The Green Party goals in government

Written By: - Date published: 6:54 am, November 4th, 2017 - 113 comments
Categories: greens, vision - Tags:

From the Green Party blog:
____________________________________________________________________________________

20 Goals for a Green Government

Our agreement with Labour outlines 20 goals, which we agreed to work on together, in return for supporting the Government on Confidence and Supply. We will work with Labour to deliver our 20 goals while in Government, as well as other policy areas from time to time.

This is an incredible opportunity for the Green Party to make that good, green change that we’ve talked about – since ages ago!

This is what we are going to achieve

  1. A net zero emissions economy by 2050
  2. Better, more affordable buses and trains, and safer walking and cycling
  3. 100% renewable electricity by 2035
  4. $100 million Green Investment Fund for low-carbon industries
  5. Reduce water pollution and support sustainable farming
  6. Help nature thrive and reduce the extinction risk for threatened plants and wildlife
  7. Active progress towards healthy, swimmable rivers for people and fish
  8. Investigate establishment of a Taranaki whale sanctuary
  9. Significant reduction of waste to landfill by 2020
  10. Support families and people who need help and lift children out of poverty
  11. Schools supporting children with special needs and learning difficulties
  12. Significant progress to eliminate the gender pay gap
  13. A warm, dry, secure home, whether you rent or own
  14. Affordable homes and rent-to-own programmes
  15. Affordable tertiary education to reduce financial hardship for students
  16. Timely and high quality mental health services and free counselling for under-25s
  17. Honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the country’s founding document
  18. Fund and support the refugee family reunificiation scheme
  19. Treat drugs as a health issue and hold a referendum on the personal use of cannabis
  20. Increase public access and transparency of official information

For some of these goals there is more detail already spelled out – for example, redirecting funding from an extremely cost ineffiecient motorway (the East West Link) into cleaner transport projects that make more sense environmentally and economically.

These goals reflect our Green Charter and our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. We’re just so excited to be able to make this contribution to New Zealand’s future, twenty-seven years after we first contested a general election, in 1990.

In years to come, we’ll see this as a turning point, where we began to truly move to a low-carbon economy, when the lives of our kids who have endured homelessness and empty lunchboxes get a chance at a better life, and warm, dry homes become the norm, not a luxury.

You’ll be hearing more from us in the coming months about how we’re working towards making these goals reality.

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113 comments on “The Green Party goals in government ”

  1. DH 1

    I’d like them to concentrate on just a few which are Green centric, specifically goals and achievements which Labour or NZF can’t claim for themselves. IMO at the next election the Greens need to be able to tell their supporters, and potential new voters, “We achieved x, which would not exist today if Labour or National had governed alone”

    I think the minor parties struggle in a coalition because their contributions are, by default, largely being attributed to the major party and they subsequently bleed votes at the next election(s). Carving out their own niche has its risks, they might fail and ruin everything, but I still think it’s important for their own survival as a credible party.

  2. The Chairman 2

    How will the Greens ensure homeowners have a warm, dry and secure home?

    Wouldn’t it be fair to say those that own their own home that don’t have a warm, dry, and secure home largely do so because they don’t have the cash up front and can’t afford the debt burden?

    Therefore, how will the Greens help them make their homes warm, dry and secure?

    • What are benefits increasing to and when?

      • The Chairman 2.1.1

        Labour haven’t committed to a core benefit rate increase.

      • Matthew Whitehead 2.1.2

        The agreement only commits Labour to ending punitive sanctions and allowing beneficiaries into Working For Families, not specifically to increasing core rates. (Although they do agree in principle that “everyone [should have] a standard of living and income that enables them to live in dignity and participate in their communities, and lifts children and their families out of poverty” as part of the WFF extension language) They may still agree to raise benefits if the budget allows later, but it’s not guaranteed. This means people without children on benefits aren’t necessarily getting a raise, depending on whether their circumstances had made them previously subject to sanctions, and whether this language is interpretted to include the abatement changes the Greens proposed, or whether other changes are adopted on merit by Labour and NZF.

    • weka 2.2

      The Greens didn’t put this post up and I doubt they will be here to answer your questions. Why not go look up the various policies yourself and then report back? That way everyone learns.

      • The Chairman 2.2.1

        As for the Greens not putting this up, well perhaps in future they may want to consider officially manning their posts. It would be a good way for them to have some control over the narrative (by answering questions, thus removing speculation) while receiving feedback, conversing directly to the public.

        • marty mars 2.2.1.1

          Can you also check my questions above too, when you do your research thanks. Any rough idea of timeframes – no pressure just wondering ☺ thanks.

          • The Chairman 2.2.1.1.1

            I assume your question relates to number ten on the list above. In which case, there is no mention of increasing benefits.

            WINZ already support (although there is room for improvement) families and people who need help.

            And one assumes they (the Greens) are hoping Labour’s family package and minimum wage increase (25 cents more than National in their first step) will result in lifting kids out of poverty.

            • marty mars 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Good for you in accepting the lowering of the bar, some want answers to this.

              • The Chairman

                I don’t accept it, I’m one of the few on here speaking out about it.

                But if you are looking for a core benefit rate increase, there isn’t one. Nor have they suggested it.

        • Matthew Whitehead 2.2.1.2

          I’m sorry, does Labour man posts related to the Labour Party?

          You’ve got me and Weka commenting here, who are Green Party members. You get Labour contributors and members commenting on posts relating to Labour party policies etc…

          As much as we care about the policies and want to promote them, please do allow that those of us here who are Greens do also have lives, and can’t always be commenting on posts at TS every few minutes, and that even if you ask questions we might not always have the energy to do your research for you- if we do, we are gifting our time to you, not setting a standard for what you can expect every single time you comment.

          I’d also point out that while certain people might be working behind the scenes to co-ordinate better between TS and left-wing parties, anything we do on that front with either Labour or the Greens is entirely extra, and not something you’d usually expect to get from a blog, and is just a cool thing that we all get if we ask and the parties are willing to do it, like that time when TS got statements from all the candidates for Labour Leader before Cunliffe won.

          • The Chairman 2.2.1.2.1

            “I’m sorry, does Labour man posts related to the Labour Party?”

            They do front up from time to time. But they should have staff dedicated to protecting their online presence. So too should the Greens. Then it won’t fall on you and a few others to carry all the load.

            • Matthew Whitehead 2.2.1.2.1.1

              The Greens are a small party compared to Labour. They do have online communications staff, but they are primarily working in high-traffic areas, like Twitter and Facebook. They can’t be everywhere at once and their time needs to be used effectively. I’d rather they focused on engaging with voters on social media at the moment, as there’s still more work to do in that area, and that if we do get any attention to blogs, it be from candidates and policy experts instead.

              We may be able to get some Green MPs to stop by TS from time to time to comment, (I am actually now in contact with one of them and asking if there are ways we can better co-ordinate with them, in fact, and they are really keen on being a more communicative party in Government than National and its support partners were, but be aware this may not involve anyone actually stopping by TS, and may simply be them sharing some of their messaging to media with us so we can pass it on when we think it is relevant to our audience, and leave it when it’s not, as other communications channels may still get priority over blogs) but if so, that’s actually them being super friendly and nice and not some normal party operation, because as big as TS is in terms of NZ blogs, in most cases it’s probably nowhere near as effective as them talking to voters in person, or even posting to their own personal social media accounts. The main reason for them stopping by here would simply be because TS might represent a different audience they couldn’t get through those means.

      • The Chairman 2.2.2

        “Davidson said the Green Party would bring in a comprehensive Warrant of Fitness for houses to make sure every property – not just rentals – were warm, dry and safe.”

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/health/news/article.cfm?c_id=204&objectid=11913852

        I was hoping there may be another avenue they were exploring. But after looking at their site, there doesn’t seem to be anything else released as yet.

        So I wonder when Labour will extend a comprehensive Warrant of Fitness to homeowners? Moreover, when do they plan on telling them?

        Additionally, how will they treat those that just can’t afford it?

        • Antoine 2.2.2.1

          If the WoF for owner occupieds isn’t in the coalition agreement, it ain’t going to happen this term.

          PS Even to me, you seem like a concern troll…

          • The Chairman 2.2.2.1.1

            From the top of this thread.

            “Our agreement with Labour outlines 20 goals, which we agreed to work on together, in return for supporting the Government on Confidence and Supply. We will work with Labour to deliver our 20 goals while in Government…”

            It’s on the list.

            Yes, I have concerns about this, but expressing it doesn’t make me a troll. And it is totally up to you if you haven’t.

          • In Vino 2.2.2.1.2

            Well-spotted, Antoine. And I also see his moniker as an affront to gender equity.

          • Matthew Whitehead 2.2.2.1.3

            The WoF itself isn’t explicitly in the C&S agreement, however the goal it was supposed to meet is:

            13. Aim to end energy poverty in New Zealand and ensure that every New Zealander has a warm, dry, secure home, whether they rent or own.
            a. Budget provision will be made to substantially increase the number of homes insulated.

            So, insulation funding is definitely in, but the mechanism for ending energy poverty and ensuring all homes kiwis live in are warm, dry, and secure doesn’t necessarily need to be a WoF whether for rentals or all occupied homes, it could be something else instead if they think of a different idea that might work better.

    • How will the Greens ensure homeowners have a warm, dry and secure home?

      Dunno, but it won’t be any method homeowners would enjoy. Most likely would be setting WoF standards and then letting the market punish sellers whose property doesn’t meet the standard. Mine certainly wouldn’t meet a likely standard so I won’t have any warm greetings for it when it turns up. On the other hand, it’d be surprising if they could get something like that through in this term in office.

      • The Chairman 2.3.1

        Labour are all for warrants so it’s not hard to imagine them willing to extend them, putting any voter blow-back on the Greens.

        • Psycho Milt 2.3.1.1

          Ah, I see, you were just fishing for another opportunity to concern-troll Labour.

          • The Chairman 2.3.1.1.1

            Not at all. It’s all very rational.

            Labour have been pushing for rental WOFs for a long time and according to the Greens, have agreed to work on this.

            So it seems like the most likely outcome.

            And as stated, the Greens calling for this gives Labour an out when it comes to voter blow-back.

            • Matthew Whitehead 2.3.1.1.1.1

              No it doesn’t, because the agreement only mandates the objective, not the mechanism. If Labour chooses an unpopular mechanism and the Greens suggest a better one that isn’t passed, then that’s on Labour.

              • The Chairman

                If it wasn’t for the the Greens objective, there would be no mechanism to go wrong. So there is no escaping the voter blow-back.

                Moreover, if they (the Greens) can’t secure the right mechanism as part of the objective, then they should withdraw the objective till a later date (when the correct mechanism can be applied).

                • Matthew Whitehead

                  Except Labour already agreed with the objective. Good lord you’re on a crusade tonight.

                  There are situations when securing a specific policy approach is important, (eg. trying to get a carbon tax, which is more effective at lowering carbon emissions than an ETS) but there are also situations where a lack of access to government policy analysts mean that exploring other options with a broad mandate instead of a specific policy approach might be the best evidence-based solution. On areas where both the Greens and Labour have broad agreement and there isn’t a clear winner in policy approach, I support broad mandates like this one.

                  • The Chairman

                    Regardless Labour agreeing, it was/is initially a Greens objective.

                    Hence, they should have the scope to withdraw. Furthermore, being their initiative, they’ll cop the voter blow-back.

                    A number of people (especially those doing it hard) aren’t going to appreciate being forced to spend up large. And it will make it a double whammy for landlords.

                    As I’ve explained to weka, I call it how I see it. The potential problem for the Greens is, how many others are going to perceive it as I do?

                    The concern with this objective is it’s impact on the poor. Unless the Government plans on paying the total cost, there will be a number that simply can’t afford it. Regardless of the available grants.

                    If the Greens can’t see this, then they and their team are out of touch. They seem to be making the same mistake as Gareth Morgan, lumping all property owners together and assuming they’re all well off. Which is simply not the case.

                    • weka

                      Not to worry, if Labour choose a bad mechanism and people start blaming the Greens, I’m sure that as a GP voter you’ll be right in there putting the boot in as well instead of pointing out that the Greens didn’t have control over that particular choice.

                      This is why so many people here just don’t buy that you are trying to help and call you a concern troll instead.

                    • The Chairman

                      ” I’m sure that as a GP voter you’ll be right in there putting the boot in as well instead of pointing out that the Greens didn’t have control over that particular choice.”

                      But as I highlighted, they do have some control. They could/can withdraw their proposal. Especially knowing (before going into negotiation) that Labour have the majority call on the mechanism used. Or given themselves scope to maneuver if they weren’t happy with the mechanism used.

                      Therefore, if it results in the poor being forced out of their homes, of course I’ll be their putting the boot in. Especially as I’m here now warning of the potential pitfall in their objective. And I also warned about this before the election.

                      Surely, you will be by my side defending the poor? Or will you be there, lowering the bar and making excuses for them (the Greens)?

                      “This is why so many people here just don’t buy that you are trying to help and call you a concern troll instead.”

                      Making them aware of the pitfall, thus giving them the opportunity to avoid it, is helping.

                    • weka

                      You’re not defending the poor though, you’re gratuitously bashing the Greens who are the party best in a position to help the poor. You’ve taken some election campaign policy direction (GP want all houses not just rentals to be of a certain standard), and made a bunch of shit up about how that would get implemented badly and then blamed the Greens for your fantasy outcomes.

                      I’ll suggest again that you go and find the actual GP policy and then we can have some actual political debate about it.

                    • The Chairman

                      I’m highlighting the potential flaws in this Green objective in the hope they will be acknowledged, thus avoided or worked through.

                      It seems you want to call that bashing them (the Greens).

                      Unless the mechanism used overcomes the concern, this Green objective will impact negatively on the poor.

                      Moreover, puts the Greens at great risk of voter blow-back.

                      Once, and if negatively impacted, the poor will turn on the Greens.

                      Additionally, remember the public uproar Labour faced last time they tried pushing lightbulbs and shower-heads?

                      While the notion of warrants on rentals is more widely accepted, applying this to general homeowners is going to come across as nanny sate on steroids, thus expect voter resistance and backlash.

                      And that will be directed at the Labour and the Greens, which Labour will be looking to duck, hence will happily blame the Greens as it is their initiative.

                      You stating go find the actual policy is futile as be both know the policy is still being worked through.

                      Therefore, all we can do at this stage is highlight the potential flaws, thus the reason for concern and hope they are acknowledged and worked through in the policy making process.

      • weka 2.3.2

        I can see other avenues. e.g. low interest loans, better access to existing WINZ grants, more schemes like the insulation one.

        • The Chairman 2.3.2.1

          A loan is no good to one who can’t afford to repay it.

          Their current proposal of a $2500 grant falls way short.

          A friend just redid his place to meet National’s new standard (the Greens are requiring more) and it cost over $5000.00. It’s a 90 square meter home. And that is just insulation.

          One hopes this isn’t going to result in forcing the poor out of their homes?

          • weka 2.3.2.1.1

            “A loan is no good to one who can’t afford to repay it.’

            But it is good for people who can afford a low interest one but not a commercial one.

            See if you can come up with something else that might work in addition.

            • The Chairman 2.3.2.1.1.1

              “But it is good for people who can afford a low interest one but not a commercial one.”

              Yes. But I was talking about the ones that are struggling from day to day and can’t afford to repay any further debt.

              Not all property owners are well off, which is the mistake the Greens seem to be making with this.

              Therefore, as taxpayers are the largest benefactor (health savings, etc) it should be covered by the state.

    • KJT 2.4

      Greens policy that was put in place several years ago. The home Insulation scheme which subsidised low income home owners to insulate their houses.

  3. Antoine 3

    I’m sorry this isn’t a very substantive comment, but that Jan Logie has such a nice smile

    A.

  4. Bill 4

    Can’t help but notice that their pre-election focus on eradicating poverty (increasing benefit rates etc) has become something of a watered down add-on to number 10 on that list 🙁

    • weka 4.1

      Yes, that’s what happens when they don’t get enough votes 🙁

      Afaik raising benefit rates isn’t part of the agreement, so I assume that unless something changes it won’t be happening in the first term. When I read the C/S agreement, the wording suggests to me that the plan is that fixing WINZ culture, and making changes to WFF and abatement rates etc is going to be enough in the meantime. That’s not true of course, although it will make a big difference in many people’s lives.

      I don’t think that’s what the Greens wanted, it’s what they were able to negotiate it better.

      The #10 placement is probably a function of the structure of the C/S agreement, but it’s not a good look. I also doubt that it’s watered down (there’s plenty of detail in the agreement), but yeah.

      • Bill 4.1.1

        S’okay, the full thing reads – Overhaul the welfare system, ensure access to entitlements, remove excessive sanctions and review Working For Families so that everyone has a standard of living and income that enables them to live in dignity and participate in their communities, and lifts children and their families out of poverty.

        I guess that might indicate a push to extend wff to those without work. But overall, it a long way away from being one of their supposed “big three”, interlinked pre-election priorities , of (from memory) climate, water and poverty.

        Remember James and his three legged stool analogy? Anyway, climate and water seem to have retained their “elevated status”.

        • Psycho Milt 4.1.1.1

          People blaming small parties for not being able to impose their policy agenda on their much-larger coalition partners is exactly how small parties get destroyed by being in government.

          If the Greens get to be the major partner at some point and then don’t live up to their claims about eradicating poverty, by all means hold them to account. But there’s no point in expecting a party with 6% of the vote to dominate the government’s policy agenda.

          • Bill 4.1.1.1.1

            Who’s ‘blaming’ PM?

            I’m just noting they seem to have de-prioritised one of their 3 major planks. I don’t have to happy about that, and I definitely don’t need to turn a blind eye to it.

            And sure, they might find their way to explaining or justifying why they reckon a two legged stool will work just fine. Or they may not.

            Either way, like many, many others, I’m too poor to just sit back sanguinely and extend magnanimity to the supposed difficulties of a particular political party.

            And to any who’d suggest I do, I’m open to an asset and cash flow swap any time – and then they can demonstrate to me the appropriate and acceptable frame of mind that those in poverty ought to assume.

            • Psycho Milt 4.1.1.1.1.1

              It isn’t “magnanimity” to recognise that the smallest party in the government doesn’t get to make the other parties adopt policies those parties don’t want. The Greens have said a two-legged stool won’t work but have been overruled by parties that presumably believe it can – any questions we have about how a two-legged stool might be supposed to work would be better directed at those parties that rejected the three-legged variety, not the Greens.

              • Bill

                Wouldn’t it be generous of me (and others) to quietly accept poverty on the understanding that politicians have bigger fish to fry, and acknowledge they’re constrained in what they can do by political machinations?

                The paupers know their proper place m’lud. All’s well.

                And since it was the Green Party (via James Shaw) that pushed the three-legged stool analogy, it’s down to the Green Party to explain why that analogy’s suddenly (it seems) no longer applicable. Though I’m sure they’ll just shuffle it off into the cupboard of ‘broken things’ where it can be forgotten about.

                • weka

                  The original three legged stool analogy is economy/environment/fair society.

                  The fair society section of the agreement it larger than the environment one, so not sure what you are getting at.

                  But if you mean the campaign Climate/Rivers/Ending Poverty triumvirate, and that the Greens need to explain that because they got more deal gains with Climate than Ending Poverty (assuming that is true) that something is now broken in the Green Party platform, I think your aim is off.

                  They look to me like they got significant gains around welfare, better than I expected. Not increasing benefits is a serious omission and I think we need to put pressure on Labour as much as possible, because they’re the ones blocking that. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t significant other things that can be done under the agreement with regards to welfare.

                  My main concern is that Labour are still in the frame of mind that benefits are bad but necessary and we will solve poverty via housing and employment. That’s where my criticism is focussed.

                  Not that the Greens are perfect, and I think they will need feedback and critique, but they’re already on board with welfare. Labour kind of are but aren’t really.

                  • Bill

                    I made the stool from the wrong material then, innit 😉

                    I haven’t said the Greens need to explain anything. I’ve said they may or may not. I don’t actually really care. The fact is that far too many people in NZ are struggling under unacceptable levels of poverty. For that, I blame the dominant Liberal paradigm of these past decades that all major political parties have bought into and that all major parties have foisted on us when they’ve secured the government benches.

                    You mention applying pressure to NZ Labour. How much easier would that have been, and how much more effective would it have been if Metiria hadn’t been forced out of politics?

                    If it’s taken that a discernible difference would have existed, then doesn’t that in itself point to quite a major problem? That being – the acceptability of talking about poverty in uncompromising terms and making it a priority, seems to have relied on the presence of one particular politician in the Beehive.

                    “Jam tomorrow ” stuff can go fuck off as far as I’m concerned. And any person who isn’t poor, and who thinks that’s unreasonable can, as I’ve said up-thread, do an asset and cash flow swap with me tomorrow.

                    • weka

                      Shaw may have also used the stool metaphor during the campaign in other ways. They use that three pronged approach thing a lot and mix it up a bit. But the structure of the Agreement does match the analogy from earlier in the year.

                      Turei is a huge loss, no doubt about it. But I think the party vote is the bigger factor (and I still have hopes that Turei will do some very important things outside of parliament that wouldn’t have happened otherwise). If Turei was still there, let’s say as an MP but not co-leader, and the Greens had the same party vote, I think they may have ended up with a similar agreement. The framing might be different now though, and I do think this is something to keep an eye on with the Greens.

                      I don’t see Turei as the sole driver of welfare issues in the Greens. Not only is Davidson there, but the caucus is behind it, and there are activists in the party too. The issue for me is the class representation one. I trust Shaw and that he was genuine in his support on welfare issues. I watched a lot of video of him during the campaign and apart from that campaign reset stuff (which was off on a number of fronts), pretty much every time he spoke about poverty and welfare I believed him.

                      That’s not the same thing as if he was from the underclass though. So, yes, the political class have inbuilt problems.

                      “Jam tomorrow ” stuff can go fuck off as far as I’m concerned. And any person who isn’t poor, and who thinks that’s unreasonable can, as I’ve said up-thread, do an asset and cash flow swap with me tomorrow.”

                      Absolutely agree. I was surprised e.g. at the commentary on TS last week that didn’t see the problem with benefits not being raised, and that I had to actually explain that.

                      I think we will get a friendlier version of Clark’s govt, with some solid policy influence from the Greens. It’s not good enough for me either, and I have the same kind of underlying anger building over welfare (and the TPPA).

                    • Matthew Whitehead

                      But we might not have had the political space to get the changes we’ve secured in this agreement if Metiria hadn’t talked about her own life and shifted the overton window leftwards on welfare, so I think you’re being a little unfair there- all we have is a factual case- Metiria’s brave sacrifice of her career and the resulting concessions- versus a hypothetical with no firm political theory behind it that I can tell?

                      All we know for sure is that in this scenario, where the Greens talked on this issue but the gains were only temporary and right-wing attacks on Metiria worked, we had the poorly thought out and badly timed resignations on principle from KG and DC, and these issues did at least some damage to the party, (but perhaps no more than 3% if the voter shift study conducted between Turei’s resignation and Ardern’s takeover of Labour is to be trusted. Whether the remaining 5%ish support lost was further bleed from Turei, a shift due to Jacindamania, or other factors is entirely speculation at this point and completely up to subjective judgements, and later studies are unfortunately tainted because we can’t separate out what shift is due to what issue with any reliability) and we had to negotiate with the political space she opened up but also with a 6%ish result after the election.

                      I agree “jam tomorrow” isn’t good enough, by the by. And we are getting some more jam in this agreement for a significant group of beneficiaries who are in real need- those with children, and those who were suffering under National from penalties, and even those surviving off charity from family instead of benefits because they dropped out of the system due to not being able to avoid penalties, or being unable to stomach WINZ in its current culture. (and while reforming that isn’t actually in the agreement, I expect some progress on that because it’s simply good policy anyway, so long as we can sell it to NZ First) We didn’t get everything, and we’ll keep trying. I’ll keep trying, for sure. But it’s Labour and NZF that we need to move on this subject- hell, it’s even possible Labour were willing to move more than the final agreement shows, but they couldn’t get NZF sufficiently on board. Both coalition partners need to be pressured on raising core benefits ASAP as far as I’m concerned.

                      I’m also with Weka that not only the caucus but the membership is 100% behind a strong push on welfare. I believe the Greens went in just as aggressive on Welfare as they did on Climate change, but had further to move both Labour and by extension NZF on that issue, so weren’t able to get as much traction, wheras on climate there was an alignment on how serious the issue was if not necessarily on the approach, so progress was made easily. If there is ever any evidence that the Greens softballed the welfare aspect of negotiations in any way, it would be hugely damaging for the party and for the caucus, so I honestly don’t believe the negotiating team would be that stupid.

            • weka 4.1.1.1.1.2

              I don’t see any evidence that the Greens have deprioritised welfare/ending poverty. I see evidence that Labour haven’t allowed them their full policy platforms (what PM said). Those are two different things though.

              I trust the GP caucus, including Shaw, in their commitment on poverty, and I’m not seeing them making poverty a lesser leg. They lost out on all three legs, that was to be expected.

              And tbh, you do appear to be blaming the Greens. I have zero doubt that if they were the major party we’d be seeing them pushing forward their full welfare policy (and water, climate etc).

              Let’s put it another way. Given the Greens didn’t get what they wanted, how do you see them keeping the three legs even (which is what I think you are getting at). I’m sure there is useful feedback there. Mostly I see the poverty stuff spread out over a number of the 20 things, not just in #10.

              I’m all good with keeping this on the agenda too. We had a convo a few days ago about this, and to my mind too many people are saying let the new govt get on with things, beneficiaries will be attend to later (in terms of a rate rise). I think that needs to be countered from the get go.

              • Bill

                I’m absolutely blaming NZs political class.

                On the Greens and poverty, I said at the occasion of their re-launch they were back-peddling on that front. So did others.

                Now we have a limited take on poverty tagged onto an item in a shopping list of ‘goals’.

                I’d like reality to show me up for being unwarrantedly negative and cynical. But for now, I’ve a gently seething anger being stoked by the prospect of Helen Clark MkII being all we’re likely to get from this government.

                • weka

                  Blaming the political class would make more sense.

                  I thought this post from the Greens looked cobbled together. How they’re presenting on welfare needs addressing. I don’t yet see any evidence that they’re not treating it as seriously as water and climate though.

                  The big issue for me is that they got the following in the agreement, but no Ministers in those areas (I doubt that was their choice).

                  I don’t know how that will work then. I had assumed that the Greens would get to transform WINZ, but I just reread that part of the agreement and it doesn’t say that. It says that Labour and the Greens agree it needs to happen. Which I assume means Labour will be in charge (they have the relevant positions), and that gives me a serious sinking feeling.

                  – Overhaul the welfare system
                  – ensure access to entitlements
                  – remove excessive sanctions
                  – review Working For Families

                  Read those things through Green policy they look promising. Read them through Labour policy and history, not so much.

                  The good news is that Marama Davidson is not a Minister which gives her a greater degree of freedom to speak out on welfare. It wouldn’t surprise me if that was intentional.

                  • weka

                    And, I’ve been assuming that even in a best case scenario (e.g. Labour let the Greens have significant input in those things), we will still need serious extra-parliamentary activism on welfare. For me that’s a given, but I’m seeing Labour supporters suggesting we should wait and see. In that sense I agree with your position, we can’t afford that.

                    • Sam aka clump

                      Just got to be realistic about what politicians can do for people who didn’t vote for them. Heaps of social justice warriors scurried of like rats as soon as a leader they could identity with popped up (Jacinda) Never mind Labour being weak on campaigning over social justice warrior issues. For the most part it’s Labours issue now.

                      The Greens have said there bit. Now it’s time for them to represent the people that voted for them. And for Labour to do the same.

                    • weka

                      I was talking about people who aren’t in a political party. Are you suggesting we should be toeing the party line?

                    • Incognito

                      There should be no room for tribalism is any NZ Government. Government policies & laws are for all people and the whole of the country, not just for the select few who may or may not have voted for a given party.

                      @ Sam aka clump

                    • Sam aka clump

                      Do your own homework and you might figure why Green party support dropped from last election.

                  • greywarshark

                    That seems seriously good analysis weka. Lot’s said – where is the hard reality? It’s still early stages yet, but will we end up happy with good change, good action.

                    Talk, talk. Audrey Hepburn as Eliza cuts through all the chat, less words – Show me she says.

                    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uozGujfdS0
                    Perhaps the pollies have to go through training like Eliza to ensure they present themselves correctly to the punters.

                  • Karen

                    “The good news is that Marama Davidson is not a Minister which gives her a greater degree of freedom to speak out on welfare. It wouldn’t surprise me if that was intentional.”

                    Marama herself said the reason she didn’t get a ministerial post was because the Greens only got 4 positions and she has only been an MP for 2 years. However, she is expected to go for the co-leader position and, assuming she gets it, that will enable her to be a strong influence on Green policy directions. I would also hope to see her on select committees related to poverty and welfare reform, and she will certainly be outspoken on the need for reform and increases in benefits. Basically , you can’t eliminate poverty without welfare reform.

                    Also, I don’t see welfare being no.10 as an indication of priority. It is a list, not an order of importance.

                    • weka

                      Yes, I think those are all reasons for MD not being a Minister too (good ones). So maybe the freedom to speak is a silver lining.

              • The Chairman

                “Absolutely agree. I was surprised e.g. at the commentary on TS last week that didn’t see the problem with benefits not being raised, and that I had to actually explain that.”

                That aligns with the limited support achieved here for the notion of giving beneficiaries a little extra over Christmas.

          • The Chairman 4.1.1.1.2

            I blame Labour.

            I always said they would be the stumbling block in a Greens/NZ First/and Labour three way.

      • The Chairman 4.1.2

        One wonders if Metiria was still there if the matter would have been pushed harder in the negotiations?  

        • weka 4.1.2.1

          I don’t. She had the full backing of the caucus apart from the two rogue MPs who were gone by the time the election happened.

          If you think Turei was the only driving force on poverty within the Greens, you’ve really not been paying attention.

          • The Chairman 4.1.2.1.1

            No. I don’t think she was the only driving force on poverty within the Greens. But I believe she was more dedicated to the cause than Shaw.

            The party was far to ecstatic over what they got, it seems they didn’t give a hoot about not securing core benefit increases. Which makes one wonder how hard did they push it?

            I didn’t here one of them regretting not securing it publicly when questioned after the negotiations ceased. But I’m happy to be shown wrong if you have any links to the contrary?

            • weka 4.1.2.1.1.1

              Sorry, can’t be bothered with this shit. There is no way in hell that the Greens were going to start talking about what they didn’t get in the time immediately after the deal. For one, the media and the DP crew/National are going to be looking for any sign of dysfunction in the new govt. Two, it would be disrespectful of the process. Three all those MPs deserve to be happy. I understand why they’re happy about what they got. If you don’t, that’s on you.

              • The Chairman

                It was disrespectful to their supporters.

                And they (their supporters) should come before Labour in the eyes of the Greens.

                Moreover, also before their personal pleasure of securing ministerial roles.

                And people always said it would be Winston going for the baubles of office.

                I wasn’t implying they waffle on about it, but a quick mention and glimmer of disappointment would have gone a long way. But no, they were totally over the moon.

                • weka

                  You’re not a supporter though, your approach is to pull things down.

                  • The Chairman

                    No. Pulling things down is something you are accusing me of.

                    As I’ve told you before, I don’t put the action into play, I’m merely commenting on the action in play. I didn’t tell them to come out and be overly ecstatic.

                    Though, if you remember, I did pull them up on their ecstatically happy campaign video and how a number of voters (those doing it hard) will be wondering what they are so happy about.

                    I just call it the way I see it, which is evidently not the way you see it. Leading to you blaming me for pulling it down.

                    I’m a supporter. And I voted for them. I was even advocating for them on here before the election.

                    But look, some how we are talking about me again. It always seems to be the way with some of you lot. Therefore, If you don’t mind, I’m here to talk politics.

                    • weka

                      Tbh, I don’t see you here to discuss politics. You tell people what you think Labour and the Greens should do. That’s not the same as discussing politics.

                  • The Chairman

                    I do far more than that. I advocate. I highlight flaws. Raise the bar. Provide a different perspective, Provide alternative solutions. Ask and answer questions. Generate discussion. All without making it personal.

                    • greywarshark

                      You seem to enjoy being negative. The eternal judge. That isn’t discussion. And replies to you pointing out your peculiar traits that grate, you deny and play the victim.

                  • Your instinct about The Chairman’s intentions is correct, weka.

                    • The Chairman

                      Really? So you’ll have the evidence to back your claim, Robert?

                    • The Chairman

                      @ greywarshark

                      I’d rather be celebrating we now have a minimum wage on par with the living wage. The poor won’t be forced out of their homes. Core benefit increases have taken place. 10,000 state homes will be built asap. We’ve pulled out from the TPP, etc…

                      But, unfortunately, as we both know that’s not happening.

                      Therefore, don’t confuse the negative reality I shine a light on as being part of my characteristics.

                      As for playing the victim, I’m not. Merely stating fact. Surely you must have noticed how often some of you lot (yourself included) want to make it about me. Your comment I’m replying to is a prime example. Nothing about the topic at hand, just a quick dig at me. Just like Robert’s comment below yours. What’s the point in that? It’s not going to solve our political problems.

                • Matthew Whitehead

                  You’re forgetting how much Shaw supported both her tactic in raising the issue, her personally when she was under fire, and her policy. Shaw is commited to this approach on Welfare, but it’s not his area of expertise, so he has let first Turei and now Davidson take the lead on the issue.

                  If taking less or no ministries would have got them Metiria’s entire package somehow, I would be willing to bet that there would have been a huge push within the negotiating team to take that deal. I honestly expect that Labour simply said that a raise to core benefits was simply not workable right now within fiscal constraints and wasn’t up for negotiation, and the Greens instead got what they could in this area by working around that constraint, after trying to push and see if it could be made workable with other concessions to saving revenue. Reforming welfare this way is a very expensive ask, after all.

                  I can’t speak for Weka, although I’d be willing to bet she feels the same on this, but I would leave the Party if I thought that on balance it was likely they had done anything that compromised deliberately their negotiating power in this area after what happened to Metiria Turei, and I expect it wouldn’t just be me and her. I think Marama Davidson would have quit in protest, at the very least, and with the info out there, they would have lost most of their core support and likely died off at the next election, perhaps in favour of some other new party.

                  You may have “criticisms” of how the issue was approached or what was achieved, but I think it’s really unfair for you to imply that people who were just as heavily involved as you if not more so, and have a fair personal and emotional investment in that particular policy area, (I’m unemployed right now. There are others in these comment sections who are on benefits, FYI) are wrong to endorse the party process when you don’t even have any circumstantial evidence that it was flawed, just your own personal reckons. We’ll need more than that before we start assuming everything somehow went wrong.

                  • The Chairman

                    You are over dramatising my comment on Shaw. I just don’t believe he is as dedicated to the cause as Metiria.

                    Their ecstatic behaviour after the negotiation did them no favours. People are killing themselves out their things have become that dire, hence a number were really relying on them (the Greens) to come through with something. But not only did they let them down (on core benefit increases) they did it smilingly, telling us they secured a great deal. To some, that was like a big fuck you.

                    Now I can only speak for the people I’ve spoken too in this regard but like I said before, the potential problem for the Greens is how many others see it this way?

                    “If taking less or no ministries would have got them Metiria’s entire package somehow, I would be willing to bet that there would have been a huge push within the negotiating team to take that deal.”

                    Unless you can substantiate that, it’s little more than speculation.

                    “I honestly expect that Labour simply said that a raise to core benefits was simply not workable right now within fiscal constraints and wasn’t up for negotiation…” 

                    Shaw should have turned around and said, we can’t expect the least well off to the carry the burden of the nations fiscal constrains, and that’s not negotiable. Thus, savings will have to be made elsewhere. Let’s do this or we’re out.

                    • weka

                      If you want to blame someone for their being no benefit increases, start talking to Labour voters or people who switched from GP to Labour. The reason the GP didn’t get much traction on welfare is because they don’t have enough MPs. Blaming the Greens is just more ignorant bashing.

                      “Unless you can substantiate that, it’s little more than speculation.”

                      Nah. You’re speculating in this thread and based on not very much from what I can tell other than your own reckons. Matt is an active GP member who is expressing informed opinion based on a whole bunch of experiences (interacting as a person, understanding how internal GP and coalition negotiation processes work).

                      “Shaw should have turned around and said, we can’t expect the least well off to the carry the burden of the nations fiscal constrains, and that’s not negotiable. Thus, savings will have to be made elsewhere. Let’s do this or we’re out.”

                      The GP said well ahead of the election they wouldn’t force a new election. And for good reasons, see if you can figure out what they are.

                    • The Chairman

                      I do blame Labour.

                      However, I’m also questioning the effort, priorities and the negotiation skills of the Greens.

                      Yes, sure they (the Greens) failed to secure the numbers required to dominate negotiations, but negotiations also comes down to effort, priorities and negotiation skills.

                      Did they sellout beneficiaries to secure positions for their MPs?

                      Were the other policies secured given higher priority?

                      Did they show their hand to early, thus giving their leverage away?

                      Were they strong enough on holding their ground? Shaw comes across as a pragmatic but willing compromiser.

                      Sure, we can only speculate on all that, but I was highlighting their actions afterwards (over joyous) and how that came across to some.

                      Why would you perceive the Greens standing their ground and not accepting all of Labour’s terms to be the cause of a new election? Wouldn’t Labour be just as culpable in such a case?

                      Moreover, how do you know if the Greens threaten to walk, Labour wouldn’t have folded and conceded to their term (increasing core benefit rates)?

                      Did Shaw, stating (before the negotiations) the Greens wouldn’t force a new election cost the Greens their leverage and prevent them from pulling off that bluff?

  5. cleangreen 5

    [deleted]

    [you’ve been warned about not using all caps. It’s now a bannable offence if you keep doing it. – weka]

    • OnceWasTim 5.1

      Now there’s a challenge for the entrepreneurial programmer, or even script kiddie.
      Somewhat reminiscent for me in transitioning text from standard document processing platforms to others primarily designed for financial transaction services.
      There’d be a template that’d allow aged folk – even children who’re recent visitors to the new age, still learning its various quirks and doing their best – perhaps with failing eyesight, even if induced by the side-effects of their medication taken to prevent heart attack or stroke, or to keep the arteries clear.
      It ( i.e. the ‘plug-in’, the ‘app’, or whatever ‘innovative’ construct – acronym-enabled “piece-of-work”) would convert upper case text that was actually intended to be lower case – even if the submitter hasn’t had the concentration to observe the status of a ‘CAPS LOCK” button before hitting a ‘submit’ button.
      The ability to tolerate has become a really interesting phenomenon in recent times (eh?).
      There are clear boundaries that should, and WILL NOT be crossed!!!!
      Here’s another challenge: a processor that enables other valued contributors to this site who’ve not had the benefit of a formal Her Majesty’s English language education, to convert their words of wisdom (complete with spelling mistakes, contextual errors, grammatical errors, and anything else) to – ummmm – maybe txt speak going forward.
      Nah!!! too fukn complicated even IF compliance isn’t that regular – not worth the effort

  6. cleangreen 6

    “2 Better, more affordable buses and trains, and safer walking and cycling”

    Fine Weka we ask again;
    Where is the part abour regional rail freight and passenger please?

    What a bout Waikato, gisborne, HB, Taranaki, Manawatu, as they all have severed rail freight and passenger services, so we want to see the regions all benefit from ‘trains’ for freight and passengers services again as Winsto has already secured this for northland, so what are the Green Party doing now ‘in Goverment’?

    Our phone is now red hot with callers asking this of our community NGO, so we are asking the Green Party for their position.

    • Matthew Whitehead 6.1

      2. Reduce congestion and carbon emissions by substantially increasing investment in safe walking and cycling, frequent and affordable passenger transport, rail, and sea freight.
      […]
      b. National Land Transport Fund spending will be reprioritised to increase the
      investment in rail infrastructure in cities and regions, and cycling and walking.

      2b is the specific part of the Green C&S agreement that relates to securing more regional rail. (there are a couple specifics in this part, but they all relate to urban projects) I know it’s not specific about what parts or services will be funded yet, but taken together with NZF’s $1b regional slush fund, that should have some excellent implications for rail in the regions. Ministers are just getting their feet wet now, but I look forward to you getting good replies from Phil Twyford, Julie Anne Genter, and Shane Jones on this issue, and it’s one of the big win areas for both the goverment partners in this deal IMO. We’re all impatient to see where the wins will be, but we do have to accept that in areas that policies have to be vetted, we simply won’t find out the general details in the first few days, and maybe not even in the first month.

      Obviously the Green Party’s preferred position is their pre-election policies, (including their endorsement of Greater Auckland’s northern rail line out east of Hamilton, and the Ruahine Runner policy released during the election by the Greens) and I expect Julie Anne to put all of them in as budget bids, but it will depend how the government cost-benefit analyses come back, what Twyford okays, and how much of the budget pie and the regional slush fund that Transport gets, and how much of that “reallocation” is poured into rail specifically rather than buses, cycle-oriented, or pedestrian-oriented spending. (with the latter two of course being far more relevant to urban NZ than the regions)

  7. OnceWasTim 7

    I can just imagine the gNats – along with a few a few Richardsons, Garners et al ramping up their bullshit now.
    These are goals mutually negotiated with coalition partners – nothing that even a traditionalist/nz1/ardent nationalist concerned with a sustainable democracy could object to – and they haven’t.

    It’s a big workload but from what I’ve seen so far, Green/Labour/NZF1 are up for it.
    When and if they’re criticised, and its coming now even though they’ve been in government a few days, they can always pull the National Party spin: It’s esprayshunull

    The trolls are out in force on various platforms already (Lisa Owen’s “but but but buts”; Mora’s panelistas; @Wayne and @James busy desperately trying to hold the ladder steady – probably the same ladder National’s Imelda Marcos was so ready to pull up after her.
    Maybe they’ll pull out Lindsay Perigo soon – if he’s not already here.
    I’ve almost decided to stay instead of opting for my twilight years in the third world.

    • Matthew Whitehead 7.1

      Lisa Owen isn’t a troll, she pulls the same “but X” or “but Y” trick on everyone she interviews because she’s a journalist. The Greens, and of course the coalition members too, will all be getting it more now because they’re the government.

      Let’s not be National and pretend every journalist is out to get us- there are some that objectively are, like the Garners and Hoskings of the world, but others will ask tough questions because it’s their job, and because this is a government that is more commited to leaving behind at least some of the neoliberal project than any other since the 1980s, so naturally those journalists-of-habit who like the status quo are panicking. Some of them because they genuinely are partisans for neoliberalism, but even among the pro-establishment journalists, there’s also those who are panicking simply because they’ve never known anything else but neoliberalism, and as that latter category settles down and realizes we’re sadly not throwing the whole thing in the bin just yet, and that there will probably still be room for MSM journalists to continue making obscene amounts of cash, they’ll probably relax a little.

      For now, the only ones we need to get shirty with are the ones that are always and categorically against us- so you know, let’s continue trying to get hosking banned from any serious news, (and yes, that means he can stay on seven sharp) and keeping up our sharp critique of insipid commentary from Garner et all.

      • Karen 7.1.1

        +1
        I personally don’t like Lisa Owen’s interviewing technique, which seem to be focussed on producing a “gotcha” for the 6pm news rather than responding to what the interviewee is actually saying, but she does it with everyone – and at least she is very smart. Mike Hosking and Duncan Garner, on the other hand, are not smart and they are also decidedly partisan. Both have very wide platforms to spout their ignorant, right-wing drivel and this is concerning.

        • Matthew Whitehead 7.1.1.1

          Agreed with the gotcha questions, but at least she pulls it consistently with everyone, and what more can you expect from journalists on the two main TV channels? It’s largely where journalists go to make money rather than to make news, so any little stretch of integrity you can get there puts you above the average in my books. Lisa Owen is one of the better ones, even if I don’t like her style and am much happier listening to RNZ than watching her.

          • OnceWasTim 7.1.1.1.1

            I think we’ll have to agree to disagree Mathew W. and Karen as far as she “pulls it consistently” with everyone – ‘consistently” being the operative word.
            You could argue similarly over someone like Espiner, right up until the time you trawl back over a number of interviews over time.
            As to her intelligence and other positive attributes – we agree.

            I was a bit harsh in suggesting she’s a troll but also I pray she’s never allowed near RNZ – the style of interview has already crept through the door

            • Matthew Whitehead 7.1.1.1.1.1

              I don’t actually think we disagree too much. I think Espiner needs to sharpen up to RNZ’s usual standard and that Owen belongs nowhere near RNZ, that the big TV news isn’t real journalism, and that Owen is a real journalist, but she’s not a good journalist. But we can’t assume she’s specifically our enemy just because, like Guyon, she relies on gotcha interviewing. The real reason she’s a bit of a problem is that she’s one of those establishment journalists I was talking about who relies on established narratives to craft a story- eg. neoliberalism is how capitalism has always been done, National are good with finances, (lol) etc… etc…

              She certainly is friendlier to National than Labour or the Greens. (not in tone of question, but in ease of addressing her question’s frame) But that’s not because she has a political bias. It’s because she has an establishment bias.

              • weka

                Explain this to me, because I’m struggling to see how Labour aren’t establishment, and if they’re not then establishment = RW. How is that not political?

  8. greywarshark 8

    What about business and jobs so that people are free to make use of opportunities and do things that will result in them having lives they can enjoy. What about helping employment initiatives. Pay people to work somehow, and allow them to earn up to the living wage, for quite a while before pulling the plug and tailing benefits off. Save them from despair and feelings of exclusion, of being worthless, cast out, homeless, friendless, abused by others and/or the system.

    It may be useful to see what KPMG the economists? the auditors? the ubiquitous business analysts, say about the successful parts of Maori business and what it can teach the rest of the country because we sure need to learn some new things that can help us to be successful in improving our standard of living.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/343039/nz-firms-could-learn-from-maori-business-approach-kpmg

    Māori organisations were included in KPMG’s The Road Ahead Survey of Corporate Responsibility Report for the first time.
    The survey found four of the top 10 highest revenue earning Māori organisations in New Zealand engaged with corporate responsbility reporting, with Ka[i]tiakitanga being a key practice of Māori companies….

    …I feel the Māori economy is an integral part of fuelling New Zealand’s prosperity, I feel that they [Māori organisations] are very important to New Zealand’s economy.”
    The Māori economy was estimated this year to be worth more than $50 billion…

    Associate professor and dean at the University of Auckland Business School Chellie Spiller said quadruple bottom lines focused on social, environmental, economic and cultural bottom lines in separation from each other.
    “A kaitiakitanga approach looks at all of those in interwoven relationships.”

    • Matthew Whitehead 8.1

      The new government have plenty of policies that will help business. Raising the minimum wage actually does this, as there’s good evidence that every raise so far has stimulated the economy. Investment into the regions will do this. Pouring funding back into health (so your workers aren’t taking off so much) and education (so you can rely on new grads) will do this. Ending ruinous tax cuts and spending it on effective policies will also do this, as there is substantial evidence that tax cuts for the wealthy actually cost jobs, and thus are a driver towards economic slowdown.

      There will of course be more, both general, like I’ve listed, and specific, too. I agree with you that investment in Māori business and people is highly effective as well, (would bet that it’s generally a better deal than investment in Pākehā tbh) as ending the lack of economic participation in certain parts of that community is one critical way to making us a fairer, wealthier, and more happy nation. It is both a symptom of inequality and a driver of it, and every person not yet given that chance to participate more fully in society is someone who could not only be living a better and more fulfilling life if they had something they cared about to do, (paid or unpaid) but they could also be supporting their community and/or the economy in that work, making things better for other people in their family and community as well.

      (That said, just investing in business and jobs and working to end the housing crisis without taking other approaches at the same time isn’t going to end child poverty isn’t going to be enough. See the fact that lots of us are annoyed that Labour (and possibly NZ First) aren’t taking low welfare rates seriously enough as part of the obstacle to people getting on their feet and making their own way in life, as a lot of those people on benefits can’t easily get back into a job without more help. That’s not to say benefits are the only other area we should work on of course- like with housing, we probably need to throw every different reasonable approach at this problem until we start to see real progress with certain combinations)

      • greywarshark 8.1.1

        Thanks Matthew
        Points noted. But I want to see individuals encouraged to be entrepreneurial in small ways. And league tables for how many new skilled people from that area
        are starting things to set up a competitive, can-do spirit.

        Locally there has been a small funding agency for individuals and socially responsible business to get small grants. There used to be a Canterbury
        run fund that allocated money to it, now called the Rata Foundation. It has had a change of name to Rata Foundation and seems to have dropped drastically the funding available. It seems to fit to the tendency to only embrace charity and sport, but we need a new emphasis on personal development,

        • Matthew Whitehead 8.1.1.1

          Yeah, I think personal development is just as important as economic development. (honestly, it’s hard to do one without the other!)

  9. Angel Fish 9

    The greens are a complete joke until they start talking about sustainable food sources.
    Basically, promoting and helping a plant based lifestyle should also be in the top of their priorities! Anything less is pretentious.

    • Mister Smokey 9.1

      So what are are you doing about sustainable food sources then Angel Fish? Come on, don’t just whinge, kindly share your knowledge with we hopeless jokers. Lead on.

    • Matthew Whitehead 9.2

      What policy would you like in that area, Angelfish, and how do you suggest they sell it to voters? I’m a vegetarian and so are three others in my close family, (I also usually avoid eggs and milk) but not even all Greens are, and there are significant dietary issues with going completely vegan for some people given their lifestyles and/or health requirements. (I have a family member who had to bring back meat into her diet because she couldn’t balance things while still also being gluten free for health reasons, for instance)

      I absolutely think reducing meat intake is a great climate policy, but I’m really not sure how to sell more New Zealanders on that. I only became a vegetarian because I intended to try it out for one week to reduce my impact on the climate, and simply kept going afterwards. I don’t think that will work for everyone else. Even meatless mondays are a tough sell for some kiwis.

      • Angel Fish 9.2.1

        @Matthew Whitehead

        You have to say it as it is! You tell the people the truth about the consequences of their actions. Better, you hold people accountable to their actions (by word not by force).

        We have to ask ourselves as to whether we consider climate change among other issues as a joke, or whether it’s something to be prioritized.
        Either climate change is a real threat, or it is some paranoid doomsday theory, like “2012 mayan clandera” or some shit.

        If the green party acts as if it is fully alert on climate change and that it is earnest to try and change it, then it shouldn’t engage in self censorship.
        I am not talking about forcing things on to people btw.

        Simply get rid of any subsidies given to the animal agriculture industry and if at all only give subsidies to local crop producers, and only in proportion to their supplies towards locals.

        That alone will have a huge impact towards motivating the customers without actually forcing anything on them (they’ve no right to expect subsidies).

        • weka 9.2.1.1

          I’ll say it again, meat vs plant isn’t the critical factor in climate change. The push towards plants is written about almost always within the context of the global food supply and industrialisation i.e. it is dependent upon fossil fuels.

          When you start looking at how to produce food for people that (a) doesn’t need fossil fuels, (b) doesn’t need artificial fertiliser (c) doesn’t rely on pesticides and (d) regenerates ecologies rather than destroying them, then the solutions look very different.

          Buying monstantoed soy, or even organic lentils from China, just swaps one set of industrial SS problems for another. Look up the impact of ploughing on CC and the destruction of the soil’s capacity to sequester carbon (and that’s not even getting to what ploughing does to soil fertility, so google Peak Soil while you are at it).

          In NZ, the problem isn’t eating meat and dairy protein. It’s that farming in NZ is growth driven. Our carbon emissions related to farming aren’t because we’re not all vegetarians. It’s because we want to make shit loads of money in the context of a growth economy. They’re two different things (eating meat/making money). Best we stop conflating them.

  10. cleangreen 10

    Hi Matthew Whitehead,

    Our Environment Centre is now 16yrs old and still fighting for Green Party support for our very badly needed regional east coast freight rail services.

    Our Environment Centre began from us as four Green Party members back when Green Party had a very strong ‘active’ rail base.

    So we came from those ‘active rail’ membership days when we held rallies outside council’s offices (as councillors were entering their pivotal ‘anti’ rail meetings,) and sometimes at public meetings, which the ‘modern Green Party no longer are ‘active’ with such ‘active’ evets it does seem

    So your response to our request for green party “position on regional rail was to direct us to a very vague section ‘b’ of a paragraph of a short sentence of a transport policy.

    This is not very enlightening ‘riveting’ commentary on the importance of rail I would say, to say the obvious, as most people would not ‘grasp’ the relevance of those few words caught up with other transport issues.

    We searched the globe for other green Party policies in other countries with were in partnership with other governments.

    We found the UK Government with the UK Green Party had four pages of very ‘riveting’ rail focussed detailed account of the importance of using rail freight around UK to save their environment.

    Our centre sent this detailed UK document to Julie Anne Genter & Russel Norman/Meteria Turei, Gareth Hughes, before the last election in 2014 and it was not taken up then so now we see the current rail policy is no better than in 2014 which is sadly lacking.

    We wish to see the NZ Green Party at least ‘devote ‘two or three pages to the ‘advantages of using rail over road freight now more than ever.

    See below our Environmental Centre record’s of the 2014 letters sent to NZ Green party in 2014 for the records.

    Thank you Matthew. Our Environment Centre hope you can have a ‘more focussed rail policy’ in future.
    ===================================================================

    For Matthew Whitehead – this was what our Environment Centre received from the Green Party Leader James Shaw last night (it was the same ’20 goals’.

    So all our efforts back in 2014 to get a ‘more comprehensive rail policy with several pages on rail freight importance’ has not yet been adopted by this ‘modern Green party’ sadly. We will never give up on rail as trucks are killing us and our environment, remember the average truck has 34 tyres, so trucks shed tyre dust pollution into our air and waterways, and rail freight only uses steel wheels!!!!! I for one wished people would finally grasp this point clearly now as time is short for change.

    Then we added for you our responses we sent to the green Party in 2014 23/8/14 to alert the Green Party and Julie Anne Genter about the current lack of NZGP ‘focus’ on rail freight ‘compared to UK GP, and then added NZPG responses to us then in 2014 ( a day later) 24/8/14 for your information to put you in the picture..
    From: James Shaw, Green Party Co-Leader [mailto:info@greens.org.nz]
    Sent: Saturday, 4 November 2017 12:56 PM
    To: ——–
    Subject: 20 Goals, backyard trapping tips—————————————————

    ————————————————————————————————————————
    ——- an update from the Green Party.
    From: Julie Anne Genter [mailto:JulieAnne.Genter@parliament.govt.nz]
    Sent: Sunday, 24 August 2014 11:32 p.m.
    To: Dr. Russel Norman; ‘Metiria Turei, Green Co-Leader’; Gareth Hughes
    Subject: RE: Dear Green Party, Where is our policy of restoration of regional rail services outside Auckland please, as our Centre is receiving many calls about the regions who have lost regional rail services especially freight movement

    Hi ——,

    In our transport budget we allocate $10.4b to new public transport infrastructure AND rail. In our full costing, $4b of this is to kiwi rail infrastructure so virtually all regional rail.

    This should be enough to cover a major transformation in our national rail network, including reopening the Gisborne line and massively improving rail around the country.

    I think you will find we are the only party that has costed our promises and demonstrated how we will substantially invest in regional rail in a credible and transformational way.

    Cheers
    Julie Anne
    Sent with Good (www.good.com)
    —–Original Message—–
    =====================================================================
    From: ——-
    Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2014 06:49 AM New Zealand Standard Time
    To: Dr. Russel Norman; ‘Metiria Turei, Green Co-Leader’; Julie Anne Genter; Gareth Hughes
    Subject: Dear Green Party, Where is our policy of restoration of regional rail services outside Auckland please, as our Centre is receiving many calls about the regions who have lost regional rail services especially freight movements of export products? HB Gisborne

    ENVIRONMENTAL CENTRE 2001. URGENT
    ‘EAST COAST TRANSPORTATION PROJECT.’
    Dear Russel, Metira, Julie Anne, & Gareth, 23rd August 2014.
    Serious omissions in your Transport policy here must be corrected to include regional rail outside of Auckland Wellington Ch Ch.

    In the Green Party Transport policy there are serious omissions here, Consider the following,

    Rail restoration to H.B. Gisborne and other provincial regions have no mention here for return of road freight to rail, so we have safe pollution free suburban lives again and a clean environment?
    The Provinces? – No mention of Provincial rail?

    Dear Green Party, Where is our policy of restoration of regional rail services outside Auckland please?

    Our Centre is receiving many calls about all the regions who have lost regional rail services especially freight movements of export products and tourism/passenger rail again?

    HB Gisborne has been previously promised by Greens to support restoration of regional rail and no references are found on any Green Party policy statement and this is raising community concerns.

    Please place additions covering all regional rail services as Labour and NZ First has please.

    Secretary,
    East Coast Transportation Project
    ====================================================================
    From: James Shaw, Green Party Co-Leader [mailto:info@greens.org.nz]
    Sent: Saturday, 4 November 2017 12:56 PM
    To: ————
    Subject: 20 Goals, backyard trapping tips

    ——- an update from the Green Party.

    .

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