On that stupid coalition deal…

Written By: - Date published: 7:07 am, September 30th, 2017 - 101 comments
Categories: election 2017, greens, labour, national, nz first - Tags:

Matthew Whitehead from lemattjuste.wordpress.com writes from a Green perspective about the whys and why nots of a National/Green deal.

______________________________________________________________________________

So, the usual right-wing suspects are fomenting mischief about a possible National-Greens coalition, and it’s definitely not going away, at least not until Peters announces his decision, because it creates a false impression of pressure upon New Zealand First to side with National. Let’s discuss why and why not from a Green perspective, and I promise to take it seriously, possibly more seriously than it deserves. Advance warning: this will be long.

The whys are obvious: you could change the National Party’s trajectory, you could extract environmental concessions, you could prove that you care about the economy. (which is a very blue-green talking point: the Greens do care about the economy, they just disagree with National on what should be emphasized and how it should work)

These are worthy goals I agree with, and I will even concede that in the long term it may be possible to consider that, (probably at the beginning of a National government, however, not at the end) but I think that people who say the Greens should reach out are ignoring some relevant facts in favour of their dream coalition, and for those who voted National, are projecting their own party’s responsibility to develop a fair and just environmental and climate policy onto potential coalition partners.

The why nots, however, are numerous.

Let’s first talk about trust. The Green Party has, in fact, already approached National about working together on issues they can agree on, way back in 2009 when they first became government, (which was the appropriate time to have the discussion on whether and how the two could work together, I will note, something New Zealand First never respects) and managed to briefly convince National to extend Labour’s promise to subsidize insulation of homes, on the grounds that long-term it actually saves money on health spending. A sound investment, a classic win-win-win Green policy that National could share the credit for, and to their credit, they did take the Greens up on it. On that single policy. And then made no effort to continue the relationship, because for National, coalitions and allies are about political expediency, not about building long-term relationships, and it was not politically expedient for them to be seen as working too closely with the Greens. Sure, we now know there are the less-than-1%-of-National-voters signing that petition, but they would be risking a lot more enthusiastic and widespread support from certain businesses and farmers who are enthusiastic donors and volunteers.

Of course, that first failing is minor compared to things like the Todd Barclay scandal, Bill English rorting the rules (and if it wasn’t a rort, why did we change the rules to clarify it shouldn’t be done?) to claim a $48,000 housing allowance and only paying $34,000 back, the numerous instances the government has courted the oil industry, and their continued refusal to phase out fossil fuel power plants and fossil fuel extraction in New Zealand.

If the Greens can’t trust National to honour that agreement and to behave like a reasonable and ethical government, to take opportunities that would make them look centrist and reasonable without committing either party to any type of formal arrangement, how can they be trusted in a coalition?

Next, let’s talk about values/principles, and to be fair, let’s also talk about Labour and New Zealand First, too, because discussion of a National-Green coalition should, reasonably, be taken alongside its current alternative of a Labour-New Zealand First-Green coalition. We’ll return to whether the Greens can trust that alternative coalition at the end.

The National Party states its values here. You will note the strategic lack of mention about their alignment with farmers and business. You will also note that the environment is dead last on their list, with no mention of it “not being least.”

The Labour Party’s principles can be found in §1.2 of this document. (their website is currently still in campaign mode, so their values aren’t easily found) To summarise: democracy, communal ownership of natural resources, economic and democratic participation and access, co-operative economic relations, dignity & work, people over property rights, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, peace and social justice, human rights. These all sound pretty good, but we’ll get back to that.

And New Zealand First’s can be found here. As you’d expect, nationalism is first and populism makes the list, but there’s also some surprisingly progressive stuff in there from time to time, such as on education, health, welfare, and yes, even the environment. On the other hand, they also want lower taxes, a refocusing of foreign policy away from parts of the world outside of the pacific, (yet I’m sure it will still include the UK and US somehow, lol) and more referenda.

For comparison, the Greens’ fundamental values are also available here. (They aren’t yet on the new website, which also means they haven’t been updated to include the fifth fundamental value, Te Tiriti o Waitangi) The Greens keep their list short, but interpret those principles broadly. For instance, non-violence extends into not just supporting peace, but positive political campaigning, too.

Now let’s look a bit more holistically at how each grouping would or wouldn’t be compatible with each other.

National’s values start with “loyalty to our head of state,” an obvious reference to monarchism. The Greens are officially republicans. Not a good start. They continue on to national and personal security, which is coded language for militarism and tough-on-crime policing. Non-violence is right there in the Green charter, hmm, also pretty terrible match. Both parties do agree on equal citizenship, although the Greens want a bit more than “equal opportunity,” they believe in social justice, and that with limited resources on our planet, they must be used in a way that benefits everyone fairly, and this contrasts to a later National value, competitive enterprise. They do, largely, agree on individual freedom and choice, but National feels that this applies to the economy more than society, and the Greens feel the opposite. The Greens believe in consensus decision-making and social justice, and the National Party believes in limited government. They do, apparently, agree in principle to sustainable development, however the emphasis on that one is tricky. The Greens believe in sustainable development. The Nats believe in sustainable development. To me, this looks like a recipe for co-operation from the cross benches at best, until such a time as National modernizes its values further, or proves it can be counted on to prioritize sustainability.

Secondly, let’s look at the “three-headed monster.” On paper, Labour and the Greens are very compatible. Their values look mostly the same. In practice, the Greens’ problem with Labour is one of emphasis, to the point where many Greens view Labour as little better than National, a party changed by decades of compromise away from its values for electoral expediency that isn’t doing enough, and whose voters are targets to become future Green supporters. There is an uneasy peace between the two. Yes, they’re friends now, but that’s only because they’re worried about short term problems. It is an alliance of convenience, with Labour detractors viewing the Greens as too radical, unwilling to compromise and a bunch of dreamers. That’s not to say that there aren’t friendly feelings as well. The two parties are by a large margin each others’ preferred coalition partners, and not all members of either party are skeptics.

New Zealand First and Labour have a lot of commonality, too. They both agree that immigration rules are too loose, despite our immigration policy being so right-wing that US Republicans have it on their wishlist and the German AfD party of neo-nazi nationalists are using it as an example of what they’d like to do. They both agree in state intervention into the economy, in limited but actually effective environmentalism, in retaining state assets, in fighting corruption1, in improving skills for New Zealanders, in revitalizing the export economy, in working out the details of a Pike River re-entry, and in spending more in health and education. They disagree on some details in those areas, pretty substantially on Māori affairs, rights for women and queer people2, and Labour’s will-they-won’t-they flirtations with republicanism. But the big sticking point is probably tax. New Zealand First loves Labour’s economics on expenditure, but hates it on revenue. They are classic Muldoon-style don’t-tax-and-still-spend interventionists, wheras Labour believes in something approaching a fair taxation system, where state benefits accrue responsibilities to the state, and we decide on benefits and responsibilities democratically.

The hardest part of this alliance is New Zealand First and the Greens. Given my rathers, I would prefer that the Greens never had to work with New Zealand First. The parties could not be more different on immigration. This is an extension of the larger problem: Greens are out-and-out liberals, and New Zealand First are the most conservative party in Parliament. Seriously, conservative religious groups endorse them ahead of National and ACT. So a three-party coalition would be a government whose social policy focus was mainly on education and health, the areas where all three agree, with a much larger focus on economic reform away from neoliberalism and towards policies that benefit regional and rural New Zealand, which is the area where strangely, New Zealand First is much more enthusiastic than Labour, and would find the Greens an enthusiastic ally. There would likely be Green concessions on more hawkish immigration policy, in return for Labour and New Zealand First concessions on stronger environmental protections and more urgent action on climate change3. There is also likely to be three-party agreement on rail transport, and most of the core policy to solve the housing crisis, but with a three-way divergence on tax’s contribution to that problem, with NZF ideologically opposed, Labour hesistant, and the Greens ready to plunge in. What looks like an incompatible mess when viewed from both extremes might just be doable with a resurgent Labour Party in the middle to glue it all together.

And here I have essentially moved on to policy concessions. Some of the Greens’ most important policies, such as the Zero Carbon Act, a Capital Gains tax to adjust the housing market in concert with other policies, and so on, only seem realistic right now when negotiating with Labour. The best our happy little mischief-makers suggest that National would give the Greens is their levy on nitrate pollution, (although with no accompanying commitment to spend the results on transitioning to cleaner farming practice like the Greens propose) enhanced funding on predator-free New Zealand, a reversal on their loosening of water standards, and increased “targets” on poverty and emissions reduction. These policy concessions can be dismissed out of hand once we look at the fourth factor.

The Greens, a party run by its own base, have decided democratically to rule out a National coalition before the election, based on their record, and to avoid doubt. This is smart politics. The Greens have been hurt in previous elections by allegations they were considering working more closely with National. Even reaching out for the policy-based MoU was transmuted into a possible coalition by eager commercial political journalists looking to fill column-inches, and significantly confused supporters and hurt the campaign in 2011, which I know first-hand because I volunteered for it.

So, any discussion of a coalition with National also has to discuss the Green Party’s commitments to its own supporters and members, too, as these petitioners and right-wing commentators are suggesting that the Green Party break at least one of those commitments, which would probably result in the party splitting at best, or imploding at worst.

Right-wing commentators (who, conveniently, often have some background connection to groups closely aligned to National or ACT) have suggested that Metiria’s unfortunate resignation will leave James Shaw open to consider a more pragmatic deal. Firstly, that’s insulting to James, who is just as commited to Green values and principles as Metiria was, even if his policy emphasis is in a different area than her, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about her issues and support her stand for better treatment of beneficiaries. Secondly, it misunderstands the Green Party’s internal structure. The co-leaders aren’t elected dictators like in other parties. They formulate tactics and strategy, they lead caucus and are head spokespeople, but they don’t actually make coalition decisions, or decide the party list, or electorate selection, and they consult on those decisions they do make, so that the party is behind them, and their leadership is more about being head candidates rather than actually controlling the party. That work is for the party executive, the policy committees, the various co-conveners (“Co-Cos,” the equivalent of party presidents, branch presidents, and sub-group presidents) and the members.

Any coalition deal must pass a vote at a Special General Meeting. This means every branch sends delegates that are instructed by the consensus of that branch on the issues on the meeting’s agenda. (for AGMs, this includes whether to continue supporting the co-leaders, which is more of a symbolic tradition, as there is a hatred for backroom politics and spills within the party- which is why Kennedy Graham hasn’t been welcomed back immediately despite his credentials. For SGMs, it’s usually exclusively about the Greens’ position on supporting the next government) You need a 75% positive vote to pass, so a deal with National would need to be one with overwhelming support from Green members, not just however many of the 8 thousand-odd petition signers are actually Green members. There is no realistic way that anything National is realistically willing to offer the Greens would survive such a vote, even if we do slightly better policy concessions out of National than Farrar seems to think we would get, which I think probably represents a reasonable guess at National’s best unprompted offer to the Greens.

This isn’t to say that a National-Green alliance is permanently out of reach. But the ball is, and has been, in National’s court if that want to resume a productive relationship right now, not in the Greens’, and it will take longer than the duration of post-election negotiations to conclude. It would require a genuine transformation of the party towards a more blue-green posture, and is why the Green Party and CDU in Germany have been able to work together at the state level- because in Germany, bluegreens are actually influential within their political movement, they are trustworthy, and therefore there was values alignment and trust between the two parties that allowed a coalition to work, so it wasn’t just about a cynical policy alignment, like New Zealand First has previously favoured when working with National.

addition: Oh, and while we’re talking about betraying bases, let’s talk briefly about the Progressive Green Party, a right-wing split from the Greens in the 1996 election. They got 0.26% of the vote. Now, maybe the bluegreens of today are stronger than that, but even if we assume they have twice the votes that their petition indicates they have, they would still struggle to earn a list seat if they, say, split off an electorate MP from the National Party for the 2020 election. So there’s no indication that bluegreens would provide more support to the Greens than sticking to their principles.

1 So long as it’s not appointing their buddies to government jobs, at least. That’s totally not corruption, unless it’s National that does it.

2 Some people prefer the term rainbow, which is fine, they are welcome to use it. I’m quite happy to stick to my reclaimed word, thankyou.

3 The sticking point here is around farmers. New Zealand First will probably want an environmental policy much too friendly to them, despite agricultural emissions being a huge problem, and this is one of the frailties of such a deal.

101 comments on “On that stupid coalition deal…”

  1. Peter 1

    Presumably the Greens will never be the Party with enough votes to lead a government. Given this, what role in Parliament under MMP should they aspire to? Should they wait for a perfect alignment of the stars, or proactively look to work with National or NZ First?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      Have you read the post? Read it again, and this time pay attention to the part where it discusses the Green’s proactive approach to working with National.

      Then you might learn something instead of just looking like someone who’s too lazy to read what’s right in front of him.

      • lprent 1.1.1

        I already banned ‘UpNorth’ for 4 weeks for clearly dashing off a comment without reading the post. Their comment is in OpenMike with the ban attached. Quite apart from anything else the Greens requirement for the SGM with 75% of members voting in favour or any coalition deal was totally ignored.

        This one – I looked at and thought that they could have read the post. I couldn’t disprove it.

        • tracey 1.1.1.1

          Except that inherent in reading the post was receiving and explanation of their expectations. Although that required more than reading, it required understanding.

          • lprent 1.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, but our policies are based around behaviour. Simple stupidity, laziness, and an inability to comprehend what they are reading like Peter seems to display isn’t something I actually look at as a moderator. I couldn’t prove that they hadn’t made the attempt.

            Besides, in some ways, it was a good question. It is something that has been extensively discussed within the Greens over decades.

            However it isn’t something that is that clear to people like Peter outside. There is quite a lot of encoded information in the post that is obvious to anyone who has followed Green politics for a few decades. But not for the casual observers having to see it through the distorted view from the media.

            • Rebecca 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I read the post. It does explain why the trite “why don’t they just” proposals for forming a government with National are detached from reality. However, a good leader also can remind the required 75% that “perfect is the enemy of good.” Also that “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Finally, at the risk of choosing a citation that will provoke, this one is attributed to Keynes: “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” My intended message from these mismatched citations is that nobody knows what National might agree to, even if it’s likely they won’t agree to everything. There’s only one way to find out and it’s the MMP way, entering discussions with an intention to negotiate best outcomes for NZers, rather than entrenched positions and demands that mightn’t succeed even if it were Labour you’re talking to.

              • lprent

                Why? There is no such absolutely NO requirement in MMP except inside your own head and that of the other social media fools.

                The Greens on the other hand have explicit requirements in their constitution and rules about how such decisions are taken. If national wanted to engage with them then they should have done it long ago. Why should they change those for the benefit of idiots like Farrar, Hooton and others who appear to me to have been paid to run this interesting social media campaign? Just National and their usual Dirty Politics supporters again.

                If morons like you and whoever has been paying for this social media campaign for the benefit of the National party can’t respect the rules and processes of another political party, you are merely demonstrating why the National party is a lousy coalition partner. They simply don’t respect their coalition partners and their processes.

                Clearly National have some way to go on learning how to operate in a MMP environment. In the 2017 campaign starting from last year, they have managed to disrespect the rules and processes of both the potential remain coalition partners. In this interim they and their paid servants appear to be compounding their failure to learn to deal with other political parties with respect.

                Labour does. They fight hard for all their votes, taking up policies from other parties when they feel they are worth while. But they don’t wander around paying for social media shitheads lying and being disrespectful of other party processes. That seems to be something that is a particularly stupid Act+National trope.

                My guess is that National are likely to reap their reward – they lose their warrants. This kind of crap will be too reminiscent of the same style of lying campaign that was run against NZF in 2008 and the whisper campaigns run as recently as last month against the Greens by the same pack of greedy National mouthpieces

    • tracey 1.2

      1. Did you read the post?

      2. Did you understand it?

      3. On what basis do you think the Greens can trust National given only yesterday Bennett was lying to NZers about her relationship with Greens?

      • lprent 1.2.1

        I suspect that your point 3 is the most important one.

        The trust levels of the Green members towards National are at an all-time low, if you count the MOU in 2009 as the high.

  2. Stuart Munro 2

    To secure Green cooperation, National would need to make a number of concessions.

    These might include:

    Retiring Nick Smith
    Sending Bill on a pilgrimage to Rome to pray for forgiveness for failing New Zealand
    Letting Julie Anne Genter fix transport
    Water taxes and river restoration
    [deleted]

    To the far right these might seem unreasonable – but they are minimums.

    [lprent: Clearly you haven’t read the Green policies about non-violence. Clearly you should. They align with our policies here as well. This is a warning. ]

    • Stuart Munro 2.1

      It is not the Greens who are knocking upon the Gnat’s door seeking some kind of deal.

      These things are never impossible – but the compromises that would be required would include the reversal of most things the Gnats have done in government.

      I could have analyzed what it would take, but the whole proposal is mischievous. And the Gnats are not non-violent – they would cheerfully throw a number of their colleagues under the bus if that would keep them in office.

      The proposal needs to be rubbished, not analyzed.

      [lprent: Advocating hanging people is like debate between the moderators here about advocating ban periods of years. Even I tend to feel that it is too permanent and disrupts debate.

      But they are equivalent debates. Both remove people from the public discourse.

      But if you insist that it is important to debate on these kinds of societal sanctions, then we could try longer bans here again as an experiment and see how it works out. We could experiment with you as the first volunteer subject. ]

      • The proposal is mischievous. (hence my reference to Farrar’s slogan) I thought analyzing it seriously was the best way to deal with it, as I have been trying out brief ways to deal with it and none have work. None of the blue-greens harping on about this (and I do believe most of the ordinary people talking about it are genuine bluegreens who actually want it) have even been able to tell me how it’s beneficial to the Greens, lol, let alone how it would work, or even articulate any understanding of How We Got Here. They just insist that such a deal is possible and therefore the Greens are Obligated To Try for the good of the country.

        James has said he will listen if National approaches. That’s fair, but it’s all they deserve IMO.

        • Stuart Munro 2.1.1.1

          I expect Shaw’s position is less politeness than procedural duty to the party. Although his judgment is probably good enough, he would not presume to call the matter without putting it to his colleagues.

          • Matthew Whitehead 2.1.1.1.1

            Procedurally, he is actively under an obligation not to negotiate with National. Saying he will hear them out is just him finding a course of action that doesn’t violate the MoU resolution not to negotiate them, but still is polite, reasonable, and pragmatic politics. It only hurts to hear someone out when they’re drowning out quieter voices.

  3. invisiphilia 3

    An excellent analysis of the very unlikely coalition deal between the Greens and National. There has been so much hoo ha about Winston being the King or Queen maker. However, in your discussions about the similarities between Labour, Greens and NZ First and the fact that tax would be a main sticking point, you also show the more minor extent to which NZ First would have to back down if they want to be part of a left-leaning coalition.

    Hard to see how the desire for less taxes would sit well with the desire for more accurately targeted immigration and the ban on foreign speculation, should they go into coalition with the Nats. Looking back over the campaign, Labour were clear from the outset that they wanted to do these things, perhaps taking the long view with regards to the fact that they might be in this position post-election, whereas the Nats decided to throw in the appeal on cleaning up waterways at the 11th hour when they saw the writing on the wall…that’s my impression anyway.

    • garibaldi 3.1

      It struck me that English made up a lot of policy on the hoof when he saw that the end was nigh eg his disingenuous target of raising 50,000 children out of poverty simply based on his tax cuts. Then ,of course, they realized that lying about Labour was a better path than trying to be nice.

    • Peters’ public statements indicate he thinks the tax thing is big, and that tax increases need a mandate from the electorate, so he will likely lecture Ardern on her TWG idea that she’s already backed off from. As usual with Peters, some of his party’s policies are pointed criticisms or counter-proposals to things he dislikes about other parties, and taking all of his statements completely seriously risks believing his bluffs for negotiation, too.

      I think for Peters, the rational thing to do is hammer out a deal with Labour and the Greens, especially as it would look mature and statesmanly to bury the hatchet with them after previously locking them out of government, and he is trying to build a legacy now and ensure NZ First’s survival into the future. That isn’t to say it’s what Peters will actually do, of course.

      I think it’s a reasonable assumption that Labour’s pivot on immigration is about aligning with NZ First, as it doesn’t seem to have earned them many votes.

      Ironically, I think the rational thing for Labour and the Green Party right now is to negotiate fairly but to let the talks fall apart while seeming interested. Without careful management, starting a government with Peters is a risky proposition that could backfire, and it’s not really a progressive enough one, and you’re potentially spiking your chance of governing without him in the future. (potentially. It’s possible that credit will mostly go to Labour and the Greens and their numbers will go up, while NZ First is seen as a petulant child that held the country to ransom, but it’s never killed them before) It’s a genuine trade-off between those people who can’t take another 3 years of this failed government and what we have to sacrifice on the altar of Winston, and I think there are valid arguments for both sides, but not taking the poison pill is probably the more valid argument from the “preserving the values and strength of the Labour and Green parties” perspective.

      • Pat 3.2.1

        agree with that line of thought……it is conflicting however as can the country take another three years, though potentially less, of this corrupt government….

  4. Andre 4

    “…(probably at the beginning of a National government, however, not at the end)…”

    To me, that’s a key point. Of the Green voters that comment here, I’m probably among the most open to the general idea of Greens working with Nats.

    But not after this election, not with the current crop of Nats who have spent the last nine years working to trash just about everything important to me.

    • tracey 4.1

      And only yesterday Bennett lied about her relationship with Greens in a premeditated and manipulative way. That reinforces the lack of Trust. Even IF Greens set aside trust during the negotiations ( which you probably know I think is impossible), lack of trust will make the coalition partnership untenable.

    • The only way I’d support The Greens going into coalition with National is if Nation showed some responsibility for its policies that have damaged our society and our environment – and I doubt that will ever come. They’re experts at avoiding responsibility for their own actions.

  5. tracey 5

    Great analysis Michael. Has it been distributed to the MSM?

    • My name’s Matthew, as it says at the top. lol

      • tracey 5.1.1

        Sorry. Matthew sticks in my craw cos of that other one…

        • Oh, I understand. I go by Matt usually if that helps, or if you want to call me something else, my nick here used to be Ari, before I went public. (I’m in the relatively rare position of not having any genuine dirt the righties can really dig up on me, and they’d be making it up whether I went anonymous or not, so *shrug*)

          I tend to refer to him as the “notorious name-stealer Mr. Hooton.”

  6. Wayne 6

    At least a more balanced analysis than some.

    On the values. On that first of monarchism, you are not correct. Yes, it refers to the “head of state.” That was a very carefully chosen set of words, that could envisage a future change. The constitution was done during Jim Bolger’s time as leader, and I was involved in constructing the set of values listed. They were the subject of extensive consultation among party members and were voted on by the party members.

    On the relationship in 2008 (home insulation) and why it did not progress further. National was of the view that the Greens did not try and meet National on anything other than that. Virtually every Green debater in the House was highly critical of National and the things we were doing to deal with the GFC.

    There was zero recognition that we had borrowed a lot (several billion) to keep the economy going and to sustain the social fabric. Even some recognition would have helped, say “we see what you are doing but you could do it differently.” But the underlying assumption of the Greens was that we were out to deliberately crush the poor as a class enemy. That was not helpful to a better relationship.

    It led National to conclude the Greens were not interested in any more of a relationship than they had, and even that was proving difficult.

    Long term relationships involving different parties have to involve some acceptable recognition of the philosophical space that each inhabit. It can’t be; “because you are different you are therefore bad.”

    Judging from the comments on this site that seems to be the view that many Greens have of National.

    National can do a lot with the Greens on the environment, but probably not exactly the way the Greens would do it. For instance National would not tax farmers for water use. Rather they would agree to a large fund to help improve waterways. National would clearly do more on alternative transport, but would not agree to end all motorway construction. National would clearly spend more on DOC.

    On the economy National is not going to abandon free trade goals, but it would look to strengthen environmental protections within them.

    There are obviously other areas where progress could be made such as social housing.

    I do see there is a particular challenge for the Greens of making arrangements under the pressure of time. But that is the nature of politics.

    When the Greens have done a MOU with Labour, there are hardly going too be any discussions between National and the Greens in the pre-election period. The Greens had effectively said “no” to National.

    But if the election outcome shows that a National Green arrangement is possible, then that requires flexible thinking under a tight time frame. I can see that is easier for National, but harder for the Greens.

    [“Judging from the comments on this site that seems to be the view that many Greens have of National.” Please don’t conflate commenters with the Green Party. See moderator note below – weka]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      deliberately crush the poor

      Like when (by your own confession) you deliberately increased inequality.

      Neurobiology provides plenty of evidence to explain how you can believe the staggering pile of steaming lies you right wingers tell one another. That doesn’t mean anyone else has to fall victim.

      • garibaldi 6.1.1

        Wayne , don’t try to tell us that National is trying to help the poor. The facts prove the opposite. Perhaps in your twisted way you think helping the poor means increasing their numbers?

        • Wayne 6.1.1.1

          Garibaldi,

          Examples of actions to help poor New Zealanders are $25 increase in benefit rates in 2016 Budget. Bill English’s social investment programme. Agreement to whanau ora. The 2017 budget has increased the WFF and reduced tax rates on the bottom two tax rates.

          But more particularly, both you and OAB have rather proved my point that many Green activists think National is ipso facto “bad”, rather than having a different view of the world to the Greens.

          [“both you and OAB have rather proved my point that many Green activists think…” that’s the second time in this thread you’ve tried to connect general commentary about the Greens to the GP itself. I have no idea if OAB or garibaldi are activists for the GP, compared to say Matthew who wrote the post who clearly is (but is still writing as an individual), but there is nothing here to suggest they are. I have a low tolerance for the conflation you are doing because of the amount of lies that get told about the GP, and because it starts to look like you are running specific lines here. Please don’t @ me with semantics, just be clearer in your comments from now on. – weka]

          • Stuart Munro 6.1.1.1.1

            ‘Bad’ Wayne? You fall so far short. Try contemptible, backward, corrupt, worthless, irredeemable and stupid.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1.1.2

            1. Delusional and ‘bad’ are not synonyms.
            2. Perhaps you can explain the benign intent behind deliberately increasing inequality. I’m picking you’ll ignore the challenge and/or run away, as usual.

          • weka 6.1.1.1.3

            moderation note above for you Wayne, and I’d like an acknowledgement that you understand please.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.4

            Examples of actions to help poor New Zealanders are $25 increase in benefit rates in 2016 Budget.

            Which only applied to a very small subset and almost no one from that subset would actually get an extra $25. Meanwhile, people already in poverty are having their benefit cut.

            So, yeah, all National has done is increase poverty, kick the people when their down and then blame the victims of National’s policies.

            It’s your actions that prove National are bad. In fact, it proves National is psychopathic.

          • tracey 6.1.1.1.5

            Really Wayne? Do you not know that if you are a beneficiary and something untoward happens outside your usual benefit, WINZ lends you the money and then automatically starts deducting it from your next payment to claw it back thus plunging them into further budgetting nightmares?

            WFF, the “communism by stealth” , that WFF?

            See Key told everyone WFF was a bad bad thing but it turns out, after he won power, that it was a good thing cos he and you and others kept it. Were you all really so poorly informed or did you lie to get votes?

    • Andre 6.2

      “For instance National would not tax farmers for water use. Rather they would agree to a large fund to help improve waterways.”

      See, Wayne, that’s just one good example of the kind of reason I thoroughly distrust and despise the current crop of Nats. Because they will happily reach into the pockets of the rest of the country and suspend democracy in order to fund massive irrigation schemes that benefit their favoured constituents (and allegedly maybe even one or more of those sitting at the table where the decision is made). Which promotes inappropriate and environmentally damaging changes to land use. And then you suggest reaching into the rest of the country’s pockets yet again to pay for cleaning up the mess made by the favoured constituents, rather than requiring those that made the mess to clean it up.

    • lprent 6.3

      National can do a lot with the Greens on the environment, but probably not exactly the way the Greens would do it. For instance National would not tax farmers for water use.

      Clearly you have been drinking the mythic juice again.

      That hasn’t been Green policy. It was a proposed Labour policy.

      Personally I’d suggest staying away from Kiwiblog. It rots your brain and you start believing billshit.

      I do see there is a particular challenge for the Greens of making arrangements under the pressure of time. But that is the nature of politics.

      That is because National didn’t bother to set up anything with the Greens before the election. National could have set up formal or informal agreements with the Greens just as Labour did under both Andrew Little and David Cunliffe. It isn’t hard.

      You just have to do it on the Greens schedule rather than trying to retroactively imposing the larger parties ideas about what is permissible.

      The same thing applies to NZ First. NZF and Winston made it clear decades ago about how they would proceed in any coalition arrangements. In fact they pioneered the practices in NZ.

      They have made it perfectly clear that they will do any dickering after the election and will do so with clear results from the election. Like 1996, this election hasn’t produced a clear result on election night, with the previously organised bloc of Labour/Greens being just behind National and subject to considerable movement from the 381 thousand special votes till to be announced. So NZF will wait for final results. It simply doesn’t matter how much whining that National supporters do, that is what will happen.

      Trust relationships matter in politics. But they matter over the longer term rather than the shorter term. The problem for National is that they engender little trust amongst potential allies.

      For instance I just had a look at the 2008 final results vs 2017 prelim results for the National coalition of 2008 and the same parties now.

      The total coalition back in 2008 was 51.8% of the total vote. Now that same coalition would be a remarkable 47.7%. The equivalent for the 2008 Lab/NZF/Grn was 44.8% compared to 49.2%

      But the detail of how National managed to achieve that sustained coalition vote is the interesting bit.

      Back in 2008 Nat/Act/MP/UF, National had 86.7% of their combined vote. Now in the same coalition (if it were possible) Nat/Act/MP/UF, National had 96.5% of their combined vote. The only one now in parliament apart from National is Act, and their ‘weight’ dropped from 7.0% of the coalition to 1.1%.

      Much the same thing kind of dismemberment of coalition parties happened in 1996-1999. Then it was an explicit grab by National for seat MPs from NZF. It looks like these days National concentrates on being a bit more subtle and tries to deliberately pull votes from the coalition partners.

      National is just a lousy coalition partner for any political party that wants to carry on into the future. It sucks the life out of them and eventually discards them like the husk of Act had happen to it.

      • tracey 6.3.1

        Thanks for this post. Especially pointing out Wayne doesnt even know a policy os Labour not Green.

        Credibility issue there.

        Wayne is continuing to say the same thing every day. Changes the words a lil.

        Michael’s was so clear on so many points but Wayne dismisses it and continues his “but I am right” crusade.

    • weka 6.4

      moderator note above, also another one below.

      • solkta 6.4.1

        should i remove the last sentence?

        • weka 6.4.1.1

          My moderation was for Wayne. If you look at the comment numbers, my comment is 6.4 which is a reply to 6.0 (Wayne’s comment).

          The 6.4 comment is so that the Wayne can see he’s been moderated if he doesn’t go back and look at his own comment.

          There’s nothing in your comment in this thread that’s gotten my moderator attention.

    • RedBaronCV 6.5

      Wayne – if National wanted to do more green issues they could have accepted personal responsibility (they are big on that ) and actually done something over the last 9 years instead of trolling about the greens now .

      As for this disingenuous comment:
      ” zero recognition that we had borrowed a lot (several billion) to keep the economy going”
      that actually went on tax cuts for high income earners nothing to do with the Greens.

      All this looks like a beat up.

      but while you are here Wayne what was Nat policy for the election?? Could you enlighten us please because we didn’t see much.

      And where is the MSM. They should be asking questions of the Nacts as to what were the unpopular policies that failed to resonate with the voting public .
      And why isn’t the MSM asking what will Nact do if they become the opposition. Bailing up some Nact MP’s and asking what their party is doing and what the Nact agenda is should give enough sound bites and infighting to last the MSM for weeks.

    • Virtually every Green debater in the House was highly critical of National and the things we were doing to deal with the GFC.

      Yeah, there’s a good reason for that – National’s policies are damaging to our society and our environment.

      You, and National in general, refused to listen which is another reason why a coalition with them just won’t work. Which reminds me of this which applies fully to National:

      Only the madman is absolutely sure.

      Robert Anton Wilson

      There was zero recognition that we had borrowed a lot (several billion) to keep the economy going and to sustain the social fabric.

      And you could have decreased that borrowing by not giving tax cuts to the rich which has indications of not boosting the economy. Increases inequality though.

      https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/reports/2017/08/24/437625/trickle-tax-cuts-dont-create-jobs/
      https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/tax-cuts-for-the-rich-arent-an-economic-panacea-and-could-hurt-growth
      https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/09/tax-cuts-dont-lead-to-economic-growth-a-new-65-year-study-finds/262438/
      http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/10/30/452905475/fact-check-do-tax-cuts-grow-the-economy

      But the underlying assumption of the Greens was that we were out to deliberately crush the poor as a class enemy.

      That’s not an assumption – that’s actually what you’ve and you’ve done it with forethought.

      It can’t be; “because you are different you are therefore bad.”

      The only people who think like that are National. The rest of us look at people’s actions and the results of those actions.

      National can do a lot with the Greens on the environment

      No they couldn’t as National’s entire philosophy is about destroying nature and the environment for profit.

      For instance National would not tax farmers for water use. Rather they would agree to a large fund to help improve waterways.

      Typical National philosophy: User pays (unless it’s farmers and business people).

      National would clearly do more on alternative transport,

      That’s not clear at all. What is clear is that they’ve always rejected and tried to prevent public transport.

      National would clearly spend more on DOC.

      Last time I looked all they’ve done is cut funding to DoC. So, going on past experience, National will continue to cut funding to DoC and everywhere else so that they can give tax cuts to rich people.

      I can see that is easier for National, but harder for the Greens.

      Yes, such flexibility is easy for those people who have no principles and no conscience. In other words, it’s really easy for psychopaths.

    • tracey 6.7

      You make it seem like National is the victim rather than the abuser? This is where one of your biggest disconnect lies. That and that you put little stock in the notion that trust underpins all relationships, successful ones anyway. That you do not get, and do not consider in your posts here that the Greens do not trust National, based on National behaviour and policy outcomes, is your issue.

      Do you think the Greens should trust English on reducing poverty when he only acknowledged its existence late in the campaign cycle and in the face of bouncing polls?

      No matter how “reasonable” you think you are sounding you come across to me as someone who just wants the Greens to get in a room with Nats and then they will see Nats are right.

      Flexibility has only ever been exhibited by National when under pressure to hold power or when lobbied by big business interests or farmers.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 6.8

      “For instance National would not tax farmers for water use. Rather they would agree to a large fund to help improve waterways.”

      For instance National would not tax farmers for water use, rather they would tax other New Zealanders, to supply farmers with corporate welfare to help improve waterways.

      FIFY

    • I will take the compliment about balance. I tried to be scrupulously fair to National while still not masking my opinions of them.

      The Greens’ opinions of National are rather more vitriolic than I have stated in the analysis. I was holding back, and I am one of the more open Greens to the idea of trying to woo National down a more centrist environmentalist path to open up our options. Right now, however, they are the most effective domestic voice delaying our priorities for the country, and, in our opinion, working actively against its interests. About the only recent Nat I have respect for is Bolger, and that is mitigated by his support for Ruthanasia, although I will acknowledge that at least unlike the current lot, you seem to have real ethics and principles, even if they’re different to mine, I think we’re probably too far away from each other politically for respect, but can at least be rhetorical opponents who value each others’ integrity until such time as our values become more compatible.

      On the relationship in 2008 (home insulation) and why it did not progress further. National was of the view that the Greens did not try and meet National on anything other than that. Virtually every Green debater in the House was highly critical of National and the things we were doing to deal with the GFC.

      Yes, we were, because your party was handling it wrong, and had it not been for your fortune in having an opportunity to drain the Natural Disaster Fund as a(n insufficient) stimulus, the current Prime MInister would be New Zealand’s Herbert Hoover. We will always disagree about economics. We think National’s ideas are fundamentally wrong-headed, and that they are poor economic managers, and we shouldn’t have to apologize for being an effective opposition. We favour tax-and-spend postures proudly as investing in our country and our people, when you think it’s an insult. The grounds for co-operation are on investments in energy efficiency, sustainable treatment of the environment, smart density policies in cities and genuine urban development reform that’s not just cutting all the rules for developers, promotion of renewable energy industry and sustainable technologies, assistance for the software industry, (including reasonable reforms to intellectual property laws that make it easier for them to be creative while still balancing that against a reasonable chance for individuals to benefit from their creativity) and so on. We could genuinely have worked together on that stuff, and the Green policy is always that it doesn’t matter who you are, if we feel your idea is good, it will be treated on its merits. This is one of the difficulties of a relationship across the left-right divide, and we face it with NZ First over the social policy liberal-conservative divide, too. If we’re interested in at least talking with them about what we can agree on, why would our opposition to your party’s economic policies make our posture any different? We would have kept that dialogue open, and if it had brought us to a more compatible position, then maybe the criticism wouldn’t have been as loud, too, because your party might be more open to thinking about the economy in ways we support.

      There was zero recognition of your borrowing because it followed tax cuts structured for the wealthy at a time they could not be afforded and had no justification. If they were an economic measure, they should have been targetted at the poor, to increase circulation and fight the recession. It was pure ideology and it made most of your borrowing necessary, although I would have supported a similar level of borrowing had it been spent effectively on things New Zealand actually needed. Again, this wasteful economic posture would have sent us deeper into recession if not for draining the Natural Disaster Fund, and if National are the competent economic managers they claim to be, they should have known that. They deserve no credit for their difficult starting position given their disastrous approach.

      And no, we don’t think your party was out to deliberately crush the poor. We think you negligently de-prioritized their needs in favour of your own ideology, when evidence shows that your economic approach was not only not compassionate, it was ineffective.

      I support fair trade liberalization, so long as it benefits all parties. This means not only fair environmental legislation, but a commitment to rising wages in the developing world, and to increasing labour protections and allowing unionization. (I know, not your cup of tea, but necessary for upwards pressure in wages that makes for a fair competition between nations rather than a continual race to the bottom with developing countries in terms of wages) I presume you are referring to TPPA? We oppose it for reasons completely unrelated to our posture on fairer trading and removing unnecessary trade barriers- rather, we think it creates unfair trade barriers to fair competition in terms of its bias towards corporations, its frankly ludicrous adoption of US copyright laws, its general assault on good public policy. Its miniscule environmental protections aren’t worth any of the significant sacrifices we’d make for them. I’d go as far as saying we should bin it and start again with the TPPA11 nations. It represents more work but we might actually get a deal worth signing with the US out of the picture.

      The Greens also don’t propose to tax farmers on water use. Our policy is a nitrate tax, fully earmarked for a fund to transition farms to more sustainable practice. (because why clean up rivers before you’ve stopped doing the things that polluted them in the first place? We can think about healing the damage after we stop the bleeding) We do acknowledge the models on nitrates are not perfect, but we thought it would be better to go for it and improve the models to do something about the actual problem, rather than tax water use for farms. Farrar at least agrees to the revenue side of that equation, and probably just didn’t know about the expenditure side, and think he would completely agree in principle, as would most of the nats, that climate and environmental sin taxes should either be used to prevent further pollution, or compensated for by similar reductions in other taxes.

      You may be confused because the Greens agree on a levy for bottled water, at least until such time as the consenting process is rationalized and we stop giving away our most precious aquifers for little to no reason, and Labour, who we were somewhat aligned with in this area, want to tax all commercial water use. We could work with that approach, but don’t think it’s the best way to fight pollution. It needs to be about working with the agricultural sector, a position which at least rhetorically your party agrees with now.

      There is no huge time pressure in terms of making quick coalition arrangements. We arrange things so that the SGM is ready to be called quickly once negotiations have finished. Not sure how that’s relevant to things. We don’t want a reputation like Winston’s, but we would acknowledge that of course, the specials should be in before any deal is finalised, not least because it’s not fair to any parties to a deal that might win more seats from the specials.

      I agree that the Labour-Green MoU constrained those discussions because at that point we had quite publicly told National they were out of the running. Looks like maybe if anyone was genuinely interested, they should have been keeping a dialogue open earlier, eh? 🙂

    • BlueSky 6.10

      The problem for National is they would have to alienate their support base (farmers and business) by making them pay for the resources they exploit through externalising the costs. They’d effectively shot themselves in both feet so it is not going to happen.

    • Carolyn_nth 6.11

      But if the election outcome shows that a National Green arrangement is possible, then that requires flexible thinking under a tight time frame. I can see that is easier for National, but harder for the Greens.

      the election outcome shows it’s perfectly possible for the Green Party to honour it’s promise to GP voters that it would only negotiate to be part of a Labour-led government.

      The outcome also shows that it is perfectly possible for NZF to honour it’s pledge to negotiate with either or both of Nats and Labour.

      The outcome also shows an NZF-Nat government is perfectly possible – and that is the only realistic possibility for a National-led government – so the National Party needs to adapt to that.

      The possibility of NZF as the decider after an election has been flagged by polls and the media for years. Now that it is a reality, Nats look like deer in the headlights – and keep pointing to the GP – “look over there”.

  7. solkta 7

    “(They aren’t yet on the new website, which also means they haven’t been updated to include the fifth fundamental value, Te Tiriti o Waitangi)”

    This statement is COMPLETELY INCORRECT. Te Tiriti o Waitangi IS NOT a pillar of the Charter but rather the preamble to it. The preamble effectively recognises the constitutional framework through which the four pillars will be implemented. The preamble IS THERE:

    “The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand accepts Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand; recognises Maori as Tangata Whenua in Aotearoa New Zealand; and commits to the following four Principles:”

    THERE IS NOTHING TO BE UPDATED. The Charter is the Charter and is reaffirmed at Conference every year. The only amendment to it that has ever been made was the adding of the preamble in the early 2000s.

    I am disappointed Matthew that you do not understand this.

    • tracey 7.1

      I was confused by that comment too

    • It’s often colloquially referred to as a fifth pillar of the charter. I do understand that it’s not formally in there, but it belongs in any description of our fundamental values.

      I am disappointed that you would value our commitment to the treaty any less than the official four pillars.

      • solkta 7.2.1

        I have never heard it referred to as a pillar of the Charter. IT IS formally in there as the PREAMBLE. No rocket science here.

        It is not a pillar and you misrepresent the Party when you describe it as so. I think you need to directly acknowledge or explain this “haven’t been updated to include” nonsense.

        And there is nothing in what I said that says that I don’t value the Treaty, all I have done is point out fact. You have made a mistake, why not say that?

        • I’ve never heard it referred to as anything but the fifth pillar, if it’s more than a technical mistake then I withdraw and apologize, but I think you would find a lot of the candidates will agree that it has co-equal status with the pillars.

  8. The Greens believe in sustainable development. The Nats believe in sustainable development.

    I’d probably change a word there and say that National believes in sustained development.

    New Zealand First and Labour have a lot of commonality, too. They both agree that immigration rules are too loose, despite our immigration policy being so right-wing that US Republicans have it on their wishlist and the German AfD party of neo-nazi nationalists are using it as an example of what they’d like to do.

    They are too loose to the point where immigration is detrimental to our country. And that comes from Treasury – the most ‘liberal’ institution as far as immigration goes. They really do believe that we need more people and that we’ll never have enough.

    As far as immigration goes, we need to determine how many people our country can sustainably support using present knowledge and work it out from there. Having an open immigration policy is a bad idea.

    • Hah, yes, rhetorically that is better.

      I’m afraid we disagree on immigration. We have to balance the fact that New Zealand’s own population growth is sustainable against the fact that this is because colonialism made us into a more developed nation than many of the under-developed countries. By having a relatively open immigration posture with reasonable restrictions, we simultaneously relieve pressure on overcrowded countries, and move people to an environment where their birth rate is likely to be lower. From an environmental point of view, just like any other point of view, managed immigration is a good thing.

      Most of our emphasis needs to simply be on treating immigrants better and reconsidering parts of our policy that aren’t shown to help society in any way. I think there’s still, ironically, room to shore up the ineffectively managed parts of the immigration system, but it should be from a perspective of treating immigrants as people, not as economic units for the exploitation of existing New Zealand citizens and residents.

  9. Carolyn_nth 9

    Surely the point, at this stage in the electorate cycle, is to do with the GP campaign promise to GP voters?

    The GP website said that a party vote for the Greens is a vote for a Labour-led government.

    For the Nats to now be asking for the GP to add the GP votes to a Nat-led government disrespects GP voters, and is thumbing their nose at democracy.

    • For the Nats to now be asking for the GP to add the GP votes to a Nat-led government disrespects GP voters, and is thumbing their nose at democracy.

      That’s par for the course for National. They really, really don’t like democracy. That’s why Canterbury had their representatives removed from ECan.

    • Brigid 9.2

      They (the nats) aren’t asking. They don’t do ask. They believe it is their right to govern and the Greens need to facilitate this. Simple.

    • tracey 9.3

      Exactly. It appears that anything Nats say in an election campaign is not realky meant, part of the game, apparently.

      That is why Wayne seems so bemused about Greens not going with National. He simply cannot relate to election/campaign promises being binding, cos National is such a contortionist if it means power.

    • Yes, that is what I am alluding to when I said any attempt to move on such a deal would cause a split at best. I ended up cutting things because this was too long, lol.

  10. xanthe 10

    ” the Greens’ fundamental values are also available here. (They aren’t yet on the new website, which also means they haven’t been updated to include the fifth fundamental value, Te Tiriti o Waitangi”

    OMFG is that for real !

    edit: i see this is answered above (“its incorrect”) thanks

  11. patricia bremner 11

    As interesting as this is, I still maintain it is a deliberate “look over there” tactic designed to use energy that should be directed at our possible 3 way coalition.

    While we are distracted the Nats are beginning a “MMP is skewing results” programme.

    They are trying to convince people that MMP has cheated them of their government.

    Perhaps I’m wrong, but a number of “journalists” are running with this theme.

    Preparing to have the coalition facing hostility?

    • Perhaps I’m wrong, but a number of “journalists” are running with this theme.

      No, you’re not wrong. IMO, we’re seeing a deliberate ploy by National to undermine our democracy. They tried very hard to replace MMP with an electoral system that would have left them in power permanently.

    • Yes, it is a “look, a whale!” technique, I agree. I just think it’s reached the point of inertia with the ever over-megaphoned blue-greens that it won’t go away without serious discussion now, which is a pity, as it is the correct posture for both parties not to entertain such a notion at this time.

      Yes, the Nats are trying to imply that they have a moral right to govern. It’s nuts, and it’s dirty politics at its worst: while saying they support MMP, they are undermining its very philosophy: that voters decide how they should be represented, and then a coalition of more than 50% is negotiated to govern based on that, or if not, a large minority government makes flexible arrangements.

  12. xanthe 12

    One reason why this canard has legs (to mangle a metaphor) is because the choice the greens will likely face is coalition with national VS confidence and supply outside a Lab NZF government. In that case they will be unable to just stay neutral as to refuse C&S would hand control to a Nat govt or cause a new election.

    Fortunately with Met (and others) out of the picture NZF may now soften their stance on working with the greens

    • Confidence and supply is fine if there are appropriate ministerial positions outside cabinet and policy concessions. It’s being banished to the cross benches by Winston that’s no longer appropriate behaviour.

  13. David Mac 13

    I think the Nats wooing the Greens is for Winston’s benefit. An effort to strengthen the Nat bartering position when sitting down and negotiating with NZFirst. An attempt to imply “You’re not our only option Winston.” A viable Plan B with the Greens weakens NZFirst’s negotiation clout. An unreserved ‘NO’ from the Greens strengthens NZFirst’s position.

  14. CHCOff 14

    IF the Green Party can show it can be in a successful coalition government with NZF, it can take non-left wing environmental votes away from National next time around without disturbing it’s anti-National foundational voting support block and build upon that in being ‘neither left or right’.

    • That’s a really cogent point in favour of pursuing a coalition including NZ First, as they’re definitely not “left,” at least not traditionally so.

      I think some of the “not left or right” positioning is a little too wonky. It’s better to just talk about what we are than what we’re not, and what we are is our own party that wants its own future, not an eternal little sister to Labour.

      • Incognito 14.1.1

        I think it is a little unfair to accuse them of being “a little too wonky” because everything gets framed in terms of Left-Right. You cannot effectively counter that dominant narrative by sticking to the same framing, especially when you don’t fit in it, can you?

        • Except the Greens do fit into a two-dimensional analysis of politics with only a few descriptive additions, like mostly any political party. They are an environmentalist left-liberal party with an emphasis on highly representative decentralized democracy, evidence-based policy, and long-term planning. Did it in a single sentence without any “nots.”

          I am a Green Party member btw, so it’s not criticism of the party, so much as criticism of that particular rhetorical chestnut. It was good as an opening move to explain that the Green Party was not “yet another Labour split,” but we’re past that now.

          (I can also do similar tricks for other kiwi parties. New Zealand First is a nationalistic left-conservative party with an emphasis on low taxes, economic nationalism and assimilation to colonial and indigenous culture, and direct democracy. Oh, they need several descriptors too? Yep. Even Labour and National need them, because there are several political factors that aren’t captured neatly in a left-right liberal-conservative divide, but it’s a great starting point)

          Remember “explaining is losing?” Talking about what you’re not falls under that umbrella, but people will entertain a little bit of talking about what you are, so long as you do it succinctly and you stick to issues they think everyone cares about. I think it’s reasonable to say that the Green Party is its own thing and a unique political movement, but saying it’s not left or right isn’t correct. It is a left-wing party, because that’s where its environmental values and evidence-based approach led it. Talking about what you’re not should only be used to refute the premise of a question.

          • Incognito 14.1.1.1.1

            Thank you but I disagree with the premise although it might be foolish to argue with a highly knowledgeable insider 😉

            The third axis (cf. Vote Compass) or dimension is the environmental one where the Green Party is clearly separated from the major parties. This is neither Left nor Right.

            My point is that you can reduce the Green Party to the standard two dimensions and call it Left, which is correct, but this would be a gross simplification IMHO (the technical term is dimensionality reduction or projection) and much more so than is the case with other parties (‘party tricks’).

            The Greens don’t have to explain what they’re not – they clearly have an extra dimension; it’s the other parties who ought to do this explaining as they barely and rarely make it off the standard 2D political plane.

            I also think this goes beyond standard rhetoric and is about the essence of what it means to be a green party.

            • Matthew Whitehead 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes, my big problem with that talking point is that it’s close enough to being correct to be confusing. We’re not JUST left, but we are left in addition to believing in a different type of environmental and democratic politics. Declaiming being left is incorrect, what we need to say is that we’re left in a way that meets the concerns of centrist environmentalists or others who might consider voting for us but don’t identify that way. We are the left that is pragmatic. We value the economy, because people need livelihoods, but we want an economy that works better for the people and the planet. We’re evidence-based, but we care about what the evidence says about things other than just money. And so on.

              • Incognito

                I can accept that, thank you. I’m still coming to terms with that whole ‘Greens thing’ and try to get my head around it, which is no easy after years of …

  15. Fuck off National .

    Just fuck the hell off.

    Mister Banker
    Mister please, how much does money mean
    Won’t you reconsider mister
    Won’t you do this thing for me
    Ain’t got no house
    Ain’t got no car
    All I got, Lord, is my guitar
    But you can have that mister banker
    Won’t you bury my papa for me
    Oh mister banker please
    Listen to how that sound

    I would not be here on my knees
    But hey mister banker
    It means so much to me
    Oh won’t you reconsider mister
    Won’t you do this thing for me

    I told you mister
    I ain’t got no house
    Ain’t got no car
    I got me a 1950 Les Paul guitar
    Won’t you take it mister banker
    Won’t you bury my papa for me
    Oh mister banker please

    Lynyrd Skynyrd- Mr Banker – YouTube
    Video for mr banker lynyrd lyrics▶ 5:24

  16. tsmithfield 16

    It looks like James Shaw is at least keeping the possibility open of an arrangement of some kind with National:

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/election/2017/09/i-will-hear-the-prime-minister-out-james-shaw.html

    This is a smart move from the Green’s perspective. As it stands now, they will likely be shut out of government again because Labour will bend over backwards to accommodate NZ First. A compliant Green party will make it easy for them to do that.

    If for no other reason, this stance from Shaw will help keep Labour honest in their dealings with them. Look how this scenario is playing out with the America’s cup at the moment. Dalton has been clever and has left the possibility open that the cup could go to Italy if the key players in NZ don’t step up.

    • weka 16.1

      So you think because Shaw is being polite about talking to English while at the same time repeatedly saying the GP won’t go with National, that this means that Labour will think that the GP might actually go with National and thus the GP will gain some additional power in coalition negotiations?

      • tsmithfield 16.1.1

        I think if Labour offers a half-decent deal to the Greens, then they will obviously go for that.

        However, if Labour was to basically make no concessions to the Greens and expect their support regardless, and National was offering some substantial concessions for say, abstaining on confidence and supply issues, then who knows. The Green party could possibly go with a deal on that basis as they wouldn’t actually be voting for National, just not voting against in certain circumstances.

        I doubt that anyone really expects that the America’s cup will go to Italy. But the fact the door is open to that possibility means there is pressure on key parties to get their acts together.

        So, I think there is a remote possibility of some sort of deal. I don’t think a formal coalition would be on the cards though.

        • tsmithfield 16.1.1.1

          And, the fact that Shaw is prepared to talk at all shows there is a probability greater than zero of a deal. Otherwise, why waste time talking at all?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1.1.1.1

            Minor detail: he said he was prepared to listen. “Talking” about anything even remotely substantive would require Party buy-in.

            #isn’tgoingtohappen

            • Andre 16.1.1.1.1.1

              That detail is slightly more than minor. I’m struggling to come up with anything Shaw might reasonably say to National right now other than a two-syllable phrase that starts and ends with F.

            • solkta 16.1.1.1.1.2

              It would be worth having a listen if for no other reason than the opportunity to piss yourself laughing.

            • tsmithfield 16.1.1.1.1.3

              No point in even listening if there is a zero percent probability of a deal.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Yes there is.

                In the event that the Greens form a government with NZF and Labour, they have information about National’s areas of policy compromise to bring to the table.

    • Ross 16.2

      I don’t think there is any possibility of such a deal and Shaw hinted at that in his interview. National would have to make substantial and meaningful concessions. In the unlikely event that they did make substantial and meaningful concessions, they’d be doing so for one reason only – to cling onto power. There’d be no long-term commitment from National.

      Some on the Right may have forgotten that this Government has been taken to court over its climate change policy.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/94079123/waikato-law-student-sarah-thomson-takes-government-to-court-over-climate-change

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.3

      See 17.

    • solkta 16.4

      “So the door is slightly ajar” “well no..”

      Everybody who knows anything knows that it won’t happen so all the waffle is meaningless.

    • RedLogix 16.5

      In many ways Morgan was right, the presence of NZ1 is toxic to ANY coalition government. This is why National is so furiously signalling to the Greens; they no more want NZ1 as partners than anyone else.

      The core problem is the Nats and Greens are motivated by very different values, and the Nats have a terrible record of consuming their coalition partners. I suppose it cannot be ruled out entirely, and if Shaw does negotiate an agreement with English it would represent a major re-shaping of our political landscape. In some ways there is a radical logic to such a deal, but you’d have to feel for all the party members and supporters in coming to terms with it.

      Because honestly I’m even less impressed with the prospect of a three way with Lab/NZ1/Grn and all it’s policy contradictions.

      There are only two possible coalitions that exclude NZ1; Nat/Grn and Nat/Lab. Maybe we should be thinking about how to make them work, because all other options are worse.

    • tracey 16.6

      Which part of Greens pre election day promise to not form a govt with National is unclear?

      • RedLogix 16.6.1

        It’s been a week now and some cold hard realities are setting in for everyone. This is a tough election outcome and the specials could still surprise. No-one has a simple, magic answer, and fixed positional thinking won’t help.

      • tsmithfield 16.6.2

        I think a coalition deal between National and the Greens is non-starter.

        However, the Greens agreeing to abstain from votes on confidence and supply to allow a National minority government is another matter. This type of arrangement doesn’t require the Greens to vote to support National. Just to not vote on issues of confidence and supply.

        If such an arrangement could be struck with sufficient concessions to the Greens, surely that would be better in terms of the Greens having an impact if it turns out the only alternative is a National NZ First coalition.

        As it stands, the Greens are banking on a three way coalition, or nothing. Doesn’t seem very smart to me.

  17. One Anonymous Bloke 17

    It’s a natural consequence of the way the Greens do politics. A “smart move” made when the party was formed.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    11 hours ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    17 hours ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    18 hours ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    19 hours ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    20 hours ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    20 hours ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    20 hours ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 day ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    2 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    2 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    3 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    3 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    3 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    6 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    6 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    7 days ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
    If you are not convinced terrorist Organisation ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is very, very dangerous – watch this video at one of their recent meetings. Not only is this obviously mentally ill Woman begging the other terrorists to promote killing and “eating” babies and children, if you watch carefully other members nod ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 weeks ago

  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago