work with either side for the good of the planet. With National signalling they will be doing more for our environment the Greens run a serious risk of losing even more vote next election. I don’t think labour have a dogs show of leading the next government, are green party supporters prepared to waste their vote again next election? Are the greens prepared to take at least six more years in opposition? Can they survive that? What I am sure of is that it would be foolish to do the same things this term and expect a different result next election.

    • karol 7.1

      That’s worked out so well for the Maori Party.

      • KJT 7.1.1

        When Greens lost so many votes at even a hint they may join National.

        And the Maori party have tanked, for actually doing it.
        Though Flavell has genuine mana, it will be a long time before Maori voters forget.

    • KJT 7.2

      What are you going to tell your grandkids when NZ is mined out, running water is all too polluted to use and we are overrun with armed climate refugees.

  8. weka 8

    Thanks for the post Dave. A few questions,

    “What I think has happened is that our committed Green voters actually strengthened”

    What evidence is there that the MSM coverage is the crucial thing in the last few weeks to increasing votes?

    Is the GP going to revisit concessions? (re Ōhāriu and Te Tai Tokerau) Is there any kind of discussion about this, or is it simply off the table? BY concessions I don’t necessarily mean formal deals, but looking at whether the benefit of standing a candidate in any given electorate is outweighed by the greater good (eg Ōhāriu).

    • Weka you are right the MSM wasn’t crucial to our success, probably there wasn’t a general mood for a change and people didn’t see a strong Government from Labour/Greens, we weren’t getting the numbers and Labour was struggling. It is always difficult to change a government when the economy appears to be ticking along for most people and all those who aren’t getting a fair deal still aren’t voting.

      The concession issue will be part of our positioning discussions we have each year.

      • I should have said each election year.

      • weka 8.1.2

        hmm, I wasn’t saying that the MSM weren’t crucial, I was just asking if there is evidence. The only thing I can think of is if the GP or someone did some polling on the issue. Or perhaps there is a pattern from previous elections to go on. It seems difficult to know what happened this year, lots of variable.s

        “The concession issue will be part of our positioning discussions we have each year.”

        Where do those discussions take place? (asking as a member).

        • We will do some polling and analysis as part of our campaign review. Political positioning is discussed with our wider membership at branch and provincial level and feedback is shaped into a remit that goes to our AGM before an election year. It has roughly been the same over the past two elections.

  9. anker 9

    I think it isn’t helpful to be talking about the Greens becoming the main opposition party, while Labour is struggling at the moment.

    That may well happen and by all means plan to strengthen your base. But it could be interpreted in a way that goes against all the talk of the left needing to be united. I think all parties on the left have done it and there are many examples, so I am not saying “it’s just the Greens, blah, blah ,blah”.

    BTW does anyone have the link for the face book page “keep David Cunliffe face book page” . I will definitely leave Labour if Shearer gets in.

    • weka 9.1

      Hi anker, the way I read it is that the GP is no longer wiling to play second fiddle to Labour not least because Labour has consistently, for years, spurned them.

      There is also the issue of Labour’s struggle being a left/right one. If the GP wait until that is resolved, they may find that Labour go right and in the meantimes ground is lost on the left. From a Green perspective we don’t have time (AGW esp but also the damage that National will do).

      My sense is that the GP is out of patience on both being spurned and with Labour’s internal problems. I do feel for Labour party supporters like you and others here, and I dearly wish that Labour would just go left and be the party its meant to be. But I think it’s more likely that Labour will remain a centrist party, and in that case the GP need to go hard to claim the left ground, and that unfortunately includes when Labour are struggling.

      Having said that, looking at what the GP are doing, I think this would be their strategy coming out of this election not matter what Labour were doing or not doing.

      • KJT 9.1.1

        The Greens are already trying to stop National’s destruction.

        Labour are re-arranging the leadership, Again!

        The party belongs to the membership, not caucus.

  10. Mark 10

    Weka Labour went left under Cunliffe and we’re soundly rejected by electorate because that is not the political inclination of most kiwis. Centre left has a chance to govern bUT the electorate want labour to focus on job creation not benefit entitlements. The roots of Labour sits with workers and having access to decent jobs with fair working conditions. Too many people I know have gone away from labour because they feel that labour has forgotten what it stands for

    • KJT 10.1

      “Labour went left” bullshit.

      What polices changed to more, left.

      Labour went up in the polls, and membership increased, as Cunliffe gained the leadership, because everyone thought they would again become a left wing party supporting workers, the disadvantaged and the rest of us.

      When that failed to happen, the vote went down.

      When National went left, pretended to care about children and old people, their vote went up.

    • KJT 10.2

      Disgustingly low levels of benefits, and the deliberate (Caused by Government immigration and employment policy) pool of desperate unemployed, ARE keeping hard working New Zealanders wages down.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.3

      Mark, all the way through the election campaign, all the political leaders said they had no chance to discuss policy.

      Now, how would things have played out minus KDC? Have a bleedin’ guess.

      Are you lying deliberately about Labour’s focus on welfare over work, or are you just an unthinking dupe, regurgitating the lines you’re been spoonfed?

      Do I have to cut and paste from Labour’s policy documents and rub your dupe face in them?

  11. boldsirbrian 11

    ( boldsirbrian – I was “brian” but have changed my username to avoid confusion with others)

    Your link to “and the work has already begun.” at the end of the article.

    I followed the link, and the Greens have indeed hit the ground running.
    Impressive. Very impressive

    The Greens were ignored in the election campaign because of the Dirty Politics, the Moment of Truth, and the Media obsession with the direction Winston First would go. (I’ve no regrets about the issues of Dirty Politics and the GCSB, as they were and are extremely important. I’ve nothing to offer on the continuing cunning politics by Winnie)

    The Greens are currently being overshadowed by the circus over the fence at Labour. Good omens are that Labour recognise that they made a mistake not cooperating with the Greens. The Greens however still need to sort out their voting in strategic electorates such as Ohariu.

    All I can say to the Greens, is please continue to carry on doing as you are doing. The Party may not have increased it’s share of the vote, but it has held it’s own. The image of Greens is now of a professional, stable party. Gone are the days when it could promise anything, without a hope of being anything else but an opposition voice. It’s a party with pride. The vision is clear. People know what it stands for. There is a base on which it can still grow.

    • boldsirbrian 11.1

      ( boldsirbrian – I was “brian” but have changed my username to avoid confusion with others)

      @ boldsirbrian (11)

      Just some more bouquets for Greens, that the Labour circus could take note of, perhaps.

      Leadership
      Smart move, made years ago to have the “double” leadership. It works. Well. Both leaders are sharp and competent. The two leaders are better than the sum of their parts. There is no sense of one being more “senior” than the other, or the two being in competition. It’s really just as good as it could be.

      Team
      The Greens present the best “team” of all the parties. Go to the Greens website. There is not the image of the Party being a “One Man Show”. For a start there are two leaders presenting news and policy. But there is also plenty from the team. This, in the long term provides credibility for everybody in the Party. And so all candidates, as well as the Leader(s) are effectively selling the Party, as well as themselves. Contrast this with both Labour and the Dirty Party. Their whole credibility rests with the Leader, and everybody else is effectively silenced. For the other parties, it is a waste of resources.

      Vision
      The Greens are becoming known for their clear vision on the environment. The Party has been consistent for years. It is the single most important vision that marks them out from all other parties. The Greens are correct in not compromising on principles. Economic growth should not, and must not trump long term environmental concerns.

      But apart from the environment, the Greens have carved out a position where they clearly stand for Social Justice (Issues of Poverty and Inequality, for example), and individual freedom ( Opposition to Five evil eyes, etc) that can be equalled elsewhere, but not bettered. They are also the “Goto” party for responsible comment on science , which again can be equalled elsewhere, but not bettered.

      I assume that discussion within the Greens is robust. This is, after all, politics. But what the Greens do particularly well is model cooperativeness; friendliness, helpfulness. Above all, they are not tainted at all, with (even the smell of) Dirty Politics. These attributes perhaps mean little in the short term, but are significant in the long term.

      Watch list
      Green candidate to watch for in the future: Robert Moore

  12. James 12

    Let National have the country. The people got the government they wanted and the government they deserve.

  13. waikatosinger 13

    Reviewing the RMA is apparently high up in National’s agenda for the next parliamentary term. That should also help boost the Greens to prominence in the opposition as it is exactly their kind of issue.

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    Seventy-eight new Police constables are heading out to the regions following today’s graduation of a new recruit wing from the Royal New Zealand Police College. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the record high number of new Police officers being recruited, ...
    2 weeks ago