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The Blue Green oxymoron

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 am, January 28th, 2019 - 252 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, Environment, greens, national, Politics, same old national, Simon Bridges, spin, sustainability, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ,

There has been a lot of conjecture recently on the possibility of no friends National creating a puppet party like ACT so that it has friends. Except this one would try and create warm obligation free fuzzies about the environment.  Although as Idiot Savant puts it in his particularly direct way the party would be a farce:

[I]f they do, then its a clear signal that the party isn’t really green. Because National’s policies of supporting the dairy, oil and trucking industries, sucking the rivers dry, and dragging their feet on climate change in the name of “balance” with economic growth are inherently anti-environment, and any environmentally-minded voter can see that.

Which makes their “BlueGreen” astroturf idea laughable – the only people it convinces are people who don’t understand environmental issues at all. But like Colin Craig, Kim Dotcom and Gareth Morgan, they probably think they can simply throw money at the problem and buy the votes they need, with a fallback of hoping to buy enough votes away from the actual Green Party to drive them out of Parliament – a deeply undemocratic goal. But unlike National, I think environmentally-minded voters are smart enough not to fall for it.

This is nothing new. The Blue Greens have been part of National for a while and have failed because National’s environmental credentials are so poor.

Likely leader Vernon Tava says that it is not an astroturf exercise and has not spoken to any National MPs about it.  Not even his good friend Erica Stanford.  I am sure that if something happened to her career he would not want National to do an ACT Epsom type deal.  And of course he has not spoken to her or any other National MP about this.  Of course not.  Right wing political activists never chat about such things like how to restore National to its divinely mandated role.

In this Radio New Zealand interview he said that when he challenged the Green’s leadership in 2015 he asked the question if the Greens were a left wing party.

Yep he was surprised that the party of Rod Donald, Jeanette Fitzsimons and Sue Bradford cared so much about poor people. And would not contemplate supporting National.

Bridges thinks the party is a good idea because it is not fair that the Environmental Party has been hijacked by environmentalists. From Radio New Zealand:

But he said he agreed with Mr Tava that it was not fair any one party should have a monopoly on environmental concerns in New Zealand.

“At the moment you have a Green Party that very much is to the left of Labour, it will only go with Labour, there will be a group of New Zealanders there … who say ‘well actually, they’re not representing me’.”

Mr Bridges said the party would be a potentially valuable addition but it would need to be organic and to drive itself.

Mr Bridges said he has heard from New Zealanders about “the tragedy of a Green Party in name, but is to the left of Labour and is not able to get the wins to the environment that would be there were they to sit in the middle”.

Mr Bridges said it was very early days in regards to such a new environmental party and at this stage nothing was either on or off the table.

National has talked about this for a while. As pointed out by Idiot Savant its major problem is that its record on the environment is so appalling.

What can be the motiovation?

Presuming the party is launched the various possibilities are:

  1. It fails completely.
  2. National gives it a lifeline seat and it creates a degree of political confusion. Mission accomplished.
  3. It fails and takes more votes off National than the Greens. The Greens survive.
  4. It fails but takes more votes off National than the Greens and the Greens dip below 5%. Mission accomplished.
  5. It succeeds. The farming lobby and the coal industry and oil industry rejoice although they will also rejoice if possibility 4 occurs.

National is really hurting over the fact that it is the “biggest” party and is not in Government thanks to those pesky smaller parties whose votes should not count. I suspect that driving the Greens to under 5% is a big part of National’s thinking.

I suspect this is a story that will develop over the next few months.

Twitter has some of the best analysis:


252 comments on “The Blue Green oxymoron ”

  1. Michelle 1

    he wont get in another idiot we already have enough

    • xanthe 1.1

      what about a green green party! Now that woild get my vote and a tsunami of others

      Make no mistake the “greens” are not languishing at 6% because they are green but because they are not!

    • Michael 1.2

      It can’t be correct to hold monopoly at all. Live entrepreneurship moves this world forward. Government should definitely support smaller parties because its hard for them to cope with bigger ones . For example my friend http://myfolio.com/NathanLuise told me to always try hard nevertheless the consequences of the result.
      ” It’s better to regret what you have done than what you haven’t.”

      ― Paul Arden,

  2. Alan 2

    scared? you should be

  3. Morrissey 3

    Listening to Vernon Tava this morning, the emphasis is definitely on “moron” rather than “oxy.”

  4. Bewildered 4

    Greens and Nzf will be packing themselves, a true environmental party green all the way through that will work on both left and right will shaft the watermelon party royally even if it only picks up 1 pr 2pc. Further more a resurgent Conservative party will do the same to Winston first who won’t have the advantage of opposition to spout his bs, Fun days ahead

    • mickysavage 4.1

      Can you identify what National’s environmental credentials are?

      • Bewildered 4.1.1

        It’s Vernon credentials and who he builds his party with that matters, he has also indicated he will work with both sides of the house which is big political advantage over the watermelons

        • Robert Guyton

          What are Vernon’s credentials, Bewildered and why is he having to build his party with another, when he’s claiming to be “willing to work with all parties”?

        • mickysavage

          I quite like watermelons.

        • You_Fool

          But how does this new “blue-Green” party work with National and keep anything resembling green credentials?

          I mean if the plan is for them to work with either side, then both sides need to be able to work with them, i.e. have green positive policies… Unfortunately one side currently does not have that, which is why, coincidentally, the green-greens don’t go with National…

        • Visubversa

          Since when has greasy opportunism and waka jumping been counted as credentials? The Nats won’t respect him in the morning either.

    • Marcus Morris 4.2

      You really are bewildered. I was closely involved with the Green party for some years before returning to the Labour fold (as so many Greens have done in the last eighteen months). I would be amazed if this so called Blue/Green party, if it ever gets any traction, attracts more than a handful of Green supporters, if any at all. Any support will come from “bewildered and befuddled” Nat supporters

      • Bearded Git 4.2.1

        real Greens would not support this Labour Party

        • soddenleaf

          reasons? That they’d vote for a Green party that can work with the big polluter party?

          German has two business parties, it ain’t doing so badly. A neolib and an available to work with the left party. It’s because nobody can see the relative support for the neolib wing. Australia has two, Nats and libs. So this new Green party needs to target the NAt vote, be a NAt light.

      • Pat 4.2.2

        It may not attract many current Green supporters but I wouldnt dismiss it entirely….I suspect there is a base for a less socially conscious but environmentally focused party, and theres only one way to find out for sure.

        The real question is who they take their support from…my suspicion is it will largely be a straight transfer from National…so a zero sum game

        • You_Fool

          I am worried that it’s true purpose is to try and get 1-2% of green party support, to drop Greens below 5%… whether or not it gets a seat itself will then become irrelevant as it’s job will have occurred (TOP party anyone?)

      • Booker 4.2.3

        “Any support will come from “bewildered and befuddled” Nat supporters”

        This. Unless, or until, the National party acknowledge the overwhelming scientific evidence that the climate is changing and human activity is the cause, any Blue-Green party or coalition is a pipe dream, and anyone who really cares about the environment knows this.

        At the moment this “party” seems to be nothing more than Vernon, who has already failed to get into parliament in two parties and seems desperate to make his wish come true.

        The Nats seem to be far more interested in fomenting the false idea that the Greens won’t work with them and crying “waaaah not fair!”. When in reality it’s them who are refusing not only to work with the Greens but still think they know better than the world’s scientists.

    • Robert Guyton 4.3

      Bewildered, how do you think this proposed/imagined “true environmental party green all the way through” will vote on a cannabis bill, or one on euthanasia? How will they determine their positions? Those are not “green all the way through” issues.

      • You_Fool 4.3.1

        Maybe they will abstain on those votes… I mean it isn’t like National complained about the Greens abstaining on votes from 2005-2008

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    A good overview, MS. Time again to recycle Yogi Berra: deja vu all over again. The re-run of the post 2014 election theorising, which featured Gareth Morgan’s call for a bluegreen part to be formed. Same rationale.

    So what’s new about it? National’s desperation. Scepticism about Vernon’s claim to have had no discussions with Nat MPs is understandable, but he’s always struck me as a straight-shooter. If true, it suggests either naivety (unlikely) or a genuine impetus derived from holiday brainstorming sessions with unidentified folks.

    I pointed out the groundswell feasibility on Open Mike. But that ain’t new! What’s missing from the picture is market research. We don’t have a measure of the percentage of the electorate who are insufficiently attached to National via tribalism, or insufficiently attached to the Greens via leftism. The numbers involved seem huge if you use the 80% indicator from the recent poll as a guide. But they need a sufficiently powerful magnet to make them actually switch their vote.

    The smartest option for National is to tell their bluegreen MPs to agree amongst themselves on who ought to go with Vernon, and Bridges ought to use his leadership to persuade caucus to vote in favour of them doing so. A democratic mandate would be a sound basis for success, particularly if they authorised use of the bluegreen brand.

    • lprent 5.1

      National party has never been happy with shedding MPs or voters. And they are a conservative party. I don’t think that they will change now.

      It’d be interesting to see if they can learn this late to sacrifice for power.

      • Dennis Frank 5.1.1

        Yes, precisely! So there’s a battle looming in National: conservatives vs pragmatists. I’m betting on the pragmatists defeating the conservatives, but I agree it’ll be a close call. Key behind-the-scenes advisor: Simon Upton. “In April 2017, he was appointed by Parliament to be the next Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.”

      • Michelle 5.1.2

        national are a conservative party when it suits them to be one. To say sarah dowie has been an effective politicians (soimon said) when she has spent the last 2 years on her back having an affair with her work colleague is not acting very conservative or along the lines of conservativism. Southland has an ageing population are they happy with their representative carrying on like this cause her carry on is not very professional or of the high standard or conduct you would expect from someone in her position and in a party that prides itself on high standards and is quick to judge others. Its seems morals are no longer important.

  6. mauī 6

    Tava talks about addressing the water quality crisis, biodiversity loss and pest control issues in his interview.

    Um… that’s what the Green party is already doing and from Government a-hole lol.

    • Wayne 6.1

      While it might be true that the Green Party is doing these things it has also said it will only ever go left. The membership is totally opposed to National as in fact this post by MS demonstrates. A Green Party that could go either left or right would be better.

      However there is no prospect that I can see that another Green Party can get 5%, and MS knows perfectly well they would never get gifted a seat.

      So unless there is a major shift in voting behaviour this is going nowhere. A new Green Party is unlikely (though it is possible) to drive the existing Green Party under 5%. Surely just about all existing Green Party voters are left.

      The most likely new 5% party would be a Christian Conservative party. They have come close twice before (1996, 2014) but the “brand” is surely severely damaged by Craig’s ructions.

      • Adrian 6.1.1

        They have been damaged because a significant number of any of the ” Christian ” party leaders have subsequently been found to be kiddy-fiddlers.
        Don’t expect anything different of any new iteration. Just arrest the sanctimonious arseholes as soon as they put their hand up.

      • Sacha 6.1.2

        “A Green Party that could go either left or right would be better.”

        Better for who?

        • Enough is Enough

          Better for anyone who wants the Environment to be front and centre of every government’s agenda.

          At some point in the future National will lead the government. It would be better that when that time comes a “Green” party acts as hand brake on their more idiotic policies.

          A National Party with no such influence is a very dangerous beast indeed

      • Dennis Frank 6.1.3

        Surely just about all existing Green Party voters are left

        I’ve dealt with that misapprehension here in years past, but here goes again. In 2015 Russel Norman led a conference session in which he conducted a straw poll of attendees (I counted 65). It split 2:1 on the identity question of whether members self-identified as neither right nor left, or leftist.

        I took that as representative of Green voters, because the Green movement was apolitical back when I first became part of it. Then the Values Party schismed as a result of an emerging twin tribes divide. I had already rejected both sides of the establishment long before that, so have long been an advocate of triangulation, and now the third tribe is a dormant force sufficiently large in number to change everything.

      • Bearded Git 6.1.4

        The core Green vote is 7 to 9 per cent….pretty solid…if the Greens could get over 5 per cent at the last election after the MT disaster they will never fail UNLESS like the German greens they move to the centre

  7. Nic181 7

    Interestingly, Blue-Green Algae are also known as the Cyanobacteria. Included in this group are the toxic algae. I cannot think of a better name for a party to support National. “The Blue-Green Toxic Algae” Party. Perfect partners for the National Party and in line with their view on the environment.

    • + 1 yep

      I also think people are dreaming if they think this will help the environment in any way. This is designed to muddy the waters and ensure less gets done and some individuals make massive money.

      • Bewildered 7.1.1

        Nup way more effective as not simply reliant on a labour government All people care about the environment not just hard left virtue signallers

        • marty mars

          Rubbish. All people don’t care. The gnats don’t care. It is just positioning and bullshit. We all know it but the thick righties will pretend just like they do about ao much.

        • Robert Guyton

          Did John Key care about the environment?
          Did Bill English care about the environment?
          Did Gerry Brownlee care about the environment?
          Does Simon Bridges care about the environment?

    • WeTheBleeple 7.2

      The cyan party. Sighin’ party.

      • Dennis Frank 7.2.1

        Turquoise, more likely. Cyan has more green in it. And probably more grunting than sighing. I’m old enough to remember when it was the primary form of male communication. In the hinterland, probably has been passed down a couple of generations as part of the macho scene.

      • greywarshark 7.2.2

        Firing on all cylinders – zoom. Lol.

    • Bearded Git 7.3


    • mary_a 7.4

      Brilliant @ Nic181 (7). Love it.

      Perfect name for the murky blue/green sludge lurking at the bottom of the fetid swamp 🙂

  8. Ad 8

    Any policies?

    They’d be useful if they just pressured the current government who, other than a bit more money for Conservation, continue to do fuck all for the environment whether it’s in water management and regulation, electricity generation and regulation, more national parks or conservation areas, any marine reserves, decreasing fishing quota, or much else.

    • Robert Guyton 8.1

      “They’d be useful if they just pressured the current government”
      May as well be a lobby group then. The Greens already exert as much pressure as possible from within the Government. Or do you somehow think they’ve abandoned all their principles and policies for a comfortable salary and seat? I don’t believe that for a moment.

      • Ad 8.1.1

        Outside a less-than-expected budgetary increase for Conservation, what exactly have the Greens improved in our environment?

        Go right ahead.

        • Robert Guyton

          I take it then, Ad, you do believe, as I asked above, that “they’ve abandoned all their principles and policies for a comfortable salary and seat? ” and not exerted ” as much pressure as possible from within the Government”?
          You haven’t answered those kindly-put questions before firing off your own – would you care to?

          • Ad

            I believe Green Party Members of Parliament and Ministers are people.
            Mere people.

            That means they have a smidgen of principle, substantial ego, and a focused self interest no different to any other MP.

            Pull the veil from your eyes and look at those MPs dispassionately.

            What you are unable to do outside of meekly personalizing their feelings, is hold them to account according to their results.

            They have very, very little.
            Which puts whatever you impute of their principles into the reality of changing New Zealand for the good. That is I expect what you voted them in for.

            And yes, when we are paying their salary, that matters.

            • Robert Guyton

              “What you are unable to do outside of meekly personalizing their feelings, is hold them to account according to their results.”
              Meekly? Do you know any of the Green MPs, AD, past and present.
              I do and did. The principles and beliefs of individual MPs is at the heart of how a party behaves. You’re railing at your perception that The Greens haven’t achieved much for the environment is firstly, questionable, secondly, subject to factors you seem unwilling to consider (it takes time etc.) and completely ignores the calibre and qualities of the MPs involved. You just seem disgruntled .

              • Dennis Frank

                Well, he’s a Labour supporter. How could he ever be gruntled? But I agree with him that realism is the best frame for viewing the GP situation, and agree with you that they are good people doing their best.

              • greywarshark

                Yeah as Red Logix says a good ‘grunt’ can speak volumes. The Greens can’t afford to be thinking in disgruntled mode like Ad. They have to push shit uphill like Sisyphus.

                Hard work for little recognition and long lead-up times for projects with barriers galore; hard work, and dirty but someone has to do it and keep on keeping on. Thank goodness for the Greens. They aren’t fabulous like the Gnats. Or awkwardly placed like Labour straddling the class divide, leaning to the academic theories and the middle to upper class, and at the same time spouting concern for the working man and woman, and denying Labour’s role in the growth of the unemployed and working poor class with diminishing welfare and support just when they need it.

                Meanwhile the Greens persist in doing the unglamorous grunt work for the environment and trying to retain some of the old fizz for better treatment of women and parents.

              • Ad

                Don’t worry I have plenty of grunt. Greens show they have none in government at all.

                Every politician uses a few principles. And as the Greens showed before the election and after the coalition was formed, once those are used, they have others.

                As the Prime Minister says regularly, what gets measured, gets done.
                Best for the Greens not to put any measures over their work.

                Raise your expectations of your party, Robert, and actual environmental improvement is more likely to occur.

                We do it regularly in Labour.

                Meantime, we’ll keep carrying your lot through to 2020 like the political passengers they show themselves to be.

          • Jenny - How to get there?

            Sure, why not.

            • Robert Guyton

              Well, yes, none of us should be complacent but disgruntlement isn’t necessarily a good driver for change and certainly doesn’t rally the troops, in my view. We all know our leaders, and they are us, are way behind the play, but will grizzling about those who made it to the dizzying heights of Central Government help matters?

      • Jenny - How to get there? 8.1.2

        The Greens already exert as much pressure as possible from within the Government.

        Robert Guyton


        The Green Party are not exerting as much pressure as possible within the government. Instead the Green Party leadership are spending a lot of their political capital sucking up to the National Party for a climate accord.

        I and others have lobbied various Green MPs to raise in parliament through private member bills, and other parliamentary means, removing the Andarko Amendment that makes it illegal to protest deep sea oil exploration and drilling.

        The Green MPs we approached after initially being quite warm to the idea, suddenly changed tack and flatly refused to do anything to remove the Anadarko Amendment.

        I and others have lobbied various Green MPs, to raise in parliament through private member bills, and other parliamentary means, removing the amendment to the RMA that makes it illegal to raise climate change as an objection in planning hearings.

        The Green MPs we approached after initially being quite warm to the idea, suddenly changed tack and flatly refused to do anything to remove the amendment to the RMA that makes it illegal to raise climate change evidence as an objection in planning hearings.

        Initially discussions with some Green MPs, on parliamentary action to remove these two above iniquitious laws relating to climate change, were going well – that is, until the order came from on high to shut down all discussion on any parliamentary action by any Green MP aimed removing these two laws. The reason that we were given was that action to repeal these two laws would damage sensitive discussions with the National Party over a climate accord.

        That and the complete invisibility of the Green Party leadership from public life and political discourse does possibly open up a space for something else.

        But I cannot see any room on the political spectrum for a Blue/Green Party. We already have one.

        • Jenny - How to get there?

          P.S. I might add here Robert, the above abandonment of Parliamentary activism by the Green MPs is one of the reasons, I have asked the Green MPs to at least consider giving a lead outside of parliament, with a ban on domestic air travel.

          • Robert Guyton

            ” removing the amendment to the RMA that makes it illegal to raise climate change as an objection in planning hearings.”
            This, btw, is an issue close to my heart and as an elected councillor, I have railed against it on a number of occasions – it’s deeply frustrating. I can see the rationale, but strain at the leash it becomes.

          • Bearded Git

            blame Labour intransigence here not the Greens

        • Robert Guyton

          “The Green Party are not exerting as much pressure as possible within the government. ”
          In your personal opinion. You’ve listed issues you believe The Greens should be acting upon, but you’re not showing how, within the constraints they must be finding themselves, they are doing anything less than is possible. If you can’t know their constraints, you can’t rightly say that they’re not doing everything possible.

          • Jenny - How to get there?

            You’ve listed issues you believe The Greens should be acting upon, but you’re not showing how, within the constraints they must be finding themselves, they are doing anything less than is possible. If you can’t know their constraints, you can’t rightly say that they’re not doing everything possible.

            Hi Robert,

            I have tried on many occasions to point out how. I can sum this policy up in one sentence.

            “Just as activists must become politicians. Politicians must become activists”

            Occasio Cortez, Bernie Sanders, Greta Thunberg, embody this principle.

            In the struggle against nuclear ships Labour MPs took to the water in boats to impede the passage of nuclear warships.

            Their activism gave great impetus and momentum to the anti-nuclear movement. This movement shifted National Government MPs Mike Minogue and Marilyn Waring to cross the floor and vote with the opposition. Which brought down the Muldoon Government and ushered in the Lange/Douglas administration on a promise of making New Zealand ‘Nuclear Weapons Free’.

            Not least in this campaign was the Labour opposition private members bill raised in parliament that highlighted the issue, and brought the matter to a head.

            To bring the issue of the Anadarko Amendment to a head in parliament, why can’t the Green MPs bring themselves to put in the ballot a private members bill to remove the Anadarko Amendment?

            Seems simple. Don’t you think?

            Why can’t the Green MPs do the same for the amendment to the RMA that makes it illegal to raise climate change as an objection in planning hearings?

            Something that you say, “…is an issue close to my heart”.

            You tell me that I don’t know the constraints that they are working under, that prevents them taking these actions.

            “If you can’t know their constraints, you can’t rightly say that they’re not doing everything possible.”

            Robert Guyton

            Hi Robert, can you tell us what you think these constraints are?

            • Jenny - How to get there?

              P.S I am pretty sure I know what their constraints are. (and also how to get around them). But I would like to hear it from you first.

              As an elected councillor you must have a few insights into what makes up these “constraints”.

              So let’s hear them. And let us discuss if we can work within them, or around them.

              Cheers J.

              • Robert Guyton

                Well, Jenny, my point was that the constraints The Greens have to work under are not going to be known or knowable to the general public, due to their complex and subtle natures. I can easily see that even unspoken “rules of engagement” between coalition partners could influence behaviours and levels of courage amongst MPs, influencing decisions made. There will be inter-personal weightings as well, historical incidents, lobbying of various sorts, financial constraints etc. My point being, it’s easy enough to take pot shots at the MPs from a distance, but the details of what constrains them cannot be easily known. It’s a matter of trusting those you give your vote to, making sure that you explore as far as possible, their likely positions and behaviours before electing them, involving yourself with the mechanics of the party, in the case of The Greens, keeping in touch as far as it’s possible with them as they discharge their duties throughout the term, and generally hoping for the best. Your method here of calling them out, poking their borax and demanding they do this and that, is quite valid, but has an air of intolerance about it. That might sit easy with some, but I’m for encouraging the team, publicly at least, as that level of interaction influences not only the MPs but also their supporters.

                • Andrea

                  “The Greens have to work under are not going to be known or knowable to the general public, due to their complex and subtle natures.”

                  If the Greens are that patronising (and it would appear that the present crop is so inclined) then one of their damn’ soon missions is to CLARIFY those complex and subtle etc.

                  Because, if they can’t, then they’re unfit to serve a democracy.

                  They represent US and we need to be clear that they are doing so for the greater good of all.

                  Obscure is unhealthy.
                  Remind them. If they won’t, and if Labour won’t co-operate in that very worthwhile endeavour, then throw the scoundrels out. We don’t need any more arcane rubbish while the environment we all count on is under massive threat.

                  PS National is NOT ‘conservative’. Only in name, not in nature.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    The Greens are not being patronising at all. They are, I believe, discharging their obligations to the best possible extent – they are as good as it gets, so far as acting genuinely and with integrity goes, in my opinion. That there is criticism of their effectiveness from opponents and supporters alike is just politics as usual, I reckon. They are not “being obscure”, it’s just difficult for those of us outside of their caucus to track the full extent of the constraints they face. The environment we all count on has been under serious threat for tens of thousands of years. The Greens have the best story I’ve seen yet, from any political party, on what to do about that. Bagging them for not curing the problem inside of 2 years in Government, is shallow, imo.

                    • gsays

                      g’day Robert, I thought the reasons given for allowing the purchase of land and expansion of a water bottling plant in Whakatane, were lacking in imagination and totally reinforcing the status quo.

                      the balancing act of ‘the law’ and 60 jobs vs green core issues, eg tiriti obligations, water as a taonga, more single use plastic, selling ‘important’ land.

                      i doubt there would be many green members or voters that approve of the taking of this water.

                      I accept minister Sage is a good, competent person and minister.
                      This was a great opportunity for the greens to demonstrate their credentials, motivate the party membership throughout, and signal there are changes afoot.

                      who knows what would come if the party, as a whole, worked to come up with soloutions to stymie the water commodifying process.
                      requiring the company to demonstrate taking 1.1 billion litres of water annually will have no impact on the aquifer, for example.

                      what if the minister didn’t follow the law?
                      would she be arrested?

                      again i am critical of the party as a whole on this, not solely the minister.
                      the first hurdle once they were in power and they failed.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      You think Eugenie Sage seeks to totally reinforce the status quo around water bottling, gsays?

    • Bewildered 8.2

      Spot on, a true Green Party with out baggage of far left crazies will get things done and be able to work with all stakeholders including business way more cohesively without the idealogical left wing nonsense This is especially so with business which is key here re the answer and the problem

      • Robert Guyton 8.2.1

        So, Bewildered, a party that lines up with business to improve the environment.
        How might they cooperate with Big Oil, do you think? Fonterra? Coal mining companies? Herbicide manufacturers? The GE industry?
        Keen to hear your views.

        • Ad

          You can tell exactly what this government is doing.

          Here’s their latest.

          It’s called The Aotearoa Circle.


          It will be “a coalition of public and private sector leaders committed to halting and reversing the decline of New Zealand’s natural resources.”

          Of course it’s a replacement for the collapse of PureAdvantage.

          It has wonderful ambition, flu of the usual bloated rhetoric, with no measures, no specific task, no specific agenda.

          It’s a blue-green lobbying group.

          Its founding partners are:
          – Air New Zealand
          – Auckland Airport
          – Auckland Council
          – Department of Conservation
          – Designworks
          – EnvirNZ
          – Fonterra

          etc etc etc

          They are hiring now just in case you’re interested.

          But you can totally guarantee that tonnes of money will be spend on consultants, lots of photos with politicians, and fuck all achieved for our environment.

  9. Bewilderd 9

    Simple, Responsible policy / regulation and supporting innovation Politics of responsibility not Politics of ideology and virtue signalling

    • Robert Guyton 9.1

      Your comment seems to mean nothing much at all, being vague and unspecific. Perhaps you could describe one regulation “your” party might introduce? And I think you’ll find the present Government, Greens and all, “support innovation”.
      So let’s read something actual from you – so far you sound very airy-fairy, green-wishy-washy – a little “hippy” in fact – do you Morris dance, perchance?

  10. roy cartland 10

    I’m going to say it.

    I think the idea that the right is somehow now willing to even contemplate giving the slightest shit about the environment is a good thing. Yes, it’s a bit of a smokescreen; and no, green and profit-first values are incompatible…

    But wouldn’t it be nice to think that the Nats could actually be white-anted into thinking about something other than feeding the corporate trough?

    • RedLogix 10.1

      and no, green and profit-first values are incompatible…

      You do realise that it’s a peculiarly left wing conceit to imagine that we have an exclusive monopoly on caring about the environment.

      • McFlock 10.1.1

        Care is one thing.

        But the standard right wing mix of market forces and deregulation is incompatible with any effective prevention of negative externalities, including environmental harm. Self-regulation is a joke, trading schemes get gamed, and small subsidiaries and contractors bear the brunt and file for limited liability on the rare occasionas costs can’t be dodged from the start.

        It’s not just the environment – anything that gets in the way of a buck. Worker safety, consumer safety, fair trading, it doesn’t matter. Recent history is littered with sidestepped corporate responsibilities.

        The individuals might “care”, but caring doesn’t get them an annual or quarterly bonus.

      • Macro 10.1.2

        The point is Red, in a finite world struggling to provide sufficient resources to all peoples in a sustainable manner, profit (which essentially relies on “growth”) is something that must take second place to the equal distribution of goods and services.
        When you provide aid to the children of Somalia – do you expect to make a profit?
        These people are world citizens, just as you and I, and are entitled to their share of the world’s worth, just as is Bill Gates. Obviously we can’t all share that wealth to the extent of Bill Gates – there just is insufficient. Then it becomes a matter for environmental regulation – just how much we can use this or that resource in a sustainable way, in order not to deprive future generations. If we concentrate our thinking on profit first, this flies in the face of environmental concerns. Thus the idea that you can successfully protect the environment whilst still profiting is flawed.
        If the world was not so heavily populated, then that might be ok. Essentially that was the state of affairs and thus the fallacy that Adam Smith and Hume fell into when they laid out the foundations for the modern exposition on Capitalism encapsulated in the “Wealth of Nations” and Hume’s “Treatise on Government”. These were written at the time when England was beginning its colonisation of America, and there was apparently unlimited land for the taking. (lets overlook the ethical problems of indigenous peoples – because of course for the colonists they were not a consideration, as they were not using the land “productively”) World resources were, to all intents and purposes, infinite. But that is no longer the case. The basic assumptions of Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” have been shown to be false.
        At this point in time, we need a far more sustainable economic theory. One which recognises the finite nature of the Earth on which we live, and also values equity. In a world with limited resources, for a few to accumulate vast wealth, is essentially to steal from others, what is rightfully theirs.

        • Andre

          Profit doesn’t rely on growth. It relies on doing something that adds more value than it costs to add that value. I’m aware of several businesses that have gone on for decades, sometimes growing sometimes shrinking, that have stayed profitable pretty much throughout. They’re pretty much the same size now as they were when I first became aware of them.

          Of the people I’m aware that are strongly concerned for the environment, but probably hold their noses and vote Nat despite the Nat environmental vandalism, there are some common threads.

          There’s a perception that there’s a vast excess of dumb rules and regulations that are a compliance nightmare and left-leaning governments are almost solely responsible for this. (Whether that perception is accurate is a whole ‘nother topic)

          They want to see environmental damage reduced by some kind of market/price based mechanism rather than inflexible regulations.

          They have a strong belief in the idea that private companies are more efficient than government, so they generally support privatisation. (Again arguable but a separate topic).

          They are strongly bought into the “personal responsibility” frame when it comes to welfare state topics. So they take the occasional story of the solo mum who’s never worked with lots of kids by several different absent fathers as being representative of where most welfare money goes, rather than seeing the reality of small amounts of top-up assistance going to many people struggling to do their best in a system seemingly designed to expressly discourage additional effort.

          Talk of lowering income taxes particularly gets their juices flowing. They will generally comment something along the lines of ‘the government takes the rewards from my work to pay people to come tell me some stupid rule that I can’t do what I want, pay welfare queens to lie around and breed, waste money pretending to do stuff a private company would do in half the time and half the cost … ‘

          We could argue forever about how wrong-headed those right wing ideas are. But they aren’t anti-environmental and they aren’t anti-sustainable in and of themselves. But they are very incompatible with left ideals.

      • Roy cartland 10.1.3

        Yes, I’ve heard that suggestion thrown about, it’s just a straw-man argument. Of course we all care, or at least say we do, which is true in an abstract way. The difference is: does the right care enough to compromise any of their other principles? Actions would say not – the environmental positives from the Nat govt were either instigated by greens, or used as an excuse against other interests (such as the kermadec sanc – “fine, have a sanctuary, but it can be in someone else’s back yard”).

        Incidentally caring about the environment, if it doesn’t touch one’s precious personal rights to do as one pleases, is not quite the same as putting the environment first.

        • RedLogix

          OK so now do a mind experiment; let’s privilege the environment above human activity. The exact opposite of what we do now.

          For a start we wouldn’t be typing this out on the internet. The way we live our modern lives would be an entirely different, materially primitive, compromise.

          Right wing priorities certainly do compromise the environment, but they are also what ensure our current systems continue to function. This is a point I see the left overlook all the time; we dream of utopian futures, but persist in overlooking the essential miracle of where we are right now.

          This doesn’t mean we can stand still; it’s obvious the Second Industrial Revolution based on fossil carbon is unstable, we must move on from it. But implying we must first collapse back to the Stone Age is absurd.

          Socialism and capitalism are the familiar, twin political engines of the era we have just lived through, but each will be transformed when our technologies enable it into something we cannot yet recognise. Just as a Roman grain merchant could have no inkling of say the NYSE.

          The left persists in getting cause and effect inverted, we like to imagine it was a social revolution that ended slavery, or emancipated women, but in reality it was science, tech and engineering that enabled these social movements to have effect. If we project this simple observation forward, it will be the technology transformations of the Third Industrial revolution that will enable capitalism and socialism to evolve into new more efficient forms, that hopefully will not impose such a human cost onto the natural world.

          • Dennis Frank

            You could broaden the meaning of tech into know-how (gnosis). De-materialising it gets you down to a more fundamental level. What is defeating progressive politics, in this frame, is not any obvious enemy, it’s stale thinking.

            I do agree that tech powers progress – anyone who reads history sees how inexorable it is. But if we focus on how mind-sets lock people into recycling tradition ad nauseum, we can see that changing our minds is the pre-requisite to making progress happen.

            Paradigm-shifting is the frame that caught on in the eighties. MMP was the obvious consequence in our politics. The rainbow coalition was a seventies frame that was likewise transformational. So progressive politicos must focus on what stances & syndromes are preventing progress, and start shifting them to catalyse progress.

            As I’ve mentioned several times in the past here, this leads us to the unexplored mental terrain of political psychology. We ought to pioneer development of this field, I reckon. Forget the academics, they clearly have been unable to cope with the cerebral challenge! 😎

            • RedLogix

              Yes … I’m not discounting the importance of social movements. For 10,000’s years there must have been countless slave revolts, but until coal and steam made slavery economically obsolete, nothing changed.

              But suddenly an important and impassioned campaign in Britain ended it.

              It’s worth noting that conservative minded people by nature (and we can be grateful to them for this) keep our existing systems going, but when the ground shifts under us all, they need convincing to shift. And the legitimate role of the left is to catalyse this shift.

              We are an intensely social creature, and when our story (paradigm if you will) changes, we can transform with remarkable speed and energy.

              • Robert Guyton

                At this point in time we are paralysed by comfort and our ears stuffed with cotton wool. We don’t want to, and can’t hear any story other than the one whispering to us in our heads, “Stay warm, stay safe”.

                • roy cartland

                  Sure, RL, I’ve done that thought experiment. But I think you’ve highlighted a couple of the fundamental problems of the right:
                  “they are also what ensure our current systems continue to function”
                  current systems in this sense conflates the infrastructure we enjoy with the massive profits extracted for a few AND environmental degradation. I don’t believe that we can’t have the one without the others.

                  Which leads to the second point:
                  The argument you’ve put forward feels like that disingenuous one that’s always levelled at the Greens: “They’ll have us back to horses and carts!”
                  Well, no. Green thinking is about investigating newer tech, not clinging to the old. But while so much human energy is wasted lining the pockets of shareholders and “owners” of IP – since workers have to fund these parties as well as their own wages – the momentum gets stymied every time.

                  And back to the original point – there’s enough labour, enough knowledge but not enough will: certain parties just don’t want to work and would rather just spend that energy protecting their own patch.

              • greywarshark

                What’s the catalyst for change. Is it just money and power, and comfort and the good life as defined at the time. The poor people may concentrate on the basics, stay warm, stay safe, but the ambitious will charge through with ideas that need financial and implementation input and will get that input, even exploiting the poor if need be. If there is a counter-meme circulating that can be appealed to, some change may be organised by social conditions heroes.

                But it is hard work getting people to limit their ambitions for attractive outcomes for themselves, and enabling others from a lower financial strata to step up a notch. It needs the ambitious to see the connections of their resources and power to advantage, and their understanding that a healthy economy spreads that around more widely (distribution).

                This group of economists will have something useful to say about distribution economics. The ‘Institute for New Economic Thinking’.

                Most mainstream approaches towards inequality explain growing inequality primarily as a labor market phenomenon conditioned by one of four developments:
                (1) skill-biased technological change;
                (2) liberalization of labor markets;
                (3) winner-take all markets for “superstars”; and
                (4) globalization, where this is taken primarily to mean increased competition for unskilled labor.
                We bring together researchers to offer a complementary but neglected hypothesis: that historically changing institutions, legal frameworks, and structural features of the economy are key causes of inequality.

  11. Bazza64 11

    I’m sure there is room for a Green party that doesn’t lean as left as the current one. A lot of people sympathise with the green position, but won’t vote green as they get all the other left wing stuff with it. Some of the older Green party members resigned over the party’s support of Metiria Turei during her over claiming of benefits. These were long term members who thought the Green party had lost its way & its original purpose.

    • roy cartland 11.1

      Can you elaborate please? What “other left wing stuff”?

      (BTW, I understand they didn’t exactly resign over MT “claiming benefits”.)

    • Jess NZ 11.2

      There just isn’t room.

      The current Green Party is made up of various counterculture cause parties that teamed up because none of them had the numbers.

      So yes, you have the ‘pure’ environmentalists who think poor people only have themselves to blame and technology will save the earth if we just invest enough into green business, and you have the lefties who want the universal income but don’t care what car you drive, and everything in between where the social and environmental are all connected. And they all fight amongst themselves and drag each other down.

      And then National win. Let’s not go there….

      • Bazza64 11.2.1

        Yep Jess you’re probably right that in small country can’t get enough people to form a pure environmental party, so there will always be a mix.

        • Incognito

          I don’t think that’s what Jess NZ was saying.

          In any case, it’s not the size of the country (as in: population or electorate) but the lay of the (political) land IMO. Our country is relatively isolated from the political scene in Europe, for example. Although we may have ‘imported’ MMP from Germany and technically implemented it here, it’s still relatively young and hasn’t yet delivered the political diversity that is one of its purported advantages (over FPP).

          Denmark has a population only slightly larger than ours (but no MMP). It has 175 MPs, currently nine parties represented in Parliament, and a 2% electoral threshold. In my opinion, our 5% threshold is way too high and one of the main reasons why we haven’t seen more party diversity in our Parliament.

          It seems that the strategy behind a Blue-Green party in NZ is to pull the Green Party below the 5% threshold. The result would be that the environment will lose possibly its strongest defender in Parliament. How the BG voters will reconcile this will be very interesting indeed.

          • greywarshark

            Incognito and others
            What do you think would be a reasonable level of voting for admission to Parliament. 5% is a high barrier. A small drop to 4% would be safe. But should we go to 2% like Denmark. How would that affect our politics here?
            It seems to me our politicians are more volatile and confused than those of Denmark. We have a subversive, wild west inclination that arises; the abrupt change in 1984 is an example.

            No judicious thinking there; driven more by emotion and the knowledge of worldwide financial changes approaching. We need to make changes they thought. What about us being in at the first, introduce it while we are in power and have the opportunity, Treasury leading us, and the assistance from overseas economic planners. Let’s show we can skinny-dip in ice-cold water beyond our depth the plotters thought.

  12. Morrissey 12

    Hard to imagine a more craven, cynical and dishonest campaign than this.

    They think people are stupid.

    • Bewildered 12.1

      Yep bit like 100000 kiwi homes, a billion trees, oh by the way we are going to close down and industry, no increase in industrialal action …….agree Mozz people are pretty stupid On political front though this is a smart strategy where the ends “trump” the means for the greater good

    • Chris T 12.2

      Someone is scared

  13. Bewildered 13

    I will sit around for 9 years and then form 300 working groups and come back to you in a year, does that work for you Robert ? 😊

    • Robert Guyton 13.1

      Since you asked, I’d prefer you got out and did something useful, Bewildered, plant some trees or if that’s too “huggy” for you, support someone who does. If you’re rolling in dosh, give some of it away to someone busy improving the environment; they’ll probably not refuse it on the basis of what you’ve been saying here 🙂

      • Bewildered 13.1.1

        Got nearly 5000sqm of trees Robert, also trapping, doing my bit 👍

        • Robert Guyton

          Good man. Did you vote Green?

          • Bewildered

            Unfortunately not but rwnj do care about the environment, hence the arguement they do not is counter productive 👍

            • Robert Guyton

              I’m not saying they don’t. I do think the “Right” approach to the issue of a degrading environment is the wrong one and in fact exacerbates the problems – burn gas to save the planet!

            • Gabby

              They want clean water to wash their suvs beewee. The peasants can drink it afterwards at a price.

  14. Jess NZ 14

    The current Green Party is made up of various counterculture cause parties that teamed up because none of them had the numbers.

    So yes, you have the ‘pure’ environmentalists who think poor people only have themselves to blame and technology will save the earth if we just invest enough into green business, and you have the lefties who want the universal income but don’t care what car you drive, and everything in between where the social and environmental are all connected. And they all fight amongst themselves and drag each other down.

    And then National win. Let’s not go there….

  15. Cinny 15

    Trying to contain my laughter, it’s difficult.

    • Bewildered 15.1

      Hope you sell laughing in 2020 Cinny 😊

      • Robert Guyton 15.1.1

        “Hope you sell laughing in 2020 Cinny”
        I knew it! Righties believe everything has a price!!!

        • Cinny

          Nailed it Robert, well said indeed.

        • Bazza64

          Think of the GST & taxes the government would rake in ….

        • Bewildred

          Fair cop

          • Robert Guyton

            Lucky break. In any case, I’m beginning to enjoy discussing the topic with you, Bewildered, as I think you’re sincere. We all might learn something from each other.

        • WeTheBleeple

          I sold laughing. Did well at it too.

          • Robert Guyton

            So, someone could sit in the audience, contain their mirth, then ask for their money back?

          • greywarshark

            Are you on youtube?

            • WeTheBleeple

              No. I find endless self promotion repugnant. But I absolutely adore making people laugh. It’s a toughie but with my insecurities/conditions that cause egoic/social problems already… I opted out of the spotlight. I cringe at that clamoring for attention that is showbiz and all manner of social media but I was directed to participate in it upon a return to the arts. Seems venues expect you to be all over media like an attention whore now so they can clip your popularity ticket. I lasted all of six months then left the industry and social media for several years now. TS is the only format I’m on, that only recent, and not for comedy.

              Sparked a rant. Touchy subject. I am an artist! 😀 Baahaaa!

              It was easier to run the show, promote my peers and tag along as a byline, that way I got to play but didn’t have to pander to industry or press. I stop for years then return with new stuff.

              Nearly time to do a stint again.

              ‘Me too. Times have changed. Cook the man some fucken’ eggs is simply not acceptable anymore…

              Cook the man some free-range fucken’ eggs.

              Yeah bitch, you want me to smash your avocados.’

              I know I’m good… 😀

              • greywarshark

                You are certainly good to read, full of useful stuff WtB so if you want to add in a few jokes that is doubly fine with me.

                Self-deprecating jokes are the real ones that touch the funny-bone And come from understanding of not only oneself but the general human condition.

    • greywarshark 15.2

      Don’t please leave us in suspenders – what particular funny thing has tickled you?

  16. Akjs 16

    There’s one thing i have never understood: Apart from the ‘run off’ – which,in my humble naive opinion, could be easily fixed with many options – if heads were put together to work them out (I have workable ideas): Why is it seen as ‘wrong’to support the dairy industry? This is a Vital industry to our country. Milk products and beef are better homegrown than imported. During both Great Wars NZ was the off-shore pantry for Great Britain, without our input they would’ve had it much tougher!
    Our dairy industry has been a huge contributor to our export market since it began. I’d prefer to see cows, sheep and farms than concrete jungles. Those who suffer allergies or who are vegan and have their opinions – sure, i respect your ideas but tell me, can you seriously live without milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt? All of which are proven to be beneficial to the human body.
    Bones and teeth need these nutrients. I’ve been told by specialists that my healthy intake of dairy, from infancy, contributed to my badly broken knee knitting together in half the time expected and, despite the arthritis and nerve damage, the bone is solid. My teeth are healthy because of dairy intake, as well as oral care, the dentine is in perfect health – i’ve only ever had 4fillings and needed them replaced once, my son is 17 and never had a filling, my brother, who neglected his teeth for years, has very few fillings, strong teeth and bones.
    Dairy is an all-in-one food source for many nutrients that the body needs. Science proves that human bodies have evolved to need dairy for health.
    I know people who’ve lived without and as they’ve aged they’ve developed severe skeletal issues and their teeth are in very poor condition. They blame fluoride in water, but i have always drunk the same water, as has my family, and many others, i don’t buy into fluoridation being the cause of dental decay – that’s b.s.
    I support the need for a dairy industry, instead of not supporting it, we ought to be putting our heads together to become, yet again, ‘the 1st country in the world to’ find a ‘green’ solution to farming. It isnt only dairy farming that causes emissions and run off, and frankly, i dont want to live in a country where there are no farms and i dont want to live in a concrete jungle of roads, highways and selfish attitudes to nature where humans force nature to live around us instead of us respecting nature and living alongside.
    We could have both: more nature, better environment and sustainable farming.
    Farms could easily be made ‘greener’ and many countries overseas are working towards implementing changes whilst retaining everday oldfashioned farms. And to those who say butter and full milk are bad – it has been scientifically proven to be otherwise.
    Keep dairy, just find ways to stop the runoff into waterways, turn the effluent into positive use, plant more trees on farmland, there has to be a way.

    As to Blue/Green party – Peacocks have the most beautiful colouring on the outside, however they also have an accurate reputation for pompous displays of ego to gain attention (a trait known in humans as ‘narcissism’). The ‘blues’are a wilfully ignorant lot of ego-driven arrogant fools. They think with tunnel vision and cannot, and will not, use ‘bigger picture’ peripheral thinking. They’ve proved how stupid they are by selling all our assets! Including farmz and forests!! Given these fools half a chance, they’ll sell our lakes and rivers next!!

    • Robert Guyton 16.1

      Could you share your “workable ideas” on run off with us/me, Akjs – I’m genuinely interested to hear them. I wonder if t’s the dairy industry, in the form it has taken here in NZ, that people believe is “wrong”, rather than dairying, in the sense of non-industrial farming where care for everything, rather than profit, is the driving factor.

    • Cinny 16.2

      Personally am just not into industrial dairy farming, it’s ruining our country.

      Greed for the white/gold seems to have clouded the judgement of some.

      Yes please more trees on farmland, among other things.

      Times they are a changing. We are kidding ourselves if we think dairy is a growth industry anymore.

      Growth needs to be put into other industries that aren’t so reliant on the climate.

    • Dairy is excellent food, yes. However, intensifying dairy production to the point where we’re damaging waterways and contributing to the destruction of rainforests (via importing PKE to feed to cows) was a bad idea and environmentalists are right to want it stopped.

    • Gabby 16.4

      Those countries who import dairy from us must disagree on that akjsy.

    • greywarshark 16.5

      Peacocks make a weird noise that is unpleasant. Some of the Blue Party the same. Rather a good analogy I think.

  17. bwaghorn 17

    Arden better not rule out working with the tava greens .

    I bet there is more than a few wealthy green voters in the leafy suburbs who could easily vote for a non socialist green outfit

    I guess the nats would see it as a win if all the tava greens achieved was to take enough votes to bury the green party.

    • Robert Guyton 17.1

      If they ever get off the ground, they won’t be “anything”greens. The brand’s taken 🙂
      Those wealthy voters in the leafy suburbs who won’t vote socialist – they’d vote for a neo-lib green party?

      • Puckish Rogue 17.1.1

        Just out of curiosity does anyone know what electorates supply the most Green party votes because I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of their party votes came from middle to wealthy suburbs

        • Andre

          Knock yourself out.


          Prepare to be unsurprised. The green vote is fairly high in places like Epsom, Auckland Central, Wellington Central, and pretty low in places like Mangere, Manurewa, Dunedin South.

          • Puckish Rogue

            So this party could, potentially, be very damaging to the Greens.

            The next election could be very interesting indeed

            • McFlock


              Sounds like another political hail mary to me.

              Basically, if the BGs are after the voters who don’t like the Green left wing policy but want clean streams, I suspect most of them didn’t vote Green in 2017. But they might have voted blue.

              So which electorate do you think the nats will choose to ask to prop up the new party to coattail in some lickspittles? Kick Rimmer out of Epsom? Or maybe Nelson area?

              • veutoviper

                Southland. After all Dowie is their current Spokesperson on Conservation (and does have a background in Conservation having worked for DOC). But the bets on her remaining or being successful next election …

                And what a dilemma for Robert Guyton. LOL

                Stir, stir …

                • Robert Guyton

                  A letter to the editor in today’s Southland Times:
                  “Sarah Dowie must resign immediately. We deserve better.”
                  P Clifford

              • Sacha

                Maybe Nelson? Nuck Smith for deputy!

            • Dennis Frank

              “Our Bluegreens caucus has grown from the two founding members in 1998 to the current diverse team.” https://bluegreens.national.org.nz/about_bluegreens

              “New Zealand’s environment is at the core of our quality of life, our national identity, and our competitive advantage. .. Good environmental practice is not only important to protect our natural heritage, but is crucial in securing the sort of future we want for our children. That is why National founded the Bluegreens in the 1990s and it continues to grow in strength and numbers. It is one of the most active of National’s Policy Advisory Groups and now works closely with a strong Caucus group chaired by Scott Simpson MP.”

              Now if you look at that website photo – “National’s Bluegreen Executive is made up of members and MPs from around the country” – you can count 27 members of this Executive. Do you believe this is true? Are the leader & deputy truly members of this Bluegreen Executive?? Or is the caption a lie?

              • solkta

                It’s an environmental party full of environmentalists mate.

                • greywarshark

                  The first thing that National could do to show their shift to the green side, is to encourage buildings to be painted pale green, as a quiet and permanent reminder of their presence and direction. At present the choice of business and government tends to coffee-latte, or steel grey
                  which is dull and depressing; beige almost everything. The pale green shift would herald the new political environment.

    • Sacha 17.2

      “I guess the nats would see it as a win if all the tava greens achieved was to take enough votes to bury the green party.”

      That is their aim, yes.

    • Graeme 17.3

      And that would kind of stuff it for National if both green flavours got seats, and both ended up supporting a Left leaning coalition. It would be smart politics to do whatever it took to get them both, and really, the blue / greens or whatever they call themselves would find life a hell of a lot easier being on the right side, but nowhere near the right edge, of a left wing government than on the left, and probably extreme left, of a National government.

      OK the party will appeal to the leafy suburbs, so that’s taking votes off National primarily, and maybe the odd one or two off the Green Party, but they’d mostly be National. And National are concerned about loosing those leafy suburbs to the left via a green party, hence the effort they put into attacking the Green Party in these areas.

      So I really doubt Labour would “rule out” working with them. Their strategists are probably welcoming the opportunity.

      More germane would be whether Tava would “rule out” working with Labour or the Green Party.

  18. Jenny - How to get there? 18


    Simon Bridges has just come on the news saying the idea of a setting up a Blue/Green Party as an alternative partner to the Greens, “has some merit’.

    How does this gell with the National Party’s so called “good faith” negotiations with James Shaw for a climate accord.

    Not very well, I would have thought.

    Saying that we are going to do our best to destroy you electorally, by supporting a patsy support partner, following behind a public attack piece penned by the National Climate Change Spokesperson in which he said the “Government is blinded by Green ideology”, pretty much torpedoes any good faith by-partisanship negotiations between the Climate Change Minister and National Party for a climate accord.

    When will James Shaw enter the public debate to defend the government and his party from the Opposition’s attacks?

    Politics is the battle for ideas, conducted in the public arena, a fact that the National Opposition understand very well.

    When will James Shaw end his invisibility and give his rebuttal?

    The future of his party as an electoral force may depend on it.

    • Bearded Git 18.1

      you used good faith and simon bridges in the same sentence there…unicorn thinking

    • Dennis Frank 18.2

      Seems to me you ought not to try diverting James from his consensus-building. His co-leader, otoh, has no similar demand on her time. Why not lobby her??

    • Chris T 18.3

      “When will James Shaw end his invisibility and give his rebuttal?”

      He won’t

      The Greens became gimps, the moment they said they would only go with Labour, which also ended any chances of getting major policy through.

      Apart from the cannabis referendum

      Way to show people your priorities as an environmental party

      This party if it happens will split the Green vote and they will drop below threshold and Winston is already out in the polls

      Too make it worse, I would think National will gift Tava a safe seat

      How the worm turns

      • Dennis Frank 18.3.1

        Your confidence in your ability to predict the future may lapse. Jacinda’s x-factor is fading, so the Labour refugees she attracted back will probably return to the Greens by next election. They’d only be keepers for Labour if it achieved big political gains via performance. No sign of that.

        It hinges on whatever social policies any alternative Green option adopts. Insufficiently inspiring will only attract Green mainstreamers, who probably have long voted National due to the Bluegreens within. Hard to see a radical centrist option being provided, yet that is the only path to sustainability & survival downstream. Complacency still rules the thinking of mainstreamers.

    • Sacha 18.4

      “Simon Bridges has just come on the news saying the idea of a setting up a Blue/Green Party as an alternative partner to the Greens, “has some merit’. How does this gell with the National Party’s so called “good faith” negotiations with James Shaw for a climate accord.”

      A long-term climate accord has nothing to do with parties working together (or not) in other ways.

  19. Andre 19

    Just implement the recommendations of the MMP review and drop the threshold. Preferably lower than the recommendation, say 2.5% or 3% or so.

    We’ll find out real quick if there actually is an unmet need for a CentristGreen or RightGreen party.

    • Jenny - How to get there? 19.1


      At 2.5% or 3% the National Party’s need for a tactical vehicle to cannibalise the Green Party vote, to push them below 5% and keep them out of parliament, would be quashed.

      • Graeme 19.1.1

        It’d also provide National with a plethora of single issue nut job parties to prop them up. Same could happen on the left, but history has them all in National’s patch. Can see that ending really well for all concerned….

        • Sacha

          I’d love to watch the Nats negotiate a governing agreement with the Christian Soldiers, Rural Hunters and Truckies United parties.

  20. greywarshark 20

    Her historic benefit fraud? MT had an extra tenant to give her enough money so that she could finish her University degree, and not end up thrown on the scrapheap where so many NZ parents have been piled. She had guts of the type that NZ needs but you whingers just love the tall poppy cut. I don’t know if you fell trees, but you are very capable at the easy blow of cutting down people who try and break through the ties of hate that RW governments have wound round NZ young people limiting their lives and opportunities.

    • Shadrach 20.1

      Benefit fraud is a crime, is it not? Oh and having a tenant wasn’t the problem. The problem was not being honest about it.

      • greywarshark 20.1.1

        You belong to the great lynching mob that love to take down beneficiaries wherever some transgression can be found. And of course the more oppressing the legislation is, the harder to break out of the hated group of poverty-afflicted in society, the more chances that bennies will break some of gummints and agencies’ onerous regulations.

        • Shadrach

          Most beneficiaries are cheats. Metiria was.

          Meanwhile you belong to the great crim hugging mob who condone fraud. Well done son.

        • Shadrach

          Sorry meant to say most beneficiaries are NOT cheats. At least in my experience.

          • greywarshark

            Frankly nothing you say seems to have any weight or thought so don’t bother
            to correct yourself you remain in the same place, just turned to a different point on the compass.

            • shadrach

              That’s not a rational response. Metiria committed benefit fraud. In doing so she brings the welfare system into disrepute, and provides ammunition to those who oppose it. You are effectively condoning criminal behaviour that ultimately and unfairly reflects on other recipients of assistant.

              • greywarshark

                Shadrach you bring the benefit system into disrepute with your vituperations. The benefit system as I understood it was meant to help people as needed, and enable them to get on their feet and have the standing of a capable individual and respected citizen with a good lifestyle as part of an enterprising, working community.

                The fact that successive governments have acted to shut down the opportunity referred to above, deliberately, and then blast off at beneficiaries trying to achieve the outcome of being a capable individual etc. seems to appeal to you as an objective. You appear to dislike humanity, and don’t see other people’s intrinsic worth. Are you also a self-hater?

                • Shadrach

                  Your second sentence I can agree with. The problem with where you then proceed to is that you ignore the realty that the welfare system moved to be a dependency trap, rather than a liberation. Hence the need in recent times to wind it back. And I can easily demonstrate I’m correct by simply pointing to the fact that we now have an increasing number of people on benefits when unemployment is dropping, due significantly to the easing of sanctions. I support welfare for those genuinely in need.

              • veutoviper

                shadrach, my advice (meant well) is to just leave it, ignore and move on.

                I see your replies as more to the point than the responses you have received and I hear what you are saying and agree for the most part. The latest replies indicate some very narrow/inaccurate views about our overall society and the purpose of our social contract safety net. They also contain personal attacks, addressing the messenger as opposed the message – probably in breach of the Rules for this website as set out in the Policy section. But you also did the same in one.

                It really is not worth bothering about. IMO you are not going to change this type of thinking. Kia kaha.

                • Shadrach

                  Thank you. I’ve had one more shot, in the assumption that Grwy is engaging in good faith.

              • Bazza64

                Shadrac, agree with you 100%. You aren’t a beneficiary hater, just want people to not break the law.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 20.1.2

        put this one up a few times now…

        “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread.”

        ― Anatole France

  21. Nic the NZer 21

    “What can be the motiovation?”

    I think Bridges is thinking about what to do once he is inevitably knifed in the back and tossed away by the National party.

  22. ken 22

    Blue Green and toxic like Blue-green Algae (Cyanobacteria).

  23. Puckish Rogue 23

    I’d strongly consider giving this my party vote

    • Jenny - How to get there? 23.1

      Great, one less vote for National.

      • Puckish Rogue 23.1.1

        If the party does come to be created and National gifts them a seat then you might regret those words

        • You_Fool

          Why? This new party can work for both sides right? Might ensure Labour head further left… win/win all around… or even better, Green/Lab/BG government, no need for winnie and we get a strong env/sustainability focus in government

    • Cinny 23.2

      Might want to wait until they have a party and some policy Pucky.

      Blue/greens sounds very nick smith styles…. think I’ll give it a miss.

      • Puckish Rogue 23.2.1

        Oh for sure, it’ll have to be good policies for me to forsake Jude

        • Sacha

          You’ll have her blessing to dally with the teal.

          • Puckish Rogue

            But I want to leave the warm bosom of her inspiring leadership for an unknown quantity…decisions decisions

            • veutoviper

              Come on e hoa – after all you are now a card-carrying member of the Union!

              FYI, Swordfish the guru of election results has appeared at 29/30 below after I made a wish when reading your 17.1.1. etc re Green electorate results.

              As usual, some good statistics are down there at 30 that you may be interested in. I also asked Swordfish if he/she had anything to add to what Andre said in reply to you.

              • veutoviper

                Also a good reply from Swordfish to me is now in the 29 thread (?) with analysis done at the time of the 2017 general election which is very interesting.

  24. timeforacupoftea 24

    Kennedy Graham will make a great leader for this new Green Party.

    I can hear him sharpening his knives already.

    Good Bye Green Party as we have known it.

    Kennedy Gollan Montrose Graham(born 1946)
    is a New Zealand politician and former Member of Parliament for the Green Party.

    He has served in the New Zealand Foreign Service for sixteen years, and lectured at the University of Canterbury and Victoria University of Wellington.

    He is the brother of Sir Douglas Graham, a former National Party MP (1984–1999) and cabinet minister (1991–1999). He is also a great-grandson of Robert Graham, an MP from 1855 to 1868.

    • How much interest would he have in running a sock puppet on behalf of the National Party? That can hardly be an attractive gig for someone with any sense of integrity.

    • greywarshark 24.2

      Is he the uncle of Carrick Graham? Having a long connection with politics, sounds similar to Roger Douglas once Labour, now left the planet for Mars with Elon ‘bite my dust’.

  25. RRM 25

    Whereas the ACTUAL GREEN GREENS have been SOOO STRONG on the environment since their election to government:

    Kermadec Sanctuary – Winston says no

    Cameras on fishing boats – Winston says no

    Chlöë Swärbröök’s marijuana bill – Winston says no (and voted down FFS! Its government vs. government!)

    Principled opposition to Waka Jumping Bill – Winston says no.

    Another day, another shit sandwich for the greens. Eat up, James! Yum yum.

    • Really? The wailing and gnashing of teeth over at Kiwiblog over the government nixing future oil and gas exploration has been a wonder to behold, and that’s even before the zero carbon bill hits their radar. Picture the exploding heads when that one turns up…

      If the Greens are having little effect, you wouldn’t know it from those comments threads. Even funnier – the wailing and gnashing of teeth was often accompanied by complaints that NZ First had allowed the Greens to walk all over them. You guys really don’t understand coalition government at all, do you?

  26. Fireblade 26

    You might think we look the same, but we’re not the same, we’re not the same at all. Cause I’m Green and I’m Blue…

  27. millsy 28

    We already have a blue green party. It’s called TOP. If Tava wants to join, he only needs to pull their website up and punch in his credit card numbers.

    TOP has the advantage of giving a shit about the environment.

  28. Incognito 29

    ANALYSIS: Data suggests the supposed “teal” section of National-leaning Green voters is tiny.


    • swordfish 29.1

      Ha, you beat me to it !

      Started composing my comment before yours turned up.

      • veutoviper 29.1.1

        Great to see you. While you are here …

        I was wishing you were here when I read the conversation some hours ago back up thread between Puckish Rogue and Andre starting at 17.1.1 about which electorates supply the most Green party votes.

        Andre is of the view that the green vote is fairly high in places like Epsom, Auckland Central, Wellington Central, and pretty low in places like Mangere, Manurewa, Dunedin South from the 2017 election results, which seems right to me.

        IIRC you have done work on this and I wondered whether you – and/or Matthew Whitehead – could add anything more to that conversation and here you are.

        Any comments on this aspect?

        PS – pleased to see you have regard for young Mr Henry Cooke. I have been impressed with him since he started life as a journalist, and have not been disappointed.

        • swordfish

          My comments from 2017, Vv (with links to even earlier debates):

          Open Mike 25/08/2017

          Open Mike 25/08/2017


          • swordfish

            (In the above comment … I linked to my actual (25 Aug 2017) comments 6:16am (top of post) & my reply to Ad at 10:34am … but all this new-fangled technology appears to have simply restricted you to a link to the overall 25/08/2017 Open Mike post as a whole … Dang !)

            So here are my two 2017 comments:

            First: 6.16am
            25 August 2017 at 6:16 am

            Latest analysis from the New Zealand Election Study’s Jack Vowles (hot off the Press and just launched by Helen Clark at Victoria University) raises a series of interesting points about Green support:

            (1) It appears to confirm what I’ve been arguing for quite some time (eg here … https://thestandard.org.nz/breaking-news-russell-norman-resigning-from-parliament/#comment-1069442 and here … https://thestandard.org.nz/the-political-machinations-of-the-flag-debate/#comment-1074477) … namely: that – far from being a Party supported solely (or even largely) by the affluent urban upper-middle classes – the Green support-base is, in fact, quite diverse: the party draws fairly similar levels of support from the various socio-economic strata. Indeed, if anything, the 2014 NZES suggests the Greens drew slightly greater support from people on lower incomes with few if any assets than from those on high incomes.

            Which isn’t to say the Green Constituency sees itself as subjectively “working class” exactly … their voters tend to eschew any class identity. They’re also more likely than average to be university educated.

            (2) The Greens’ dependable core-vote is probably smaller than most pundits assume.

            The NZES flow-of-the-Vote data suggests less than half of 2011 Green voters remained loyal at the 2014 General Election. About a quarter of 2011 Greens swung to Labour, with a little less than one fifth going to the Nats and NZF (each).

            However, there were significant reciprocal swings. The Greens lost more to Labour than they gained from the Larger Centre-Left Party, but most of the vote inflow that the Green’s did receive in 2014 came from former Labour supporters as well as from previous Non-voters – thus largely (but not entirely) compensating for their lost 2011 votes.

            As Vowles argues: ” … the apparent stability of Green voting support is something of an illusion”

            In other words … not the same 11% voting Green in 2011 and 2014. Around 5% of all voters (just under half of 2011 Greens) voted Green in both Elections, the rest were new.

            And this isn’t actually anything new – go back to earlier NZES polling (late 90s / early zeros Elections) and you’ll see the same inherent volatility in the Green vote.

            Clearly, at the very least a large minority (and quite possibly a majority) of Green voters in both 2011 and 2014 had been Labour supporters at some time in the recent past. A lot of movement back and forth between the two parties over consecutive Elections.

            So, I’d argue the Greens’ base vote is more like 5%.

            Jacindamania + the Greens turmoil in this campaign will probably mean the Party won’t receive its usual amount of (significant and vital) Labour-supporter froth on top of that core vote. Probably just enough to raise it to 6-8%.

            NOTE: If the Greens are averaging anything less than about 6.5% in the final round of pre-Election Polls then I myself am going to be forced to switch my Party Vote from Labour to the Vegetable Rights and Peace Party, just to ensure they return.

            (3) The NZES confirms once again (as in previous NZES studies) that Green voters view themselves – and are viewed by others – as ideologically to the Left of Labour. The Greens constituency is essentially Left-libertarian (there are relatively few Blue-Greens among the Party’s support-base), with a particularly marked emphasis not on the liberal attitudes that most pundits might assume but rather on the economic Left dimension. While Social libertarians are certainly much more likely to vote Green than Social authoritarians … holding Left-wing economic views is still around 3 times more important in predicting Green electoral support than moral liberalism.

            So the idea popular among pundits that there exists some kind of mis-match between the Greens’ left-wing social justice policies and their supposedly affluent, centrist, morally-liberal but purely environmentalist urban support-base really holds no water.

            • veutoviper

              Thanks so much, Swordfish.

              I thought you had done some indepth analysis about that time. Sorry, too tired tonight to relook at in depth as have been awake since 4am and time for bed.

              Our wonderful lprent is doing a lot of work on the site at present etc and currently it doesn’t seem to be possible to link to actual comments – only the post. Or, he has done that deliberately to stop people like me doing it too often! LOL.

            • swordfish

              Second 10:34am

              26 August 2017 at 10:34 am


              Which electorates are they strongest in?

              The New Zealand Election Study’s Jack Vowles

              Some journalists have also suggested that the Greens’ failure to attract voters on the right was less about the ability to demonstrate a capacity for economic management and environmental pragmatism, and more about how their position on issues of social justice connected or did not connect with their electoral support. For example, political commentator Duncan Garner (2014) argued that ‘the Greens talk poverty and social justice, but the poor aren’t listening—and they’re certainly not voting for them’. He identified ‘telling statistics’ from party vote data across electorates: the Green Party polled much better in upper-income electorates than in those with high proportions of people on lower incomes. But Garner’s observation is based on what is known as the ecological fallacy: it is dangerous to infer individual behaviour from differences between large groups of people such as those contained in electorates. At the individual level, as Chapter 4 has shown, the Greens were slightly more likely to gain votes from people on lower incomes than those on upper incomes.

              Contrary to Garner’s claims, lower incomes and fewer assets are associated with Green voting. However, as Figure 7.2 shows, Green voters are not working class and do not see themselves as such. They also do not identify as middle class, given the width of the confidence intervals, mainly identifying with no class at all.

              I made essentially the same point as Vowles back in the 2015 thread I Iinked to https://thestandard.org.nz/the-political-machinations-of-the-flag-debate/#comment-1074477

              Duncan Garner certainly wasn’t the only journo to rely on seat-by-seat data

              In his 2012 Listener Interview with Russel Norman – Guyon Espiner suggested

              If you doubt the rich bias among Green voters, consider this: in the country’s wealthiest electorate of Epsom, 4424 people gave their party vote to the Greens. That is more than the combined total of Green voters in the poor Auckland electorates of Mangere (962), Manurewa (995) and Manukau East (913)..

              Apart from falling for the ecological fallacy – what Guyon also conspicuously failed to notice was the marked discrepancy between similarly affluent seats like Epsom (Green 4424 in 2011) & Wellington Central (10903)
              very Low Income Dunedin North (Green 7010 in 2011) & either the 3 poorer South Auckland electorates or indeed affluent Epsom.


              Right … so all above this = my 2017 10:34am reply to Ad

              My 2019 self will just add here (no cheap pun intended) … that (historically) decidely weak Pasifika support for the Greens goes some way to explaining the Party’s weakness in the big Labour strongholds of South Auckland. (If I remember rightly … I made this point in one of those earlier debates on TS from 2015 or there abouts)

    • Dennis Frank 29.2

      That’s reassuring. It disposes of the scaremongering. I suspect voters returning due to the fading of the Jacinda effect will outnumber those pulled by Vernon.

      I doubt he’s silly enough to plan on pulling voters from the Greens anyway. The number of mainstreamers who have environmentalist concerns is vastly greater – over 80% of the electorate according to a recent poll. So he’s thinking of fishing in that pool.

  29. swordfish 30


    I suspect that driving the Greens to under 5% is a big part of National’s thinking.

    Absolutely. In fact, the entirety of their strategy, I’d say. They know full well a Blue-Green vehicle won’t even remotely approach the 5% hurdle.

    Trouble (for the Nats) is … the Turquoise constituency within the Green’s voting base is vanishingly small.

    The 2008-2014 New Zealand Election Study found that Green voters were not only overwhelmingly liberal on the Moral Liberal vs Conservative spectrum but also heavily Left on the core Economic Left vs Right spectrum. And overwhelmingly preferred a Labour rather than Tory givernment.

    And now … one of the best of the younger journos (Henry Cooke) has just updated with the 2017 NZES stats … confirming the same essential ideological proclivities of the Green voting base. (this, incidentally, is the first time I’ve seen any stats from the 2017 iteration of the Study).


    • Sacha 30.1

      Let’s see if Henry’s tweets with graphs embed OK:

      • swordfish 30.1.1

        Brilliant !

        And, as I say, it’s been the case for quite some time.

        A chunk of Left-Labour & former Alliance / New Labour* voters headed in that direction (especially at the 2011 General Election … when a somewhat moribund Goff leadership saw a swathe of Labour’s moral liberal supporters swinging to the Greens / and a section of its moral conservatives moving to NZF).

        * it’s interesting that while many Alliance activists entered the Green Party immediately after 2002 … the NZES of the time suggested a large majority of former Alliance voters swung to Labour rather than the Greens. Almost a decade later … they join younger Lefties in finally following their former activists.

        • Sacha

          Indeed. Sure did not take long for Hooton to diss the notion either: https://twitter.com/MatthewHootonNZ/status/1089209227695063040

          • Sacha

            I have no idea what makes one tweet show up here and another not.

          • Dennis Frank

            So he thinks it’s just a Nat-split thing. I mostly agree, but reckon it would pull some Labour voters who don’t like National but would go for a centrist Green option. Say 2.5% of the electorate. Combine that with reluctant Nat voters who want a progressive Green option, say 3%, and you have a goer…

            This commenter amused me: “My thinking is a party like this is after my vote and people like me. We’re swing voters, sit in the middle and would vote Green if they’d not be a bunch a former commies. I’ll never vote Labour or Nats and Winston is out. What’s left? My segment easily makes 5% I reckon.” 🤣

            • veutoviper

              Am I right or wrong in thinking that comment is a wonderful example of an oxymoron? LOL

              • Dennis Frank

                I had to consult the bible: “An oxymoron is a rhetorical device that uses an ostensible self-contradiction to illustrate a rhetorical point or to reveal a paradox. A more general meaning of “contradiction in terms” is recorded by the OED for 1902.” [Wikipedia]

                I think you’re right: it’s the original meaning that seems to apply to him rather than the later, general meaning. The commie reference means his political consciousness was formed no later than the seventies, but his photo showed a man who seemed younger than me, so probably born mid-late fifties.

                The interesting bit is why someone so averse to marxists also never votes National. It does make him genuinely centrist. Yet seeing the GP as too leftist makes him non-progressive, so genuinely conservative. Yet he doesn’t rate Winston an option, nor does he cite the New Conservatives! If he’s being honest, we may have found a unicorn in the political forest. And when you find one example of a species in an ecosystem, you know there’s more…

                • veutoviper

                  It really is a wonderful comment! I am still laughing and have bookmarked it in My Laughs folder. Thanks again.

    • Dennis Frank 30.2

      Yes, once they get their heads around this data their enthusiasm will cool. However the recent poll suggests the numbers available to be pulled via suitable niche-marketing are huge, so they won’t discount the option much.

      From a marketing perspective, giving voters a choice is a smart move. National, for reasons that are obscure to me, is diffident about marketing its in-house bluegreen brand. The Tava option presents them with a way to test the market. All they need do is signal a partnership to the electorate. Swing voters usually determine our election result, and often only 3% of the electorate suffice to do so, right?

  30. Dennis Frank 31

    “A big part of our problem in New Zealand is actually not the rules themselves, it’s the lack of enforcement.” You betcha! Labour & Nat govts both guilty in the past.

    “There are a lot of people… who are to the right of centre, or are very much centrist – maybe swing voters, but not people who are to the left of Labour – who would give a party vote to an environmental party. I’ve lost count of the number of conversations I’ve had with people who’ve said they’d vote for that kind of party. Of course that’s anecdata”. Not market research

    If the Nats have done it, looks like they haven’t given it to their members. But I posted evidence that their leadership group doesn’t even share polling data with caucus the other day, so no surprise! Such distrust and lack of team-spirit!

    Bridges predicts “you will organically see parties coming up to fill I suppose what is a void in the centre.” He “denied being involved in setting up the new party”.

  31. Dennis Frank 32

    Stuff editorialises on the potential: https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/110205536/is-a-bluegreen-party-a-real-possibility

    “A blue-green party that is sensible and strategic, without TOP’s communication issues, could promote itself as an environmental handbrake on a centre-Right Government. With the Green Party consistently ruling itself out of a coalition with National, there may finally be a place in New Zealand politics for a party that can figure out how to combine pragmatism and principle.”

    Analogous to the handbrake NZF applies to Labour & Greens aspirations in the coalition. Vernon has the clarity of vision and managerial competence to do that.

    • WeTheBleeple 32.1

      Vernon is a spotlight hungry egomaniac with no loyalty. Just watch him in public being handsy with women. I don’t mind touchy people, sexually selective touchy = creep.

      You say “clarity of vision and managerial competence”, I say opportunist.

  32. That_guy 33

    I’d like to propose a name for this new party that evokes images of greenness, flowing rivers, nature, that kind of thing. How about “Greenwash”?

  33. That_guy 34

    On reflection this could actually work.

    The entire thing seems to be predicated on two delusions: one, that the “environment” is something that you visit on the weekends and is an optional extra that you throw some attention at after the “core” issues of the Very Serious People are addressed, and two, that it’s possible to do this without spending any money or making any sacrifices.

    But, a LOT of people have these delusions. So it could work if the party grabs 1% off the greens and 4% off the Nats, NZF, Labour and ex-TOP.

    It’s the kind of thing my mum would vote for so that she can imagine that she’s ticked the “Green” box.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 34.1

      “one, that the “environment” is something that you visit on the weekends”

      Yeah, but you can just tow it “beyond the environment”…a fantastic old skit from John Clarke:

  34. DJ Ward 35

    As a person who fits into this voter demographic I have had no voting options, forever.

    Greens have just been captured by the hate men feminists. Shown by there political motivation in getting the Ministry of Women portfolio. Playing into the steriotype that the greens are not a Green Party. Just a social justice party, and one that rejects a significant minority of voters, men. Many like me that would vote for the party, but due to flying a false flag are happy to see any attempt resulting in the present parties demise.

    Recently I read the Conservatives platform. Amazingly in the Family’s area they propose equality at separation. Sadly the rest is fruitcake religous stuff. Amazing that the Conservative party is more Feminist than the people who cliam to be feminists.

    • McFlock 35.1

      Well, have fun with the others in your demographic voting for the new party, then.

    • That_guy 35.2

      I don’t understand why you think the Greens hate men. Genuinely interested in why you think this.. are there specific incidents or policies you can refer to?

      I’m a straight white guy and I never got this vibe from them.. been in the party, attended conferences, talked to the candidates personally.

      Genuine question.

      • DJ Ward 35.2.1

        Can you link to a pro men’s issues statement from them. Don’t bother with the pro women ones as that’s virtually all of them. Try JAG and Jan Logie, as I’m sure they are demanding change in the endless list of bad stats for men and boys.

        Hmm no! More bigoted women’s services funding, more persecution of males, more turning a blind eye to women’s offending, more removal of males from parenting roles.

        Did anybody ask. “What is your men’s policy?, who has the men’s portfolio?” It’s called Gynocentrism, fronted by misandrists.

        • That_guy

          Well, Chloe Swarbrick is on the mental health portfolio and is always talking about the high suicide rate, which is biased towards men. So there’s that.
          I guess I was hoping for something a bit more specific than “they fund things for women therefore they hate men”. I don’t agree that a lack of statements about men’s issues equates to hatred, but perhaps we can agree that a few statements recognizing the problem of young men’s suicide rates (and including the word “men”) wouldn’t go amiss. It’s just… hate? It’s a bit strong. The worst you could really accuse them of is inattention.

      • Dennis Frank 35.2.2

        Yeah, likewise. But I get why he feels that way. The Greens are so staunch about equality of gender & minority representation that it has produced discrimination to some extent – although that is probably debatable. Anyone interested in the reality of that should check the list & do the stats. It’s definitely true that Greens political marketing has a black hole where white males ought to be, and voters stay away as a result. Not easy for the leftist decision-makers to grasp this fact…

        • That_guy

          Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Greens to put out some comms about our high male suicide rate and how they often occur in the wake of a relationship breakup, and how it might be a good idea for everyone to end relationships in a way that’s a bit nicer, and not at all relate this in any way to anything that’s currently in the media about certain Nats.

        • McFlock

          Fortunately, there is literally every other political party on hand to rectify that fact (only being a little bit facetious).

          I was surprised that the Green caucus has so many women in it compared to men, but then remembered they had to replace three senior mps just before the election.

          • DJ Ward

            Because they didn’t support the position of condoning female offending, in regard to benifit fraud.
            It wasn’t a dispute on Green policy.

            • McFlock

              It had nothing to do with “female” offending.

              It had everything to do with the forced criminalisation of the needy, where the system intentionally gives beneficiaries insufficient funds to sustain life and then pillories people for committing fraud.

              and it had everything to do with Green party policy. If benefit levels aren’t currently providing a “basic, liveable income”, then everyone on a benefit is either slowly dying or committing some manner of fraud to live.

  35. Dennis Frank 36

    “Environmentalism and sustainability need not fall on the political left or right, and there’s space for a more centrist party, former Green MP Kennedy Graham says.” https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/381175/former-green-mp-kennedy-graham-backs-new-centrist-party

    “Dr Graham says he’s not part of any discussions to form a new party but he does think there is room for one that is not wedded to the political left.” “He rejected the suggestion the new party would be ‘blue-green’. “It’s neither red green nor blue green but … would work with the left or right, it would be a quintessentially centrist party.””

    Remarkably perceptive for such an establishment gent, eh? He continues “you have government and you have opposition and if a political party says it’s only going to work with one side of that house, then you’re not going to get a long-term binding genuine consensus. That is required in any country – including New Zealand – for effective long-term or even medium term sustainability: you need environmental philosophy to be placed in the centre and to be working with both left and right.”

    Just as true as it ever was. Failure to adopt the correct praxis continues to afflict the GP. However the argument that National have made collaboration impossible also has considerable merit!

    “He also rejected joining such a party, should it come to pass. “I’ve met on a couple of occasions with Vernon, he remains a friend and a colleague but … I haven’t discussed it with him. “For that matter I meet with James Shaw from time to time too. My active political career is over, I’m just interested in the theory and philosophy of sustainability.””

    • That_guy 36.1

      I think the Green’s position is that you can’t have infinite growth in a finite system, and that 26 people owning more than half the planet is not a good political outcome. The first is just physics. The second is arguably left-wing I guess. But a more nuanced viewpoint is that, after a certain point, inequality actually leads to more inefficiencies in the economy, and that we’re well past that point. So for me it’s just a matter of basic physics and economics.

      I prefer to think in terms of “correct vs incorrect” rather than “left vs right”. It’s not my problem if the right wing parties are subscribing to economic and physical theories that aren’t accurate.

      • Pat 36.1.1

        hear hear….and if a Blue/Green start up is full of contradictions hopefully their target market will be unimpressed…although theres no guarantee

        • That_guy

          The National party is totally based on an economic theory that isn’t correct and they got 40%. Like I said above, I think a blue-green party could work because it’ll be based on delusions that people want to believe.

          I don’t think they’ll get many votes from the Green voters. Just as likely they’ll siphon off 4.9% of National’s vote, which would be hilarious.

          • Pat

            as you say it may work (that is reach threshold) but if they do its far more likely at the expense of existing Nat vote rather than from the current GP support

  36. Brutus Iscariot 37

    I’d be wary of using income data to work out the Green’s voter demographic. A good portion of their base are middle class white students and the like, not much nominal income but often very affluent and inclined to a protest vote against National-voting Mummy & Daddy. Or consider the marketing executives etc from Ponsonby who make plenty of money but feel guilty about it every day.

    As noted above, the proof is in the electorates their success is concentrated in. But whether these voters are “teal” is another question altogether…i suspect not in most cases.

    I love the concept of a pragmatic environmentally aware centrist party, but as said above, it already exists in the form of TOP, which was built as a movement based on genuine conviction. Tava’s concept is just a shill party that makes a mockery of voter’s intelligence.

    • Dennis Frank 37.1

      Well, let’s put your cynicism in a suitable context! Here’s his leadership rationale from May 2015:

      “I have asked a question that is a perennial one for the Green Party. Are we a left wing party that includes the environment as part of its policy mix? Eco-socialists? Red Greens? Or are we a true party of sustainability – environmental, social, cultural and economic – willing and able to be an independent entity with a decisive influence on government policy? Whichever parties may comprise the government. The left-right spectrum is only one aspect of political action and if we limit ourselves to only being able to deal with one end of that spectrum we are far less able to move the focus of politics to genuine sustainability.”

      “The urgency of interconnected local and global crises – climate change, biodiversity loss, mass extinctions, inequality – all demand that we work across political lines. It is easy to glibly dismiss such a question as mere philosophical speculation, or ‘just about political positioning’. But it is far more fundamental than that.”

      “My vision for the Greens is that we be the sustainable axis around which governments turn. I am not advocating that we become a Blue-Green Party. It is a real failure of imagination to think that this is the only alternative to a Red-Green political project and it fails to appreciate that the old, stale politics of the left-right axis are of limited use when facing the unprecedented challenges of the 21st century.”


  37. Chris 38

    “But unlike National, I think environmentally-minded voters are smart enough not to fall for it.”

    Sure, but there are also a lot of either uninformed or very stupid NZers who’re capable of falling for anything. It’s a big problem.

  38. Muttonbird 39

    Two massive cock-ups in this piece by National Party public relations manager, Brigitte Morten. She claims:

    However, the Greens have not maintained a steady vote since formation.

    I’d say the Green vote at +5% over the last 20 years has been remarkably steady in comparison to other minor parties. Perhaps by steady she means the sub-1% performances by ACT.

    And she laments that single issue parties struggle for mandate and broad policy:

    Like any party that campaigns on a single issue, how do they vote in parliament on issues they didn’t get a mandate for?

    while criticising the Greens for having exactly that.

    They may be able to pick up some swing voters who care about environmental issues but are put off by the Greens’ wider policy platform

    No wonder the Nats are in opposition with such muddled MMP thinking.


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