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The rise of the Greens

Written By: - Date published: 7:24 am, November 28th, 2011 - 111 comments
Categories: greens - Tags:

The Greens can be very proud of their achievement this election. With 13, probably to become 14, seats, they have achieved the second-best ever result for a minor party under MMP. They have succeeded in becoming credible to mainstream New Zealand and, in doing so, brought the new economics we need to the fore.

The Greens’ new MPs are an impressive bunch. If you got down to 13-14 any other minor party’s list you would be into the territory of  serious weirdos. With the Greens you have a group of highly intelligent and skilled young women who know politics – many of them are former Green staffers – who aren’t going to be there just to make up numbers for their leader and be headline fodder with their embarrassing antics.

And, sure, this new generation might be more professional in their appearance (or ‘branding’) than the first generation of Green MPs but, actually, they’re from the same backgrounds of student environmental activism. They’re just more sophisicated in their approach.

Whether the new Greens can hold their activist base remains to be seen. But, perhaps the price of being a larger party in MMP is giving up some of the activists to Mana. That’s the joy of MMP too. Parties of the Left don’t have to try to be all things to all people – they can specialise and segment. Contrast that with the Right, which with Banks and Dunne one-man bands in their last terms and the Conservatives likely to fade away, is now monolithic. If National has a bad run in future elections (and their dramatic drop in the last view weeks shows they are finally past their apex), voters will have to go to Labour or stay at home. Parties of the Left can now trade voters, and voters can choose which aspects of leftwing politics they want to emphasise, while still maintaining the size of the Left-wing bloc.

Speaking of which, it has to be disappointing that the combined Labour-Greens vote has shrunk since the last election. Part of that is, no doubt due to lefties backing Peters – ensuring he got over the line was a vote-multiplying tactic for the Left that sees us far closer to a majority against asset sales than would have been the case if NZF had polled 4% – and the lion’s share is due to Labour’s poor performance but I wonder how successful the Greens have really been in taking votes off National. It looks they’ve mainly picked up disaffected former Labour voters who are looking for a more competently run voice against National.

The last time a minor party surged by picking up votes from disaffected Labour voters in opposition was the last time Labour had a result in the 20s, and when the largest-ever minor party result was achieved. The lesson from what happened next is one the Greens should note. In 1996, Peters repaid that anti-National vote by working with National. The result was that New Zealand First was nearly wiped out in 1999. The Greens need to bear in mind that their new supporters, too, have ticked Greens because they want them to oppose National. If that expectation isn’t met, the new supporters will leave as quickly as they arrive (assuming Labour gets itself back on its feet) and, having burned off its activist base the  Greens could find themselves in real trouble.

The opportunity, though, for the Greens is to bed themselves in as a 10% plus party – not just a tack-on to Labour after 2014, but a major partner in the next government. Getting there means foregoing small policy gains from working with National now and keeping the faith with their supporters.

Here’s hoping they’ve got the wisdom to do that.

111 comments on “The rise of the Greens”

  1. Carol 1

    The opportunity, though, for the Greens is to bed themselves in as a 10% plus party – not just a tack-on to Labour after 2014, but a major partner in the next government. Getting there means foregoing small policy gains from working with National now and keeping the faith with their supporters.

    Here’s hoping they’ve got the wisdom to do that.

    Exactly!
    Now is not the time to cosy up to National for some incremental gain (and thereby validate National’s plans that will destroy the fabric of NZ’s economy and society).

    Now is the time to stand strong for principles and the broader policies campaigned on…. and to mount a significant opposition to National’s destructive and dehumanising policies.

    A new Labour leadership, Harawira, Peters, and a strong Green Party on the opposition benches would ensure on-going opposition to the National agenda that we voted against. And it would surely provide copy the MSM just cannot ignore.

    And congratulations to Green for a very good campaign and their new MPs.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Greens will be on the Opposition benches, but will be closer than ever to National in terms of a MoU and day to day working together.

  3. gingercrush 3

    I think the Greens and their supporters are a hell of a lot more smarter than you give them credit for. The real problem with the Greens is how broad their support is. Yes its far more likely they took votes from Labour but there were people that would previously have voted for National as well or at the least may be more sympathic with a National government than a Labour government. That tension is going to create problems.

    But when your basically getting 8% in electorates such as Clutha-Southland etc. you’re no longer a party that plainly represents left-wing and essentially only have to go to bed with Labour. The Greens did a MOU with National last time and will do one this time. Lets be honest here, this is basically an attack from Labour on the Greens saying if you’re not with us you’re against us. That is just blatant bullshit and tells you one thing. Elements on the left have a serious disregard for the actual meaning of MMP.

    • Carol 3.1

      No, it’s not just a Labour attack. Far from it. I have voted Green for the last few years, and aam concerned about Norman’s role and influence. He seems to be taking the party in some direction that I can’t connect with – away from the party’s core principles.

      I have always been a Turei supporter, and it is her, and many of the other Green MPs/candidates that have kept me voting for them. I liked the way they integrate environmental, economic and social policies and issues as part of an inter-related whole. I also have felt they epitomise my interest in the integration of class issues and gender, sexual and ethnic diversity (though they could up their ethnic diversity). And they also epitomise a good amount of age diversity.

      This mix has set them apart from other left parties for me.

      But, I see no point in Norman dragging them towards the middleground occupied by Labour in recent years. He seems to have had his eyes fixed on becoming part of a government.

      But the left has not been able to form a government. And now is the time we need left opposition parties to mount an effective, strong and sustained opposition, and to forge a different approach to government from the Key/National way and agenda.

      • weka 3.1.1

        “But, I see no point in Norman dragging them towards the middleground occupied by Labour in recent years. He seems to have had his eyes fixed on becoming part of a government.”

        Except that the only reason they have 13/14 MPs now is because they’ve gone towards the middle. How much of that can be ‘blamed’ on Norman, or how much of that is Turei and the wider party I don’t know. But it’s a good move.

        I also feel uncomfortable with some of Norman’s views but think that he is generally good for the party and good for NZ in the sense that we need a Green Party with some political power. I think the solution here is to support the party to make sure that Turei doesn’t get sidelined and that the core values of the Greens remain strong. The Greens run democracticaly within the party and now is a good time to get involved at the local and regional level.

        • ron 3.1.1.1

          I don’t think the Greens have moved to the Centre so much as the issues have.

          Once many of the things they stand for WERE “fringe”. Now they’re mainstream. That is reflected in the qualifications of this new crop. One couldn’t studyt those subjects at Universitry once upon a time because the didn’t exist. So, of course, we are getting a different crop of people. Once committed people working on their own outside the mainstream – now people who have a career in environmentalism. The ideas are the same – the context is different.

          While I agree that Norman better keep his bloody nose out of the Tory trough, I think that what is happening is that the mainstream has come to the Green message – not the other way around.

      • mikesh 3.1.2

        I voted Green in 2005 and 2008 but changed my party vote to Labour this time because I didn’t like the Green’s ETS compromise. I believe that they should have stuck to their guns and voted against an ETS if they thought that a carbon tax would be better.

        • Luke 3.1.2.1

          So you voted Green in 2008 after they reluctantly supported Nationals ETS. Then after they have voted against Nationals watering down of the ETS and critiqued them you switch your vote?

          • Ari 3.1.2.1.1

            Presumably that first National was meant to be Labour?

            And yeah, it seems bloody bizarre to give a vote to Labour, who instigated the barely-functional ETS in the first place, on the ground that the Greens didn’t do enough to stop it.

    • Olwyn 3.2

      The Greens campaigned on both environmental policy and a social policy that has more in common with Labour’s than National’s. The people who voted for them, including those in Clutha-Southland, must have been aware of this. If they were to abandon policy upon which they campaigned, their reputation for integrity would be seriously dented.

  4. I agree entirely Eddie.

    The job for the left is to grown the share of the vote over its current 46% (assuming that NZ First is “left”, a stretch I know).

  5. Gosman 5

    The right being monolithic??? Get real.

    Please advise me why there isn’t room on the right of the political spectrum for a socially liberal and economical conservative party as ACT once was? Certainly National is hardly an all encompassing party for people of a right leaning disposition.

    • weka 5.1

      ACT aren’t socially liberal they’re libertarian.
      I’m wondering what’s happening with the older traditional Nat voters who are economically conservative but support things like a public health system, state owned assets, and even welfare.

      • mikesh 5.1.1

        The natural home of “traditional” National voters would be NZ First, but only if that party was a little less disreputable.

    • Pascal's bookie 5.2

      Please advise me why there isn’t room on the right of the political spectrum for a socially liberal and economical conservative party as ACT once was? Certainly National is hardly an all encompassing party for people of a right leaning disposition.


      Umm. At this point the onus is kind of on you to advise why such a party doesn’t exist. Apart from 1% to act and a few % to Conservative, righties lined up behind National. National has certainly seemed to encompass damn near all of the right Gosman.

      • Gosman 5.2.1

        That doesn’t explain why there isn’t room on the political spectrum for a party economically to the right of National but one that is socially more liberal. All you are highlighting is currently there isn’t an effective presence there. That doesn’t mean one can’t be established in future.

        I met a number of the ACT party activists in Wellington Central during the election campaign. They were young and enthusiastic about the future direction of the party. Their candidate for Wellington Central certainly caught the Green and Labour party supporters off guard when he closed his appearance on Backbenches with an outspoken endorsement for Gay marriage. This is not National party policy territory. The supporters saw the National party as being a more right leaning version of Labour.

        • Pascal's bookie 5.2.1.1

          There is room on an ideological spectrum for any number of parties, but what counts is how many votes there are at that point of the spectrum, and how those voters behave.

          ACT had a run at establishing a right wing alternative to National. It seems to have run its course. Other than that, attempts at alternative right wing parties have been failures. It looks like right voters are happier lining up behind National. That’s just a fact.

          In a different universe, things would be different, that’s also a fact.

          • Gosman 5.2.1.1.1

            Agreed at this point in time. However the National Party is unlikely to keep this broad right coalition together indefinately within it’s own party structures. There are already grumblings amongst some National party supporters that John Key’s direction for the party is too centrist. I know it is hard for leftists to comprehend but there are a number of people out there who don’t think Governments should own any businesses let alone keeping 51% ownership and think our tax structures are too onerous. You might not agree or like these views but they are still valid views to hold unlike say Slavery or Imperialism which are obviously not. My point being is that if there are valid political ideas that appeal to people, (which there are), then there is room for a party to represent them.

            • Pascal's bookie 5.2.1.1.1.1

              I’m well aware that some people think all sorts of crazy things Gos. ACT stood up and asked for the votes of people who believed a bunch of stuff. They didn’t get very many votes.

              I certainly don’t think that the National party doesn’t have factions. It’s fucking riddled with them. But that’s the nature of the beast. Righties, it would seem, prefer to do it that way. Lefties seem to prefer busting things up and putting the factions in different parties.

              Which is what the post was saying, no?

              • Gosman

                I disagree. The history of politics in the MMP era suggests that a party on the right of National is possible and support for it varies from just over 1 % ( at it’s lowest) to over 5% depending on what is happening with the National party. I would argue that it is simply bad political management and leadership that is the cause of ACT’s current low standing rather than a lack of support for it’s ideals.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  “depending on what is happening with the National party”

                  Yep. When ACT has done well, it’s been when National has been up shit creek. ACT’s ideas aren’t complex, and they’ve articulated them clearly, and yet, here we are.

                  But anyway, best of luck with the new party. 😉

                • Ari

                  Oh, there’s definitely support for a party rightwards of National, but ACT kinda imploded itself by picking John Bloody Banks as its candidate. Not just because it looked like he might have trouble winning, but also because it turned off a lot of the libertarian supporters of ACT who had already been pretty iffy about the party.

                  As for economically right and socially liberal, that’s a combination that just doesn’t really coalesce into political movements for very long. ACT never pulled it off properly, devolving into factional infighting between the hyper-conservative and libertarians (who I will charitably credit with at least being somewhat socially liberal) in the party, with the hyper-conservatives winning last term.

                  Probably the issue is that you can’t really pull off extreme rightwing policies at the same time as you try for social liberalism, you need to have a more centrist economic policy for the liberal dimension to get a chance. If a party emerged to the centre of National on economics and well to the left of it on social issues, that might attract the sorts of people who’ve voted for UF, NZF, and so on in the past, and would certainly be a moderating influence on National that I would welcome.

                  • Reality Bytes

                    ^this. A lot of my thoughts likewise.

                    Banks is in many ways incongruous to what Act traditionally stands for, and imo him becoming leader of the Act party will be the end of an era, and likely the end of the Act party itself.

                    It’s that libertarian streak that made Act special (at least in principle) and differentiated them from being simply the ‘National version 2, with more rightwing sprinkles’ party.

                    Now they are definitely just the “National version 2, Nats tell us to jump we ask how high” party.

            • felix 5.2.1.1.1.2

              That’s not how you spell “vapid”, Gos.

  6. bob 6

    I see the greens dropping (quite a bit) next election with labours vote rising (I mean it cannot get much lower right?)

    I think the Greens ‘success’ was really more labour people sick of labour as it is now – perhaps if you learn a lesson or two (drop mallard as campaign manager for a start), then perhaps you will get some of them back.

    If you dont – labour risk becoming the third party – because the greens have their shit together – you guys dont.

    [lprent: Read the about and the policy. This isn’t a Labour party site.

    You appear to be somewhat thick, I’m tired of reading your ignorant troll level comments this morning, and it is a Darwin level offence to try to tell us who we are.

    Looking back over your previous trolling under a number of names I can’t see a redeeming feature in your comments – just a whole lot of warnings. FFS: You aren’t even in NZ. It looks like you only come here to troll.

    Blacklist permanent ban. ]

  7. weka 7

    Someone said elsewhere on TS there is an opportunity here with this election. I agree. Labour needs to stop thinking of itself as THE left party that can throw a few bones to potential coalition parties so that Labour can govern. The Left needs to start thinking and acting like a coalition of mutually dependant and supporting parties.

    The great hope of MMP is the development of co-operation politics. We’ve seen some of that with various work done under MMP, but we haven’t seen its potential yet. The opportunity here is to dump the old left/right swing paradigm, and develop new ways of working.
    With the Greens now so strong I think we have the chance for that. Labour will be less in a position to dictate what happens, and we will have three major voices on the left in opposition (it will be interesting to see how the media handles that).
    I also think the Greens and everyone on the left needs to get its act together around tactical voting. If the Greens hadn’t stood a candidate in Waitakere then Sepuloni would be the electorate MP there and Paula Bennett would have to be a Minister as a list MP who had lost her electorate seat. That would have been a big gain for the left especially given how welfare issues are going to be on the agenda. This is one of the big mistakes the left made in this election.
    I don’t understand the antipathy towards parties making those kind of tactical plays. Yes, NACT have shown how to do it badly with Epsom, but it used to be much more common and acceptable early on in MMP and as long as it’s above board and honest I can’t see the problem.
     

    • mikesh 7.1

      If it was essential to get Sepuloni into parliament they could have given her a higher place on the list.

      • weka 7.1.1

        I think you missed my point. I was commenting on the actions of the Greens not Labour.

        • Ari 7.1.1.1

          No, he’s correcting your “point”. It’s not the Greens fault that Labour doesn’t put its best candidates further up its list.

          • weka 7.1.1.1.1

            How would putting Sepuloni further up the list have taken Bennett’s electorate seat from her?

    • Ari 7.2

      The Greens actively tell people they don’t want the electorate vote already- to a certain degree I think they get it from people who are too left for Labour and don’t want to vote for them. Not standing in electorates, however, probably would lower the Green Party vote, so I think that’s a bit of an unfair ask.

      I think this “tactical voting” around electorates is one of the biggest problems with MMP, and the reason I’d want to ditch it in favour of an open list system. (Of course, I voted to keep on the referendum because the other options were far worse) Voting tactically is going to be possible in any system, but it would be better if we had one in which it isn’t so advantageous.

    • ron 7.3

      I think I agree.
      We essentially have a coalition Government now. It doesn’t feel like that because its the tiny influence of ACT and UF holding the Tory block above the left.
      But if I were in charge of the greens OR Labour I’d be working very hard over the next three years to show the voting public that a vote for EITHER is a vote for a better Government – a government of the Left made up of two or three parties of the Left. THAT would be the victory of MMP.
      Key’s bullshit about “stability” is just old fashioned FPP talk.

  8. queenstfarmer 8

    But, perhaps the price of being a larger party in MMP is giving up some of the activists to Mana.

    Yes. The Greens did very well by presenting as a much more focussed party without the inclusion of the likes of Keith Locke and Sue Bradford.

  9. One Anonymous Bloke 9

    As the saying goes, divide and win. No, wait…

    • Blighty 9.1

      within MMP, that’s how it works.

      The Right is now totally dependent on one man keeping the swing vote on side. The Left has 4-5 parties, depending on who you count, which can – if they’re smart – appeal to different swing voter groups and broaden the left vote as a whole.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1

        Blighty, put that way it makes sense, but there are a lot of duplicated resources. The new government’s policies will further erode the social fabric of New Zealand, and a confusion of voices on the left could easily fall into a pit of general apathy and disengagement.

        “There is an alternative” is a lot easier to sell than “there are alternatives”.

        That said I’m all for more co-operation on the left. Labour’s new leadership contest must be the last word on the issue, regardless of the outcome. People’s Front of Judea and all that…

        • Lanthanide 9.1.1.1

          “There is an alternative” is a lot easier to sell than “there are alternatives”.

          Disagree 100%. There are alternatives to fit your particular style of opposition is a lot more enticing than a one-size-fits-all opposition.

          This is why Winston got back into parliament and how Dunne has been hanging on like a grogan for years.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.1.1

            I think that’s true for people who are already going to vote: I’m not sure it works for the disengaged. It’s not really that important to me to be “right” on this point though – the important thing is that the left co-operate a bit more.

            • Ari 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Talking to a disengaged voter is very different than trying to convince someone to vote differently, yes, but it does help having parties that hold themselves to higher standards than National and Labour.

  10. The Greens are moving towards what Labour seem to be pulling back from – the centre. Remaining obsessed with left versus right ignores the fact that most people are closer to the centre than to either polarity.

    While Greens understand this they will have trouble growing their centre support until they add some realism to their policies. I agree with some of the things they want to achieve, but I don’t think they have a credible plan to achieve what they want.

    Green party support in Dunedin was high – about 17%. Major issues in the campaign were sustainability and child poverty. If that interest is harnessed some real progress may be possible, but framing it as a class war, and jumping on anyone who dares criticise any flaws in their religios path, are counter productive.

    • felix 10.1

      I agree Pete, the Greens ought to follow a more “credible plan”.

      Perhaps they should credibly plan to reduce their party vote to within the margin of error, drop 12 or 13 of their MPs, and become a lap-dog for whoever happens to be in govt on a given day.

      That’d be the sensible way to “achieve what they want”, right Pete?

    • Ari 10.2

      Framing it as a class war is only offensive if you’re the one winning, Pete, and let me tell you, the sorts of people represented by the Greens are not winning the class war. They are losing it about fifty times over to National and ACT voters. There’s something to be said for bringing back the word “parasite” into our political discourse for the wealth class that gets paid much more than their work and skill set would justify.

    • Reality Bytes 10.3

      Simply saying look at us, “We are very pragmatic and in the centre” isn’t the be all and end all to become a major party, just ask that Peter Dunne fellow.

      Of course being palatable to the center is crucial to tapping into significant levels of support, but ultimately you gotta fight for something if you want to be a household name, the Greens have done that, and they are getting solid representation accordingly. Just like the Nats and Labour do, they each fight for their beliefs and it’s their zealotry, leadership and principles that earns peoples attention and votes at the end of the day.

      Just being a ‘a vote for me is a proxy vote for so-and-so’ party will never have any chance of being anything significant.

    • KJT 10.4

      “It is a class war, and my class, the rich class are winning”. Warren Buffet.

      Your centre, Pete is way to the right of where the centre should be.

      All the countries that followed the extreme right wing prescription of neo-liberal economics are falling over like flies.

      The impossibility of an exponentially expanding financial system in a finite world is becoming apparent to thinking people.
      Which is why the Green vote is increasing and National and all their sycophants will eventually be seen for the short sighted criminals, they are.

  11. dan1 11

    The Greens ran a good campaign. My disappointment was the local Green candidate, when he did knock opposition parties, focussed on Labour. This is understandable in that they were competing for left leaning voters. But the effect was to get the soft National voters to stay with the Nact party. I wonder how widespread that tactic was, and how much it contributed to the Nats staying higher than some predicted.

  12. Bill 12

    They have succeeded in becoming credible to mainstream New Zealand and, in doing so, brought the new economics we need to the fore.

    What ‘new economics’ is that? It’s exactly the same market economics,the only difference being that more emphasis is given to a desire for so-called ‘green production’. (Not a bad thing in itself, but not ‘new economics’.)

    With the Greens you have a group of highly intelligent and skilled young women who know politics – many of them are former Green staffers –

    Why would you want staffers becoming MP’s? It does nothing for critical analysis or reflection and would seem to encourage or even entrench an insulated culture trundling along on uncritical obedience.

    That’s the joy of MMP too. Parties of the Left don’t have to try to be all things to all people – they can specialise and segment.

    Yup. Which means that in theory a government of the ‘left’ could be better at representing the views of voters….giving appropriate weight to particular sentiments as expressed through the party vote. Maybe. The ‘maybe’ is because the parties are in a competitive environment where where the only option is to form a coalition. Meaning that where policies do not line up…and that will include major or ‘head-line policy… competition will determine what comes to the fore. And that is not necessarily representative of voter sentiment or desire.

    Serious question. What does it require for a government to subject a matter to a referendum? Would it be better for all of us if major policy differences within a ‘left’ government were subject to referenda, rather than being subject to parliamentary horse trading and competion?

    • just saying 12.1

      On a not entirely unrelated tangent Bill: I’m still looking forward to your report from the trenches of the transition town movement that you promised a while ago. Hope it’s still on, lots of interesting stuff to discuss there.
      Not telling you what to write obviously. Have read the rules etc.

      • Bill 12.1.1

        It’s coming. I wanted to wait until all the election guff with it’s inevitable 1001 posts per day was out of the way.

    • Ari 12.2

      Zero-growth economics is new, and quite frankly, radical, and it’s still the fundamental building block of Green economic policies, even if in practical terms it rarely gets a foot into the debate.

      • mik e 12.2.1

        That fits very w

        • mik e 12.2.1.1

          my comment didn’t come up in full but what I was saying is that Zero Growth fits very well with National because at 0.1% growth The National parties record for its last five years in office is as close as you can get to greens policy.
          But its a stupid idea growth will be a by product of a rapid change to a green economy in NZ if everything that climate change mitigation requires rapid action not gradual change.

  13. Afewknowtheturth 13

    The Greens will do okay in the short term as long as they don’t talk about any genuinely green policies.

    NZ and most of humanity, on the other hand, will continue on the path of self-annihilation.

    • Afewknowtheturth 13.1

      By the way, perhaps Labour will finally recognise it cannot run with the fox and run with the hounds.

      There is now an opportunity for Labour to kick out the corporatists, get back to its roots and genuinely represent the interests of ordinary folk. (I’m not sure how that would go down with the Rothschilds, Shell, BP, etc.)

      And there is the opportiunity for Labour to disintegrate into two parties; one to genuinely represent the interests of the working class and one to represent the interests of the sector of upper class who like the idea of of talking about socialism.

      The last option is that Labour fades into insignificance (as happened long ago to the Whigs and the Liberals in Britian) as industrial society collapses.

      The next couple of months will be ‘interesting’ and the next couple of years will be very ‘interesting’ in the Chinese curse sense of the expression.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 13.1.1

        By its very definition Labour is a union party- have a look at the people coming in on their list. This is probably why they are likely doomed, NZ simply does not have much manufacturing anymore. More inclusive ‘social network’ parties who can use ‘Twitter’ and ‘Facebook’ to get their message out to young voters have a much bigger future.

        • Carol 13.1.1.1

          Unions do not only represent/support manufacturing workers. They have strong support in many retail and public service areas. They are particularly important for supporting low-middle income workers against the power of wealthy interests.

          • Zaphod Beeblebrox 13.1.1.1.1

            Absolutely, but you can see why labour’s provincial vote is collapsing- big manufacturing plants are closing.

            If they want to become more inclusive they need to stop pre-selecting parliamentary staffers and union officials. 

    • weka 13.2

      The Greens do talk about green policies. Perhaps you mean sustainability policies. That word will soon become as useless in real world terms as ‘green’ but will still have political use. Then there are resilience policies, but you ain’t gonna get any party in parliament talking about that (people who talk about that won’t get enough votes). I guess that was your point though 🙂

  14. Richard 14

    There was a deliberate push by National towards isolating Labour and minimizing their ability to get traction in and outside parliament. JK did this by dragging in everyone it could as long as it didn’t cost them too much.
    This appears to have worked as now we see Act, NF, MP and the greens in there again for more mana enhancement and to secure their position at the trough
    I agree with previous commentators in that its time to keep your arse on one side of the fence or the other. If we are ever going to succeed in ousting Nat then its going to take team work cause Labour can’t do it on their own.
    Divided we fall…
    Can’t wait to see Winston start kicking ass

  15. Afewknowtheturth 15

    Bill.

    You made a good point about the Greens not bringing new economics ot the fore.

    New economics is all about:

    1. abandoning the Fractional Reserve Banking (which is a fraud)

    2. abandoning the creation of money out of thin air on the international bond market (which is another fraud)

    3. abandoning the charging of interest on loans (which is the cause of debt slavery)

    4. abandoning the use of fossil fuels (which are wrecking the long term habitability of the Earth, and about to go into terminal decline anyway),

    5. abandoning consumerism (which, along with overpopulation, is causing the rapid depletion of resources and causing the Sixth Great Extinction Event)

    6. abandoning international tourism (which is detroying the upper atmosphere)

    7. abandoning industrial agriculture (which is inherently unsustainabable and is destroying forests, soil, biodivesity and human health, and will soon be in terminal decline anyway)

    and abandoning all the other idiotic activities that make up mainstream culture before mainstream culture kills us all (or our children and grandchildren).

    I think we can rely on the Greens to stay tight lipped on all the above topics and propose the kind of Greenwash that appeals to people who would like to save the habitability of the Earth for their children/grandchildren as long as they don’t have to change their lifestyles.

    • Bill 15.1

      Or, in other words, a democratic economy, no?

      But then, that would consign parliament to the dustbin of historical curiosities. Like the Labour Party before them, the Greens will become part and parcel of the very system of economic management they purport to stand against.

    • Gosman 15.2

      I look forward to any political party of the left advocating policies which deal with those issues. It would be fun to see them being pulled to shreds by the media and other political parties.

      • Draco T Bastard 15.2.1

        Yeah, they’ll be pulled to shreds – and then reality will hit and everyone will be asking why they didn’t listen.

  16. tsmithfield 16

    I think that if the Greens ditched left-wing socialism, and focused on environmental concerns they would have a much broader support base and could likely form a government with either Labour or National.

    • felix 16.1

      Done.

      • tsmithfield 16.1.1

        Well, if they want to stick with left wing socialism, at least they could be honest and change their name to “The Melon Party”.

        • felix 16.1.1.1

          You don’t know what “done” means, do you?

        • KJT 16.1.1.2

          Do you really think we can become environmentally sustainable and still keep an economic system which relies on infinite growth, dumping the poor, working and productive people to unduly reward those in banking and other parisitic ways of extracting wealth and trying to get out of debt by out exporting every other country who is doing the same thing.

          An environmentally sustainable country must have a sustainable economic system.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 16.2

      Then again if Key were to ditch ACT and denounce Economic Rationalism he might be able to do a deal with any other party he chose.

    • Vicky32 16.3

      I think that if the Greens ditched left-wing socialism,

      My problem with them, is that they have ditched socialism!

  17. Anne 17

    I hope the Greens are grateful to the Labour voters who strategically party voted Green in order to ensure a good result for them. It turned out to be at Labour’s expense, but I understand why they did it. I gave it some thought too at one point. What stopped me was Russel Norman’s sniping at Labour for no other reason than personal political gain.

    If the Greens cuddle up to the Nats – and it looks like they might even if it isn’t a coalition deal as such – they will lose the huge amount of good will so patiently built up over the years, and will end up on the same down-hill road as the MP.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 17.1

      Doesn’t that show that Labour have no idea how to win an MMP election? Whilst Labour wasted their time and resources propping up their egos trying to win marginal electorates, the Greens focused on getting the numbers into parliament where it really counts- the list. 

      All those electorate votes for Labour by Greens voters on the list really were meaningless. I’m sure the Greens would not care whether Ardern or Kaye won (they both were going to get back into parliament anyway) when they were able to hoover up 22% of the vote in Auckland Central.

      To me the Greens focus on the list vote is the appropriate one- people vote for the party not the local candidate- which is exactly the opposite of what Labour concentrated on when campaigning.

       The other problem with protecting the electorate MPs is that it ensconces the dead wood (Mallard, King, Robertson) people who are protected regardless of how much rhetoric you provide when you ‘freshen up the list’

      If Labour follow the same strategy next election won’t be long before the Greens become the real opposition. 

    • queenstfarmer 17.2

      The Greens already have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with National – they did that after the 2008 election, and it certainly did not lose them any goodwill. It is very likely they will do the same this time. It makes total sense.

      I would like to see the home insulation programme extended, and also a clean rivers programme.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 17.2.1

        Problem with that is that the Greens want water pricing (user pays). You’d think the parties of the right would be attracted to user pays but somehow I think the NFF might have a word to Key about doing too many deals.

        The good thing for the Greens is that they will have the upper hand with Key this time.  His only coalition options are ‘corpse parties’ now who will stick do his shoes like dog shit!

      • Anne 17.2.2

        The Greens already have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with National – they did that after the 2008 election, and it certainly did not lose them any goodwill.

        No, but that MoU was, as I understand it, about a handful of specific policy points. Since then some of Russell Norman’s rhetoric has suggested they might choose to take that MoU a bit further into the NAct camp. Only time will tell, but if it happens they will pay a very big price at the 2014 election.

        • queenstfarmer 17.2.2.1

          I don’t understand that sentiment. I doubt the Greens would make any agreement that wasn’t environmentally positive (and it’s rare that I would trust a political party that much! But with the Greens I do).

          And there will be no confidence and supply aspect. The Greens will be free to vote against the Govt on every such vote (and probably will).

          • felix 17.2.2.1.1

            The problem, q, is that the Greens’ leadership think we don’t know foreplay when we see it.

            Next time it’ll be “National promise they’ll only put the tip in”.

      • mik e 17.2.3

        Band aid green wash policies
        Like Nationals band aid economic comic policies

        • jingyang 17.2.3.1

          One of the strengths of the Green Party is its active (and no, I don’t mean “activist” here) membership and its highly democratic structure. The co-leader and co-convenor structure is unique in any NZ party.

          The media and many commentators don’t seem to realise that it would be impossible for the Greens to go with National because the membership won’t let the leadership do that. If the Green parliamentary caucus chose to ignore the membership and support unpopular National policies, that would be the end of the Green Party. It is also unlikely that with a larger Green caucus that Norman or Turei could lead the party closer to the Nats without precipitating a caucus split.

          Furthermore, unlike the Māori Party leadership, the Green caucus and membership alike are well aware of the example of New Zealand First in 1996-9. As has also been pointed out, the Greens’ MPs have never been ex-Labour or Nat, they have little ‘residual’ loyalty to those parties because most of them were never their members or supporters. The Greens have not got the legacy of the winner-takes all of FPP tainting their approach either (unike the recent comments of John Key about 48% of votes and no majority of seats being ‘weird’).

          Commenters like mik e really have little idea about how the Green Party really works, and thus can continue to make such ignorant comments, safe in the knowledge that few people will call them on it.

      • Vicky32 17.2.4

        The Greens already have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with National – they did that after the 2008 election, and it certainly did not lose them any goodwill. It is very likely they will do the same this time. It makes total sense.

        I don’t know about that so much – they’ve lost my goodwill! (And that of a lot of others as well)

        I would like to see the home insulation programme extended, and also a clean rivers programme.

        I’d like to see the home insulation programme actually get started! The Greens proudly claim it as an achievement, but it’s an invisible one.

        • jingyang 17.2.4.1

          Vicky:

          The home insulation program has gotten started. I got my home insulated under that policy – $200 to insulate my roof and $1500 to insulate the walls – my home is warm and cosy, I did not have to visit the doctor this winter, and my power bill is about a 1/3 lower. Brilliant.

          • Vicky32 17.2.4.1.1

            The home insulation program has gotten(sic) started. I got my home insulated under that policy – $200 to insulate my roof and $1500 to insulate the walls – my home is warm and cosy, I did not have to visit the doctor this winter, and my power bill is about a 1/3 lower. Brilliant.

            That’s great for you! But for those who rent (as I do) or who can’t afford $1500.00, it’s meaningless… I thought it was about helping people who can’t help themselves? No wonder I hadn’t heard of its actually having started. I don’t know any middle class people.

            • jingyang 17.2.4.1.1.1

              No, there isn’t much incentive for landlords to upgrade their properties – unless they want to retain and attract reliable tenants. It costs landlords money to have a place empty because the tenant moved out due to the place being a slum. Most landlords I’ve had were incapable of realising that simple fact though.

              Making the Home Energy Rating compulsory and a legally required piece of information for any house sale or rental would be a great start to ‘incentivising’ landlords to actually rent out places that are livable.

              Fully enforced legal requirements for rentals to actually be livable housing would be a great policy for any political party, but with the combination of many of Housing NZ’s properties still being substandard and a National government in power, we won’t see anything practical like that happen anytime soon.

              BTW, I’m not sure an income of under $20,000 a year qualifies me as middle-class…

              • Vicky32

                BTW, I’m not sure an income of under $20,000 a year qualifies me as middle-class…

                You own a house and you have $1700.00 to pay for insulation. So, what do you think? 😀

                • jingyang

                  I think that if that qualifies me as ‘middle class’ then this country really is going down the gurgler.

                  • Vicky32

                    It is and it is, sadly… 🙁 F’r’instance, no one in my family, and I mean no one, has a prayer of ever owning a house, and yet we’re most of us, educated and working!

      • mik e 17.2.5

        QSF Bandaid tokenism the insulation program will continue but the clean rivers your dreaming a survey by federated farmers in Southland showed that only 40% of farmers were complying 20% were partially complying 40% were not complying at all Gore Ensign .But the funny thing was that all farmers were telegraphed well ahead of the survey so had time to make things look good before the survey was completed surprise surveys are rare in this sector as its vested interests over reality!

  18. felix 18

    I posted this on another thread in reply to a comment from Carol, I hope it’s ok to re-post it here too as it seems the appropriate thread.

    “There’s too much at stake for such incrementalism and crumbs from the big table, which will ultimately support National’s agenda.”

    Exactly Carol, this is precisely why I have always been critical of the Greens playing mummies and daddies with National via their MoU: because even while achieving a little good here and there, it ultimately supports National’s agenda.

    There is this erroneous erroneous belief held by some in the Greens – apparently including the current leadership – that the only way to give tangible support to a government is through a formal coalition covering confidence and supply, and that therefore any other arrangement they make is politically neutral and leaves their hands clean.

    So naive. What the Green/National alliance does is lend legitimacy to the National govt. It sends a message that National are so fair, so reasonable, so cool to be with that – look! – even the Greens want to hang out with them!

    This is PR so good you couldn’t buy it. And if you find this interpretation difficult to accept, please ask yourself this simple question: What do National get out of this deal? They’re not
    that stupid. They’re not doing it ‘cos they believe in any of the Greens’ policies, and if they did, they could just implement them anyway without the formal public ceremony of marriage.

    Sad as it seems, the Greens are speaking out of both sides of their mouth. They rail against neoliberalism, poverty, and inequality, all the while propping up the image of National and promoting the idea that John Key is good for New Zealand.

    And that’s why I lapsed my membership in 2009, and that’s why I can’t vote for them.

    • Bored 18.1

      See below…..compromise fatal.

    • toad 18.2

      So, Felix, would you rather have families whose homes have been insulated still living in cold, damp conditions and toxic sites remaining unremediated because of a matter of perception?

      • felix 18.2.1

        No toad, I’d rather have a govt that doesn’t subscribe to the free-market bullshit that causes such problems to exist in the first place, and I’d rather not support a party which provides support to such govts.

        Perhaps you missed the part where I noted

        even while achieving a little good here and there, it ultimately supports National’s agenda.

        I’m not denying the good work being done in these isolated areas, but it’d be nice if you acknowledged that the price of doing it is that you’ve given the country a nod and a wink and a “National’s ok by us”.

        You emphasise “perception” as if it’s not relevant, when it’s actually the perception that National are doing OK at running the country that’s just gotten them re-elected, with the help of the Greens providing a perception that the Nats aren’t all that bad after all while they prepare to flush the whole country down the toilet.

        I also not that you’ve chosen not to address the question I posed: What does National get out of the Nat/Green deal? Genuinely interested in your answer.

        • Carol 18.2.1.1

          Agreed, Felix. National can claim they are doing something about housing. But it’s done in a way restricted to one isolated issue, rather than focus on the Greens’ wider manifesto that involves integrating sustainable low cost energy lifestyle with social and income equality, decently paying jobs, adequate childcare provisions etc.

          Are the insulated houses the ones inhabited by the poorest sections of the community?: e.g. I pay low rent, but to insulate this property, it would require major rebuilding, and I’ve no doubt the rent would go up. It’s OK for a single person on a reasonable income, I can live with the cold in winter by using heating as little as possible and wearing more clothes.

          While the Nats and Greens are congratulating themselves on some good piecemeal stuff, the wider structural issues to do with housing, an economy and community built on low energy lifestyles, wages, affordable decent housing stock etc are not being addressed. To do this means strongly challenging the basis of National policies, and getting the message out to the public about why this is essential.

          So we can get some short term gains, at the expense of far deeper, broader more significant structural changes.

  19. Carol 19

    Well, if the Greens keep up with this move towards the centre and away from a principled green-left position, and if Labour doesn’t get it’s shit together and ditch neoliberlism, I’ll be looking to vote Mana next time.

    I thought this election was too soon for them to gain much traction and credibility. They now have 3 years to build their suuport. I’d like to see Annette Sykes in parliament.

    • Bored 19.1

      Spot on Carol, you are right that the Greens cannibalized the Labour vote.

      There is a little lesson I learnt about compromise on important non negotiable issues over the years…it goes like this:
      ….yes you can have a Conservation Order on this environmental issue with a minimum of (say) 50 cumecs of river flow after water abstraction.
      ….oh, yes that was 5 years ago, and we needto review the water allocations for dairy and we only want an extra 10 % because we are reasonable….
      …..its now 5 years since we reviewed it and the economy demands that more water is abstracted, yes the minimum flow will be kept to 20 cumecs…
      …what do you mean that 50 cumecs was the minimum for the environment to survive? Well it must be dead now so we might as well take the rest.”

      The above scenario is what happens if you even compromise a little: getting into bed with National is the kiss of death for the Greens on any environmental issue because the Nats mates will demand a percentage and they will come back for more percent later.

      • felix 19.1.1

        Yep, spot on Bored. Get in bed with National and you’re gonna get fucked.

        • Julia 19.1.1.1

          Yes but ever so gently. Some nice seeds are going to be planted about now and carefully tended. Its a long term game….here greeny greeny grenny come to Moma.

          Even a right wing bitch like moi can smile and wear bad taste clothes when i need too….the prize will be worth it hehe

          • felix 19.1.1.1.1

            Right-wing bitches always wear bad taste clothes, Julia. That’s how we spot you.

            [lprent: I was going to say something about this comment, but I see that it is fully in context of the reply…. ]

    • Afewknowtheturth 19.2

      Carol.

      Just think, if you had voted Mana this year (and persuaded others to do so) they would have gained more traction.

      And no, they don’t have three years to gain support. What is on the horizon will annihilate support for most other parties within 2 years. People will finally start to recognise the extent to which they have been lied to by mainstream parties.

      Whether present economic-political arangements will still be functioning three years from now is still open to debate. There are plenty of very credible analysts who say it will all ‘be over’ by the end of 2013.

      I am on record as giving this sytem until 2015 at the latest. Nobody has provided ANY evidence I am wrong.

      Some just say ‘tin foil hat’, ignore all the evidence, and carrying on churning out drivel on blogs. A few say: Absolutely right! Most say nothing.

      • Carol 19.2.1

        In which case, it’s not so relevant how I voted in this election. Anyway, I think the main strugggle is outside parliament now, and on the streets and cyberways.

        • Colonial Viper 19.2.1.1

          Problem is (as you see in Greece and Israel), it doesn’t help at all.

          The banksters continue to pull the levers of state power, and even if a hundred thousand people march on the Knesset, or to Zytegma Square, who cares. The bankster cartel and their politician cronies just keep on doing the same. Only difference is a few more tear gas canisters and rubber bullets might be expended.

    • gingercrush 19.3

      Mana need to ignore South Auckland and Waitakere. I have no idea why they thought they’d be successful in those electorates. Focus on Maori seats and anywhere the Greens do well for that is where a swing vote is possible. South Auckland and Waitakere (the Labour voting areas) are stridently stuck to Labour or they stay home.

    • possum 19.4

      What move to the centre?
      The Greens kaupapa is still the same

  20. Afewknowtheturth 20

    Gosman.

    Your comments really are such a laugh!

    ‘You might not agree or like these views but they are still valid views to hold unlike say Slavery or Imperialism which are obviously not.’

    The essence of National is slavery and imperialism. In NZ we have an intricate system of debt slavery which keeps almost the entire population trapped and working for international money lenders and corporations (plus a small amount of literal slavery), and we have imperialism in the form of so-called defence forces which are sent overseas to participate in looting and control of resources.

    That so many people are blind to it all doesn’t alter the facts.

  21. Carol 21

    Ah, Jeannette Fitzsimmons. Smart woman. There’s a comment from her today under Claire Browning’s blog entry on Pundit:

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/towards-a-new-theory-of-the-greens-the-election-campaign#comments

    She first says in an election campaign, parties usually don’t do anything too new/scary, like:

    mention the oil and food and water crises our kids are going to have to live with or the urgency of climate change action or the need to reduce consumption at the same time as greening it.

    She says the first 2 years of a term are used to educate people, then in the election campaign, you remind people of what they have learned. On the radical heritage of the Greens she says, direct action is not appropriate for a campaign, but she hopes The Greens will always indulge in it:

    The problem comes when a lot more people are elected on the “mainstream” message. Will they feel too beholden to the mainstream people who have elected them to tell it like it is now they are there? It’s too early to tell. But I hope that the party will recognise the huge contribution made to our cause by the likes of Occupy and will not denounce its radical roots and the Values analysis.

  22. dad4justice 22

    don’t you mean the rise of rock snot?

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    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    6 days ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    6 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    7 days ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    1 week ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    1 week ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Black April, May and June?
    Worldwide, the 1918 influenza epidemic – wrongly called ‘Spanish’ flu – lasted about two years. However, it lasted about six weeks in New Zealand (remembered as ‘Black November’, because the dead turned a purplish-black). It is thought about 7000 Pakeha died and 2,500 Maori. The population mortality rate was about ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID 19 has struck… as has a lot of terrible ineptitude from far too many
    In a world and a time when the worst off and most vulnerable have been asked, time and again, to foot the bill for the complete subjugating to the will of the 1% thanks to the GFC, at a point where the world as a whole is now seeing quite ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • What’s in the Coronavirus Package?
    With the economy already reeling from a crisis that’s barely begun, the Government today sought to provide reassurance to workers and businesses in the form of a massive phallic pun to insert much-needed cash into the private sector and help fight the looming pandemic. Here are the key components: $5.1 ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • I just had my benefit suspended during a fucking pandemic
    I am a member of the working poor and so still need state welfare to make rent. So I had booked an appointment for yesterday with my caseworker at Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) to apply for a transition to work grant. However the current health advice in New ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago

  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
    The Coalition Government has stepped in to protect Air New Zealand with a significant financial deal that protects essential routes and allows the company to keep operating. The Government and Air New Zealand have agreed a debt funding agreement through commercial 24-month loan facilities of up to $900 million*. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
    The Government has taken further measures to protect New Zealanders from the COVID-19 virus, effectively stopping all people from boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm today, except for returning New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.  New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
    The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.  “Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our number one priority, and that means we need to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders advised not to travel overseas
    The New Zealand Government is advising New Zealanders not to travel overseas due to COVID-19, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced. “We are raising our travel advice to the highest level: do not travel,” Mr Peters said. “This is the first time the New Zealand Government has advised New Zealanders ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt announces aviation relief package
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today outlined the first tranche of the $600 million aviation sector relief package announced earlier this week as part of the Government’s $12.1 billion COVID-19 economic response. The initial part of the aviation package aims to secure the operators of New Zealand’s aviation security system, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago