- Date published:
10:21 am, September 11th, 2023 - 21 comments
Categories: climate change, community democracy, Conservation, election 2023, greens, housing, political parties, science, social democracy, transport - Tags:
So let’s say the Green Party gets 10% of the vote and the top 9 get in, including Chloe.
And say they get to form a government, from some miracle.
And it’s an actual coalition not some half baked thing, and they get actual Cabinet seats.
What would Greens in Cabinet look like?
So imagine Marama Davidson as actual Minister of Housing.
Barfoot and Thompson would shit their pants.
Just imagine government policy requiring that rent increases can only go up a maximum of 3% a year. Imagine all rental houses requiring a warrant of fitness like a car, and landlords being held accountable for ensuring those standards are met. There would be something of a revolution and the backlash from the real estate management community would be pretty organised. But there would also be something of a revolution from those who rent their houses, and it would be a groundswell of happiness and security pure and simple.
Imagine if the next time the Reserve Bank felt the need to artificially raise interest rates and hence put a lot of first home buyers in serious financial strife, you could go to the government directly for low-interest home loans.
Davidson in housing would probably be the minister under the most intense political attack and would likely need support.
James Shaw, Minister of Climate Change, Environment, and Cyclone Gabrielle Recovery
So let’s look at James Shaw keeping the Climate Change portfolio, but also picking up Gabrielle recovery, and Environment as well. That would put him in charge of a multi-billion effort with both Auckland Council and on the East Coast rebuild effort.
He would put the Climate Change Adaptation Bill on the first years’ legislative agenda. A dedicated fund would be set up in the first budget to implement climate change and adaptation measures. We’d likely see MFAT required to set up strong climate adaptation projects with Pacific islands.
Shaw would also continue his fun with project-by-project carbon mitigation deals as he has with Fonterra, Synlait, and Glenbrook Steel.
Chloe Swarbrick – Minister of Democractic Reform
I think Chloe Swarbrick would need a specific portfolio focused on the Greens’ democracy initiatives. I suspect she’d be tasked with working with the Maori Party on ensuring our constitutional arrangements recognise He Wahakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Niu Tirene and te Tiriti o Waitangi, working with them to initiatie formal dialogue with iwi, hapu and Maori organisations. No need to expect anything fast out of it, just start engaging with Maori about constitutional arrangements and recognitions. That would include entrenching the Maori electoral seats.
Chloe would be tasked with corralling a party-line vote on reducing the voting age to 16 in both local and general elections. Chloe would also propose legislative change to enable all in prison to vote not just some.
She would also get the job of working with the Minister of Education to require civics to be taught in all high schools.
Julie Ann Genter – Minister of Transport
Now what would Julie Ann Genter do as Minister of Transport? I think she would be smart enough to shift focus using the NLTP prioritisations from projects to operational programmes, that is to say shift from finding for megaprojects to more operational public transport subsidy. She would be smart enough not to get caught up in foolish MoT games like whether to legislate for scooters on footpaths like last time. I suspect either MoT will be cleared out or they will have to be merged into a single Transport Department with NZTA. She will otherwise get eaten up in the intense politics of transport both in Wellington and with the regions.
Teanau Tuiono – Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs
He would carve out a delegation that would focus on Pacific peoples and nations with a particular focus on climate change impacts, decolonisation, and clearer and more purpose representation on the Pacific Islands Forum. I suspect he will lead a strong move to make New Zealand a much more neutral voice in global diplomacy with a focus on peacemaking not joining sides. MFAT will likely take time to adjust.
Steve Abel – Minister of Conservation
Steve would likely struggle to start with transitioning from activist mode to running a big ministry like conservation. But he and Shaw would I think have a lot in common starting to merge back Environment with Conservation like it used to. And he would be winner winner chicken dinner banning mining on conservation land, and accelerating the Predator Free 2050 including the Auckland Islands. Ringfencing visitor Great Walk fees to Conservation efforts will be another popular win.
Steve Abel would have more fun than he’s ever had in his life.
If they get the shot, the Greens will be ready with the hard ask this time, and at 10% they will get the share of power they need to implement policy at a scale they’ve never previously had possible.