Small party (and Green) leaders were asked in a The Nation debate what their priority policy would be in post election negotiations.
- United Future: Flexi-Super
- Maori Party: Whanau Ora
- Mana Party: the elimination of child poverty within the first five years
- Act Party: economic growth
- Conservative Party: binding referenda
- NZ First: non-committal
- Green Party: expect to have a very comprehensive coalition agreement that meets a whole range of objectives
Right, I wanna talk about relationships in MMP, and I’m coming to Mr Dunne. I want to know that if you get into a confidence-in-supply agreement with the next government, what would be the one thing you would be pushing for in return?
Dunne: I think probably top of our list would be to make progress on our flexi-super proposal, which would see people being able to take a reduced rate of super from the earlier age of 60 or an enhanced rate if they deferred to 70, and with the standard age remaining 65. I think that would be the one thing we’d wanna push most strongly.
That’s a repeat of last election.Dunne negotiated a discussion paper on Flexi-Super with National after the 2011 election and that which was released last year but National are luke-warm on doing anything on it
UnitedFuture’s plan which would allow people to take a reduced rate of New Zealand superannuation from the age of 60, or an enhanced rate if they deferred uptake until 70. The rationale was to give people more choice over retirement income and to recognise that for some people 60 was the age to leave the paid workforce, but that they were currently unable to do so for financial reasons.
Te Ururoa, you say that you could go with either Labour or National, so what would be your top priority as a policy to get?
Flavell: …the major platform that the Maori party has always been on about is final order. We say that if we’re able to consolidate, not only just social—the MSD-
So you would be pushing that if you were with the next government, you’d be pushing to keep–?
Flavell: It’s an absolute must from our perspective that final order will be at the centre of our platform, our policy. It is right now, and it will be.
‘Final order’ is a mistake in the transcript, it should read ‘Whānau Ora’ which is the Māori Party’s flagship policy.
Whānau-ora: restoring the essence of who we are; putting the vibrant traditions from our people at the heart of our whānau
Whānau Ora begins with you. Whānau is the heart of our people, it is the foundation on which our country thrives. It is about reaffirming a sense of self-belief.
All right. Mr Harawira, Mr Cunliffe says that you’re not gonna be part of his government. But you say he’ll pick up the phone if he needs you. So if he rings and says, ‘Hone, I’m offering you confidence in supply, that’s it, no ministers’, what do you want from him?
Do you think he has the vision to lead this country?
Harawira: What I know is this – if the polls keep trending the way that John Armstrong of the NZ Herald says and hit 5% even before the campaign starts for Internet Mana, I’m guaranteed to get a call on the night of September the 20th. And if he asks us, is there one policy, if there’s one thing that we would want to see changed, it would be this – the elimination of child poverty within the first five years.
The ‘elimination of child poverty’ seems idealistic, especially when it is usually a statistical figure based on families below the median income and on that basis there will always be some ‘in poverty’ – below the arbitrary line.
I can’t find a reference to the five year target on the Mana website but they have a range of policy points addressing “economic justice’, for example:
Work towards implementing a Universal Basic Income where everyone in Aotearoa aged 18 and over would receive a minimum, liveable, tax free income after which progressive tax would kick in. This would eliminate the huge costs involved in administering the current shame and blame WINZ system, and do much to end poverty and address growing inequality.
Jamie Whyte, if you had a confidence and supply agreement, what would you be after as your top priority policy?
Whyte: Well, almost all problems, practical problems, are remedied by becoming wealthier. And so economic growth is by far our priority. And so the policies that we’ve been promoting on – cutting taxes and reducing the regulatory burden, which would promote economic growth, those would be our priorities in a negotiation with the National party.
Short to medium term goals should include reducing the level of government expenditure below 28 per cent of GDP and lowering the top tax rate to 24 cents. ACT’s Regulatory Responsibility Bill should be passed.
Mr Craig, your policies are almost the same as NZ First. You’re the doppelganger in this room, so why would people vote for you when we’ve got the real thing right here.
What would be your top policy that you’d be after?
Craig: We’ve said publicly that we think governments should not be able to ignore overwhelming vote in referenda. The anti-smacking law, tough on law and order, reducing the MPs, all right quite rightly should have been implemented by government, because there is a point at which people need to know they control this nation. It’s their country.
Craig has already stated a bottom line on binding referenda.
ON OUR WATCH REFERENDUMS WILL BE BINDING
At the heart of the democratic system is the principle of the citizens initiated referendum. It’s when a single issue is thought to be so important, all voters are asked to make their opinion heard.
No specifics are given on exactly what this would entail, Conservative ‘Issues’ or policies are brief and vague.
New Zealand First
Mr Peters, your bottom lines or things that you really don’t wanna budge on are no foreign land sales, no race-based parties, buy-back assets and keep the super age at 65. You’re gonna be on the cross-benches, aren’t you, with that list?
Peters talked about a range of policies but was typically evasive and vague.
Peters: Your assumption is that at six weeks out from the election, we’re gonna make decisions now and tell the public, ‘Forget about you, doesn’t matter what happens in six weeks’. Behind close room deals. Now, I’m gonna leave it to the public to decide who’s gonna be standing there at the election, and it won’t include some parties standing here right now.
Many alluded to but no bottom lines revealed before the election.
All right, let’s go to Metiria Turei there. (asked about working with NZ First)
Turei: The Green party in government will be a very large part of that government, and we will have significant influence. We will expect to have a very comprehensive coalition agreement that meets a whole range of objectives – a cleaner environment, a fairer society and a smarter economy. And we will have—we won’t settle like other parties might for a single achievement. We want to see our whole plan, our whole agenda being rolled out.
Turei wasn’t asked specifically about a priority but her answer was more befitting of a medium sized party with potentially a significant influence in a coalition.
Greens are excluded from major party debates despite the chances of them getting half the votes of Labour, and they could be a quarter to a third of a left wing coalition so could reasonably expect to include a number of their key policies in negotiations.
Source: TV3 The Nation – Debate: Multi-party election campaign debate