Metiria Turei’s State of the Nation Speech

Metiria Turei gave Greens annual ‘State of the Nation’ speech yesterday. It was more a State of the Greens speech, which is fair enough.

The worst part was the last line – “Together we are heading towards a beautiful tomorrow.” Her Green fans will probably love that but I doubt if it’s a new vote winner.

The best part was a proposal to establish an election policy costing unit in Treasury.

Today, the Green Party has sent a letter to each party leader, asking for support from across the House to establish an independent unit in the Treasury to cost policy promises.

Political parties could submit their policies for costing to this independent unit, which would then produce a report with information on both the fiscal and wider economic implications of the policy.

This was well reported and applauded. More about this in a separate post.

She promoted Green policy successes from outside Government over the years and tried to overcome one of their problems.

And I hear the same doubts expressed about the Greens as they said to Savage. We like you. We like your ideas. We’re worried about the future. But you’ve never been in government before, so how can we trust you with our vote? It’s a Catch-22.

So today I want to talk about these reservations people have about us and tell you why you can trust us with your vote and with the responsibility of helping to govern the country.

She tried to dispel the notion that Greens were radical, trying to attack that label to National.

The first thing I want to talk about is this idea that the Greens are too radical. Too outlandish. We have all these audacious ideas that won’t work in the real world.

There are two lessons here. The first is that ideas that are attacked as radical when the Greens propose them become conventional, sensible solutions very quickly when other parties adopt them. That tells us something about the gap between perception and reality when it comes to the Green Party.

The second is that if you still think Green ideas are too radical for government then you have a problem. Because no matter which party you vote for, a lot of the new ideas and new solutions still come from us.

It’s not radical to stand against the disintegration of our environment and our society. It would be radical not to do so.

The solutions to the problems we face are not radical, or outlandish, the solutions are transformative.

Instead she claims the current and previous governments have been radical.

We think that the economic experiment imposed on our country over the last thirty years is radical. We think that doubling the number of dairy cows and the increasing pollution killing our rivers and streams is radical. We think a government that wants to mine our national parks is fanatical. We think the steep rise in child poverty and poverty related child death is radically irresponsible.

However most people won’t read about this attempt at a radical shift in radicalism. It’s a hard argument for Greens to make.

Saying ‘radical’ ten times in speech trying to dispel a perception of Greens being radical is unlikely to dissociate them from the term.

But Turei got some useful headlines, on a practical policy suggestion – costing policies – that is a good approach from a party from Opposition.

So overall it was a useful speech that had an impact, padded out with most parts that are unlikely to reach any new voters let alone swing them towards the Greens.

Most people won’t even care about costing policies, there’s a lot of scepticism of election promises regardless of who has costed them.

“Together we are heading towards a beautiful tomorrow” sounds like wistful Green dream of utopia if only the people would listen and understand. Most of them never will.

Full speech: Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei’s State of the Nation speech

 

Leave a comment

12 Comments

  1. kittycatkin

     /  27th January 2016

    She surely can’t believe that policies go through with nobody working out what it’s going to cost.

    Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  27th January 2016

      The problem is that parties work with private estimation businesses that are more favourable to their cause – an independent body would stop that (in theory).

      Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  27th January 2016

        I can’t see how building a road or railway can come into that category-or funding hospitals.

        Reply
        • jamie

           /  27th January 2016

          Why not? Some people are definitely more in favour of building railways than others. Same for roads.

          Some people don’t think the govt should spend ANY money funding hospitals and some think it’s always the highest priority.

          Reply
          • kittycatkin

             /  27th January 2016

            How do these people think that hospitals can be run without money ?

            There will always be people who want or don’t want roads and rail-I just used those as the first thing that came to my mind-but vested interests would be rather obvious if they were angling for these.

            Reply
            • jamie

               /  27th January 2016

              Some people think healthcare should be privately funded.

              The point is that there are a huge range of views on the importance or wastefulness of everything the govt spends money on.

  2. kittycatkin

     /  27th January 2016

    I wonder how much slogans do influence voters. They all seem very similar and aren’t usually very memorable or meaningful, but I’d hate to be trying to think of one.

    Reply
    • Timoti

       /  27th January 2016

      To answer your question:

      Labour is red
      National is blue
      If you vote for Andy
      I’ll tap you to.

      Reply
      • Rob

         /  27th January 2016

        You’re losing the plot Timoti. Seek professional help. Seriously.

        Reply
        • Timoti

           /  27th January 2016

          Exactly my point. Anyone who is swayed by slogans and picture words is a half-wit.
          Er……you thought I was serious? Oh,well. At least we answered Kittys musings.

          Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: