Metiria Turei: The state of the Nation

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, January 26th, 2016 - 45 comments
Categories: greens, Metiria Turei, Politics - Tags:

This is due today at 12:30 pm.  Speech notes will be posted as soon as we can get them.  The livestream of the speech is here.

Update with speech notes:

Tēnā koutou katoa

I te tuatahi ka mihi au ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe, āra, ko Te Ātiawa, ko
Taranaki Whānui, ko Ngāti Toarangatira hoki. Kia ora koutou katoa mō tō
manaakitanga.

Ki a koutou kua tae mai i tēnei ahiahi, te whanau a Pāti Kākāriki, me ngā
manuhiri, koutou katoa, tēnā koutou.

Ka tu manahau ahau mo tenei korerorero kia a koutou kia matatika ai te ao
torangapu ma tatou katoa.

He tino harikoa ahau ki te kite i a koutou i a koutou katoa.
Ko Metiria Turei ahau, te kaiārahi takirua o Te Rōpū Kākāriki.
Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

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

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

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

I’ve been in parliament nearly fourteen years. I’ve been an opposition leader for
almost seven of those. One of my goals and the aim of the Green Party is to try
and stop history from repeating itself. To prevent yet another systemic collapse
like the one that Savage warned about. The depression he warned about, and
ended up leading New Zealand out of, was economic. The problems we’re talking
about today and that we’re trying to avert are both economic and
environmental. They’re going to be harder to recover from if we let them
happen.

And I hear the same doubts expressed about the Greens as they said to Savage.
We like you. We like your ideas. We’re worried about the future. But you’ve
never been in government before, so how can we trust you with our vote? It’s a
Catch-22.

So today I want to talk about these reservations people have about us and tell
you why you can trust us with your vote and with the responsibility of helping to
govern the country. And I hope to convince you that you should do this now.
Because it’s a lot easier to not make a mess in the first place than it is to clean
one up.

The first thing I want to talk about is this idea that the Greens are too radical.
Too outlandish. We have all these audacious ideas that won’t work in the real
world.

We are the party of new ideas. We make no apology for that. It’s very easy in
politics to focus on day-to-day trivia. Rather than on what really matters.
The Green Party has taken pride in unashamedly talking about serious issues.
We don’t shy away from the hard stuff.

We look at pollution and see a world’s worth of risks. And so we challenge the
damage to our rivers caused by dairying, the use of toxics that put the bee
population at risk, the pollution that puts our very planet at risk. We tackle these
hard issues because we know the solutions are opportunities, not burdens.
We see a future where all our families can go swimming in New Zealand’s rivers
and lakes, where our native birds and forests are humming and we have
certainty in a great future for all our kids.

Imagine if the Government stopped seeing state homes, and the people who live
in them as a burden, a problem better shifted out of sight so out of mind.
Imagine if we had a Government instead that worked with the people that lived
in those communities to design beautiful new homes and neighbourhoods that
people actually want to live in. Michael Joseph Savage made that real once
before. We see a future where all New Zealanders live in warm, dry affordable
homes. Where children are no longer at risk of dying simply because of the
home they live in.

And we see a New Zealand where our people and our sovereignty are our
priority. Not international companies and their profit margins. Not trade deals
with countries who execute their citizens. But a green economy built on fairness,
pay equity, on the new global opportunities that sit just within our reach. If we
are willing to lean forward to take them.

However, under National we are falling far short of this vision. Rather than
leaning forward to take these opportunities, the National Government has sat
back and let things get worse.

Harmful pollution under this Government: Up.
Kids living in poverty: Also up.
New Zealanders unemployed: Up.
House unaffordability: Way up.

That is the record of this National Government.

Our record is pretty good for a party that’s never been in Government. We’ve
had agreements with both Labour and National and through these, we’ve
delivered significant wins for New Zealanders.

Our MoU with National meant over 235,000 New Zealand homes had insulation
installed as part of the Warm Up New Zealand scheme. Not only did this mean
there were 235,000 homes worth of warmer Kiwis, but $1.2 billion worth of
health benefits came from the scheme. Our MoU has delivered more value to
New Zealand than from policies brought about by National’s actual coalition
partners in fact.

We weren’t in coalition with Labour in 2005 but we were still able to secure the
electrification of Auckland rail, we won a commitment to increase the minimum
wage, and two Green MPs were the Government spokespeople on energy
efficiency and Buy Kiwi Made.

In just the last 12 months we supported the Feed the Kids campaign that has led
to hundreds of local initiatives to feed hungry children at school. We launched
the ‘Yes We can’ climate emission reduction plan to show how we can meet a 40
percent reduction by 2030 by being ambitious for New Zealand. We announced
our intention for a gender balanced Cabinet so that half of all Green Ministers
will be men [because they have a place too] and challenged our future coalition
partners to do the same. We launched the Kids Kiwisaver Scheme to combat
growing wealth inequality and give all our kids some savings for their future. We
led the walkout of women MPs from Parliament to show that rape is not and
should never be a political weapon.

These wins, these solutions, this leadership, shows we are capable of governing.
Our goal is to effect meaningful change. And sometimes when you challenge
conventional wisdom people feel threatened, and they call you ludicrous. For the
past few years we’ve been questioning the Government’s reliance on dairy to
prop up the economy. And we got told we were foolish, many many times right
up until the price of milk solids collapsed last year. We argued that we needed
more diversification, more investment in science and innovation, and John Key
used to tell us we were, quote, away with the fairies, unquote, for suggesting
this. Now some of his press releases about science and diversification read like
the Green Party election manifesto.

We were the first to talk about climate change. Outrageous. Last year National
signed the Paris agreement. Capital gains tax. Ridiculous, until suddenly we got
a version of one in last year’s budget. Inequality. Foolish. Energy efficient
homes. Weird. Cycling and public transport. Bill English told us for many years
that we were completely wrong for suggesting he invest more in cycling and
public transport. Now, National and the Greens are working together on building
a nationwide cycle trail. And we’ve heard that tomorrow his boss, the Prime
Minister, is finally going to announce funding on the Auckland central rail link.
Oh, that’s another good idea we campaigned for.

There are two lessons here. The first is that ideas that are attacked as radical
when the Greens propose them become conventional, sensible solutions very
quickly when other parties adopt them. That tells us something about the gap
between perception and reality when it comes to the Green Party.

The second is that if you still think Green ideas are too radical for government
then you have a problem. Because no matter which party you vote for, a lot of
the new ideas and new solutions still come from us.

The difference is that the solutions we propose are thought through. They flow
from our values. They’re designed to complement each other. And when the
other parties cherry pick them it’s usually out of a motivation to be seen to be
doing something, while the solution itself is diluted.

So if you like our ideas but want them done properly then you really need to get
us into government.

The other thing I want to say about this notion that we’re too radical is that
when it comes to environmental and social and economic issues we’re actually a
fairly conservative party. We think that the economic experiment imposed on
our country over the last thirty years is radical. We think that doubling the
number of dairy cows and the increasing pollution killing our rivers and streams
is radical. We think a government that wants to mine our national parks is
fanatical. We think the steep rise in child poverty and poverty related child death
is radically irresponsible.

It’s not radical to stand against the disintegration of our environment and our
society. It would be radical not to do so.

One of the core strengths of the Green Party is to think long-term. I talked about
Michael Joseph Savage and the first Labour Government. A lot of their reforms
are still with us today, eighty years later. State housing. Free hospital care. Free
secondary education. And yes, some of those policies have been chipped away
at, but their essence remains.

We want our accomplishments to have the same sustained popular support as
those first Labour reforms all those years ago.

The progressive green change that we want to make happen has the potential to
be the potent idea mix that fixes the big problems of the early 21st century and
steers a course to great prosperity. But change isn’t the easy route. This
Government likes the easy route. It likes to make minimal changes. They like to
do just enough so we feel like something is happening. But real meaningful
change is much harder.

Over this summer break, I’ve been home in Dunedin, reconnecting as you do,
with family and friends and thinking about my personal contribution to this work,
whether I can still make a difference, whether I’m still useful to the Green
kaupapa.

And the time I spent out of the beltway, doing ordinary things away from politics
I thought about why I’m a Green and it’s that we take on the big problems. We
talk about the hard issues that the other parties prefer to ignore, climate,
environment, poverty, kids. And that’s because we remember who we really
belong to. And who we answer to.

I remembered ka whawhai tonu mātou: that the struggle for justice and equality
is the struggle without end. And that it is a great privilege and a great
responsibility to take up that struggle and rise to be a leader in it.
I’m in politics because I believe in the transformational power of government.
And a Government with the Greens in it will be transformational. But we don’t
want to make change that abandons people, or communities. We’ve had enough
of that kind of change in my lifetime, and we know what it does to our loved
ones.

We want to make change that will still be helping people for the next eighty
years, and we can’t do that if that change is chaotic or unpopular, and the
subsequent Government just sweeps it all away again. The Greens are
committed to change that endures.

So how are we going to do that? We’ll be talking about our major policies over
the next 12 months. But part of the philosophy of the Green Party is to look for
small changes you can make that will have a big outcome. And the policy I want
to talk about today is a small change to our political process that will have a big
impact on our democracy.

During election campaigns there’s always a lot of conflict and shouting between
politicians about whose policy costs what, and where the money will come from.
Which party is going to get us into surplus ten minutes faster than the others,
and so on.

We get criticised a lot for the supposed cost of our policies. But we do extensive
work costing all of our policies before each election. We release fiscal
statements. We get them audited.

National doesn’t do that. They don’t because there’s a perception that they’re
sensible and trustworthy on economic issues. So the reality is they get to make
it up as they go along. Money appears out of thin air and no one even blinks.
The asset sales are a good example. John Key pitched it as freeing up $7-10
billion. They got $4.7 billion. Then Bill English promised to spend that money
many times over, in completely different ways depending on who he was talking
to. We got scammed. And no-even even blinked.

So what I’m here to announce today is a measure designed to bring a little more
transparency and accountability into New Zealand politics. Today, the Green
Party has sent a letter to each party leader, asking for support from across the
House to establish an independent unit in the Treasury to cost policy promises.
Political parties could submit their policies for costing to this independent unit,
which would then produce a report with information on both the fiscal and wider
economic implications of the policy.

Instead of New Zealanders making their decisions based on spin and who can
shout the loudest, they will have meaningful, independently verified information
instead.

It will also ensure that policy promises are stable and durable because parties
won’t be able to promise the earth unless they have the earth to give.
So we are going to work with the other political parties in Parliament to try and
make this a reality for the 2017 election. And it’s going to be very interesting to
see which parties support it and who opposes it. Hopefully everyone will support
it. It won’t cost much. It’s good for our democracy. It’s good for New Zealand.
Political power can transform the country for the better, and make a positive
difference to the lives of generations to come, if that power is exercised with
responsibility and caution. So the first things we should ask of those who seek to
wield that power is what they’re going to do, how they’re going to do it, and
what it’s going to cost.

So we call on the other political parties to welcome this idea and to work with us
to make next year’s election more accountable and democratic. To close this gap
we have between perception and reality, the gap between what political leaders
say and what we actually do.

The role of Government is not to provide entertainment or sideshows. The role
of Government is to lead the country; to fix the problems that need fixing. The
Green Party has been developing solutions for two decades now, two decades
where our solutions have been adopted by other parties because we get it right.
The future can be scary to think about but it doesn’t have to be. We will make
enduring Green change that keeps children and families at the heart of our work.
The solutions to the problems we face are not radical, or outlandish, the
solutions are transformative.

So I want you to take away this key point, this one thing about the Green Party
and our political system: while change is not easy and meaningful change takes
hard work; the Green Party is ready for that job.

Together we are heading towards a beautiful tomorrow.

45 comments on “Metiria Turei: The state of the Nation ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    Apparently they’re going to announce a modest policy, perhaps about the TPPA?

    Labour is apparently going to have a major policy announcement for their ‘state of the nation’ speech, which I think might be about the TPPA, and possibly why Little was so mealy-mouthed this morning when interviewed about it, because he wants to keep their plans under wraps until their speech?

  2. fisiani 2

    The asset sales are a good example. John Key pitched it as freeing up $7-10
    billion. They got $4.7 billion.
    And she well knows it would have been closer to the first figure but for the last minute economic vandalism of the greens spooking investors with their talk of nationalising the power companies.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      And here is me thinking that National was in power.

    • Lanthanide 2.2

      How much did they sell Solid Energy for, again?

      Oh, they didn’t sell Solid Energy, they actually had to repeatedly bail it out, due to their own inept management?

    • roy cartland 2.3

      Amazing. It’s the Green’s fault that the Prime Minister was both incompetent and fraudulent.

    • Muttonbird 2.4

      Massive fail from the government. They got less than half their upper estimate.

      No one even blinked.

      They really are terrible with numbers as Turei points out. Today, the operating deficit for the first 5 months of 15/16 is a massive 30% higher than forecast.

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/294947/govt-deficit-higher-than-expected

    • framu 2.5

      kind of amazing that despite people knowing that asset sales are both political and unwanted they

      A) bought shares without accepting the inherent risk of a politically charged purchase (esp over time)

      and

      B) seem to think that the ONLY factor in the sub par price was due to clearly signalled policy under a potential new govt

      its almost as if they think it stopped being political – even with 51% govt ownership

    • Stuart Munro 2.6

      Stolen goods always sell at a discount. And the buyer better beware.

  3. im right 3

    Actually, the only ‘Catch-22’ is the fact that Labour cannot win without The Greens and this is why they cannot both muster (and maintain) 45%+ between them, like it or not but the ‘occasional’ Labour voter, a soft centre left swing voter, is frightened off at the thought of having The Green party in Govt. Methinks Metiria should step down and give the party a fresh face and outlook, someone that Shaw could show a new front with (has to be a female of course which doesn’t do your party any favours being so PC that co-leadership male/female is in your constitution, but with no female putting their hand up it seems the status quo is unfortunately maintained)

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      Such good advice, it must be only the four hundredth time one of you parrots has squawked it in mindless repetition.

      • im right 3.1.1

        @ OAB, And it’s still not getting through to the left!, you all slice and dice…analyse and post mortem then post in thread after thread blaming anyone/everything after big defeats or poor poll results….and here we are 7 years later and you have learned nothing…..looks like the ‘Such Good Advice’ is never heeded as it’s always easier to blame the MSM, missing million or indeed some other conspiracy theory de jour.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          A sick parrot looks like a plausible comment that strikes a blow for the person who presented it, but upon closer inspection and unpacking its relevance is at best tangential and its truth is unimportant. The key is that any refutation or discussion of the parrot necessarily diverts the discussion from the topic at hand. It’s also generally rewalking the same tired ground from previous discussions, and is generally unimaginative or unoriginal – but it requires legwork to disprove and debate.

          http://thestandard.org.nz/musings-on-dead-cats-and-sick-parrots/

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.2

          Perhaps so. Or perhaps it’s a bunch of weasel words offered in bad faith by people who will never vote Green.

          Yeah, that second one, it seems far more likely given the low ethics and National Party values involved.

          • Thom Pietersen 3.1.1.2.1

            However, I voted party Green last time – once I felt they had dropped the silly anti science shit – but now, back to the Labour losers with their PC rabble that has destroyed the workers party…

            All in, the left is a pack of self destructing turds out of touch with the progressive socialist centre, with a chip on their shoulder ideology, promoting loony fringe policies – it’s a fucking turn off to be honest. Makes it damn hard to vote without coming out of the booth with the taste of sick in the back of my mouth.

            • Matthew Whitehead 3.1.1.2.1.1

              The whole left? Interesting. The Green Party has largely ditched that woo-woo alternative health faction, with the notable exception of a certain candidate for the Wellington DHB.

              That said, if you view political correctness, which is essentially having consideration for the feelings of others in how you speak, to be a problem, maybe you’re never going to vote for a party even slightly left of centre, and belong with NZ First at best. *shrug*

              • Thom Pietersen

                Voted left my whole life, so has one side of my family going back several generations all the way back to to north of England/Borders/Scotland and esp. miners. Consideration of others, yes, pragmatically, and fairly – whats happening at the moment is muddying the waters with issues that is a turn off to the middle. But hey, if you don’t want to compromise (be inclusive to people that don’t think your way), you’ll have no way to fight quietly in the background to change the attitudes you want – at the moment, to be honest, the left has become a lost cause to the shouty people that have been insulted… upset… and offended.

                NZ First – seriously? But then why a cross over in the polls, myself I’d be a little bit sick first, but I understand, even if you don’t.

                *Shug*

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        +1

    • Puckish Rogue 3.2

      Well Labour have done it before without the Greens

    • David H 3.3

      The only scared voters are the died (del) in the wool NAts that are horrifified that the Nats have gone this far left. As for the rest of the misogynistic rubbish…

  4. Lanthanide 4

    Hopefully the MSM will pressure the government to adopt the Green’s proposal.

    But of course they won’t, because the MSM are spineless repeaters, rather than a profession that take an active interest in our democracy or health of the country as a whole (except when it’s Labour they don’t like, then they have banners about “Democracy Under Attack”).

  5. Alex Stone 5

    Thank you for posting Metiria Turei’s speech.

    I am surprised that, given the opportunity to assert that the Green Party policies are not radical, she didn’t make any international comparisons.

    In a conversation once with Kennedy Graham, Green Party MP and their international affairs spokesperson, I asked him to give me examples of overseas countries with a policy package most similar to what a New Zealand Green government would be like.

    In his characteristic manner, he answered carefully and thoughtfully. He provided me with a list, covering smaller (or developing) economies, medium sized, and larger economies.

    They were: Costa Rica, Denmark, Switzerland, (the smaller countries); the UK and South Korea (the medium sized economies), and Germany. Does anyone think these are crackpot, radical, fall-apart countries? I think not.

    And I think the Greens should emphasise these comparisons more.

    • weka 5.1

      Good story that and good point.

    • Nick Nack 5.2

      I like Dr Graham, but I very much question his comparing NZ Green Party policy with those of the countries you cite, unless he is referring to very narrow policy areas.

      The Greens have a significant hurdle in that there have been so little Green party involvement in Governments globally. The closest was the Greens dalliance with Labour in Tasmania, and that ended in disaster. In NZ, Labour have repeatedly refused to endorse the Greens in a formal coalition, starving the party of much needed political credibility.

      • Lanthanide 5.2.1

        “In NZ, Labour have never been in a position in government where a coalition with the Greens was tenable due to their policy disagreements and electoral mathematics.”

        FTFY.

        • Nick Nack 5.2.1.1

          During much of the Clark years Labour ran a government with a healthy electoral majority, so while the electoral mathematics may not have demanded it, Labour did have a chance to send a signal to the electorate that they viewed the Greens as credible, in a similar way to Nationals ‘convenient’ arrangement with Act. As to the policy, if there is really that little in common, how is it that the Greens were touted so strongly as part of a grand coalition to defeat National in 2014?

          • alwyn 5.2.1.1.1

            ” how is it that the Greens were touted so strongly as part of a grand coalition”
            Apart from the Green MPs you mean?
            I don’t remember any Labour or New Zealand First MP saying a word about it. The might have, of course, but I can’t think of an occasion.

            • Nick Nack 5.2.1.1.1.1

              David Cunliffe mentioned it a number of times. In this article http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11320534 he clarifies that he intends to have a maximum of 3 parties ‘in Government’, and that he would possibly talk to the Maori Party. Labour did specifically rule out a coalition with Internet-Mana.

              • alwyn

                Yes Cunliffe said he could work with them. By that stage in the campaign with the dreadful numbers Labour had in the polls he could hardly have said anything else.
                Would you really regard this extract from what Cunliffe said as being “touted strongly”.

                “Mr Cunliffe also dismissed claims that Green co-leader Russel Norman was shaping up to become the chief position leader as “wishful thinking.” He said Dr Norman knew he would not get the finance portfolio after the election if Labour formed a Government with the Green Party”.

                Finance Portfolio. No way.
                On the other hand DC did same rather more complimentary things about Winston, wouldn’t you say?

                • Nick Nack

                  “Would you really regard this extract from what Cunliffe said as being “touted strongly”.”
                  Well yes, I would. It is a clear statement that the formation of a Labour led government would include NZF and the Greens. This link is possibly clearer http://www.3news.co.nz/politics/cunliffe-labour-nzf-greens-will-work-2014091809#axzz3yKHpZjwd, and includes this quote from DC himself “I can assure you there is enough common ground in policy terms and enough political experience amongst the leadership that we will, can and should make that work.”

                  DC’s comments about RN were likely designed to calm any potential concern over a Green Party Finance Minister. Politically I believe this was shrewd move by DC, but it hardly helps lift confidence in the Greens.

                  • alwyn

                    It took Cunliffe a long time to come to this willingness to work with the Greens, didn’t it?

                    Look at what he was saying in March.
                    “Notably, Labour leader David Cunliffe is refusing to say that he would include the Greens in a post-election coalition, only admitting that he would discuss the possibility with the Greens after the election”
                    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/nz-politics-daily-march-12th-2014-bd-153068

                    He got a lot more willing much later but by then he realised he was dead meat.

                    The Green Party were coming on much more strongly of course
                    “And they say that the possibility of sharing the role of deputy prime minister has to be on the negotiation table.” plus
                    “We are absolutely ready to take government at the next election,” said Mrs Turei.”
                    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11311273

                    • Nick Nack

                      My point is simply that after the comments Cunliffe made (and I would make the point this grand coalition was being well and truly promoted in media) it is very difficult for Labour to argue that ‘policy differences’ made a coalition ‘untenable’.

      • lefty 5.2.2

        The Greens have been part of Government in a number of places. Germany and Ireland for example.

        Like all social democrats these party’s sold out their members and supposed ideals at the first opportunity they got.

        It cannot be otherwise if you pretend to want change but insist on supporting capitalism.

        • Nick Nack 5.2.2.1

          So how do the Greens influence government in NZ, where the majority of the population are supporting parties who favour capitalism? To me it appears the treatment they have received from Labour in Government is no better than have National. PS I am not a Green voter, but I am interested in a broad political discourse in NZ.

  6. weka 6

    Intelligence, heart and strength, brilliant. I think that’s the best GP speech I’ve read. It’s also a very good exposition of what is meant by the Greens want change not power. It’s about time we gave them some more power as well so we can get to see what they do with it.

    So glad to hear Metiria is sticking around.

  7. savenz 7

    Good speech – liked the stock and farmer analogy (so true today – soon Kiwi farmers will have no farms and no stock but it will be in the hands of large corporations and offshore individuals).

    But why oh why no TPP? What is the problem with the opposition? How the hell can the Greens campaign for the environment and human rights standards when not be vitriolic about TPP, which is about to be signed here in the next 2 weeks!!

    Why remind every Greens worst fear, Greens and National together in some sort of Maori/Natz partnership or NatLite Labour scenario? i.e.

    “Now, National and the Greens are working together on building
    a nationwide cycle trail. And we’ve heard that tomorrow his boss, the Prime
    Minister, is finally going to announce funding on the Auckland central rail link.
    Oh, that’s another good idea we campaigned for.”

    People are really worried about big things now, having a house sounds like a mission or paying your power bill, so worrying about insulation or cycle ways are not necessary the most important thing for every Kiwi.

    Would like to see the Greens more radical but (and this is where they lost a lot of middle ground last time) concentrating on home owners as much as renters. A lot of people are mortgaged to the hilt, rather than the Greens appearing to celebrate a property crash which quite frankly losing ones home and job is not really a vote winner for the 65% of home owners (see what happened in the USA) and not really this redistribution of wealth many people in these blogs seems to think will happen. (Actually the rich get richer as they have all the money to buy up the cheap property see USA scenario and it takes out the middle class and poor).

    The problem with Labour and Greens is that they don’t seem to have a clue what is going on with the middle classes and why their is an obsession with property in NZ. One of the reasons Kiwis love their houses so much is that it is their only asset or retirement policy and there is nothing else to invest in. The government leads the way in this. Construct your way into economic debt. There needs to be a transition away from this, but appearing to want Kiwis to pay capital gains taxes so that overseas investors and developers can benefit isn’t exactly what Kiwis might have in mind. Wouldn’t a stamp duty be a better way?

    Immigration is often a horrible tool in political debate but in NZ it is clearly a big deal when we have 60,000 migrants coming in, but no jobs or houses for them and nobody mentions it apart from Winston Peters.

    Buying up NZ land and houses is actually a criteria for investment in NZ still. Buy now and get free NZ passport to boot!!!

    This is a Bminus effort from Greens. Not terrible but I’m not set to riot over this speech. The Greens do some great speeches and are a consistent party but need to step up off small details (insulation, cycle ways) and get into the big boys or girls pants and start shouting TPP NO WAY , removing or taxing foreign investors, Universal benefit or a complete new way to do social welfare and radical ways to improve businesses in NZ and make them more ethical and unable to avoid their fair share of taxes as well as increasing NZ clean green policies that have been decimated under the Natz.

    They need to protect more local rights and ideologies. The way to change the world is to start in your own backyard and community and so far there is not really a party wanting to protect and foster the majority of NZ citizens. Rather than telling people what they need to do more of (pay more taxes, insulate your house) they need to want to support and help the citizens of this country by cleaning up the water ways, keeping food safe, working out why our power bills are so high, why the SIS is allowed to spy on everyone without a warrant, why our houses are speculated internationally etc). Often the Greens are supporting all the right things but they are most vocal on more trivial aspects. The amount of emails I get about warm houses from the Greens for example. Yep NZ houses are from the 1900’s and terrible – but the Natz idea is to sell them off so that the Chinese billionaires and Auzzies can refurbish them and charge more rent. Is that really a winner for the poor?

    If someone is homeless telling them about having a warm house might not be their main priority? Likewise if someone can’t afford to pay their mortgage or about to lose 6000 more jobs under TPP and lower the minimum wages and conditions and pretty much take over government decisions under the ISDS.

    Greens should be talking about how the Natz are bankrupting this country AND selling it off and polluting it to boot.

    Start fighting Greens, and people will rally behind.

  8. gsays 8

    i am encouraged by the speech and like the mjs analogy.

    what surprised me was the notion that treasury needs an independent department.

    perhaps i am naive, i assumed treasury was impartial and that the pollys spin or lie about any costings/findings.

  9. Stuart Munro 9

    Metiria has hit the nail on the head: we do not expect good sustainability policy from the Gnats – they don’t understand it. We do not expect intelligent social policy. But we can and do expect them to get off their miserable bottoms and address major problems like Auckland housing.

    No such luck – this is a total failure government. No good economically. Lazy, thriftless and corrupt. Whoever starts to pick up the pieces will have a generational task before them.

    And I say we should prepare to be part of that – if you are tired of watching NZ go backwards, of watching lives and businesses and communities ruined by fuckwits like Bill English and crooks like John Key, there is no-one else to clean up their mess. It won’t be long now. Be ready.

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