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The Greens are thinking ahead

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, July 26th, 2020 - 126 comments
Categories: climate change, election 2020, Environment, greens, infrastructure, labour, political parties, science, uncategorized, Unions, workers' rights - Tags:

The Green Party has been busy.  And unlike the National Party whose definition of “policy announcement” is to announce a new road, they have come up with an impressive policy document Think Ahead, Act Now: Our Green Vision for Aotearoa which is clearly designed to be a starting point in a future MMP negotiation and a blueprint for how a Labour Green government could work.

Of the document Marama Davidson has said this:

“In the upcoming weeks we will launch key, visionary, costed policies that are focussed on climate action, healthy nature and equality.

“Those announcements will be the driving force of what we want to achieve in the next term of Government.

“Sitting underneath those key priorities is this wider policy platform that speaks more broadly to who we are and what we stand for.

“It’s a bold plan for Aotearoa, where everyone has what they need to thrive, our precious natural environment is protected, and communities are supported to be truly sustainable.

“Successive governments have created a system which favours a few at the expense of the rest, while allowing nature to be degraded.

“COVID-19 has shone a light on the glaring holes in our system, but has also provided a rare opportunity to renew our communities and our relationship with nature.

“The Green Party knows we’re at a crossroads, and we must make smart decisions now to create a New Zealand we’re proud to pass on. The policy platform we’re releasing today shows just how committed we are to transforming Aotearoa for the better.”

The document is impressive.  There are separate sections for healthy nature, fairer communities and a green economy.  The document itself is 49 pages of concise policy proposals.

Time and space prevent me from doing a detailed analysis but it contains policies such as these:

The water proposals will go some way to respecting the Treaty of Waitangi:

  • Create a fair system for water allocation, with commercial users like water bottling companies paying a resource rental fee, and allocation phased down to sustainable levels. Iwi and hapū will be involved in designing a framework that recognises te mana o te wai Māori interests, prioritises ecological integrity, and protects food production.
  • Uphold the kaitiaki, proprietary, and customary rights of iwi and hapū over water

The Oceans policy will not please the Talley brothers:

  • Ban set netting and phase out the most destructive forms of commercial fishing, such as bottom trawling, dredging, and other bottom impact methods.
  • Accelerate the roll-out of monitoring cameras on commercial fishing boats.

Proposed changes to the Bill of  Rights Act are interesting:

  • Update the Bill of Rights Act to include the right to privacy, and the right to a sustainable environment that is protected for the benefit of present and future generations.

Their poverty action policies are heading towards a Universal Basic Income:

  • Ensure a Guaranteed Minimum Income of $325 per week for students and people out of work, no matter what.
  • Introduce a Universal Child Benefit for each child under three of $100 per week.
    Replace Working for Families tax credits with a Family Support Credit of $190 per week for the first child and $120 per week for each younger child.
  • Change abatement and relationship rules so people and their partners can earn more from paid work before their income support entitlements are reduced.
  • Provide additional support for sole parents through a $110 per week top-up.
  • Reform ACC to become the Agency for Comprehensive Care, creating equitable social support for everyone with a work-impairing health condition or disability, with a minimum payment of 80% of the full-time minimum wage.
  • Introduce a new tax of 1 per cent on an individual’s net wealth above $1 million and 2 per cent on net wealth over $2 million. This tax would only affect the wealthiest 6 per cent of New Zealanders.
    Create two new top income tax brackets for a more progressive tax system that redistributes wealth.

As well as this:

  • Support all students not in paid employment with a Guaranteed Minimum Income of at least $325 a week. Those in part-time employment will also receive support.

Their climate change policies, which appear in all sections, are impressive and include these:

  • Bring forward the Government’s target for 100% renewable electricity from 2035 to 2030, and re-instate the ban on building new fossil-fuel electricity generation.
  • Equip all suitable public housing with solar panels and batteries, saving people on their power bills and enabling them to share clean energy with their neighbours.
  • Make it 50% cheaper for everyone to upgrade to solar and batteries for their own homes, with government finance.
  • Create a community Clean Energy Fund to support communities, iwi, and hapū to build and share low-cost, clean energy.
  • Train thousands of people for clean energy careers with a Clean Energy Industry Training Plan, developed with the energy industry, training providers, and unions.
  • Ban new fossil-fuelled industrial heating systems and boilers in our first 100 days in Government, end industrial coal use in Aotearoa by 2030, and end industrial gas use by 2035.
  • Increase financial and advisory support for businesses to replace fossil fuels with clean energy alternatives.
  • Reform the Crown Minerals Act so it facilitates a just transition towards ending fossil fuel extraction, and stop issuing permits for new onshore fossil fuel extraction.
  • Update planning rules to make it easier to build new wind farms.
  • Encourage time of use pricing options for major electricity retailers, and encourage local generation and energy storage instead of building more poles and wires.
  • Make electric cars more affordable and invest in better cycle lanes, buses, and trains.
  • Replace industrial fossil fuel use with clean energy and continue working towards 100% renewable electricity.
  • Let emissions prices rise to incentivise polluters to switch to clean alternatives, and recycle the revenue back to households and businesses.
  • Pull all government investments out of fossil fuel companies and work towards ending fossil fuel subsidies.
  • Commit to a Just Transition approach, working with affected communities, businesses, and unions to create good, sustainable new jobs.
  • Work with local government, iwi, hapū and communities to increase resilience and plan for the changing climate, especially in coastal areas.
  • Push for Aotearoa to play a leading role internationally to reduce global emissions and uphold the Paris Agreement.
  • Implement emissions budgets, following advice from the Climate Change Commission.
  • Commit to a ten-year programme to upgrade intercity and regional rail, including fast, electric passenger and freight trains, connecting major towns and cities.
  • Make buses, ferries, and trains frequent and affordable, and build new, rapid bus and train services in our major cities to avoid traffic and make it faster to get around.
  • Design people-friendly streets that are safer for walking and cycling, particularly around schools.
  • Expand electric vehicle charging stations across Aotearoa.
  • Introduce fuel efficiency standards for cars and a clean car discount to make electric cars cheaper and reduce pollution.

And their workplace policies are, checks notes, more pro union than Labour’s.

  • Move to default union membership so people automatically join a union when they start a new job, but can opt out.
  • Encourage worker representation on boards of publicly listed companies.
  • Restore the right to solidarity strikes and political strikes.

There is a lot more.

The proposals are thought through and impressive.

Clearly we need a Labour Green Government without the hand break of a New Zealand First coalition partner.

New Zealand please do what is necessary.

126 comments on “The Greens are thinking ahead ”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    NZFirst a "handbrake"?

    Heartbreak more like.

  2. solkta 2

    Clearly we need a Labour Green Government without the hand break of a New Zealand First coalition partner.

    Not only that but a Labour Green Government where the Greens have sufficient seats to actually get Labour to agree to these policies. Party Vote Green for a labour Labour government.

  3. KJT 3

    Good Summation Micky.

    Policies that many in Labour will also agree with.

    Most fit within the goals of the first Labour Government.

    • mickysavage 3.1

      Thanks KJT I kept nodding my head as I read them.

    • Descendant Of Smith 3.2

      Policies that many in Labour will also agree with.

      I assume you are referring to the Labour voters not the Labour politicians. The Labour politicians certainly don't support many of those policies and haven't for a long time.

      I'd like to see a return to an 8 hour working day, 40 hour working week for all with mandated time and a half after those hours.

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    A Labour/Green Government could take us to un-dreamed of places, politically/socially/economically/environmentally – this both excites and terrifies, depending upon your pov.

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    Good stuff from the Greens. They have a line on so many daily life issues that affect working class people, and the health of the country. Welfare reform, opt out unionism, affordable public transport, solar implementation, EV charging, Rail rather than roading, quite a list. I will be party voting Green. A critical mass of Informed voters will hopefully receive the Green message loud and clear.

    In the wake of C19 round one, it is almost a patriotic duty to vote “ Jacinda” in Sept. But Ms Ardern as a personage, will only appear on the Mt Albert Electorate voting forms, so practically that means party vote Labour, which seems some ask for regular Tory supporters in the privacy of the little cardboard booth…but we live in hope. The Govt. perhaps just needs to ask the “Jacinda converts” do you want a lid kept on Covid?–National cannot be trusted to do that–Labour has and will continue to keep you safe with your active support.

    Labour still needs to retire structural and legislative neo liberalism–and make a grovelling apology for the Rogernomics wrecking ball–before I would party vote for them again. The moment of truth will be if a Labour/Green Govt. can be achieved, Labour’s true post Covid intentions would likely be clear before Xmas.

    A govern alone NZ Labour party should remain in the dreams of Labour loyalists and insiders. Go Greens.

  6. novacastrian 6

    The Greens polled in excess of 9% to 11% prior to the 2017 election, yet only achieved 6.2% on Election Day.

    The party has progressively decreased its voter share over the past few years, this appears to be in line with their drift from "green" policies, to far left spectrum "red" policies, or as an Foreign commentator recently stated…"the global Greens political identity has gone from hugging trees & fluffy animals, to embracing the fringes of eco fascism"

    When presently polling has them a little over 6% presently, so based upon past election forecasts, they will probably only achieve approximately 3% to 4% on Election Day this year.

    It's an established political fact in NZ, that the Greens always poll much higher pre-election, than the result they achieve at an election.

    I feel Labour will govern in their own right come the election, with the Greens and NZ First both being shown the political exit door. Though with the advent of Collins running the National camp, I think the election results will be much closer.

    • mickysavage 6.1

      How about you provide a link for your quoted comment? It sounds like something that Chris Moncton would say.

      And instead of the smear how about you detail which policies are far left spectrum red policies?

    • Chris T 6.2

      Think it is similar to NZF

      People polled are to embarrassed to say Winston, and then vote for him, so he always gets more.

      The Greens it is the other way round. It sounds trendy and caring to say Green and they end up voting Labour or the Nats

      • Craig H 6.2.1

        Personally, I think it's more likely that undecideds vote NZ First in larger numbers as a good protest vote, while Green voters know that's who they are voting for, so don't show up in the undecideds much.

    • Incognito 6.3

      6.3%

    • weka 6.4

      The Greens polled in excess of 9% to 11% prior to the 2017 election, yet only achieved 6.2% on Election Day.

      The party has progressively decreased its voter share over the past few years, this appears to be in line with their drift from "green" policies, to far left spectrum "red" policies,

      Most recent poll had the Greens on 9%. The drop in 2017 was due to the fall out from Turei's speech and two MPs stepping out of caucus line as well as the rise of Jacinda Ardern.

      The Greens have had strong leftist policy up front and held their 10 – 11%. The jump from 6% to 11% in 2011 happened after Turei was elected co-leader. The poll after Turei's speech in 2017 and before the Labour leader change had the Greens on 15%.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Party_of_Aotearoa_New_Zealand#Electoral_results

    • observer 6.5

      If we're talking "established political facts", a more relevant one is that Election Day is not the result.

      The Greens consistently pick up votes and seats on special votes. Last time National lost 2, the Greens gained 1 and Labour 1. That changed the government – without it, a Lab-NZF-Green majority would have been only 61, and Winston would probably have backed National.

      An even more relevant "established political fact" is that the Greens have fought 7 elections, and their score is 7 out of 7. And bear in mind that most of those previous elections offered more options for left-leaning voters.

  7. Chris T 7

    The problem I have with the Greens is who pays for all this……..The averagely paid worker like me who will end up paying so much they just end up growing the numbers at the bottom.

    It is pushing the average into becoming the bottom via extreme tax.

    • weka 7.1

      have a look at their tax policies, across the board. They're not saying that low income earners will pay more tax.

      • Chris T 7.1.1

        True, But in different areas these days and housing yourself prices, with your PAYE paying worker she is getting a bit hazy on what is high or low income.

        • weka 7.1.1.1

          can you please point to the bit in their policy where your tax bracket will end up paying more PAYE?

          • Chris T 7.1.1.1.1

            There isn't, but it will no doubt end up being it.

            There will be more fuel tax, environmental taxes etc.

            Maybe I am wrong, but I doubt it.

            • weka 7.1.1.1.1.1

              ok, so you fear the Greens but for no evidence based reason.

              • Sacha

                someone on Facecloth said so.

              • Chris T

                I don't fear anybody.

                I just don't particularly trust them running the country.

                It is purely a personal thing, but I don't really trust anyone who is in power as a party leader who has tried to re-claim the c word (referring to women) as some how it is an actual issue, or the other one supporting benefit fraud.

                Don't get me wrong. Shaw seems like a fairly good bloke, but the rest……….

                • weka

                  this is essentially a taste and morality position as well as cultural fit. Which is fine, I just think it's better to be honest about that than make up things about policy.

                  • Roy cartland

                    Not even, I reckon…

                    Reclaiming the c word is far less of a big deal than, say harassing waitresses, sexting teenagers, breaching privacy and lying about it, etc… But it gets equal or more attention in the media to any of their good policy stuff.

                    It's media bias, and people fall for it.

                    • weka

                      that's the morality position 😉

                    • Chris T

                      Personally I think before criticising one sides dodgy history when it comes to weird behavior should only be done when the other side has a bit cleaner slate.

                  • Chris T

                    I agree.

                    But I wouldn't call it moral. It is political philosophy.

                    I have no issues with our benefit systems. People need a hand up through things no fault of their own.

                    But the taking from the rich to supplement the poor more and more with the Greens always seems (TO ME) to miss out the giving the poor the tools and skills to dig themselves out of poverty bit,

                    • weka

                      the objection to the c word struck me as a morality thing.

                      Give poor people money they will buy a spade and dig a garden. Evidence shows that cash transfers work for what you are suggesting. I agree it's a philosophical issue, and beliefs about whether poor people can be trusted or not.

                  • Chris T

                    I don't actually see it as a trust issue.

                    99% of benefeciaries would no doubt not feed themselves to make sure their kids do.

                    I know as I grew up seeing it with my mother.

                    But just throwing more and more money without giving the tools to get out of the situation seems a bit tail chasing.

                  • Chris T

                    Simple stuff like more free child care during the week, so that the carer (female or male) can actually work without having to worry about their kids.

                    And more free courses so they would have more time to train in new skills to help with achieve the former.

                    Maybe up the amount people can earn through work on top of the benefit, so it slowly adjusts peoples routines if it is just part time stuff.

                    Coordinated efforts to get people together to come up with ideas to maybe start a home business. (everyone has different skill sets that can be quite good combined)

                    Sorry. That was just off the top of my head so might sound stupid

                    Edit: Should add with the business thing. With govt funded guidance people

                    • KJT

                      Agree with all of that. I think you will find those within Green and even Labour policies. Lowering abatement rates going of the dole for example.

                      Bringing back community education is a good start. And subsidising training. So long as employers actually train people instead of just using them as cheap labour.

                    • weka

                      doesn't sound stupid, those are solid ideas. As KJT says, most of these are G or L policy.

                  • Chris T

                    Thank you, but it never seems to actually happen, does it?

                    They just through more money at people.

                    • weka

                      Not really, Labour hasn't raised benefits. The sticking point is NZF, and also Labour to an extent.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      Well that defies actual history.

                      In actual fact successive governments have thrown less and less money at the poor – not more and more.

                      The facts are:
                      1. Benefits and NZS were once the same rate
                      2. Benefits and NZS were both cut to save money – as it turned the the amount of money saved was equivalent to the amount of tax that Fay Richwhite eventually paid back after the winebox enquiry
                      3. Youth defined as up to 24 for this aspect were doubly hit as they lost the adult rate for the 18 rate which previously was mainly used for things like milkboys cutting heir feet on broken bottles
                      4. After the benefit cuts many small businesses where those on benefit shopped went bust (within 6 months about 40 that I am aware of where I live as the money went out of the local economy)
                      4. NZS rates were indexed to the average wage and benefits to the CPI which meant that NZS has risen at a much faster rate than benefits – they have gone from being equal to about $140-00 a week difference.
                      5. Helen Clarks government gave NZS their $20-00 back but not beneficiaries – hint it was cheaper to give it back to beneficiaries by miles.

                      And what happened to all that money that went out of the local economy to tax-cuts for the wealthy? It enabled them to pay off their mortgages, buy rental properties, get tax rebates on their interest to offset the tax they would normally have paid i.e, further tax cuts, inflated housing prices as they competed against each other for ever bigger tax write-offs and increased rents to the very people they had taken the money off in the first place.

                      Throw money at the poor – you're totally fucking dreaming mate – it has been take off the poor since 1985 and hasn't stopped.

                      We will help you by taking 25% of your benefit.

                      https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2020/02/13/wait-what-labours-homelessness-policy-is-to-charge-those-in-emergency-housing-25-rent/

                      Think also about the economic benefit of that money going back into the local economy instead of elsewhere.

                  • Chris T

                    I don't seem to be able to reply directly to you Descendant Of Smith

                    As the reply icon seems to disappear when the thread of posts get to long.

                    Firstly

                    The Nat's raised benefit levels above inflation for the first time in 30 years a few years ago.

                    WTF have Labour done?

                    And I don;t care about super.

                    My point was giving people tools to get out of poverty, not money any way.

                    Secondly

                    Why the anger?

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      National increased one benefit group – sole parents. Everyone else remained untouched. It still howver did't make up for the years of cuts and minimal increase. They also shifted many sole parents onto Job Seeker Benefit which means you don't really know how many actual unemployed there are now.

                      Yeah there is some irony in that it was National that did that but the tools they gave were obligations which created an extremely toxic environment for those on benefit. And that is the problem with the right give tools – they become compulsory to use.

                      What makes you think I need to justify what Labour has done – I'm well on record here criticising Labour for not increasing benefit rates and I've pointed out that Helen Clark when she had a choice went for the more expensive but politically expedient option.

                      Why the anger – cause I'm sick of people suggest the poorest in this country have money thrown at them as if they have. They have fallen further and further behind, got more and more in debt, have become more and more unwell as a result.

                      More money, more than anything, will actually make a difference. It's not like they want to be poor! You might also like to think about that most unemployed are in and out of the benefit system as work comes and goes. Very few are static. Those there today will most likely not be there in 12 months – why then treat them as if they will be there forever?

                      https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/08/07/541609649/how-to-fix-poverty-why-not-just-give-people-money

                  • Chris T

                    I apologise for assuming you think Labour are great Descendant Of Smith

                    But you still are not addressing the giving the people unfortunate to be on benefits the tools to get off them, rather than just making them rely more and more on them, which leads to generational welfare dependency.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      Most of them don't need tools – they need permanent jobs for decent wages. The thing is, is that when you talk about generational dependency you blame the victim of the structural changes that have occurred.

                      Before the Rogernomics there were few people unemployed, before the GFC there were few people unemployed, unemployment was reducing – though as I pointed out it is hard to tell as National through the unwell and the sole parents into the mix – if you take those out to get a fair comparison you might be surprised how few people were fit and healthy and looking for work and of those many were frustrated at being looked over for cheaper immigrants.

                      We're about to go into another round of unemployment growth.

                      None of these jumps in unemployment have anything to do with thousands of individuals suddenly throwing their hands in the air and saying "I'm going to go on a benefit and be dependant".

                      They are structural events that drop people into there. It is not their fault and they do not want to be there. When there are jobs people will go. If you have a disability or are Maori or are over 50 the labour market discriminates against you – just like landlords do. It isn't your fault the labour market is racist and ageist and doesn't want to employ people with disabilities but you cannot fix that.

                      The structural changes need to occur to fix most of the problem.As long as we focus on individuals then the problem won't be solved.

                      Telling people they are dependent isn't a solution.

                      And yes we should provide more training and more opportunity, and more mental health services but trying to fix people when there is still no employer to employ them and give them continuity of employment and decent working conditions – like not having to supply your own vans and equipment or cleaning material – will fix much more than fixing individuals. They do not need to be fixed!

            • Andre 7.1.1.1.1.2

              There will be more fuel tax, environmental taxes etc.

              And those are bad things … exactly how?

              • Chris T

                Because people on PAYE not earning shedloads can only afford so much before they sink to those needing the tax they are paying

                • Andre

                  Perhaps that depends on what is done with the revenue raised from those taxes?

                  Such as possibly reducing PAYE at lower income levels? Or the government paying a bigger share of things that could reasonably be considered rights and/or necessary parts of society that people now have to fund out of pocket? Say, maybe bringing dental and vision care into the health system? Or improving transport so that doing without a private car becomes a viable option for more people? Maybe feed kids in schools and fund school uniforms?

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  But that can't be true because employers said give us tax cuts so we can afford to increase wages for our workers – they said that time and time and time again. You mean they didn't do that?

        • Sacha 7.1.1.2

          getting a bit hazy on what is high or low income

          Who does haziness benefit?

          • Chris T 7.1.1.2.1

            The people collecting the tax normally

            • Sacha 7.1.1.2.1.1

              The people complaining about it, perhaps. The Greens income policy had quite explicit thresholds for what counted as ‘rich’.

  8. weka 8

    thanks Micky, great to have that so accessible (there is a lot there). Also demonstrates that the Greens have and continue to do solid work despite the naysayers.

    Am looking forward to hearing more about this and what they intend,

    Update the Bill of Rights Act to include the right to privacy, and the right to a sustainable environment that is protected for the benefit of present and future generations.

    I also liked this,

    It's a small looking thing, but this is huge in terms of shifting us to a circular economy, both culturally and industrially. The flow on effects would be significant. It's this kind of progressive thinking that helps us move out of left wing BAU, game changer stuff.

    • Tiger Mountain 8.1

      Great stuff in there, you can’t win sometimes, a few online pundits are complaining about the length of the document. Have attention spans and focus really got that short?

      If the GP had merely issued a few bullet point A4s like National has done in the past, they would likely have been castigated for lack of detail!

      Bite sized policy releases, targeted to certain audiences would be good too–i.e. “opt out unionism”, consumer rights, benefit abatement rates, basic incomes for students, more EV charging facilities etc.

      • Sacha 8.1.1

        They have said they will focus on only half a dozen policy points during the election campaign. Good approach.

        • weka 8.1.1.1

          so they've produced a comprehensive, costed* and integrated policy platform for the coalition negotiations, and during the election campaign they will highlight the core aspects? This is very smart.

          *haven't quite caught up with how much is costed.

          • Sacha 8.1.1.1.1

            Not quite at the brilliant focus of 'Kids, Rivers, Jobs' from a few elections ago but I'll take it. 🙂

  9. Wayne 9

    Please New Zealand don't.

    That list is precisely why the coalition needs NZF.

    • Andre 9.1

      You wanna make the argument against any of the specific policies?

      I've had my say against the colossally ill-conceived wealth tax previously and don't particularly feel like going over that again, but I would be interested in hearing the argument against their other proposals.

      • Wayne 9.1.1

        Obviously there are some things that are OK in the list. But overall it would mean a much bigger size of government, about 30% larger, with tax rates to match.

        The level of consultation on just about any proposal would be hugely greater than at present. For instance would Auckland be able to get any more water from the Waikato River? Probably not, which will be a real handbrake on New Zealand'd largest city.

        • Sacha 9.1.1.1

          Panic-mongering much? The Greens are not going to be in power unmoderated by other parties. And a switch towards taxing wealth rather than just incomes is on its way whether your friends like it or not.

          • novacastrian 9.1.1.1.1

            @sacha

            And dictorial style decrees like your closing sentence (re: wealth tax) is why the Greens are heading to the political wilderness. It's almost arrogance, and a lesson quickly learned by the Prime Minister whilst running away from the CGT at great haste.

            • KJT 9.1.1.1.1.1

              80% polled, including, most likely most Labour/Green voters and even some thoughtful National ones I know, they do exist, agreed with a capital gains tax. A large proportion agree with taxes on wealth also.

              A bit of a mystery why Labour ran away from a CGT, as tax bludging speculators tend not to vote for them.

              If we had democracy, instead of rule by main party funders, speculators and rentiers would be taxed more, and workers, less! An idea advocated by no less a Guru than Adam Smith.

              Not Dictatorship. Democracy!

              • novacastrian

                "Not dictatorship, democracy "

                Genuinely interested in what model you propose for a democracy, as I was under the belief we already lived in a democracy. Sure, not always ideal, but it's reasonably functional and served us well for many years.

                Sometimes your team wins, sometimes it doesn't, but that's the way a democracy works. It's this very model of democracy which allowed Labour to form office last election, despite not even coming close to winning a majority to form office in the popular vote. If this isn't a functional democracy, then what is in your view?

                Just curious really, as this whole democracy argument is raised probably a dozen times a day on this site, but nobody ever cares to elaborate much on "alternate democracy".

                RE: CGT poll…I don't place too much stock in the particular poll, largely by ordered the poll, whom conducted the poll, and the manner participants were effectively "hand picked". Nothing random about the results really, I could conduct the same poll in room full of property investors and gain the exact opposite result I suspect.

                • Incognito

                  Just curious really, as this whole democracy argument is raised probably a dozen times a day on this site, but nobody ever cares to elaborate much on “alternate democracy”.

                  Really??

                  Searching “participatory democracy” here on TS gives 255 hits.

                  Searching “direct democracy” here on TS gives 280 hits.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  as I was under the belief we already lived in a democracy.

                  Your belief is, again, wrong.

                  We live in an elected dictatorship. That's how the last National government got to sell off the power companies despite the fact that the majority of NZers didn't want them to.

                  If we lived in a democracy National wouldn't have been able to do as they would have been limited by the will of the people.

                  • Chris T

                    I think you will find it was 49% and most went to the super fund and ACC

                    Edit: I am still working out the need to tell blatant untruths

                    Or at least stretch it beyond reality

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I think you will find it was 49% and most went to the super fund and ACC

                      And?

                      NZers didn't want to sell.

                      And they'd be better for NZers in state ownership than in the ACC or Super fund both of which cater to the delusional idea of capitalism, that you can get more by doing nothing.

                • KJT

                  Several have been suggested here. A randomly selected citizens committee, Direct Democracy, Swiss style binding referenda, etc.

                  All much more democratic than our current model. Even extending MMP to get rid of coat tails and decreasing the threshold is an improvement. But it is not "Democracy" when 80% are against selling strategic assets, or so called, "free trade agreements" and the Government does it anyway.

                  Some examples from me. Many other Authors have written about participative democracy.

                  Direct democracy.

                  Democracy and Capitalism

                  Representative Democracy.

                  Representative democracy is a contradiction in terms. You either have democracy, which is rule by all the people, or you do not. Representative democracy is simply a change of dictatorship, possibly, at each election.

                  • KJT

                    Democracy, Money and power.

                    "Managerial inclined types, who run major parties, know that policy that reduces corporate power, reduces their funding, and their re-election chances.
                    Increased funding from wealthy business was very noticeable in the 80's, when Labour started the Neo-liberal experiment.
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism
                    "whose advocates support extensive economic liberalization, free trade, and reductions in government spending in order to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy."
                    The immediate swinging into action of the whole corporate media, and the bashing machine, when a small party upsets the cosy Labour/National club by similarly obtaining money from a wealthy individual, or restrictions on business funding of the National party are proposed".

        • Andre 9.1.1.2

          Oddly enough, what looks to me like the biggest obstacle to increasing Auckland's water supply from the Waikato River appears to be one Russ Rimmington. Who, from his occupation and political offices he's held, I would guess is considerably more sympathetic to National than to the Greens.

        • RedBaronCV 9.1.1.3

          So we need a private sector that is 30% larger that dumps our wealth into the pockets of the 1% and off shore? Nice try Wayne but "fail".

          • KJT 9.1.1.3.1

            Wayne prefers to ignore the results of much of the privatisation of Government services. Such as the transfer of power supply from a partly tax funded service, to a privatised one, that is costing us all, including businesses, several times more than the tax reductions it enabled. Health is another example.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.3.1.1

              Its not so much that he's ignoring it – he's just not telling people who benefits from a small government.

              HINT: It's neither the workers nor the country.

        • KJT 9.1.1.4

          Which we obviously need. The pitfalls of the "small Government" which Wayne advocates, have been blatently illustrated lately. As one of the "higher income earners" which will be paying increased taxes, I am fine with the Greens aims. We will all be better off in the long term. Functional countries have a much greater Government share of the economy than ours. The "social wage" more than offsets the increased taxes.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.5

          For instance would Auckland be able to get any more water from the Waikato River? Probably not, which will be a real handbrake on New Zealand'd largest city.

          That handbrake already exists – its called over population. The only reason why Auckland is having issues with water is because there's too many of us here.

    • Stuart Munro 9.2

      We've seen the crap your lot delivered in government – if they never see the Treasury benches again it will be too soon.

    • Anne 9.3

      That is disingenuous Wayne. You know that governance especially under MMP is the art of compromise.

      I haven't studied the list closely but on the face of it there's some good stuff in there and I have no doubt Labour will be picking up on it if they haven't already done so. The rest? Well, it can be worked through item by item and modified to fit in with what is appropriate for the times and fiscally doable.

      I'm sure the Greens are looking well into the future and would not expect all their ideas to be implemented any time soon. But thank goodness we have such a party who actually have a plethora of ideas based on scientific understanding of future requirements and needs.

      Labour of course would be the dominant force and as the major party of the centre-left it can be relied upon to maintain a steady as she goes momentum acceptable to the majority of NZers.

    • Sacha 9.4

      Your kneejerk opposition is a great recommendation for their policies, Wayne.

    • Devo 9.5

      Thanks for the glowing endorsement Wayne

      Fortunately we are moving forward as a country and leaving warmongers like you in our past

      Judith attacking the "woke" actually reminds me of your role as "Political Correctness Eradicator", didn't work then and won't work now

    • Draco T Bastard 9.6

      A Nat party member saying why the coalition needs NZFirst is proof that the coalition would be better for NZ without NZFirst.

  10. Bazza64 10

    I think it is a good thing to provide for those at the bottom income levels a higher level of unemployment benefit as increased housing costs are making life a financial disaster for them. The greens are to be applauded for this, but I have a big issue with the $325 weekly payment with no conditions attached. People must work if they are physically able to & to hand out welfare like this is a long term disaster that isn’t good for NZ or the people receiving the benefits.

    • bwaghorn 10.1

      Yip I went on the dole by choice as a 20 year old ,what drove me back to work was how I couldn't support my boozing and smoking and still eat . If it had been $50 more back then ie $170 instead of $110 I would have stayed on longer .

      • KJT 10.1.1

        Yes. I've known more than a few youngsters like that.

        Usually after the've done their OE, boozy year at Uni, "their drop out and kick back" or their "space out and find themselves", they become normal working tax paying citizens, like you. The children of the wealthy get financed to do it. They often take longer to sort themselves out. Simply because they can.

        The majority will come right so long as there are education, opportunities, and jobs. That is, if they have the means and opportunity to do better. Not stuck in a poverty trap.

        But until they get their shit together, in my opinion it is better to pay them the dole, than inflict them on an employer.

        • bwaghorn 10.1.1.1

          Na you missed my point. If it had been more I would have rotted on the dole longer. Poverty drove me to work and that was a good thing .

          • McFlock 10.1.1.1.1

            Good for you.

            Not necessarily good for someone in an area (or era) with high unemployment.

          • KJT 10.1.1.1.2

            As $325 only leaves $155 a week after the current average rent for a room, I don't think increasing the dole to that much, is going to encourage more to stay on the dole.

            Don't know how long ago you were in your twenties, but the current dole rate for single youngsters hardly gives enough for a bed in a flophouse, let alone eat and drink in addition.

          • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1.3

            The poverty of the dole prevents people from building up their own business.

    • RedBaronCV 10.2

      Yeah I'd like some sort of social connection having to be maintained for the money – not necessarily job hunting. I guess I wouldn't like to see young men in particular locking them selves away playing computer games indulging in dubious websites and gaining zero social skills. Or people of any age being abused by having to claim money, hand it over and having their own lives restricted.

      • I Feel Love 10.2.1

        Games cost about the same as the weekly dole, plus subscription to online networks on top of broadband ($30+ a month), in game currency which needs to be purchased with real money too if you want DLCs and advantages etc … the idea of people sitting on the dole playing games is laughable.

    • KJT 10.3

      The fact that when the dole was much higher, almost everyone worked, gives the lie to your argument.

  11. Byd0nz 11

    Novacastrian points out some foreign commentator saying 'the global Greens political identity has gone from hugging trees & fluffy animals, to embracing the fringes of eco fascism". Well that is what dirty politics is all about, thankfully young people aint so politicaly dumb these days and I can see them pushing the green vote up, abandoning any thought of National except seeing them as an old selfish rip off party. It will be a Labour Green Government come September and a more Socialist thinking one at that with shades of Norman Kirk. The selfish 'Get Ahead' line will be well and truely buried. Bring on Communilism and a long road to a world without money.

  12. bwaghorn 12

    It was dumb to leave the wealth tax in .

    It wont be happening so why put a big target on your back.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 12.1

      Personally glad a wealth tax is part of the mix. The only ‘income’ tax I pay is 10.5% RWT on term deposit interest – it's wrong. The Green Party (still) has my party vote.

      • bwaghorn 12.1.1

        Ok say I've paid wealth tax on a $3 mil property for 10 years then it get red zoned or rezoned or a volcano pops up making it valueless, do I get my money back

        • Drowsy M. Kram 12.1.1.1

          If I owned a $3 mil property (home?), and the introduction of a wealth tax had been clearly signalled by the NZ Government, then as I don't need a $3 mil property (home?) I'd endeavour to sell it, preferably to someone who really did need it (although why anyone needs a $3 mil property (home?) is beyond me.)

          If, as in your hypothetical, you want/need to own a $3 mil property (home?), then IMHO it would be prudent to have the wherewithal to partially cover 'disaster volcano' scenarios. I wouldn’t be expecting to get all of my lovely ‘value in my property (home?)‘ money back, but could live with dropping a few rungs on the ‘wealth ladder‘ – if you’re high on the ladder to begin with, then a little drop is tolerable.

          • bwaghorn 12.1.1.1.1

            What about the old person who's been living somewhere so long there property has gotten in to the taxable bracket but they are ecking out an existence and a wealth tax will force them out of the home they hoped to finish their days in .?

            • solkta 12.1.1.1.1.1

              No problem. If you read the policy you will know that the payments can be deferred until the property is sold.

            • Incognito 12.1.1.1.1.2

              Some people, particularly retired people, may have a high value home but only modest income. These people will be able to defer payment of the net wealth tax until the home is sold, just as many councils already allow with rates payments.

              https://www.greens.org.nz/poverty_action_plan

              • bwaghorn

                Oh so it's a death tax in disguise!!

                Sorry but I hate it and you'll never convince me otherwise. Cgt at 3% on all shares and property simple un avoidable.

                • Incognito

                  Oh so it’s a death tax in disguise!!

                  No, it is not. If Granny needs to defer the tax then she can do so. If she can pay the tax, there won’t be any outstanding tax when she pops her clogs.

                  I’m sure you’re not the only want who doesn’t like it or doesn’t want to be convinced 🙂

                  • bwaghorn

                    We've all got sidetracked for my original point.

                    You will never see a wealth tax with national or labour, so why give them a bat to hit you with . ?

                    • solkta

                      If the Green Party were to only create policy that they could be sure that Labour would agree to then they would have the same policy as the Labour Party. The point of having a Green party is to provide people with an alternative, as is the point of having an election.

                    • Sacha

                      You will never see a wealth tax with national or labour

                      Boy are you in for a surprise. Maybe not this election but it can't be far away..

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Cgt at 3% on all shares and property simple un avoidable.” – death, on the other hand:

                  In 2018/2019 a record total of 5.3 billion pounds was paid in inheritance tax to HMRC.
                  https://moneytothemasses.com/tax/inheritance-tax/the-10-best-ways-to-avoid-inheritance-tax

                  If you're concerned about increasing taxes then supporting a CGT is probably your best bet. I was disappointed when Labour put the kibosh on the recommended CGT, at least for the near future.

                • KJT

                  What is wrong with that. Why should someone inherit unearned millions, without working for it, without contributing some tax?

                  Though I consider we should just have an inheritance tax over amounts of 2 million and be done with it.

        • Sacha 12.1.1.2

          If such things are not covered by your insurance, do you currently expect the rest of us to step in? Just a matter of where that collective resource gets topped-up from.

        • Incognito 12.1.1.3

          If your property gets re-zoned you’re likely to get fair compensation for your loss from the Crown, as happened, eventually, in ChCh.

          Ignoring any compensation and/or insurance payout, if your wealth goes down your tax liability goes down too, to zero at a net wealth of $one million.

          Once you have paid the tax, it is no longer yours/your money but used for the public good, e.g. for pay-outs of people whose properties were red-zoned after an earthquake 😉

    • KJT 12.2

      Then there would be a chorus of "how are you going to pay for this?".

      It would be the same as the objection to National’s. “We are going to spend 31 billion without increasing taxes, money printing or borrowing more”. Do people really take seriously, fairy tales like that?

  13. Sacha 13

    Reassuring to see good green policy already coming from coalition: https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/300066128/government-wants-100-per-cent-green-electricity-by-adding-battery-power-to-hydro-dams

    Energy Minister Megan Woods announced on Sunday the Government is looking at boosting the country’s supply of clean energy by adding capacity to some of our hydro lakes.

    Woods has commissioned a detailed business case to see if pumped hydro storage stacks up in New Zealand, in particular at Lake Onslow in Central Otago.

    The funding for the business case would come from the $3b set aside for infrastructure at Budget 2020.

    Woods also announced $70m of investment to help pay for the electrification of industrial and process heat in the lower South Island. Most industrial and process heat is generated from non-renewable sources.

  14. RedBaronCV 14

    I'd certainly like some big picture, big plans around the rationalising of the basic services monopoly industries of the sort the private sector seems utterly unable to achieve.

    We have I think 29 power company ceo's and boards plus a string of listed companies on the stock exchange capitalised at 20 billion plus – and all of this is supported by our domestic households and industry – with some of the profits going overssseas.

    We used to be able to manage the whole of NZ's electricity (including all the big dam projects ) out of about 8 stories in Rutherford house in wellington. Don't tell me the private sector is more efficient.

    Telco's much the same.

    • KJT 14.1

      Yeah. And with them "gliding on".

      Then along came privatisation, and ten times the people with many on million dollar salaries.

      More efficient?
      I suppose it employs more useless private school graduates?

  15. Grafton Gully 15

    How will wealth be assessed for tax purposes ?

    • joe90 15.1

      Valuers are a thing.

      (for mine, taxable assets discovered hidden, undeclared, or under valued to avoid taxation would be seized as the proceeds of crime)

      Wealth tax is 1% of the value of assets exceeding Rs 30 lakh.

      Valuation date for a financial year is 31 March.

      If you haven’t paid yet, add 1% interest on the tax for every month of delay.

      Penalty for evasion can be up to 500% of the tax sought to be evaded.

      Assessee can be jailed for up to 7 years if the tax evaded exceeds Rs 1 lakh.

      Penalty for delay in filing wealth tax return can be Rs 100-200 per day.

      https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/wealth/tax/find-out-if-you-have-to-pay-wealth-tax/articleshow/21053315.cms?

      • Grafton Gully 15.1.1

        Valuers assessments can disagree and share prices change constantly so how do they pin down a value ? I could be liable for $10 tax if the valuation says my wealth on 31 March is $1000,100. The admin cost would cut into the $10 and could even be more.

        • joe90 15.1.1.1

          I doubt you'd be a candidate for a wealth tax if a tenner breaks you.

          • Grafton Gully 15.1.1.1.1

            True, but that leaves my uncertainty about wealth assessment and admin costs. The uncertainty leads me to doubt the practicality of the Green's wealth tax, except as a vote gatherer from the 94%.

            • McFlock 15.1.1.1.1.1

              meh. The practicality isn't an issue so much as the specifics. House prices fluctuate all the time, and yet the rates bill is calculated every year.

              I'm sure some reasonable specifics can be nailed down once the 94% have voted.

        • KJT 15.1.1.2

          I agree tax should be on realisation.

          CGT on either sale, inheritance or transfer, is simple and harder to avoid..

          The Greens and TOP's methods of wealth tax is messy.

          And I don't like taxes when the money is not there to pay them.

          An exemption for the first million then progressive thereafter excludes most of those famous "Mum's and Dad's" and "family homes". Millionaire speculators are not your average Kiwi "Mum and Dad".

          Labour caused a few problems when they refused to consider CGT.

  16. newsense 16

    Dear media, we know about Collins. Apart from what Steven Joyce, Brownlee and Shane Jones say, you have told us very little about what the Green party is now and what they realistically would do in government.

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