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Shaw interview – we have a crony capitalist state

Written By: - Date published: 10:40 am, June 2nd, 2015 - 61 comments
Categories: capitalism, greens, james shaw - Tags: ,

Good interview with new Greens co-leader James Shaw on RNZ this morning. I don’t have time to transcribe, but here’s a summary:


Shaw’s main focus will be climate change. He has issued a challenge John Key to find common cause on climate change, the issue is bigger than politics.

He rules out formal coalition with National. Greens have more in common with Labour, “the distance with National is too great”.

He will draw on his business background to reach out to business.

The Greens support a mixed economy as transition sustainable smart green economy. We don’t have “free market capitalism”. After 2008 governments around the world guaranteed financial institutions. Profits are privatised but risks and costs are socialised – “which to me is not free market capitalism”. “We need to be honest about the system that we’ve got”. “What we’ve allowed in New Zealand and around the world is a sort of a crony capitalist state to creep in”.

He want to revive the memorandum of understanding with National. Starting with climate change, but looking for other areas of common cause. Espiner: what’s in it for National?. Policy stability long term, such as the stability around superannuation.

Espiner returns to his main question – why tie yourselves to Labour? Do you want a formal Labour Green arrangement and signal to voters? Shaw: we need to present an alternative government to National – people are looking for stability and mature government.


Not a perfect interview from Shaw, but a very good one. Creeping crony capitalism has a certain ring to it…

61 comments on “Shaw interview – we have a crony capitalist state ”

  1. philj 1

    Going by his photographs, he reminds me of Colin Firth. Good start. How will the Dirty Poltical MSM work on James? How long before it cranks into gear? Counting down …

    • weka 1.1

      actual LOL at the Colin Firth comment. Shaw should probably prepare himself for that too.

  2. SMILIN 2

    The thing that people dont get about National is that they are the self confessed undemocratic party in NZ read their founding document

    • Wayne 2.1


      Explain why you make this assertion. I am very familiar with the Rules of the Party which set out in Rule 4 the vision and values of the National Party.

      • Ovid 2.1.1

        Well, at its foundation, its principles were proclaimed to be:

        “To promote good citizenship and self-reliance; to combat communism and socialism; to maintain freedom of contract; to encourage private enterprise; to safeguard individual rights and the privilege of ownership; to oppose interference by the State in business, and State control of industry”

        It doesn’t enunciate what those “individual rights” are, but its chief focus was around property and business. Given the history of National governments over the years – the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1949, the waterfront dispute in 1951, the Springbok tour 30 years later – history has shown National to veer authoritarian on the political spectrum.

  3. You will not get a kiwi Saver payout without creeping crony capitalism.
    The Green/Labor savings scam is based on economic growth, economic growth is based on turning planet earth into a waste land.
    These are the best people this sick society can produce, we are stuffed.

  4. Sacha 4

    And Key has flat out rejected the offer cos there’s nothing in it for the govt, he reckons.

    • Puckish Rogue 4.1

      Shaw has rejected even the possibility of a deal with National so it shows hes not really serious and only wants the political oxygen National could give him

      • arkie 4.1.1

        um. Did you not read the above article re:Memorandum of Understanding?

        • Sacha

          muddying the waters comes naturally to some who live under bridges

        • Puckish Rogue

          Memorandum of Understanding means virtually nothing, its votes that count and National can’t count on the Greens vote

          Which means the Greens have (once again) put themselves at the mercy of Winston Peters

          • Sacha

            and the Greens have put themselves at the mercy of all those people who did not turn out to vote last election. Oh noes.

            • Puckish Rogue

              The problem the Greens have is its up to Winston whether the Greens get into parliament

              Winston could go with National
              Winston could go with Labour at the expense of the Greens if Labour get enough votes
              Winston could go with Labour and allow the Greens in as well

              Whats Winston most likely to do?

              • Sacha

                Or the Greens may help Labour lift their combined vote enough so Winston doesn’t matter. Think bold.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  So you think Winston is most likely going to go with National then…not like it hasn’t happend before and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind being called Sir Winston Peters one day

                  • Sacha

                    I don’t trust the man enough to predict what he would do. Better to make him irrelevant by Lab and Greens getting their shit together.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Yeah but thats the thing though isn’t last time it came down to it Labour chose Peter Dunne and Winston Peters over the Greens

                      Also remember when Winston was going to go with Labour and then whoops ended up with National

                      At the moment its pie in the sky to to think that Labour and the Greens can go from combined 38% in 2014 to leading in 2017

                      Winston has Labour (and possibly National) by the short and curlies and by rejecting National the Greens have thrown away their bargining chip

                    • Sacha

                      Keep believing the worst if you wish.

          • Tracey

            you need to open your mind to more than one way to skin a cat. Oh, and to understand what a MOU is before pronouncing it useless.

            • Puckish Rogue

              25 years without being in power makes the Greens nothing more than a lobby group, a successful lobby group mind you but still a lobby group

              There is nothing here to suggest that’ll change in the next couple of elections

              • McFlock

                Puckish Rogue thinks that the Greens are somehow less of a political party because, as a mere “successful lobby group, they can get their policy implemented while not even being in Cabinet.


                • Puckish Rogue

                  They get very little policy implemented and the policy they do is minor

                  Yes they got insulation in homes which didn’t cost National much and was good for National anyway

                  Hows the climate change going for the Greens?

                  • weka

                    Think about where NZ was in the early 90s with regards to CC and where we are now, and then try arguing that the GP hasn’t influenced NZ on this.

                    Ditto child poverty issues more recently.

                    Here’s the achievements list from 2013, you can see other years in the links to the right of their page,

                    (sorry for the long cut and paste, but I thought it would save a whole bunch of wasted time on more of PR’s astroturfing),

                    Green Achievements 2013

                    The Green Party’s work in 2013 has delivered positive and significant results on the issues that matter to New Zealand.

                    Government backing of City Rail Link

                    The Government made a huge backtrack on their opposition to the city rail link in Auckland. After five years of campaigning by the Green Party, the Government have seen the light and agreed to build the rail link. It is a smart green transport solution and we were at the forefront of it.

                    Oil and gas waste free milk

                    After the Green Party highlighted on Campbell Live the issue of toxic waste from oil and gas exploration being spread on farms in Taranaki, Fonterra made a promise not to collect milk from any new dairy farms that have this waste spread on them.

                    Improvements to the Food Bill

                    Following a huge outcry from foodies around New Zealand, we lobbied Government and achieved positive changes to the Food Bill that will now protect your right to grow and swap food and keep down compliance costs for small businesses.

                    Opening up of Government banking contract

                    After years of Green Party pressure, the huge government banking contract will finally be opened up to get better value for money for the New Zealand public instead of sending all the profits to Australian-owned Westpac bank.

                    Cleaning up toxic sites

                    In May, Green Party mining spokesperson Catherine Delahunty and Environment Minister Amy Adams attended the closing ceremony at Tui Mine to mark the successful conclusion of the mine clean-up project. The Tui Mine clean-up was part of the toxic site management work conducted under the Memorandum of Understanding between the Green Party and the National Party. Another success of our work with Government has been the on-going development of a national register of contaminated sites.

                    Warmer drier homes

                    Our Memorandum of Understanding with National has also meant that over 150,000 New Zealand homes have had insulation installed as part of the Warm Up New Zealand scheme. Researchers found $1.21 billion worth of health benefits from the scheme.

                    Truth in banana labelling

                    We were part of the successful call to peel the “ethical choice” labels off Dole bananas after Oxfam released a report detailing just how unethical they were.

                    Minimising animal testing

                    We brought to light the issue of animal testing as part of the Psychoactive Substances Bill and have succeeded in forcing the Government to include provisions in the Bill, which while not going as far as we want, will at least restrict animal testing.

                    Helping New Zealanders to keep our assets

                    The Green Party was an active part of the Keep Our Assets coalition which collected over 440,000 signatures and delivered them to the Clerk of Parliament in July.

                    Winning marriage equality

                    We worked with the many groups to achieve Marriage Equality in New Zealand. As the only party to have marriage equality as policy, we were able to vote all together for it and support MPs from other parties to vote for it as well.

                    Strengthening International Criminal Court

                    Kennedy Graham succeeded in passing a motion about New Zealand ratification of the Kampala Amendments to the Rome Statute which will strengthen the International Criminal Court. This was the Government’s first public acknowledgement that they will be seeking to ratify the amendments.

                    Growing New Zealand’s cycle trail

                    There have been thousands of more kilometres of dedicated cycle paths, off-road cycling tracks and on-road cycling routes opened or approved under the Memorandum of Understanding we have with the Government.

                    Pressure to achieve better health and safety regulations

                    The changes in the law to provide for a new stand-alone Occupational Health and Safety agency and much tougher regulation of mining have occurred because of the pressure we put on the Government over the Pike River disaster.

                    Improving ACC

                    We have been keeping the pressure on the Government to fix ACC. Significant improvements are being made to its culture and the way it treats people. For example, it is now much more likely that specialist medical assessments will be genuinely independent, and claimants are being given a choice over who conducts them.


                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Imagine what they could do if they put the country ahead of their pride and announced they could go into coilition National

                    • I can imagine … Sweet FA.

                    • McFlock

                      Imagine what they could do if they put the country ahead of their pride and announced they could go into coilition National

                      Freudian slip there, PR.

                      And you’re purposefully ignoring that it’s up to the Green membership whether they choose to lie in that particular bed of snakes, should the time come.

                    • dukeofurl

                      Tui Mine mine cleanup as part of MoU with National.??

                      The websites from DoC and Waikato RC have NO mention of a MOU, or Green party for that matter for the remediation work.

                      “160,000 man hours of planning, management, engineering and construction time plus $21.7 million dollars were invested into the project.”

                      Have you been airbrushed out of History ?

                      Or was the TUi mine NOT in the MoU and has been claimed as an afterthought. Have you been doing a “Dole” – as they did with ethical bananas.

                      The MoU, I have seen lists only Home insulation, energy efficiency and regulation of natural health products.
                      There could have been some agreement , But I would love to see ‘real’ evidence of that

                    • weka

                      “Imagine what they could do if they put the country ahead of their pride and announced they could go into coilition National”

                      As a GP member that’s exactly what I’ve imagined which is why I support the current position to not go into a National govt.

                      You’re getting boring now PR. Address the actual points or fuck off.

                    • weka

                      “Tui Mine mine cleanup as part of MoU with National.??”

                      from google,


                      May 24, 2011 NZ Green Party

                      Green MP Catherine Delahunty with Environment Minister Nick Smith at the MOU signing in the Beehive this morning.

                      In another success story for MMP, Green MP Catherine Delahunty today announced a joint initiative with the National Party to clean up New Zealand’s most toxic site — Te Aroha’s Tui Mine.

                    • Macro

                      @the duke

                      The Green Party and the National Party agreed to include toxic site management work in their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2011, which also includes the successful home insulation scheme, the New Zealand Cycleway, natural health products legislation, and a pilot scheme to better protect forests and wildlife from pests.

                      “It is fantastic the Tui Mine is cleaned up. The Green Party is proud of the role we have played, working with the Government, to make this major clean-up a priority,” said Green Party toxics spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

                      Ms Delahunty and Environment Minister Amy Adams today attended a closing ceremony at Tui Mine at Te Aroha to mark the successful conclusion of the five-year project.

                      I know that Catherine has worked long and hard on this and many similar projects over recent years.

                  • McFlock

                    So the Greens are simultaneously a “successful lobby group” and they “get very little policy implemented and the policy they do is minor”.

                    When we observe PR at any particular instant, his waveform collapses and we find out which way he’s spinning at that particular point in time…

                  • Tracey

                    how’s climate change going for everyone?

      • Sacha 4.1.2

        He articulated clearly over the weekend the distinction between a coalition deal and a cross-party consensus agreement on climate change.

        • Puckish Rogue

          He can articulate whatever he likes but (and its a pretty big but) hes the co-leader of a 11% party, National is a 47% party which means Shaw doesn’t have much leverage to work worth

          • McFlock

            National is a 47% party with a caucus of incompetents and sociopaths which means Shaw doesn’t have much leverage to work worth.


            • weka


              In PR’s world, it’s the man with the biggest club that wins. Doesn’t matter how stupid they are.

              • Puckish Rogue

                Yes, in my world its the party with the most votes that can form a government and take control of the treasury benches that wins

                • McFlock


                  Such a shame that the ability to become PM doesn’t seem to correlate at all with the skillset required to competently govern a country.

                  • weka

                    You’re the poster boy for macho politics PR.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Yet the people of NZ seem to think he does and so enough people vote for him and his support partners for him to stay uin power and the left, well the left could fill a dam with the amount of tears they cry

                    • McFlock

                      Yet the people of NZ seem to think[…]

                      Well, a third do, a third don’t, and most of the remainder seem to have gone all Mercutio.

                      But like I said, it’s such a shame that the nats can’t govern as adeptly as they manage to get elected.

                    • vto

                      Yep, the problem is more widespread than just the fools in National………

                      but, ya know, the majority is always onto it ….

                • vto

                  the mad world of the right wing and its even madder concepts of what constitutes winning ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Will you still be laughing when John Keys returned to power in 2017 or is that not “winning”

                    • vto

                      for sure

                      except it will likely have turned to tears at where our society has gone

                      gone to the place of ‘winners’ ffs how depressing

              • les

                thats how the real world works.Thats why the U.S is omnipotent.

                • weka

                  You should read up on how and why civilisations crash.

                  • les

                    thats very vague…is there a time frame?

                  • les

                    bad answer.if civilisations ‘crash’ what are they replaced with?

                    • weka

                      Why are you using the word ‘if’ in that sentence? There is no question that civilisations collapse.

                      Start with Jared Diamond and Dmitri Orlov, both have books out and essays online.

            • dukeofurl

              But the Green party is just labour voters with better houses and jobs.

              AND national covets them !

  5. weka 5

    I thought this was another pretty good interview from Shaw. Apart from the gaff on not remembering the name of the Labour spokesperson on climate change (!), he seemed to get everything else right, and again presented the core ideas for people to get their heads around – no to a National govt, but yet to cross party co-operation on CC; we have a crony capitalist economy; the GP support a mixed economy as a way to transition to a post-carbon world; Labour and the GP share common much common ground and need to present as a credible govt in waiting. He came across as well prepared and even handled the stumbles well.

  6. He will draw on his business background to reach out to business.

    He’ll get his reaching-out hand bitten if he does things like point out crony capitalism. How would people like Talley get their knighthoods if politicians all started thinking like Shaw?

    • dukeofurl 6.1

      Talley is the perfect example of crony capitalism.

      The introduction of the quota management system based on the quantity of fish caught at the time, turned the Talleys and others, from a hand to mouth existence catching fish from small boats into asset based big scale millionaires overnight.
      The quota could be leased or sold, while up to then you had nothing until the fish were landed on the dock and sold for whatever price could be achieved.

  7. Charles 7

    Hmmm, not a good interview. Too many complex definitions and the clear definitions are starting to present an unsettling picture of the Green Party. The emerging theme that Turei is the “caring social mother” and Shaw the “mature business father” isn’t good at all. Guess which one is going to be taken more seriously than the other? Hello, Green Party, this is NZ culture calling…

    By not taking off his very stylish new suit jacket, leaning over, and slapping Espiner back to journalisitic integrity, Shaw allowed his answers to become muddled with qualifications to the point of saying nothing useful. That Shaw didn’t know who to contact inside of Labour, for environmental issues, is telling, and not a good thing to openly admit. Too much scoop-time has been spent on the Green/Nat potential/non-potential and not enough on front-footing a strategy for a future Labour/Greens relationship.

    people add up current popularity polls and get,

    Greens/Labour = 38%
    National = 47%


    National win 2017 game over.

    But it isn’t a, total percentage = sum of the parts, equation. The sense of security that voters would feel by Labour and Greens openly agreeing to stand as a unified option would increase the combined popularity above the individual party levels. Why seek a MoU with National when one with Labour would take 100% less time and effort, and have 100% more chance of success? Why is it so hard to build on the positivism we heard from Robertson a fortnight ago, with the positivism we often hear from Turei, and go from there?

    The Greens know it can work, Labour knows it can work, they say they know it can work, they say they want it to work, yet all we hear is how The Greens are chasing National like some infatuated teenage nerd-boy who chases the narcissistic popular girl at high school, and The Greens “media relations team” (or whatever they call themselves) are encouraging the continuance of the losing, time-wasting, game. Enough already.

    • weka 7.1

      Good grief, damned if they do or don’t.

      He’s doing what you wanted this morning, making it really clear and simple that the GP won’t go into govt with National. He’s also making it really clear that the GP want to work with Labour.

      Plus he’s using the media’s obsession about the National thing to not only talk abotu CC, but to put out a challenge to Key. It’s a smart move.

      And in case you hadn’t noticed, it was the suit that got him elected co-leader. Funny how little people trust the GP to know what they are doing.

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