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Sustainable NZ not so sustainable after all

Written By: - Date published: 2:42 pm, February 21st, 2020 - 23 comments
Categories: election 2020, electoral systems, Environment, MMP, national, sustainability - Tags:

It appears that National’s dream of an alternative Green party that would drive the real Green Party below the threshold is in tatters with news that Sustainable NZ is on the skids.

From Sam Sachdeva at Newsroom:

Fledgling political party Sustainable New Zealand has been rocked by a flurry of resignations and allegations of questionable behaviour by its leader, Newsroom can reveal.

One of the departees, former party secretary and board chair Helen Cartwright, has criticised the party’s lack of profile, policy and money, likening the nascent organisation to “a fast fail”.

Sustainable New Zealand launched in November last year, with founder and leader Vernon Tava pledging to lead a “full-time environment party” which could partner either National or Labour.

However, the party has struggled to find any traction since then, and has failed to register in any public polling to date. 

Cartwright’s description of the state of the party is brutal:

We have no policy. We have no profile. We have no money. We operate with no regard or reference to our constitution and rules … We do not have a bona fide party leader nor a legitimate board.”

She also has an odd view of what Green politics is all about:

I am a lifelong entrepreneur and the skill of staying alive in my profession is to be able to see an opportunity and commercialise it, but this must be combined with the ability to spot a fast fail and exit it.”

True greenies do it for the environment, not for the commercial opportunity.

The treasurer has also gone as has the national volunteer coordinator and the party’s youth wing leader. 

Vernon Tava has made a brave face of things and suggested that people come and people go.

But with dwindling numbers, no resources and no policies he is not going to be a support party for National.

In fact the best that could happen for the country is that he hangs around and drags some votes out of National which are then wasted.

National must be despairing at its lack of friends.  It has to manufacture a party by giving up one of its strongest seats, the Maori Party confirm they have more in common with Labour and the nascent blue green party is withering on the vine.

Maybe it is time for National to reconsider its relationship with the Destiny Church Vision NZ Party. I am sure that Alfred Ngaro is willing to help.

23 comments on “Sustainable NZ not so sustainable after all ”

  1. ianmac 1

    Within National there are of course various factions which could operate as separate identities. They do cling together but I bet the far right in their ranks cannot agree with spokesman Bridges. Nor can the moderate or Green leaning members.

    Where the Government is made up of 3 parties then the Opposition also has maybe three parties but remain entrenched. Status Quo types.

  2. ianmac 2

    Love the expression on "Vernon Tava's" face.

  3. Puckish Rogue 3

    "National must be despairing at its lack of friends"

    The next election is looking like National/Act v Labour/Greens (maybe NZFirst but I doubt it)

    Act won't go with Labour and the Greens won't go with National so in regards to friends Labour appear to have as many as National

    Also looks like a FPP election doesn't it…

    • Paul Campbell 3.1

      Nope in a FPP election a governing party needs fewer than 50% of the votes to govern, not so for MPP where you need at least 50%+1 confidence and supply

  4. observer 4

    The full Colmar Brunton poll is now available:

    Summary here, more details in the download

    Amazingly, "Sustainable NZ", after a round of extensive media coverage at the party's launch, have registered precisely zero support. One thousand voters, not a single vote. They don't even feature in "Other". TOP and New Cons and the cannabis folk at least get a passing mention from somebody.

    Remember all those opinion pieces and social media blather saying "of course I would vote green if only they were TrueGreen or BlueGreen and not commies"?

    Well, now they can. And now they don't. At all.

    • Puckish Rogue 4.1


      National 46% + Act 2% = 61 seats

      Labour 41% + Green 5% = 59 seats

      NZfirst on 3% (and dropping) are gone

      The Greens on 5% (and dropping) won't be feeling comfortable

      Maybe it is time for Labour to reconsider its relationship with the Destiny Church Vision NZ Party. I am sure that Alfred Ngaro is willing to help. angel

      (Yes I know the election is a long way away but damn if it isn't getting real interesting now…)

      • indiana 4.1.1

        I think the branding in this vein will become very prevalent….


      • Paul Campbell 4.1.2

        Or simply give NZF Northland …. even though they've ruled that out for now it's really a late binding decision

        • Puckish Rogue

          Good luck with that, even if Labour stood aside I''d predict it'd still stay blue

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            You reckon, Puckish? "Introducing the next MP for Northland" http://www.thestandard.org.nz/caption-competition-37/#comment-984566

            Not that Labour would stand aside; only National has 'stand aside expertise'.

            2017 results for the Northland and Epsom electorates.

            National (King): 38.30% ACT (Seymour): 43.17%
            NZF (Peters): 34.81% National (Goldsmith): 28.73%
            Labour (Prime): 21.61% Labour (Parker): 18.49%

            • Puckish Rogue

              Yeah I do, Labour stands aside so 21% up for grabs.

              How many of those voters won't want to vote for NZFirst because they think its an assault on democracy and will instead either not vote or vote Greens instead

              How many of those NZFirst votes were cast by voters who wanted NZFirst to go with National to "keep them honest" and feel betrayed, where are they going to go do you think

              So yeah National, potentially, gain close to half the NZFirst votes so even if Labour held all its votes it still wouldn't be enough


              'Helen Clark openly encouraged Labour supporters in the Coromandel to give their constituency vote to Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimmons and their party vote to Labour.'

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Puckish, seems that you reckon you're pretty good at second-guessing the decision-making processes of NZF and Labour voters in Northland.

                As I noted, your reckons, like mine, are moot, but if you reckon that the NZF vote in the Northland electorate could collapse to ~18% this year, i.e. little more than half of what it was in 2017 (and "Labour held all its [21% of] votes"), then (respectfully), "You're Dreaming."

                Dream on PR, dream on.

      • Ed1 4.1.3

        I suspect that is the poll that had 17% undecided? I was unable to download the full report; I'll try again later. What does the poll on preferred leader tell us about movement in support? My tea-leaves this morning told me that we are in for a period of stability. Have we ever had a leader with as low popularity as Bridges win an election? Most importantly, what does Mike Hosking say?

  5. pat 5

    Think National have decided that SNZ is no longer necessary….better things to spend their donations on

    • Puckish Rogue 5.1

      Another smart call by Bridges to have nothing official to do with them (like Key and Colin Craig), hes no Jude but hes not doing too badly.

      Anyone remember this prediction from Winnie?


      • pat 5.1.1

        still 7 months for Simon to be rolled…though I suspect he'll be left to carry the can and be rolled after he loses

        • Puckish Rogue

          Hes showing plenty of the right stuff to last this long, hes received plenty of vitriol but now its starting to come right for him and hes beginning to find his groove

          I still think Jude would do better though…

          • lprent

            Basically Bridges looks like a formless fudge having problems repeating the lines given to him. It must make it hard for the Nat spinners. They can only solely concentrate on negatives rather than touting their expertise.

            But hey, Bridges has you in solitary praise of his credibility. I guess that he feels he has achieved something (pitiful).

            Kind of hard seeing him lasting much past holding the hot potato in September.

            • Puckish Rogue

              Well the odds of National taking the election out in September are getting better so he might be around longer than people think.

              Hes certainly tenacious and most have quite a thick skin, thicker than most

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