Environment not a Green Party priority?

There must be no doubt that the environment is important to the Green Party, but according to NZ Herald the environment is not included in Green policy priorities the environment.  This is from an Election 2014: Green Party – Norman + Turei  pre-election interview.

Greens: We won’t be shut out again

Green co-leaders Russel Norman and Metiria Turei want to be in a full coalition with Labour and have senior Cabinet positions that reflect their party’s priorities, social justice and the economy.

And they say that the possibility of sharing the role of deputy prime minister has to be on the negotiation table.

Mrs Turei has made child poverty her priority while Dr Norman has focused on the economy and green innovation.

While “green innovation” is related to the environment making the economy interests plus social issues their priorities looks like a significant shift in emphasis for the Greens.

However the environment is not left out in a comment from Norman in the interview:

We’re people that got into politics to do some good, and so we’re very clear we want progress on economic, social and environmental policy areas.

With ‘only’ two leaders one of the three has to miss out on their major areas of interest.

The final question: If someone hasn’t voted before, first time voter, what is the single, the single biggest reason they should vote Green?

Metiria Turei: Because we will put children and their families at the heart of every decision that we make in government.

Turei was unequivocal about that but Norman was visibly and verbally conflicted.

Russel Norman: Yeah yeah, I don’t know, the single thing, like you know when you get these questions, the single thing, it’s like it’s comp…like it’s complex.

You know obviously I’d say you know clean rivers and a smart green economy but, you know, that’s not one thing though, yeah, climate change is part of a smart green economy, um, yeah, so it’s hard to answer those questions that name one thing because it’s so much bigger than that.

It’s been said that the three most important things about an election are the economy, the economy and the economy. There’s some truth to that.

How our economy is run, especially in relation to business development and use of natural resources, has a significant influence on the environment. There are potential economic costs of mitigating adverse environment effects.

And if you want to give more money to the poorest people you have to have an economy that can afford that. If the country goes broke everyone will suffer.

As Norman says, it’s complex.

Norman associated himself with Rod Donald as a pragmatic idealist. That is also complex, and perhaps the Green Party’s biggest challenge if they negotiate a significant role in the next government.

Norman seems to get it, Turei seems tending far more towards idealism. Similar tensions are likely through the party ranks.

If any party deserves a shot at being a part of government it has to be the Greens. They’ve had a long build-up and look the best organised and prepared of all parties.

Government is a step up. Greens are relying on other parties to get them there. If they make it their top targets will be economic and social portfolios.

One could expect that the  environment would be their next cab off the rank – but next on the Green list is Kevin Hague who is more likely to get an associate health type role.

Number four is Eugenie Sage who is their spokesperson on environment, conservation, water and resource management., the nitty gritty of environmental portfolios. On current polling Greens deserve more than four Cabinet positions so should get something for Sage, but Greens may have to settle for pragmatic idealism in their negotiations.

Norman is right. It’s complex.

Greens versus Internet Party

The Internet Party is targeting green voters and this looks to be in deliberate competition with the Green Party.

Last year Russel Norman met with Kim Dotcom several times. He claims he was trying to talk Dotcom out of starting up a new party as he thought it would split votes on the left. That was an astute assessment, but Norman won’t have been aware of how much of a risk the Internet Party might pose to the Greens.

Norman wouldn’t have foreseen that someone working closely with the Greens on it’s campaign would have defected to lead the new party. Laila Harre was loaded with inside Green information.

And Harre has clearly positioned the Internet Party as another left of Labour party, which will have to compete with the Greens for votes.

What wasn’t known was how fiercely they would compete. We got an indication yesterday.

The Green Party announced it’s election priorities as scheduled – Green Party launches key election priority, rivers clean enough for swimming.

But several hours before the Green fanfare the Internet Party released it’s environmental policy – Internet Party to stop high-risk resource extraction -

The Internet Party wants a moratorium on fracking, the dumping of oil wastes, deep-sea and undersea extraction and other risky energy and mining industry practices.

In its final environment policy released today – its first full, digitally-driven democratic policy – the Internet Party also vows to restore the absolute right of Kiwis to protest at sea against deep-sea oil exploration.

This looks like it could be a virtual replication of Green policy. If you look at their full environment policy – Environment policy revised – the similarities are obvious.

Having very similar policies will compete for votes, but notably the Internet Party obviously tried to pre-empt the Green launch yesterday with their own green launch. It looks like they want to compete with the Greens head on.

One of the Internet Party’s main stated objectives is to remove National from Government.Elections are generally thought to be won and lost in the centre.

So it’s curious that the Internet Party has targeted the left of Labour vote, and clearly they are intending to compete strongly with the Greens.

They seem to be more intent on capturing as much of the left wing vote as they can.

This could suggest they are looking further than this election with bigger ambitions, perhaps to establish themselves as the dominant left wing party. That’s what Greens would like to become. It will be much harder for them to grow in the same space as the Internet Party.

And I wonder if there’s some payback going on for Norman not playing ball with Dotcom.

Thinking outside the Green square

The Green Party has virtually led the opposition this term. It looks the best organised party apart from National, and it appears to be well funded. Green leadership looks secure and sound.

Greens are overdue for being in government and are ambitious to finally get a share of real power.

But they have a major problem, not of their own doing but a serious impediment to Greens achieving what they want. Labour have seemed an essential part of Green plans but David Cunliffe look like a dead leader walking.

Apart from a weak Labour making a left wing Government look increasingly unlikely the Greens are also hurt by Labour being weak – many voters are sympathetic to some Green input but are wary of too much Green say and too may Green policy. People are uncertain about what a Green dominated coalition might do.

Greens could just resign themselves to being reliant on a Labour recovery and wait. And possibly wait and wait.

But Greens have proven to be smart and also willing to read the political wind and adapt. Green leadership seems well aware of the political need for pragmatism and compromise if a party is to make progress.

They attempted to initiated a campaign partnership with Labour but were rejected.

Will they consider the ultimate in political pragmatism – a coalition with National?

Currently the Green position on working with National is something like “very very unlikely”. But that was determined when Labour+Green looked an electoral possibility. Labour have moved this towards “very very unlikely” and don’t look like changing direction.

They will surely be reassessing this. It’s known that Green activists are not keen on working with National but political pragmatism – and the fear if another three years in the opposition wilderness not knowing if even then Labour will get their act together – must be tempting some in the Green Party to go for a bit of something rather than a lot of nothing.

There would be a number of benefits for Greens going into coalition with National. They would be in a better position to promote some of their policies. They would get some experience at operating in Government and some of their MPs would get experience in ministerial positions.

Their lack of Government experience and their numbers relative to National – something like 55-15 – would mean they wouldn’t be able to claim major roles but they would gain valuable experience and would achieve far more than they could alongside Labour in opposition.

They could prove they can be responsible on Government. This would enhance their chances in 2017.

What about Greens as ministers? Alongside National they would have to accept minor rolls, but this would help easy then into the next level.

Russel Norman with an associate finance role and Metiria Turei in an associate social role – or even Minister of the Environment – would look fine. And Kevin Hague would slot easily into an associate health role.

National would gain from this arrangement as well. They’ve worked successfully on policy with Greens before with insulation schemes, and some more environmental and sustainable influence would be positive.

And it could be easier and safer to work with the principled Greens than Winston Peters or the unknown quantity of Colin Craig.

The country would benefit too from a stable governing arrangement, more social and environmental influence. And once Greens eventually get to be a part of a left leaning government they will be far better experienced.

How would voters see this? I think in the main they would see it as a positive. Swing voters may be far for willing to support Greens if they saw they would be moderated by senior National influence compared to Greens alongside a weak Labour, where voters have some worries about how Green it would be.

Prior to the last election 3 News Reid research polled on a National-Green mix.

We asked voters that if John Key opened the door to a formal coalition deal with the Greens – should the Greens say yes.

  • 55 percent said yes
  • 30 percent said no

Many of those saying no are likely to be Labour supporters who wouldn’t like to be cut out of any deal.

Amongst Green voters:

  • 60 percent said yes
  • 27 percent no

Amongst National voters:

  • 63 percent said yes
  • 25 percent said no

With the current state of the parties, especially Labour’s weakness and fears of the possibility of Labour+Green+NZ First+Internet+MANA or even of National+NZ First then a National-Green alliance may seem even more attractive and less scary to voters.

If John Key saw benefits for National and for the country he should support working with Greens.

Some of the more idealistic in Greens may take more convincing, but the key to successful politics is finding ways of achieving something. Intransigent idealists tend to be impotent. There is far more power in pragmatism.

One of the biggest limiters on Greens increasing their vote is a fear of them having too much influence with their more extreme policies.

National is well supported in the polls but voters are very unlikely to want them to rule with a majority on their own.

Voters may see Greens alongside a much larger National as a much safer bet than most of the current alternatives and they would probably pick up votes that are disillusioned with Labour.

To me National+Green seems to be by far the safest and most sensible choice for the country this year.

Both parties would need to signal there willingness to work together clearly prior to the election. It would likely help both their chances.

Green Party list confirmed

The Green Party have released their final party list as decided by members. This has changed slightly from the draft list.

Green Party 2014 Election Official List
1. TUREI, Metiria
2. NORMAN, Russel
3. HAGUE, Kevin
4. SAGE, Eugenie
5. HUGHES, Gareth
6. DELAHUNTY, Catherine
7. GRAHAM, Kennedy
8. GENTER, Julie Anne
9. MATHERS, Mojo
10. LOGIE, Jan
11. CLENDON, Dave
12. WALKER, Holly
13. SHAW, James
14. ROCHE, Denise
15. BROWNING, Steffan
16. DAVIDSON, Marama
17. COATES, Barry
18. HART, John
19. KENNEDY, Dave
20. ELLEY, Jeanette
21. McDONALD, Jack
22. MOORHOUSE, David
23. ROTMANN, Sea
24. BARLOW, Aaryn
25. LECKINGER, Richard
26. PERINPANAYAGAM, Umesh
27. RUTHVEN, Susanne
28. MOORE, Teresa
29. LANGSBURY, Dora
30. WOODLEY, Tane
31. PERLEY, Chris
32. GOLDSMITH, Rachael
33. KELCHER, John
34. ROGERS, Daniel
35. WESLEY, Richard
36. SMITHSON, Anne-Elise
37. McALL, Malcolm
38. FORD, Chris
39. HUNT, Reuben

Interesting to see Turei still at number 1, Greens tend to swap leaders’ responsibilities and opportunities but the members have placed her above Norman again.

Green Party unveils strong party list for 2014 election

“This is a diverse and balanced list. There are 10 women and 10 men in our top 20, six Aucklanders, four Maori and the first deaf candidate in the top 10 of any party’s list in MMP history.

“The Green Party list truly represents the diversity of the New Zealand population. We are proud of the candidates we are putting forward to be elected.

“This list was ranked by our members and is the most democratic list put forward by any of the major parties.

There’s several (three at least) likely to return to Parliament who were born overseas – this also reflects the diversity of the immigrant population.

A question asked at Kiwiblog: “Why do the Greens not have any constituency MPs/candidates? Is this a tactical thing or something?”

Turei clarified the Green position on this recently when Marama Davidson sounded like she was keen on campaigning for her electorate. I asked her if there are any circumstances Greens would contest an electorate or Greens will maintain a total party vote focus.

Metiria Turei ‏@metiria

We’d have to consider party polls, personal polls, overall benefit to parliamentary presence.

We expect to contest to win electorates in the future but for now its all Party Vote Green.

See http://yournz.org/2014/05/20/davidson-not-contesting-tamaki-makaurau/

Greens and deputy Prime Minister

Green co-leader Metiria Turei talked about the possibility of having Green co-deputy Prime Ministers in a Labour-Green coalition on The Nation. It won’t be easy to negotiate two top ranks in a coalition cabinet. Much will depend on the parties relative numbers – and Winston Peters.

The Nation – Greens aim for co-deputy PM role.

The Greens could share the deputy Prime Minster role in a coalition with Labour, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says.

Greens co-leader Russel Norman last month said he was keen on the role.

Ms Turei said she would like to be deputy Prime Minister along with Dr Norman.

“There’s no rules that stop there from being more than one deputy Prime Minister,” she told The Nation.

“Russel and I have had a co-leadership role in the Greens that’s worked very well for the Green Party. I think something similar would work very well for the country as well.”

They would divide the position the same way they do as co-leaders, she said.

“We each have our own expertise. We have our own roles that we play and we do that work.”

How much negotiating sway they had would depend on the size of their vote, Ms Turei said.

I don’t see a problem in general with having two deputy Prime Ministers. And having someone like Turei to stand up to some of the Labour cabinet might do them some good.

The biggest problem with the idea is balance of power. Greens having positions 2= and 2= in cabinet would be a very hard sell, especially if Winston Petersis in the mix, but even if it’s just Labour and Greens.

They might be able to get around this by the Greens being allocated two positions in Cabinet’s ranking, say 2 and 6, with Norman and Turei alternating eighteen months in each position.

Turei is right, it will depend a lot on the size of each party’s vote and their number of MPs in coalition.

If Greens and NZ First get a similar number of MPs it will be difficult for Greens to negotiate two near top ranks. If Labour continue to struggle and dropped their current proportion (27% at the last election) – and on current performance this is not out of the question – and Greens grow their vote then their negotiating strength will be greater.

Cannabis law reform alive overseas, dead as a cold turkey here

Cannabis law changes are happening around the world, including in some US states. But the chances of anything happening on it here in the foreseeable future look slim.

The use and abuse of cannabis and the associated legal and criminal issues surrounding cannabis in New Zealand are substantial, but politicians don’t want to go there.

National are not likely to consider let alone allow any relaxing of the laws related to cultivation and use of cannabis.

David Cunliffe has said Labour are not interested in doing anything.

“They can put on the table what they want to put on the table, but Labour’s policy is not to decriminalise cannabis,” says Mr Cunliffe.

‘They’ is the Greens but they don’t seem very interested. From Labour, Greens crack over cannabis views:

If the Green Party had its way it would immediately allow for medicinal marijuana and legal action for violent offences would be prioritised over possession.

The next step is decriminalisation with a legal age limit of 18.

For one party it’s the only issue, and before joining the Greens Ms Turei was a member of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party.

“It won’t be one of our major priorities, but it is our policy and we’re not ashamed of that,” she says.

And when interviewed on The Nation last week Russel Norman also sounded less than enthusiastic.

And that could include carrying on fracking, now decriminalisation of cannabis. We had Colin Craig on here, he spoke to Simon a few weeks ago – we asked him this, have you ever smoked a joint? Have you ever smoked a joint?

Yeah, yeah, of course I’ve smoked a joint.

Yeah, so decriminalisation of cannabis, that’s a Green party policy, it’s been a Green party policy down the ages. Will you pursue that in a Labour/Green government?

It’s still part of our policy and so whether it’s part of the priorities – so what we do is before each election is we announce our ten point priority list, right? And we did it last time and we’ll do it again this time and so in any post-election negotiations, you’ll know the what are the key areas we’re going to prioritise. So, I doubt –

So where will that be?

Yeah, yes. So I doubt – we haven’t decided it, right? But I doubt that decriminalisation will be one of the top ten. But, that’s up to the party to decide, but I doubt that will be.

Sure, ok. So, decriminalisation, you’re not into it really. But the TPP -

Well, no Paddy. You can paraphrase it like that, but it doesn’t mean that we -

But let’s move on…

Not a priority and Norman virtually ruled it out of any coalition negotiations where Greens would have most chance of making something happen.

With none of the three largest parties interested in initiating anything on cannabis law reform, and no sign of any small parties being interested, the chances if anything happening look as alive as a cold turkey.

 

Dotcom says Minister would be wrong to overrule courts on his extradition

TV3’s Brook Sabin interviewed Dotcom and asked him if.

This was discussed and summarised on Firstline on Thursday:

Sabin: Now the justice minister would have the final say about extradition if it got to that point. Russel Norman of course made comments in recent months saying if he was part of a government he would want overturn that decision from the courts. Now Kim Dotcom took a swipe at that yesterday saying that was the wrong thing to say.

Dotcom: That was very unfortunate because I believe in the New Zealand judicial system and I wouldn’t accept any Minister of Justice to overrule what the courts are deciding after a long time evaluating all these legal challenges so I think that would be wrong.

That’s a clear indication from Dotcom that he believes that our legal processes should not be interfered with by politicians, although Dotcom doesn’t appear to understand that the Minister of Justice does have a duty to consider extradition requests if the court determines eligibility for surrender.

Judith Collins explained the extradition process.

Once the court has determined an individual is eligible for surrender, the matter is referred to me, as Minister of Justice, for the final decision on the surrender. As Minister I decide whether to issue a surrender order, taking into account humanitarian considerations and other factors contained in the Extradition Act.

The minister can overrule on very specific grounds, but Dotcom seems to have suggested it shouldn’t be on political grounds.

 

 

Who would Greens want as deputy PM?

If Greens get to form the next government with Labour they would presumably be pushing for a high position for one of their co-leaders., especially going by the latest poll result that has them up 3.3 to 13% while Labour are down 5.9 to 29.5%.

These results aren’t promising for a left leaning coalition, and NZ First are in the danger zone at 3.6% (down 0.3), but if support rose in similar proportions to this result Labour would have a little more than double the number of MPs to the Greens. That would make a good case for scoring a deputy PM position.

Who would the Greens put forward as their top choice?

Yesterday Greens released their ‘initial party list’ for the upcoming election. While the list positions are subject to possible member initiated change…

“The list we are releasing today is by no means final. It is just a useful guide for members all over the country to use when making their own personal selection.”

The initial list is put together by delegates and candidates who attended the party’s February candidate conference. Delegates were able to put candidates through their paces and evaluate their performance. The initial list now goes to party members nation-wide to vote on. The Green Party uses STV voting.

the current pecking order is:

The list:

1 Turei, Metiria

2 Norman, Russel

Would Greens use the final list position to determine who was promoted for a top Government position? They could try to get co-deputy PM spots but that may be difficult to negotiate, it means Greens would hold two of the top three government positions.

The latest NZ Herald Digipoll ranks the Green leaders differently. Obviously it polls across the spectrum.

Preferred PM:

  • Russel Norman 5.2% (up 2.2)
  • Metiria Turei 0.7% (down 0.1%)

There’s a clear public preference for Norman over Turei.

Deputy PM will be acting PM at times when the Prime Minister is out of the country.

There is nothing in the Green Party constitution about how they would negotiate coalition government positions.

Constitution of The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand 4 June 2012.pdf

 

 

Craig copies Green plea for donations

Several days ago the Greens started asking for donations for a legal find to fight Colin Craig’s defamation action.

Donate to defend free speech

Kia Ora

All New Zealanders should be treated equally and with respect.

A few weeks ago I spoke at the Big Gay Out and in my speech I made some remarks about the Conservative Party leader Colin Craig’s views about women and gay people.

Now Mr Craig is taking me to court for defamation.

I am proud of the comments I made, and I stand by them.

I am proud of the record my party has advancing the rights of women and gay people.

And I believe it is vital to democracy that political leaders are able to challenge and scrutinise each others views – this robust debate is vital to a healthy democracy.

Donate to our legal fund to defend a healthy democracy – a democracy that allows the Greens and other political parties to champion the rights of all New Zealanders..

Don’t allow Mr Craig, a millionaire, to silence the Green Party and anyone else who speaks up against his party’s 1950s mind-set.

It’s not the first time Mr Craig has taken legal action to silence those that speak up against his party’s views. Our democracy is threatened by this litigious approach to silencing dissent and debate.

We need to raise $70,000. Please make a donation today.

If you want us to keep speaking up for a fairer and more compassionate New Zealand then any donation you can make will help.

By making a donation to our legal fund you’ll be part of something big – fighting for our freedom of speech.

I hope you’ll stand with me to ensure that we are not silenced by those with deep pockets and divisive agendas.

For every dollar you give, you are helping us to take an important stand.

Russel Norman

* You should know that any funds not used in the court case will go towards the Green Party’s work to create a smarter, cleaner, more compassionate New Zealand for all of us.

Craig has used the Green page as a template and he is asking for the same from his supporters.

DONATE TO DEFEND HONESTY

 All New Zealanders deserve at the very least honesty and integrity from their politicians.

A few weeks ago at the Big Gay Out, Russell Norman said during a speech, “A vote for John Key is a vote for Colin Craig, and we all know that Colin Craig wants Gays in the closet and women in the kitchen.” This statement is a lie in both respects, in terms of my views.

Now I am suing Russell Norman for defamation. I have never held either of those views and it is my strong belief that New Zealanders want a much greater level of debate from their politicians. No one should be able to tell outright lies about anyone else and not be challenged.

I believe it is vital to Democracy that honesty is the cornerstone of public debate in this country and I will defend the NZ voter’s right to the highest standard of honesty and integrity from their elected representatives.

DONATE TO OUR LEGAL FUND TO DEFEND THE DEMAND FOR HONESTY FROM ALL POLITICIANS, TO ENSURE VOTERS ARE TREATED WITH THE RESPECT THEY DESERVE.

Don’t allow the Greens to mislead the public by blatant dishonesty about anyone who disagrees with their very liberal views.

It is not the first time I have taken legal action to correct blatant lies and I have been very successful in doing so. I believe we must stand up to all bullies or this very unacceptable situation will continue its rapid escalation.

WE NEED TO RAISE $70 000.

Please make a donation today if you want to stand up for Honesty, Decency, and Integrity in NZ politics. Any donation you can make will help.

BY DONATING TO OUR LEGAL FUND YOU WILL BE PART OF SOMETHING BIG- YOU WILL BE FIGHTING FOR HONESTY FROM OUR POLITICIANS.

I hope you will stand with me to ensure that bullies don’t get away with fabricating lies while claiming the freedom to denigrate anyone they take exception to.

BY EVERY DOLLAR YOU GIVE YOU ARE HELPING US TAKE AN IMPORTANT STAND.

Colin Craig

You should know that any funds not used in the court case will go towards the Conservative Party’s work to create a true democracy where all points of view are respected and where honesty and integrity prevails in politics.

Tit for tat. Craig has even used a similar photo.

honest_donateGreens:

for-free-speech-donate

 

Russel Norman on Radio NZ

Russel Norman was interviewed by Kathryn Ryan on Nine to Noon yesterday:

Russel Norman ( 30′ 55″ )

09:09 Green party co-leader election year interview.

It’s good to get in depth interviews like this, it provides much better insights into the thinking and views of MPs than the more common sound bite and journalist constructed story coverage.

This was the third in a weekly series of party leader interviews. Previous interviews:

Election year interviews – John Key ( 29′ 50″ )

09:05 Prime Minister John Key on priorities for trying to get National a third term in office.

 

David Cunliffe – Labour party leader ( 27′ 49″ )

09:14 Labour leader looks ahead to this year’s election campaign.

 

 

 

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