Posts Tagged ‘NZ Greens’

The day after (the election)

September 6, 2008

John Armstrong writes in today’s Herald:

“The ramifications of Key’s decision [ruling out a post-election deal with NZ First] are vast, not least in putting the Maori Party in the box seat after the election.”

Well, yes, some of us have been saying this for some time. Armstrong goes on to speculate, “… the way the numbers fall in Parliament may well force the Maori Party into a formal confidence-and-supply arrangement of the kind NZ First has with Labour.” As opposed to just abstaining.

Armstrong’s mostly right. What I think he understates is the urge to deliver.  Pita Sharples and Hone Harawira and others in the Maori Party are activists. It’s not in their natures to spend time on the sidelines and watch while others get to make the decisions. They’ve now had three years sitting impotently on the cross-benches, and they’re not interested in repeating the experience.

Also, I think people need to look at the obvious points that the Greens and Maori Party have in common. Environmental and social justice issues are core concerns for both, and the Green Party’s Tiriti o Waitangi policy is much closer to the Maori Party’s than anyone else’s.

They look like natural partners. Soul mates even. And if they were to hold the balance of power after the election and get together to negotiate a common platform with the two main parties… That would amount to a seismic shift in the political landscape.

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Less Te Reo Maori badges. Better litracy.

September 5, 2008

The Greens have opened up a new front in the battle of the billboards, with some neatly effective offerings. Chris Trotter gives them high praise.

Meanwhile, the Nats’ efforts continue not to inspire.

For those who don’t see the Herald, this was, “snapped on Fanshawe St, Auckland, by Stephen Minhinnick.”

Better still, they show off their lack of literacy with their latest effort. They mean “fewer bureaucrats”…

The Nats’ next offering:

Less Te Reo Maori badges. Better litracy.

[Update: Improvements on the doctors/nurses billboard at 08 wire and The Standard.]

Green in every way

August 22, 2008

I see Chris Trotter’s beaten me too it, but “What the hell are the Greens on about?”

Having failed to get the emissions trading scheme they wanted in their talks with National, they are asking the public to tell them what to do. By Tuesday morning. All right then…

The Herald’s report offers a few possibilities for this extraordinary move:

“Theories around Parliament about why the Greens held the press conference ranged from it being a publicity stunt through to a belief the party was trying to strengthen its hand at the negotiating table by threatening to bring down the legislation. It is possible, however, that the Greens are genuinely conflicted about which way to vote.”

Whatever, it defies belief. Sure, the ETS on offer is a dog’s breakfast, and doesn’t go nearly far enough. But it’s better than nothing, which is what we’ll get from National.

National “outlined” its climate change policy last Wednesday, but it got little coverage. Why? Here are the main points:

  • National has set an achievable emissions reduction target … a 50% reduction in New Zealand’s carbon-equivalent net emissions, as compared to 1990 levels, by 2050.

But they have no hard policy on offer to achieve this.

  • National “will ensure New Zealand works on the world stage to support international efforts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions”

They’ll be at the table. But what will they be doing at the table? Why, they’ll be working “with fellow countries on finding a pragmatic way to include large emitters like China, the United States, India, and Brazil.”

  • An emissions trading scheme for NZ.

Their scheme will be “robust”, and able to “stand the test of time.” Government won’t “profit” from it, we’ll know how much it will reduce emissions, we’ll know what the economic effects will be, and it won’t be introduced in a rush. It will, “strike a balance between New Zealand’s environmental and economic interests”, be compatible with Australia’s, and “will encourage the use of technologies that improve efficiency and reduce emissions intensity, rather than encourage an exodus of industries and their skilled staff to other countries.”

At last, some detail you say. Nope. I’m prepared to bet National’s understanding of where to strike the balance between environmental and economic interests is very different from the Green’s, for one thing.

Greenpeace can see the stark realities of the situation. Take the bird in the hand, they say.

Better still, the Greens should listen to Big Biz. They are keen to kick the ETS into touch, until their vassals are safely installed in power and we can be served up some toothless wonder of an ETS scheme that won’t achieve cost anything.

It may be difficult to swallow, but it’s not really such a difficult choice to make.

Who Shall Go to the Ball?

June 7, 2008

Watching the various small parties position themselves in recent weeks, the words “rats” and “sinking ship” come to mind. But as Matt McCarten points out in today’s HoS column, Labour may be partly to blame for its predicament.

Matt reminds us that after the last election Winston Peters and Peter Dunne refused to support a Labour-led government if the Greens were in it. He argues that this “set up the situation where Labour’s hegemony of the minor parties would ultimately fracture.” And so it seems to be coming to pass.

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