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The Greens’ clever election strategy

Written By: - Date published: 12:11 pm, October 5th, 2011 - 97 comments
Categories: election 2011, greens, labour, Left, national - Tags:

Once again, the Greens have the best billboards and a great policy platform. But the really clever bit is their positioning. A lot of people don’t like National’s policies and don’t want them having a majority. They like Labour’s policies but not the personnel. Enter the Greens: good policies, nice people, and, officially, a willingness to work with and counterbalance National.

Much like the Lib Dems in the UK or the NDP in Canada, the Greens downplayed (but not abandoned) their more leftwing policies and accentuated the values that are both green and middle class. In doing so, they have positioned themselves as the closest thing left to a centrist balancing party that can moderate a rightwing government.

The results can be seen in the polls. The Greens are surging without doing a hell of a lot, just through their positioning.

If, as everyone expects, the Nats’ polling declines over the coming weeks, where will it go? Some should go back to Labour – remember, they were polling in the mid-30s just a few months ago – but I can’t see them surging to the 36-38% range at this point. But the Greens could easily pick up many people who want a potential partner for National that will control it.

This is where things get interesting. What if National really does end up needing the Greens to make a majority? They wouldn’t be able to get any of their major policies – asset sales – through unless the Greens totally sell out. If the Greens’ have any sense (and they do) they wouldn’t sip from that poisoned chalice. They’ve seen what has happened to the Lib Dems and the Maori Party.

In fact, any situation in which the Nats need the Greens for a majority would almost certainly mean a majority could also be made by leftwing parties. Now, wouldn’t that be something? National goes down to 46-47%. Act only gets 1 or 2 seats. The Greens get, say, 15%, Labour gets 31% and, with the Maori Party and/or Mana, are able to form a majority.

Sound impossible? Well, it would only take a 4% shift from the latest Roy Morgan to happen. Those kind of shifts can happen in a week in an election campaign. It could happen, although for such a coalition to work a lot of people would have to swallow their pride! Which would be a lot easier than swallowing three more years of muddling through, downgrades, and lost jobs with asset sales to boot.

Something to ponder for Labour MPs sniping at the Greens. At the moment, they’re your best ticket to the Treasury benches 😀

Go the Greens!

97 comments on “The Greens’ clever election strategy ”

  1. queenstfarmer 1

    The Greens a “centrist balancing party”? In the words of Bill Lumbergh: um, yeah, I’m gonna have to go ahead and sort of disagree with you there.

    But your scenarios are quite possible.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      That was an awesome movie. Still is, in fact.

    • Ari 1.3

      Centrist, no, balancing, certainly.

      • queenstfarmer 1.3.1

        In a sense, yes. And that is a positive thing.

        It will not be positive, however, if instead of seeking to gain some support for policies commensurate with their numbers, they instead lay out heavy-handed demands and ultimatums as some appear to be suggesting. That would damage their credibility and that of MMP.

        Maori, United and Act (despite their foibles) at least did well not to pull a Winston on the country. I suspect the Greens would be similarly responsible & reasonable (albeit perhaps at the expense of some of their more hard-line supporters, but every party can probably do without their more extreme supporters).

  2. Akldnut 2

    The Greens 15%, Labour 31% and, with the Maori Party and/or Mana

    But, but, but… thats a multi headed monster that Nactional campaigned against through the last election.

    Wait…… Nat, Act. United, MP, Greens

    Lets see if we hear that from them again

  3. Richard 3

    The bit where you stopped sounding plausible was when you said “Maori and/or Mana”. There is zero chance of Mana and Maori ever working together on anything, let alone stitching together a cobbled-together left of centre government. It will be Mana alone, and it doesn’t look like they’ll have more than two seats.

    Further, the historic trends are that ACT does better on the day, and the Greens worse, probably due to the turn-out likelihood of their relevant constituencies.  

    Also, if National fail to form government, but still get 47% of the vote, the pubic will go apeshit. There would be serious trouble: people expect the largest party to form government.

    Tldr: Labour pipe-dream, not going to happen. 

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      …people expect the largest party to form government.

      Do they or is that just you talking out your arse? The only people I’ve met who expect the party with largest vote to form the government is National voters (and that’s only because that’s what they’ve been told to think). Everybody else seems to think that the coalition with the greatest support should.

      • The Voice of Reason 3.1.1

        I’m pretty sure Peter Dunne also took that position in 2005, thinking the Nats would outpoll Labour. He backed himself into a corner and was forced to support Clark when he clearly wanted to back Brash.

  4. outofbed 4

    suppose the Greens abstained on confidence and supply in return for say, no asset sales and cleaning up the rivers?
    A lot of people don’t want asset sales but won’t vote for a Goff led Labour.
    Greens could be the answer to stopping assets sales

  5. BWS 5

    I disagree with Richard on where you stopped sounding plausible. Where you stopped sounding plausible is where you said that National would bleed voters to the Greens. So National voters might vote Green knowing they would go with National, and Green would then go with Labour, alienate the Green voters who were former National voters, and there would be no negative consequence for the Greens?

    Yeah right.

    • felix 5.1

      Those “National voters” you describe aren’t staunch National supporters, they’re the soft vote that Key picked up in 08.

      They’re not party members. They don’t even believe in most of what National traditionally stands for. Mostly they just voted for Key for a bit of a change and a north of $50 a week tax cut (lol, the tax cut did turn out to be change for most of them – pocket change!)

      Lots of them voted Labour in 99, 02 & 05. Lots more voted for the very first time in 08.

      What makes you so sure they wouldn’t vote for a nice, tidy, sensible, middle-of-the-road Green party?

      • Pete George 5.1.1

        I agree with you there.

        I’m sure there are a quite a few voters similar to me who supported National for a change last time but who have previously voted both Labour and Green prior to that.

        I wionder if there’s been any research done on how many swing voters there are in the middle. There have been large apparent movements late in campaigns before (or late commitments).

        The core National vote was low twenties ten years ago, so more than half of their current support could be potential swingers.

      • Ari 5.1.2

        Right, the Greens won’t be appealing to hard-core national supporters, despite the shrill whining from environmental conservatives who want the “progressive greens” back, even though they didn’t even break 1%.

        Green policies are honestly far more populist than they’re portrayed (if you listened to political commentators you’d think the Greens were nothing but “radical hippie vegans” and drug reformers) and most of them have broad popular or at least technocratic approval.

  6. outofbed 6

    Probably not in the Greens Interest to ‘go” with either of them.
    it is well to remember that Green Voters are a different kettle of fish to Green activists/members , something the Green Party is waking up to

  7. davidc 7

    Greens only chance of actually making changes to NZ is to go into coalition with National.

    IF Nat dropped to 46% (10% drop in less than 8 weeks) the Nats would still bolt in to form a govt with UF and Act. Act allways get 2% more vote than they poll.

    What would the Greens prefer, to stay forever on the outside or actually make a change?

    • toad 7.1

      A party doesn’t “make a difference” if half its activists resign and it gets turfed out of Parliament at the next election.  Here’s a little list of policies and practices National might have to consider abandoning get a deal that would be acceptable to the Greens:

      * Massive subsidies to greenhouse gas polluters
      * Funding uneconomic roading projects
      * Dairy intensification
      * Mining in National Parks
      * Support for new coal mining proposals
      * Deepwater offshore drilling
      * New fossil fuel powered electricity generation
      * Privatisation of energy companies
      * Tax cuts that disproportionately favour the rich
      * Nil real increases in the minimum wage
      * Privatisation of ACC
      * Borrowing to rebuild Christchurch
      * The Welfare Working Group’s recommendations
      * Discrimination against beneficiaries in Working for Families
      * Participating in other countries’ wars
      * Unnecessary use of Parliamentary urgency

       What’s the chances?

      • felix 7.1.1

        Depends. Will it be put to the party membership to vote on?

      • queenstfarmer 7.1.2

        Strange list, toad:

        * Massive subsidies to greenhouse gas polluters
        – already not happening

        * Funding uneconomic roading projects
        – already not happening

        * Dairy intensification
        – agree, and not aware of any such policy.

        * Mining in National Parks
        – no more than under Labour

        * New fossil fuel powered electricity generation
        – already more renewable energy now than under Labour (which went backwards)

        * Privatisation of energy companies
        – already not happening (there is partial privatisaiton, though, if it is not delayed)

        * Tax cuts that disproportionately favour the rich
        – already not happening

        * Nil real increases in the minimum wage
        – already not happening. Minimum wage reached its highest ever real level under this Govt

        * Privatisation of ACC
        – already not happening.

        * Borrowing to rebuild Christchurch
        – no borrowing at all, on ideological grounds, to help pay for NZ’s worst ever natural disaster?? If that is Green policy, it is a perfect example of ridiculous ideology over reality at its absolute worst.

        * Participating in other countries’ wars
        – already not happening – troops are there under UN authority, and will be out by March, and National’s policy has been no different to Labour’s.

        * Unnecessary use of Parliamentary urgency
        – agreed

        (excluding those for which I don’t know)

        • Lanthanide

          “* Nil real increases in the minimum wage
          – already not happening. Minimum wage reached its highest ever real level under this Govt”

          So you don’t know what a “real increase” is when talking about money, then?

          Or is this just more of your blatant sophism like:
          “* Privatisation of energy companies
          – already not happening (there is partial privatisaiton, though, if it is not delayed)”

          Actually most of your reply is just pathetic wordplay, like this:
          “* New fossil fuel powered electricity generation
          – already more renewable energy now than under Labour (which went backwards)”

          Even if it is true that we have more renewable energy now than ever, it doesn’t actually mean that National aren’t allowing more fossil fuel electricity generation plants to be built.

          • queenstfarmer

            Actually most of your reply is just pathetic wordplay, like this:
            “* New fossil fuel powered electricity generation
            – already more renewable energy now than under Labour (which went backwards)”

            How is it pathetic wordplay when it’s true? The point is that it is curious to suggest this as a bottom-line demand expressly for National, when in fact the current Govt is doing a better job in renewable energy than Labour did in its 9 years in Govt.

            Eddie’s post claims that the Greens have a “willingness to work with and counterbalance National”, which the majority of their supporters want. But if in truth their strategy is to “negotiate” with a list of one-sided, falsely-premised ultimatums (which is what toad’s list suggests to me), then such a claim is clearly incorrect.

            • Lanthanide

              “How is it pathetic wordplay when it’s true? ”

              Even if it is true that we have more renewable energy now than ever, it doesn’t actually mean that National aren’t allowing more fossil fuel electricity generation plants to be built.

              Try reading what I write, next time.

              In case this still escapes you, I’ll emphasize what Toad originally said:
              “* New fossil fuel powered electricity generation”

              • queenstfarmer

                Read it, it added nothing beyond what I addressed.

                But further to this, IIRC the Govt has targetted to increase renewable energy to 90% and has made progress towards that. I am not aware of any plans for a fossil fuel plant in the works – if there are I’m sure someone will let me know.

                • Colonial Viper

                  But further to this, IIRC the Govt has targetted to increase renewable energy to 90% and has made progress towards that.

                  Hmmmm why take credit for something which has been happening anyway for years, and which National has not pushed any harder or faster?

        • cowbell

          A great response which exemplifies why National will not change on any of those points – they can’t even admit that half of them exist 🙂

          • queenstfarmer

            If you think any of my comments were wrong, please tell me which ones. I am always happy to be corrected (never any takers though :-)).

            • MrSmith

              “I am always happy to be corrected”

              Qu/st I suspect most people just think your writing satire so don’t bother correcting you!

            • lprent

              Perhaps I should help in the taker front? I haven’t exercised my gentle charms for a while…

              Ummm having looked at my outstanding bug and features lists – it may have to wait until the end of the month.

            • mik e

              QSF There are 6 reasons why Labour had to use more non renewable electricity
              1; Drought!Not enough water in dams dummy
              2; National had under invested in electricity production.1990s Laissez fair mad max
              3; The economy grew 3 times faster under labour than national 90 to99 18 times faster than this nact party2008to2011
              4; Hodgson had to urgently build a oil turbine generating power station to cover short fall
              5; Huntley coal also had to be fired up because growth exceeding demand
              6; the delay in time to get wind powered generation happening makes your figures look good when your Just telling part of the story which is called propaganda!

      • davidc 7.1.3

        Toad, it depends if we are talking about a Green party or a Watermellon party.

        Personally speaking I would love a Green party voice at the top table to get some action on water/our rivers/use of 1080/the conservation estate BUT I would rather slam my balls in a car door than have them anywhere near finance, welfare or law and order.

        • AAMC

          “BUT I would rather slam my balls in a car door than have them anywhere near finance, welfare or law and order.”

          Better to let the neo-liberals continue to shaft the 99% eh, cause that’s realistic reliable economics.

        • McFlock

          I’d much rather a watermelon party than an old cheese party – blue on the inside, green on the ouside, an a horrible stench all around. 

        • KJT

          And National are doing sooo well. Didn’t I hear a whisper about a recent credit downgrade.

      • Misanthropic Curmudgeon 7.1.4

        As I pointed out to you when you posted this exact post on blog.greens.org.nz:

        “Toad suggests a long list of National policies Toad does not like, and its worth noting that many of them are not environmental issues at all, but are complusion/anti-freedom ones, and some are just fallacious.

        National have never suggested “privatising” ACC, but simply allowing freedom of choice about who one insures with. Freedom of association is a tennant of the UN;s charter on human rights, and Toads rejecvtion of freedome of choice places Toad in the same category as Kerry.

        Also, recent Green policy announcements condone employees (and presumably other stakjeholders?) having a equity stake in the employeer. Toads rejection of freeing up taxpayer equity and allowing employees (and other stakeholders) to take equity-stakes in energy companies runs contary to Green policy, and lends weightto the notion that perhaps Toad could partner Kerry off to Mana or NZCP or Socialist International?!?!

        To complain about the use of urgency is simpley petty: the reason for the urgency circumvent Labours desire to hhinder more UN-compliant legilsation around freedome of accosiation: if Labout were not fiollbustering, Nationals would not need to use urgency.

        Further, given that “the rich” pay a disproportionally large portion of the tax (in real dollars, per head, and per dollar earnt), it is only fair that any tax cut gives them a isproportionally large portion of the tax cut. To suggest otherwise is to condone discrimination (which flies ion the face of any notion of social equity!)

        The coal and other mining in National Parks is an issue there might be some traction on, but most of the list is a Reds dreamm, and if Toad thinks that not rebuilding Christchurch is viable then there are a few hundred thousand people who live down there – and hundreds of thousands more dependant on the economic activity from christchurch and its enviorns who would disgree (and ‘more tax’ as a resposne is just the above-mentioned dream with some panting).

        People need to realise that the The Watermelons are to the Greens what the Tea-Partiers are to the Repubiclans or the unions are to UK or NZ-Labour: ideologiaclly driven blinkered nutters trying to foist their brand of complusion and oppression onto people through a political party they have hi-jacked. But for the manifestation of their values, Watermelons = Tea-Party = cloth-cap-unionist.

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      Greens only chance of actually making changes to NZ is to go into coalition with National.

      Where they will be destroyed after one term, not unlike the Mp and the LiarDems.

      How much changes they gonna make then?

      • davidc 7.2.1

        CV, maybe the smaller parties are found out and are left shattered with disillusioned members because its easier to talk about making positive change than actually do?

        Maybe the Greens would be dead already if Clark had let them inside the tent?

        • Colonial Viper

          Sounds like you agree with me that the Greens need to stay very wary and certainly stay independent.

          • davidc

            Exactly wrong CV.
            They should step up and have a go. If they are too scared to try to be in power then they are a fraud and a total waste of anyones vote.

            • felix

              “Power” hasn’t been a motivator for the Greens so far though davidc.

              And why should it be?

              • davidc

                So your saying that they masquerade as a political party to defraud the NZ taxpayer out of MP salaries and funding when they are nothing more than a enviro/social action group?

                • Carol

                  The Greens have achieved some of their policy goals by staying out of full support for the governing party – less direct power, but more power to have some influence on specific issues, and to provide a voice for some of the electorate, that isn’t usually heard inside parliament.

                  • davidc

                    I would be very surprised if the Greens could get National to do anything about cleaning up the rivers, a major election plank for them, unless the Greens weilded REAL power and gave REAL support.

                    • davidc

                      Of course the Greens getting their enviro friendly shit together would be Labours worst nightmare.

      • Lanthanide 7.2.2

        I’ve seen this several times, but what did you really expect the LibDems to do?

        If they went with Labour they’d have been destroyed as well.

  8. outofbed 8

    The Greens are NOT going to go into coalition with National.
    However there are other options available. The Greens can stop Asset Sales, Labour can’t and have demonstrated they don’t really want to.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      The Greens can stop Asset Sales, Labour can’t and have demonstrated they don’t really want to.

      Gimme a break, surely you are not referring back to the First Act Government now are you?

      Stopping Asset Sales is a core part of Labour policy.

      The next step is reacquisition of assets into public ownership.

      • outofbed 8.1.1

        If labour was serious about asset sales, they would be serious about winning the election.
        However the fact that Goff still remains the leader puts pay to that notion

        • Colonial Viper

          Sorry mate how do you think political parties work exactly? Did you happen to watch the debacle of Labor in Australia deciding to do a chop and change before their election?

          Simple answer here is that Goff would be a brilliant PM, but he’s not been given a real chance by two bit media pundits nor an electorate which can’t apparently be assed with minor details like a $15/hr minimum wage or stopping the sell off of our power dams.

          Keep talking it up mate let’s see if the Greens break 10% for real this time.

        • Lanthanide

          Your comment doesn’t make any logical sense.

          If A then B. Because C, then B.

          C has no relationship to A in the above statement.

          A = serious about asset sales
          B = serious about winning election
          C = Goff as leader

  9. Labour finds itself between a rock and a hard place. They have spent too many years ingratiating themselves with big business and elements of neo-liberal economics that they have lost their way. It is hard to strongly oppose National when much that is wrong with our economy and society can also be attributed to Labour. Little effort was made to reverse much of the inequitable and environmentally damaging policies of the previous National government during the three terms under Helen Clark. Consequently their election platform has no continuity or overarching vision, it is a hotch potch of vote catching ideas that they hope will not upset the corporate donations too much.

    The Greens on the other hand have nothing to lose and even refuse to accept corporate donations where there is major conflict with the operations of the business and Green policy. Now that there has been a broad public realization that Godzone is developing huge cracks in credibility and resilience there has been a shift, making green thinking mainstream. Labour has a relatively strong membership and some talented MPs but their leadership are too compromised by their past to be truly effective and the Greens appear more convincing by the day.

    What is needed is a huge swing to the Greens to give them at least 20% of the vote. If National won again there would be no confidence and supply agreement, but I can imagine any memorandum of understanding would allow substantial gains for Green Policy, like furthering the home insulation scheme, cleaning rivers and possibly even halting some mining projects.

    If the Greens won enough it may also provide the possibility of a coalition government with Labour and if the Greens achieve around 20% it would give the relationship a more even footing. Either way, a stronger Green presence in Parliament should shock Labour into rediscovering its roots and bringing about a much needed rejuvenation. The white-anting that Clare Curren referred to is really just evidence that other parties are having to stand up for what Labour should have been. Labour created a vacuum for others to fill and the Greens fit there very neatly.

    • Misanthropic Curmudgeon 9.1

      For Dave Kennedys suggestion that “What is needed is a huge swing to the Greens to give them at least 20% of the vote. If National won again there would be no confidence and supply agreement, but I can imagine any memorandum of understanding would allow substantial gains for Green Policy, like furthering the home insulation scheme, cleaning rivers and possibly even halting some mining projects” to occur, id for The Greens to purge The Reds from their ranks.

      I argue that about 5% core electoral support for The Greens exists for the envornmenstal policy, and the (flucuating) rest is dissaffected Labour voters and other lik-minded compulsion freaks who seek to tell others how to live, and are masquarading as grees (i.e. are watermelons). I’d also argue that there is a significant (dissaffected) electroart grouping who are hugely sympathetic to the envirnmental message of The Greens, but who are scared off by the insanity of The Watermelons.

      If The Greens shed The Reds, theys loose a few (extremists and) percentage points, and pick up a darn site more. That is how The Greens could get up towards 20%.

      And as I’ve said before, National ouight to call The Greens bluff and offer them a ministry or two such as Fisheries or Conservation and much of what Dave talks about. Then The Greens would have to see which was more important: the environment, or ‘sitting outside the tent’ squawking about how beneficiaries don’t have a Playstation each.

      • KJT 9.1.1

        Found another blog to waste every ones time on with parroting right wing crap have you?

        How do you manage to sleep at night supporting those who wish to sell or give away New Zealand and our wealth to financiers and other bludgers. Or, are you just too thick, like most authoritarian followers.

        A green sustainable economy is never going to happen under people whose only motivation is self interested greed.

        • Misanthropic Curmudgeon

          Quite why you assume a ex-green voter of many elections like myself is therefore “right wing” speaks volumes on your polarised worldview, and to claim I am an “authoritarian follower” when I advocate endorsing the UNs notions of human righnts (which your actions appear to oppose) is facinating.

          For you to go on and the say “A green sustainable economy is never going to happen under people whose only motivation is self interested greed” is ironic, because it is you who wants to impose a tired socialst dogma on people, and make evenyon else pay for your lifestyle choices.

          I am an environmenatlist, and you are a watermelon who is abusing green values to push your selfish agenda, Kerry.

          • KJT

            MS. You gave yourself away with your bennie bashing on frogblog.

            The environment includes people!

            Do you endorse the right to withdraw your labour?
            Something you seem to oppose.
            One of the many human rights which have been regulated away by Neo-Liberal fanatics.

            Funny nowadays idiots call me a red, when in Norm Kirks time I would have been considered rather conservative.

            Shows how much the perceived norm has shifted towards those who do not believe in community.

            If you do not like being called out on your crap, which is depressing familiar to us, when your fellow victims of cognitive dissonance troll here, try Kiwibog. You will get lots of support from the nutters there.

            • Misanthropic Curmudgeon

              Quite why you consider my observations that $70,000 a year is ‘doing all right’ to be benficiary bashing is facinating, as is why you would think my noting that beneficaries living in (subsidised) first-world houseing, using free fisrt-world medical care, and getting hundreds of dollars a week could not be consdered to be in ‘poverty’ is benficiary bashing either.

              You are right, however, in noting that people are part of the environment, but your Mana-friendly values seek to opress people, and further undermine any claim to a Green idenity that you have.

              I challenge you Kerry, to go to Manas website (http://mana.net.nz/policy/) and find half a dozen policies you disagree with.

              For you to claim that you would have been consdered conservative around Kirks time (of regualted milk prices, prescriptions for margiarine, needing overseas currencies to but overseas goods, tripartite wage negotaitions, compulsion in every day life, and a govt licence/permit needed to do almost anything) speaks volumes, and shows just how oppressive the ‘halcion days’ you pine for were, and how far we have come.

              • NickS

                shows just how oppressive the ‘halcion days’ you pine for were, and how far we have come.


                Where did he say that, or are you just bullshit as I suspect you are?

                And free healthcare? lol-fuckign-wat? Doctor’s visits etc are only subsidised (unless SB or IB + applied for costs), and dentists costs or glasses you have to pay WINZ back for. And if you think 200/week isn’t poverty, you’ve probably never tried surviving off that for anything more than a couple of months as it’s only then that the fun begins as you need to replace broken things and unexpected costs start appearing. And it’s even more fun if you’re renting…

                As for teh Green’s being “oppressive”, while I can apply theory of mind to understand _why_, it still amuses me, as the Green’s mostly aim to modify environmentally costly behaviours via direct means. Which while it might not be particularly libertarian friendly, people are a bit shit at accounting for the longterm costs of their actions if those costs are in the future or add up slowly, so the occasional legislative push can be of some use.

  10. Nice people in the Greens???

    Some of the most hateful, comments I have ever heard come out of politicians mouths have been from Green party members.

    They need to get back to being a environmental party and away from where Locke wanted to take them.

    • outofbed 10.1

      Some of the most hateful, comments I have ever heard come out of politicians mouths have been from Green party members.


      • Misanthropic Curmudgeon 10.1.1

        KjT, above, for one!

        • KJT

          Yeah right. I am sooo nasty!

          Do you actually read my posts. Or do you just regurgitate the RWNJ propaganda line.

          • Misanthropic Curmudgeon

            How else would you describe “parroting right wing crap … are you just too thick … only motivation is self interested greed”

            Or your calling people nut-jobs, theifs ….

            Quite why you think the above examples are not “hateful” is interesting.

            • KJT

              Just calling it as it is.

              Given what the last lot of asset sales cost us, 14 billion a year and counting, The ongoing costs of NACT’s election bribes, to be spent in Hawaii holidays and the deliberate destruction of the society for short term personal gain, I think I am actually being rather mild only calling them thieves. AND blinkered supporters like yourself nutters!

              A few other words come to mind.

              There have been many like you, parroting the exact same, thoroughly debunked memes.
              In exactly the same words.

              Obviously you do not have minds of your own.

              People like you and MS would have been just one of uneducated starving millions without the society, generations of us paying taxes, and making useful contributions through our paid and volunteer work, have built up.

              If I was a politician I may have used nicer words, but I am not.

              In my job, a thief is a thief.

              • Misanthropic Curmudgeon

                Is that an admission of “hatefull” or a defence of “hatefull”?

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      Brett Dale rabbiting on about “hateful” comments?

      How ironic.

    • NickS 10.3


      Methinks thou doth protest too much, as bluntness is hardly hateful, compared to say Law’s rants or that from racist arsehats on talkback, or the shit I’ve seen from the more “interesting” anti-vaccine nuts. But hey, why think when hyperbole and bullshit is so much easier?..

  11. McFlock 11

    Two points: the first is that I really don’t like the “Enter the Greens: good policies, nice people, and, officially, a willingness to work with and counterbalance National.” [my emphasis]
    Look, either the Greens will work with the nats, in which case all this “officially” crap is a lie to the membership/voters who would be alienated by such a move; or the “wiilingness” is a lie to the members/voters who do want to see such a move. It reminds me of one or two smarmy little shits I had to deal with back in the day, convinced they’d pissed off the bouncer and there was nothing he could do about it. The trouble was they were never as smart as the game they were playing, and they always ended up outside on their arse. The bitching about “assault” and “uncalled for” was always bullshit – I knew s48 and s56 very well. I think voters might give the Greens a similar rude awakening in 2014 if they keep being a coalition-tease this time around.

    The second point is that you’re boosting the Greens to 15% with minimal effect on Labour – I reckon if that many voters go to the new “bland green” image away from national, at least the same number or more will go to labour.

    • KJT 11.1

      I suspect the Greens are picking up votes because they are the only party offering credible economic alternatives to NACT’s slavish adherence to Neo-Liberalism and Labour’s, so far, tinkering around the edges.

      A lot of voters will never touch Labour again after the abandonment of principles in the 80’s and their failure to reverse the Neo-Liberal failure after we gave them 9 years to do so.

      Until this election we have not been offered a viable alternative.

      The wishful thinking by some on the right that we can look after our future environment and society, while they still grab all the wealth, is just that.

      A coalition with National is a sure path to 1.5% irrelevance.

      • Misanthropic Curmudgeon 11.1.1

        Why do you think more (and even more discriminatory) tax is “offering credible economic alternatives”?

        Will you ever address the near-bunkrupt nature of NZ in the late 1970s/early 1980’s (after a decade or so or borrowiong, trariffs, seperatism, permits, state intervention) that you want to go back to, and how it neccessitated the “abandonment of principles in the 80′s” you refer to?

        In saying “The wishful thinking by some on the right that we can look after our future environment and society, while they still grab all the wealth, is just that” you place a false presumption that the latter does or will exist.

        WHat you fail to see, Kerry, is that the economic dead end you advocate returing to means the counrty will be broke, and unable to any envornmenatl protection work at all. With a Nat-Green coalition, we’d get both a decent standard of living for those who choose it and the national wealth to afford environmental protection.

        Ans you have iot back to front when you say “A coalition with National is a sure path to 1.5% irrelevance” It’s the Watermelons in The Greens who will maintin the Green parlimentry impotence. If the environmenstalist can ditch the Watermelons (like you), then the can work with all parties for envronmenstal gains and not be stuck outside the tent squawking.

        Again, I challeng you find just how many of Manas policies you dont agree with: your values seem more in tume with them than with any environmenatl concerns

        • Colonial Viper

          Will you ever address the near-bunkrupt nature of NZ in the late 1970s/early 1980′s (after a decade or so or borrowiong, trariffs, seperatism, permits, state intervention) that you want to go back to, and how it neccessitated the “abandonment of principles in the 80′s” you refer to?

          FFS you must be asleep if you think the future is going to look like the past.

          For one thing, Muldoon was spot on with his analysis that a major economy halting energy crunch was coming, he was just too early and his solutions lacked the tech that we have today.

          As for the end of globalisation. Its already happening in front of our eyes. NZ leaders are just to naive/stupid to act on it.

          Here are three simple steps
          1) End our clean float and peg the NZ dollar to a (secret) basket of other currencies.
          2) Enable the Reserve Bank to pursue a much wider range of export biased economic goals with a much wider range of economic tools.
          3) Integrate the financial functions of Government with KiwiBank and make that the main bank in NZ.

          NOw that;s not brain science is it and it is not going back to the 1970s or 80s is it.

          • Misanthropic Curmudgeon

            In saying “FFS you must be asleep if you think the future is going to look like the past” you’re not doing anythingto avoid that happening: the policies you promote are the exact policies that led to that (undersirable) past, namely state protection, centralsised monetry and fiscal policies, fixed echange rates, state intervention, tarriffs, regulated markets, permits and consents (and borrowing when it all goes tits-up) …..

            Simply throwing about vague variations of centralised monetry policies and exchange rates, and crossing your fingers it wont go all tits up again, is a gross simplification (to be polite).

        • KJT

          Don’t be funny.

          35 years of Neo-liberal policy has dropped my take home pay by 40% along with that of most New Zealanders. I cannot get a relief, so I can take my leave, because most of the people with my level of skills are overseas where they get paid. I will have to follow them if the right wing destruction continues.

          It is noticeable that my disposable income, along with many other highly skilled people, was much higher when we were paying higher taxes. I did not have to pay exorbitant fees, as now, for private providers to provide the services from the Government we took for granted. And we seemed to be able to provide a decent standard of living to those who were not so lucky.

          It is shameful, in a country which produces enough food to keep many times our current population, to see children without enough healthy food.

          To see the sick and injured lacking proper care.

          People in full time work do not have enough to live on, while rich bludgers who produce nothing, making money speculating in existing assets, had a 20% rise. People like Key have been proven to destroy at least 7 times more wealth than they earn. Best to pay him to stay away.

          The decent society, we had, where we looked after each other, is being torn apart.

          As for near bankruptcy. National will soon owe more, as a proportion of GDP, than Muldoon did.

          I am hardly being selfish to advocate, as I do, that people like me pay higher taxes so our kids can have a future.

  12. kenny 12

    No mention of NZ First here……. why’s that?

    Ignore them at your peril.

  13. BLiP 13

    I remember a while ago how furious I was with the Greens MPs for getting suckered into a disaster capitalism ploy and abandoning their Canterbury constituents to the bumbling Brownly and the avarice of his big business buddies. I decided then that I couldn’t be bothered with politics because, when you boil it all down, they’re all the same. Now, with this latest decision to prefer principles to a much-needed fifty grand, I have cause to have think again. Nice to see some backbone and, at last, a slick media presence. I can well understand why some Green MPs would not want to work with some Labour MPs, lets face it, some of them are plonkers. Every National Ltd™ MP is a super plonker so it would be even harder trying to work with them. But . . . could the Greens really be a moderating influence on the consumption of our environment by resource-hungry foreign-owned multi-nationals, could the Greens really get National to understand the science, National Ltd™ MPs don’t even get the long-term economic value of protecting our land?

    I dunno. But, one thing: there’s an awful lot of catching up to be done. I gave up counting in the end, it was too depressing:

    Since coming to power, National Ltd™:

    has been caught out repeatedly lying in the run up to and during the election campaign about its real intentions in relation to the environment

    celebrated the opening of the foreign-owned Pike River Coal Ltd mine on DOC land adjacent to the Paparoa National Park from which 1 megatonne of coal will be extracted per year for the next 20 years – Pike River Coal Ltd has announced that it has found additional coal in the national park

    removed a proposed efficiency standard (MEPS) on incandescent lightbulbs

    reversed a moratorium on building new gas/oil/coal power stations

    removed the bio fuel subsidy

    scrapped the scheme that would have penalised imported vehicles producing high emissions

    removed regulations for water efficient new housing

    renewed leases on sensitive high country farms which were meant to return to DOC

    reversed restrictions on the freeholding of vast swathes of land on the edge of the Southern Lakes

    arbitrarily excised 400 hectares from the brand new Oteake Conservation Park, including the most important and, ecologically, the rarest part of the new Park, the tussock and shrubland that went right down to the banks of the Manuherikia River, to enable future access to lignite

    said nothing to say in regard to the World Commission on Protected areas of IUCN’s severe criticism of its intention to investigate mineral resources and mining opportunities in protected conservation areas including our three UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Te Wahi Pounamu-South West New Zealand, Tongariro National Park and the Sub Antarctic Islands

    approved two prospecting permit applications lodged by Australian iron-ore giant Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary FMG Pacific lodged in June – areas covered by the two-year permits include an 8204-square-kilometre area of seabed adjoining the west coast from Cape Reinga to the Manukau Harbour and a 3798-square-kilometre prospecting area of land from Cape Reinga to the Kaipara Harbour including Ninety Mile Beach, the west side of the Aupouri Peninsula, Kaitaia and the Hokianga.

    approved an additional prospecting permit for Fortesque Metals in relation to 3568sq km right next door to the Kahurangi National Park where the Heaphy Track is

    was forced to release its Ministry of Economic Development (MED) report under the Official Information Act that proclaims “significant mineral potential” in the Fiordland, Kahurangi and Paparoa national parks – the report said the Waitutu area of the Fiordland National Park had sufficient petroleum reserves to be “worthy” of inclusion in a review of conservation land protected from mining

    secretly granted the minerals industry the right to veto proposed National Park boundaries and permission for any such vetoes to be kept confidential – in spite of recommendations from its own officials against any such a veto

    Minster of Conservation Tim Grosser, on 29 August 2009, called for caring New Zealanders to halt their “emotional hysteria” and recognise that conservation land should be mined for minerals and went on to say “Mining in a modern, technological way can have a negligible effect”

    Associate Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson, in an interview in “Canterbury Farming” rubished her own department, DOC, suggesting it was incapable of looking after the high country reserves and parks under its control

    gutted the home insulation scheme

    pulled $300 million out of public transport, walking and cycling schemes and added it to a pot of $2 billion to ‘upgrade’ state highways

    changed the law to provide billions of dollar in subsidies for polluters via the ETS casino which is now a target for scamming by international criminals

    begun a process of gutting the Resource Management Act to make it difficult/impossible for the public to lodge appeals against developers

    removed the ability of Auckland to introduce a fuel levy to fund planned public transport upgrades

    left electrification of the national rail network up in the air without promised funding commitments

    removed the Ministry for the Environment’s programme to make Government Departments ‘carbon neutral’

    removed funding for public tv advertising on sustainability and energy efficiency

    pulled funding for small-town public litter bin recycling schemes

    cabinet ministers expressing public support the bulldozing of Fiordland

    reduced Department of Conservation funding by about $50 million over three years

    canceled funding for the internationally acclaimed ‘Enviroschools’ programme

    usurped the democratic role of local Councils of determining policies for their citizens by requiring the abandonment of the efficient and well-established tree protection rules for urban areas

    set about revamping Auckland governance in a way that is likely to greatly reduce the ‘Environmental Watchdog’ role of the the current Regional Council

    removed Auckland’s metropolitan limits and opened the gateway for unfettered urban sprawl

    defended internationally the importation of rain-forest-wrecking palm kernel and stood silent while Federated Farmers called Greenpeace “terrorists”

    stood silent while Godfrey Bloom, a Member of the European Parliament and infamous Climate Change Denialist, publicly rejoiced in the 1985 bombing of the Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior – who was doing so while standing on a dock next to the replacement vessel

    took a 0% emissions reduction target to Copenhagen. Yes, seriously, that isn’t a misprint – that was the lower bound of their negotiation platform – then missed the 01/02/10 deadline for commitment to action it had agreed to – meanwhile 55 of the 80 countries which attended did make the deadline

    secretly cancelled the internationally recognised scheme for the mandatory labelling of exotic woods to ensure the timber has not been taken from rain forests in direct contradiction of its own statements made at the 13th World Forestry Congress in Argentina

    supported the Department of Conservation’s decision to open up the pristine Cathedral Cove to an ice-cream franchise

    given the Department of Conservsation $1.7 million to further develop commercial activities on DOC land and started an “off set” plan allowing company’s to damage the conservation estate if they agree to improve land elsewhere – no monitoring regime has been suggested on put in place

    left DOC director-general Al Morrison to announce that DOC is to charge for services that had been free and, to soften the public up to the idea that there will be more “energy generation schemes” operating on DOC land

    taken no action to reduce existing pollution pouring into the Manawatu River and is “leaving it up to industry” to come up with solutions to heal the river which was described by the Cawthorn Institute as “one of the worst polluted in the Western world”

    announced a $1.1 million industry subsidy to kick start marine farming without identifying no-go areas nor putting in place a consultation process for individiuals, communities, and other general coastal users

    blamed New Zealanders after a Japanese whaling ship deliberately smashed into a smaller, more vulnerable craft in the open sea

    was forced to release documents under the Official Information Act which confirm that DOC has “giving up” on ecologically valuable high-country land in the Mackenzie Basin because of funding cuts. The released documents cite “statements made by ministers”, “diminishing funding” and the Government’s new high-country policies as reasons for the changed stance – the comments from DOC were made after Land Information New Zealand (Linz), which manages the tenure review process, ignored DOC’s previous conservation recommendations for the farms

    used former National Party minister and current director of Open Country Cheese – a company convicted of filthy farming practices – Wyatt Creech to head up an enquiry into Environment Canterbury which had been standing up the dairy farmers’ demands for more and more water resources and less and less regulation. The Creech report recommended the Environmental Canterbury be sacked and replaced with government appointments and the voters of Canterbury do without democracy until the water situation had been resolved. The Canterbury area holds 50 percent of New Zealand’s fresh water reserves and 50 percent of the water required for hyrdo energy. The Creech report said Environmental Centerbury put too much focus on the environment.

    Despite international condemnation for knowing next to nothing about the parlous state of the New Zealand fisheries, National Ltd™ bucks international trends, pours more acid on the 100% Pure brand and increases the bluefin tuna quota.

    New Zealand is subject to international criticism for its backing of commericial whaling which National Ltd supports

    Government-owned company Solid Energy runs an essay competition entitled “The role of coal in sustainable energy solutions for New Zealand” for school children. First prize is a trip to New Zealand’s largest coal customer, China.

    Supported access fees for entrance onto DOC walkways – fee introduced following cuts to DOC’s budget.

    New Zealand’s environment would profit from mining national parks, Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson says.

    Department of Conservation director-general Al Morrison said the conservation estate created “opportunities to do a whole lot for a lot of different people”.
    “We’ve got to get away from this idea that somehow we have to protect one-third of New Zealand for a certain constituency and put it in a jar of formaldehyde and leave it.”

    State coal miner Solid Energy could get an extra slice of the action if highly sensitive conservation land is opened to gold, silver and other prospecting.
    Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee said Solid Energy’s work could be widened to include other minerals and resources, or it could form part of a new state-owned enterprise to maximise government returns from any mining.
    He did not rule out the company, which produces 80 per cent of New Zealand’s coal, having a role in mining gold and other minerals on Great Barrier Island and other conservation areas being eyed by the Government http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/3519703/Golden-possibility-for-state-coal-miner








    . . . very aspirational indeed. In fact, it would appear the provision of evidence proving that that New Zealand sucks is, in fact, solely down to the efforts of National Ltd® and its big-business sugar daddies


    source for most of stuff in relation to national parks


    National Lied during the election about its intentions in regard to the environment

    “National will have policies that reflect the fact that living on a diet of carbon will be increasingly bad – bad for the world and bad for our economy. We will have policy that encourages ‘climate friendly’ choices like windmills, hydro power and tree planting, and reduces the desire for ‘climate unfriendly’ behaviours, like burning coal,” Mr Key promised in May 2007.

    “National will provide Kiwis with good signals about the cars that are the best for the environment. We will do this by ensuring our emission and noise standards for new vehicles keep up with international standards and practices and by introducing more sophisticated emissions and noise testing for existing vehicles. If Kiwis have a highly polluting or excessively noisy car, we think they should know about it and have an incentive to do something about it.”

    “National proudly shares many of your values: like you, we want to protect our unique native species. We want our children and grandchildren to be able to swim in our rivers and lakes. We believe in sound environmental science. We are committed to high environmental standards.”


    If you want to check out the latest “keyhole surgery” zero in on the ridge south & slightly east of Reefton on Google Earth and you’ll see Oceana Golds brand new high tech gold mine.


    video talking about dairy farming in the McKenzie


    Up to 200 calves were induced on Fonterra chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden’s Putaruru farms this calving season in a controversial practice to lift milk production.
    The practice, which Sir Henry has not denied, has prompted claims of hypocrisy, as Fonterra says it doesn’t support inductions, and even a call for Sir Henry to stand down while the matter is investigated.


    Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Jan Wright’s report, “Lignite and climate change: The high cost of low grade coal” was meant to be released at midday today.
    The report tackles the climate change ramifications of plans by two companies, state-owned miner Solid Energy and L&M Group, to mine lignite in Otago and Southland and convert it to diesel.


    a third of new zealand lakes have poor water quality

    Dr Norman was sceptical of the reasons why the release of the report was delayed. It was to be released last week.
    “It is interesting timing that the report’s release was delayed during the World Dairy Summit in Auckland, when the report concludes that pastoral land use is associated with the ecological deterio


    plastic packaging

    37689 (2010). Brendon Burns to the Minister of Health (09 Dec 2010): Has he received any advice on the current quality of drinking water in Reidston; if so, what, if any, actions will he be taking concerning that advice?
    Hon Tony Ryall (Minister of Health) replied: Reply due: 17 Dec 2010















    • Deadly_NZ 13.1

      It was 50 k each to Lab and the Nats and 5k for the lesser parties of which the Greens are

      “Those smaller donations are unlikely to be disclosed, but Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said the corporation had offered the Green Party $5000 which was rejected by the party under its “major donations” policy.”


    • RedLogix 13.2

      That’s one hell of a comment BLiP….almost a post in it’s own right.

    • MrSmith 13.3

      Yes BiLP they (National) are nothing but pond scum, they have been chipping away from the day they took power.

      Shame that most people still have no idea what they have really been up to, we can only hope enough do by election day.

      Go the Greens

    • Macro 13.4

      Brilliant comment BLiP! This current shower are little more than a group of vandals. They worship the mighty god of the “Hidden Hand” and nothing else. If we allow stupid people like them to continue with their destructive practices, and ecological suicide, humanity has little chance of survival.

  14. Tiger Mountain 14

    The Green vote tends to trend down from polling levels, once people get in that little cardboard booth the big black marker pen tends to start shaking. Be happy enough for that to change this year though. ShonKey has to go whichever way it is done.

  15. Barry 15

    I agree that the Greens are starting to appeal to a wider audience. partly as all the alternatives seem untenable.

    My pick is National/UF/Act/MP to get about half the seats between then but not enough to form a stable government. The sensible thing would then be a Labour/National coalition, but it won’t happen. The Greens will then offer to abstain on confidence/budget which would allow National to govern.

    National will throw the toys out of the cot and call another election.

    • Lanthanide 15.1

      “National will throw the toys out of the cot and call another election.”

      One can only dream. In such a case, any party that didn’t meet 5% the first time (eg, NZ First) would get 0 votes the second, and redistribute to their preferred alternatives (Labour).

      Meanwhile, National would be punished.

  16. Rich 16

    If the Greens got 15%, they’d have around 18 seats. That would mean that either:
    Labour had = 43 seats, so Labour & Greens would have a majority
    (excluding overhangs)

    Why would the Greens want to work with National in either circumstance?

    The only way I could see this happening would be if Labour refused to work with Greens or Mana – I’d hope that then the Greens would vote down any confidence motion for a minority National government.

  17. The question is: what does Labour have to offer the greens? Climate/Environment Minister? Conservation Minister…? co Finance Minister..?

    Where does labour mining policy sit? What is Labour conservation, climate and environment policy?

    Give NZ some details, have a few good talks to the greens and maybe a deal will happen. But if labour wants to huff and puff… well Labour and Goff could end out in opposition for another term and be mighty lonely.

    The greens want green jobs and to green the economy, and often agree with labour on social policy. Make green left policy, and the greens will come to you…

    • Misanthropic Curmudgeon 17.1

      Based on recent histiory from Labour’s Dearly Departed Leader, the only thing The Greens can get from Labour is the same two-finger salute they got in 2002 and 2005.

      The best way for the greens to get “green jobs and to green the economy” as you mention is to be neutral/agnostic on the left-right divide and partner with whoever is in power to acheive those things.

      Anything else is The Watermelons knobbling The Envronmentalists

  18. millsy 18

    A couple of weeks ago I emailed the Greens asking them if they supported the return of council ownership/operation of PT services. I havent heard back from them since.

  19. Does any other party support that?

    • millsy 19.1

      No, it seems the general consensus is that the funder/provider split should remain WRT PT services.

      I thought that the Green party, for their stances on public transport would support this, because returning to the old CTB, ATB, etc is the only way to sort PT.

  20. graeme 20

    My vote has gone from the blue team. My vote is going to go to David Parker as a fuck you to the nats for trying to rig Epsom, and to the greens because Russell Norman has been outstanding in opposition this term, and in my opinion will be better with a bit more clout.

    I dont care if the greens support the nats on confidence and supply, or if Russell gets a cabinet post.

    John Key is a slippery little fucker and he sure had me fooled.

    • Misanthropic Curmudgeon 20.1

      I’m glad I’m not in the Epsom seat: a tired old recycled idiotic Banks, a party nobody, or a smarmy Parker. Not much of a choice.

  21. newsense 21

    well to my way of thinking renewal energy jobs beats crap out of cycleway and perhaps an unstable financial centre landing sometime….

    renewable energy is going to be a huge market that is only going to get bigger. It is going to be a necessity. Getting a reputation and keeping expertise in this field would be enormously smart.

    State driven industries exist in almost all successful capitalist countries, none more so than the lauded ‘Tiger’ economies of the 90s….

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