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Reduce Poverty – Climate Change – Clean Rivers

Written By: - Date published: 9:25 am, September 28th, 2017 - 28 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:


If this phrase rings a bell with any of you, it might help save some from the madness they are descending into over who the Greens will go with, will not go with and so on.

This was Labour’s tagline during the campaign once Ardern became leader.

It was Green party tagline before Ardern became leader.

Reduce Poverty – Climate Change – Clean rivers

There is a pattern?

National’s tagline, as far as I can tell was;

Labour has a big hole

Labour will put up every tax and invent some new ones

English only noticed there was poverty a week before the election. National legislated to change the definition of swimable (so they wouldn’t have to clean up the rivers) and to say they are quiet on Climate change action is an understatement.

Leaving aside that the “hole” is actually a suggestion of a zero budget (which National ran in 2014 and 2015), the core campaign slogans could not be more different.

Except, that is,  between Labour and the Green Party.

Why would Labour negotiate away these 3 core platforms to a party that gained about 7.5% of the popular vote (some 30ish % less than they)? Surely they can accommodate NZF within these and compromise on other fringe matters? If Labour sticks to these 3 core platforms then Green Party would surely be happy. Why? Because their policy objectives (in macro) have been put on the table and will be into government policy. It does not matter if they are there to oversee them. And if not in Government there are Bills they can vote against NZF and Labour, and defeat them. They have voted with National on occassion in the past when it aligns with their Charter and principles.

As an aside, for those who speak of the Green Party descent toward oblivion (waving to you alwyn), I have dredged up their elecotral results since MMP

1999 5.16%
2002 7%
2005 5.3
2008 6.72
2011 11.06
2014 10.70



Numbers are not my gig so I may be wrong, but it appears that when Labour is strong the Greens lie mainly between 5 and 7%. When Labour is weak it gets between 10 and 11%. I shall refrain from quoting

I shall refrain from quoting Mr Wilde.

28 comments on “Reduce Poverty – Climate Change – Clean Rivers ”

  1. ianmac 1

    Always so hard to decide whether to vote Green or Labour. Maybe you are right about that trend Tracey.

    • tracey 1.1

      The Green’s are influencers, not outright rules. To my knowledge, they do not intend to throw their 5.9% around as though it were 40%+.

      The existence of the Green Party alone over the last 20-odd years has Greened up the main parties.

      I cannot see the Green Party allying with supporters of TPP

      • ianmac 1.1.1

        Somehow we are lead to believe in winners and losers. So if you are a “loser” then your ideas must be shunned by the ruling party in case the voters see them as weaklings.
        But in a perfect Government all ideas should be on the table. The Greens have caused incremental changes to policy though grudgingly by National.
        Insulation was a Green plan even if National claim it as theirs.

  2. mac1 2

    “I shall refrain from quoting Mr Wilde.” Is that because of this?

    “Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.”
    – Oscar Wilde

    Was this Wilde quote a comment on National’s pursuit of the Greens in coalition- “The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable?”

  3. red-blooded 3

    Labour didn’t change its policies or priorities after the leadership change. it changed its slogan and the messaging got better, but those priorities had been decided months before, and had been a huge focus during the previous years. The policies didn’t come out of nowhere – they were developed through in-party discussions and work programmes, just as they always are.

    Some policy was only released after the leadership change, but it wasn’t made up on the spot. There’s always a slow release of policy during an election campaign and the order of releases was planned in advance.

    • tracey 3.1

      The slogan (I called it a tagline, but we are merely interchanging words) they chose was identical to the one Green Party already had.That was my point.

      In any event, the point is, Red Blooded, they have exactly the same three core policies as represented to the electorate during the campaign in their tagline/slogan.

      Do you not agree that makes bottomlines quite easy for both labour and Greens?

      If Labour were now to suggest that they have policies of higher priority, that would be a bit naughty, wouldn’t it? To have campaigned on that 3-pronged premise but had a different one behind the scenes.

      • red-blooded 3.1.1

        The slogan was “Let’s do this!” When did the Greens use something similar?

        • tracey

          See? You are still focusing on the wrong part.

          Are you denying Ardern constantly said

          Reduce Poverty, Addresslimate Change and Clean up the Rivers ( or words tot hat effect)? If you are not denying it, then my point is they have the means to get Green support, outside Government by acting on those 3 promises.

          • red-blooded

            Ardern articulated the Labour priorities. Why do you think you own these concerns? Little had been saying similar things previously (just not as articulately).

            I have no issue with your basic point about the two parties being able to work together. I don’t like the assumption that only Greens can be truly concerned about these issues, though. Maybe you didn’t mean to imply that, but when you say,”This was Labour’s tagline during the campaign once Ardern became leader. It was Green party tagline before Ardern became leader. Reduce Poverty – Climate Change – Clean rivers. There is a pattern?” that’s what comes through.

    • weka 3.2

      “and had been a huge focus during the previous years.”

      I can see that’s true from a Labour perspective, but it’s not from a Green perspective. Labour have done some good work shifting left on environmental issues, but they still have a ways to go to make sure sustainability is central to government.

      • red-blooded 3.2.1

        The claim in the original posting was that Labour had switched focus and adopted the Greens’ priorities after the leadership change.

        “This was Labour’s tagline during the campaign once Ardern became leader.

        It was Green party tagline before Ardern became leader.

        Reduce Poverty – Climate Change – Clean rivers

        There is a pattern?”

        The point is that Labour didn’t switch focus and that these priorities didn’t come from the Greens, they came from work within the Labour Party. Believe it or not, the Greens don’t “own” any of these priorities and they have been and continue to be long term priorities for Labour. It’s perfectly possible for two sets of people with a number of shared values and attitudes to develop similar concerns when reacting to a given situation.

        • tracey

          I know you are grumpy that I say Labour imitated this tagline, not the policies underneath which to a greater or lesser extent already existed in labour, but the pithy way to present those polices in a slogan/tagline during the campaign?

          First video of the campaign




          Do you really have no comment on how easy it is for Greens and Labour to form a Coalition based on such commonality on those 3 issues? And isn’t that good for the future? And that I am suggesting it paves a way to concede bigtime to NZF to have greens outside Cabinet and thereby reduce his impact on the policies by trade off?

          Or do you want to keep bitching about whether a tagline is a policy and that Labour was always telling everyone Reduce Poverty, Climate Change, Clean Rivers before Arden became leader?

          • red-blooded

            If you wanted to focus on commonalities, perhaps you could/should have presented your thinking a bit differently. It wasn’t me who chose to highlight and front-load the claim about the Greens being the epicentre of major policy thinking – that was your choice.

            I’ve already said I think the two parties should aim to work together. Perhaps you didn’t notice that because you were too focused on what you perceive as bitching and I perceive as balancing your (definitely tetchy, if. deleted for sexism) comments.

            • tracey

              I highlighted the similarities in the taglines (advertising if that is easier to understand) and the fact that Labour did not campaign on that three prong tagline (advertising) until the leadership change. I even did the research to prove that point. Address the links I provided, particularly the opening Labour Ad of the campaign if you want to keep arguing that Labour did not start advertising itself as I have alluded. Better still show me speeches, ads, billboards etc where, prior to Ardern being Leader Little ran this exact phrase.

              Far from saying Greens slogan made them the epicentre of major policy thinking, I actually said the shared slogan makes it a win/win for Greens. That you keep substituting tagline for policy is your issue not mine. Claiming I am saying Labour didnt have poverty, climate change or clean river policies, means you are deliberately misreading or do not understand the differentiation I have made bettween branding/advertising (taglibes) and policies. This is not the first time I have made this clarification to you on other posts.

              I have moderated your sexist characterisation of my comments.

              • red-blooded


                Again you misrepresent (deliberately?) my comments. I did not remove bitching from your comment.

                You also might want to re-read the rules about attacking authors.

                • red-blooded

                  Some of your comments on this thread have been a mischaracterization of what I wrote. You continued to mischaracterize my comments even after I further clarified them for you and had done so when this came up on other threads. You do not get to keep determining how this discussion goes.

                  There is a difference between bitching and the word you used.

                  This is your final warning.

  4. weka 4

    If Labour sticks to these 3 core platforms then Green Party would surely be happy. Why? Because their policy objectives (in macro) have been put on the table and will be into government policy. It does not matter if they are there to oversee them. And if not in Government there are Bills they can vote against NZF and Labour, and defeat them. They have voted with National on occassion in the past when it aligns with their Charter and principles.

    I think this is true to an extent, but a few caveats. One is that L/NZF will give watered down versions of those policies. It will still be a big improvement on National, but I’m not convinced it will be enough to entrench the values in NZ governance for the long term.

    Second point (related). We really need a party with expertise in those areas to implement the best practice. Climate change alone is a good enough reason for the Greens to be inside a centre left govt. I want that to happen in the way the Greens deem best e.g. they might push for Shaw as CC minister, or they might give that up in exchange for getting the climate plan more fully accepted.

    I also think that the Greens need some time in government. They need it for themselves, so that they gain experience and also get the momentum that comes from being in that position. And they need it so the NZ gets used to seeing them there and how they work.

    On the other side of all of that is what it might cost them. I don’t know enough about what Labour and Peters want to know what the risk is.

    • tracey 4.1

      I agree with your caveats

      My preference is for Green Ministers. Afterall Green Party only has a couple fewer MPs than NZF.

      Mine is a scenario where, for any number of reasons , that is negotiated away. I tried to find areas of commonality between G and L and found 3 HUGE ones, publicly campaigned upon. I am just putting it out there because I know the Greens do not hold other parties to ransom and do not want to be a tail wagging the dog. It is unlikely they expect to get their policy version of those 3 pillars.

      BUT if Winston wants Greens outside Cabinet, he needs to be pushed, by Labour, for bigger concessions and one place is on those 3 points and what it looks like.

      From my viewpoint, this negotiation is about which big party will hold NZF to his 7.8% share of the vote in proportion to what he demands (give or take). The one who gives him disproportionate policy will probably “win” his support, but the cost bothers me a great deal.

  5. Sparky 5

    I would guess its split three ways: Greens, Labour, NZF. This is no bad thing as it gives voters choice and sends a message to bigger complacent parties who still think FPP is there in spirit.

    • tracey 5.1

      Which specific NZF policies fit with Labour and Green commitments to;

      Reduce poverty, address climate change and clean up the rivers

  6. roy cartland 6

    Think of what would happen, anywhere in the world, if the Greens Governed. No, it wouldn’t mean tofu and horse and carts. It would only mean there would be no billionaires. We’d probably work less that we do now, and would have no reason to consume as much junk and create so much waste. The benefits would outweigh the costs and we’d be more productive where it counts. The only reason to vote Right is if you think you’re one day going to be Trump or Zuck or Bob Jones, and can’t see why on earth you’d contribute to the common good if you could get away with not doing so.

  7. Drowsy M. Kram 7

    For NZ’s sake I hope that sometime in the not-to-distant future Labour party policies will approach if not ‘out-green’ Green party policies, but that seems unrealistic given the genesis of the NZ Green party.

    The introduction of MMP had its detractors in both National and Labour, and one possible interpretation of Labour-Green interactions during the final weeks of this election campaign is that individuals in the larger party haven’t come to grips with the MMP environment, some 20 years after its implementation.

    I’m guessing that National aren’t a big fan of lowering the 5% threshold, but I can’t recall Labour’s official position – do they have one? Labour’s support for the NZ Electoral Commission’s recommendation to lower the threshold to 4% would be heartening, and a likely point of difference with National.

  8. CoroDale 8

    Insightful analysis. Agreed, Greens don’t need to be in Govt, they just need to keep Nats out.

    • Tracey 8.1

      Thanks. Green goal is to get the change they want as quickly as possible. That can happen outside govt and has in the past. Gfeen policies in main parties were almost non existent in FPP days

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