Last term the Greens spent a lot of time, effort and money campaigning on promoting a referendum on asset sales. This was a costly exercise in futility because the Mixed Ownership Model legislation had already passed through Parliament.
Costly to the tune of $6.7 million dollars, for what was little more than an extended taxpayer funded campaign for the Greens.
Talking of cost the Greens (with Labour and NZ First) also effectively sabotaged the partial asset sales with potentially hundreds of millions of dollars being lost to the country – see Greens/Labour sabotage could cost MRP float $400m (that is for one sale alone).
In contrast this term the Greens are campaigning against referendums that will give New Zealanders the chance in a lifetime to choose an alternate flag and then to choose whether they want to change to it or not.
Two referendums to ensure we the people have a chance to decide.
Plus an inclusive process that has resulted in over ten thousand design submissions. Many people have put a lot of time and thought and effort into contributing.
But because it suits them this time the Greens oppose the cost of two referendums that aren’t futile, referendums that give people a real choice.
New Green leader James Shaw was opposing the flag referendums in Parliament yesterday – see the transcript 4. Prime Minister—Flag Referendum
Shaw questioned John Key’s priorities – he wasn’t in Parliament last term when the Greens prioritised in using millions of dollars of taxpayer money to campaign against asset sales last term, and possible costing the country millions of dollars.
James Shaw : Given that climate change submissions outnumbered flag submissions by 15,000 to 2,300, does he think that changing the flag was the right priority for him to personally champion?
Shaw was promoting a Green sham, trying to equate number of submissions with level of support. Key pointed this out.
When it comes to climate change, the member is right. There were 17,023 submissions received by the Government, but actually most of those were stock standard ones.
They were pro forma and they were prompted by the Green Party. In fact, there were only 1,485 submissions that were unique.
If we go to the flag—something of interest because it was the member’s primary question—he may be interested to know that there were 146,000 views of the New Zealand flag history video, that 6,000 people visited workshops and information stands, and that there were more than 850,000 online visits and about 2.7 million views of the flag gallery.
And there have been over ten thousand flag designs submitted – most of them individual efforts, may of them substantial personal efforts.
Greens seem to want democracy and don’t mind about the cost of democracy when it suits them, but not when it doesn’t fit with their own agenda.
They put a priority on a costly and futile referendum last term. And they put a priority on financially sabotaging asset sales.
But they oppose the Government working on multiple issues concurrently, including climate change and flag change.
Are Greens for or against giving New Zealanders a chance in a lifetime opportunity to decide on an alternate flag design, and then choose if they prefer that or the current flag?
Is the Green Party for or against referendums?
UPDATE: I posted the above flag on Twitter and @metiria responded:
Pete you do remember we campaigned for a referendum on asset sales and won it?
I’ve asked her if she supports the flag referendums and will post a reply if I get one.
Got one now:
If the flag is going to change it shld be by referendum not govt decision. But its not my priority for spending now.
So she supports the concept of flag decision by referendum but apparently won’t support the planned flag referendums if I read that right.
I’ve prompted her to clarify: ” I’m not asking about priorities, I’m simply asking if you support the flag referendums”.
Metiria Turei @metiria
support the use of a referendum for this decision. I dont support the timing of it or the use of so much money.
So that sounds like she doesn’t support the flag referendums but was happy to have our money spent on her own last term.