Green MPs “a really busy and positive year”

The Green Party have good reasons to be fairly happy with their year.

James Shaw has settled in as co-leader after Russel Norman’s exit in 2015, they secured a Memorandum of Understanding with Labour, there’s been no major embarrassments or stuff ups, John Key stepped down, they gained a second new mid-term MP (Barry Coates), and two more MPs indicated they would step down next year making room for more fresh faces (if they at least maintain current levels of support).

The loss of one of their most respected MPs, Kevin Hague is a negative but not a major considering how everything else has gone for them.

Metiria Turei reflects on 2016 and looks ahead in Well, THAT happened: reflecting on 2016 and beyond:

2016 for our MPs

Green MPs have actually had a really busy and positive year working on the nation’s most pressing issues: poverty and inequality, housing, climate action, inclusive education, safe drinking water and clean rivers to name a few. We’ve been talking with people up and down the country, promoting legislation, setting out the solutions, and, where possible, working with other parties in Parliament to achieve progress.

They have done as much as could be expected from Opposition, and have been visibly more active on policies and issues than NZ First and probably Labour most of the time. The are far more organised and persistent in social media.

2016 for us and Labour

In May, the Green Party signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Labour. It’s the first time political parties have reached such an agreement before an election, and means we get to have a conversation with New Zealanders about why we are working to change the government.

We worked constructively with Labour on the Homelessness Inquiry and early in 2017 you’ll see us working together on a range of other issues.

The Greens got what they wanted with the MoU and are happy with it, but it’s yet to be seen whether it will help their cause. They are very reliant on Labour to get into Government and are keen to do what they can to make that happen – but they also want to increase their share of the party vote relative to Labour to give them more leverage.

2016 for me

For me, this year has been one of consolidating my work on housing and inequality because I am determined to do all that I can to ensure that families have the resources they need to nurture their babies.

We need mothers educated, healthy, and secure so that they can shape the future of our nation. It will be women that determine the fate of our country next year, make no mistake.

I don’t know how that will work, there are about as many male voters as there are female.

So, I’ll be spending the summer resting and getting ready for a busy 2017. I want to spend time doing craft, reading, walking my dogs and connecting with my whānau so that next year I can run hard with the Greens to change the government.

‘Change the government’ has been repeated a lot by the Greens and Labour already, trying to get voters thinking about it being time for a change.

Turei is well supported and respected amongst her own. It’s yet to be seen whether she can appeal to a wider constituency so that Greens grow their vote (they failed to do that last election) and so that Andrew Little and Turei (plus James Shaw) look like a viable alternative to run the country.

If Little continues to try to appeal more to the left than the centre Greens and Labour may end up competing for the same votes – unless they can find the formula for inspiring current non-voters to back them, a strategy that failed last campaign.

But with Bill English taking over from Key next year’s election is wide open.

Greens thought they had their best shot in 2014 and that didn’t work out for them. They get to have another go – and it may be Turei’s last shot at making it into government.

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50 Comments

  1. alloytoo

     /  31st December 2016

    Meanwhile the government actually implemented some solid evironment policies as the greens contemplated their navels

    Reply
  2. Travis Poulson

     /  31st December 2016

    The need to focus on ALL waterways, not just campaign on swimmable rivers. Their emphasis in incorrect, focusing on something that is self gratifying to humans, this is the wrong angle. The emphasis should be on cleaning up all waterways (rivers, lakes and wetlands) for the sake of the environment, our native flora and fauna and bird habitat.

    The government has implemented bugger all other than allowing more water extraction and piss weak policies that are selectively targeted and hypocritical (local government included)>

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  31st December 2016

      That’s exactly the sort of simplistic nonsense that the Greens love to spout. The fact is that water quality inevitably varies hugely with place, time and weather. Instead of environmentalists spouting pie in the sky ignorance we need water quality engineers who actually have a clue about the factors at play and the consequences that ensure.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  31st December 2016

        … that ensue. And the costs and trade-offs involved in managing these factors.

        Reply
      • “Instead of environmentalists spouting pie in the sky ignorance we need water quality engineers who actually have a clue about the factors at play and the consequences that ensure.”

        I think you are confused with ecologists and environmental scientists. Which clearly exposes your lack of knowledge on the topic. The research has already been done and the conclusive scientific evidence of degrading waterways is as plain as day and easy for all to find and read. I’ve spent extensive time researching myself.

        Sorry to say Alan, but the simplistic nonsense lies within your own comment. Maybe you should stick to political commentary exclusively, because this is an issue irrespective of political leanings.

        Speaking of “pie in the sky ignorance”, your ‘you must be a green supporter’ mentality is old and outdated ol’ fella.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  31st December 2016

          Silly crap, Travis. You obviously know nothing about it.

          Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  31st December 2016

          And I didn’t say you must be a Green supporter. I said that is the sort of crap they love.

          Reply
          • Conspiratoor

             /  31st December 2016

            Well that escalated fast. Seems to me you are both on the same page more or less. I hope Travis sticks around. This blog could do with some specialist knowledge

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  31st December 2016

              If he had any, yes, but he hasn’t. It’s just ridiculous to treat all waterways as though they have the same issues and to attain the same quality standards.

            • Alan, Alan..Alan. You’re out of your depth. I didn’t say ALL waterways have the same issues. I said:

              “The emphasis should be on cleaning up all waterways (rivers, lakes and wetlands)”

              That means: the emphasis has to include lakes and wetlands AS WELL AS (is that clear enough or should I dumb it down more?) NOT JUST RIVERS.

              But as I say Alan, you’re out of your depth. A good idea in public forums is knowing which debates to leave alone: generally those are the ones you know nothing about.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  31st December 2016

              You are such a b.s artist, Travis. It is ridiculous to rabbit on about cleaning up all waterways. Many don’t need it. Some can’t be done at reasonable cost. Some are fine 95% of the time and the other 5% doesn’t matter. Some are needed for various purposes requiring different quality standards. Some are naturally silty, others naturally clear. But talking to you is so obviously just a waste of time I’m avoiding detail.

            • That’s right Alan, so you stick to the lab, leave the environment to people that know what they’re talking about.

            • Still some reading difficulty too I see Alan, perhaps a bit too much New Years Eve cheer? 😉

            • Conspiratoor

               /  1st January 2017

              Unfortuately this thread has degenerated into a comparison of penis length. Have either of you got any hard data or summary of facts to back your claims? On further thought a reinstatement of your claims would be a good start. Cheers,c

            • Hard data of our waterways being degraded? Sure I could take the time to list test results, mitigation reports, photographs of said waterways, etc etc but then we’re not all that blind that we need someone on a blog to point it out are we? I could go all day posting links waterway by waterway because there’s so many (and many are rapidly getting worse in a short space of time) but then you could all do some browsing yourself. Start with the Selwyn River, Lake Waikare and Lake Whangape, the list goes on.

              The likes of Wilkinson have his head firmly in the sand with his simplisitic explanations “some are naturally, clear, some are naturally silty….”

              I suppose some are naturally hypertrophic too Alan…..

            • Conspiratoor

               /  1st January 2017

              Okay I understand too much hard data would bore folks to death. However I think we can separate the two protagonists on this point…

              Travdog…
              “The emphasis should be on cleaning up all waterways (rivers, lakes and wetlands)”

              Al…
              “It is ridiculous to rabbit on about cleaning up all waterways. Many don’t need it”

              Perhaps Al could provide a couple of examples of waterways ‘that don’t need it’. To which Travdog could put up a counter argument and explain why they do in fact need a cleanup too

            • The trouble with that Conspiratoor is that he would be responding with an incorrect understanding of what I said. He thinks I am implying every body of water is polluted. By “all” I meant inclusive of other types of water bodies, such as lakes, wetlands, swamps etc. Why on earth would I suggest to clean up a waterway that doesn’t need it?

              But all said and done, there are those out there actively engaged in change, and others stuck in their online blog jerkathon day after day year after year telling all of their superior knowledge of politics, economy, environmental issues etc.

              I’ll leave you with some reading material, all reviewed by leading scientists and ecologists of course.

              https://www.scribd.com/mobile/document/234827913/The-21-Agreed-Scientist-Statements-My-River

              https://www.scribd.com/mobile/document/234828291/Round-3-Statements-of-Agreement-and-Disagreement-Myriver

              https://www.scribd.com/mobile/document/234829787/Science-Panel-Round-3-Myriver

              https://www.lawa.org.nz/explore-data/waikato-region/lakes/lake-waikare/

              And last but not least, as contributed by what Alan calls “engineers” (snort)

              https://www.scribd.com/mobile/document/234931051/The-Government-s-Water-Policy-Revisted#download

              There is of course very much more, but it is New Years day, and I’m going outside to do some more planting in my wetlands 😉

            • Conspiratoor

               /  1st January 2017

              Thanks for the links Travis, and the clarification. Watch those misunderstandings though, that is how wars start. I’ll check the links later after I’ve been down to the stream to fire up my illegal pump. It’s getting fairly dry up here. Cheers,c

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  1st January 2017

              A Gareth Morgan love-fest from Travis. Climaxing in the last link with these conclusions:

              3. The Government policy to maintain or improve water quality ‘across a region’ is am-biguous and impossible to implement. This means it may not constrain, let alone halt degradation of waterways. Instead, in our view, the default option should be that every waterway should be maintained or improved, effective immediately. This should be measured through trends in the MCI (Macroinvertebrate Community Index) as a base-line of ecosystem health for that river.

              4. With the national objective on each and every waterway set unconditionally as “maintain or improve”, enabling an individual waterway’s health to decline needs to be sanctioned by the local community. This is best achieved by the developer presenting to the community their evidence that the degradation their proposal will cause is worth the economic benefit.

              Note words “every waterway” despite Travis’s denial. Note item 4 would be a licence for every environmentalist to micromanage every farmer and every business.

              The other links simply confirm the complexity and diversity of issues that I referred to. Simplistic solutions and advocacy have no place. I’m amazed Travis is allowed to plant in his wetlands. I’m certainly not in mine.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  1st January 2017

              .. Last two paragraphs should not be in italics.

            • Alan, still arguing something you misunderstood. It’s painful to read and I feel embarrassed for you. So us both a favour and please stop.

              Also there is no “Gareth Morgan love fest” as anyone that knows me knows I can’t stand the twit. The only reason I quoted that article is because it was done by qualified peers, unlike you Alan my eyes are wide open to all sources not just the ones that are in line with my political leanings.

              But that’s your trouble Alan, you can’t debate the topic of water quality without politicizing it in some way. Which really, kind of ruins your argument.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  1st January 2017

              It would be good if you would stick to the issues instead of the personal attacks that you began with and just make you look sillier than necessary, Travis.

              All of your links were Morgan sourced. It was done by his organisation, not by “qualified peers” and the consulted experts were kept anonymous by him.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  1st January 2017

              As for politicising water quality, of course it is political as soon as you go from measurement to political action.

            • Nothing was kept anonymous Alan, they’re all there as clear as day to see, another argument down in flames.

              Pity for you, most of them don’t fit your stereotypical ‘Gareth gang’ either.

              Dr Bob Wilcock— NIWA
              Dr Roger Young – Cawthron Institute
              Dr Rick Pridmore – Dairy NZ
              Dr Mike Joy, Massey University
              Dr Phil Mladenov – Fertiliser Manufacturers Association
              Dr Alison Dewes – Agricultural consultant
              Graham Sevicke-Jones – Greater Wellington Regional Council
              Professor Jon Harding – University of Canterbury
              Professor David Hamilton – University of Waikato
              Dr Marc Schallenburg – University of Otago
              Dr Rich McDowell – Agresearch
              Shirley Hayward – Dairy NZ
              Dr Clive Howard-Williams – NIWA
              Professor Gillian Lewis, Auckland University
              Ken Taylor – Environment Canterbury
              Dr Mike Scarsbrook – Dairy NZ

              Shall we continue Alan?

              What is it you’re arguing, that the problem doesn’t exist, the problem is exaggerated, or that the problem is so big we should bury our heads in the sand and not bother?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  1st January 2017

              Ok, I missed the list at the end of the last document. I had read Morgan’s earlier statement that the members would not be made public as well as the statements on anonymity in the header section on process. You may have missed this statement:

              The following conclusions are ours. They are reached as a result of the discussions, they are not attributable to any one of the participants.

              I’m arguing as I started that the issues are complex, diverse and often long-standing, that all our waterways are not going to hell in handcart, and that water quality standards need to be adaptable to local needs and uses. The public ranting from the likes of Mike Joy and the Greens should be taken with several grains of salt.

            • FYI, while acknowledging his expertise and acandemic ability, I agree with Dr Joy in what he ultimately wants to achieve, but I don’t agree with his activist methodology, ie: alienating dairy farmers.

              I am all too well aware that the situation is complex as the contributing factors are numerous and cannot be pinned one industry secto alone, Lake Waikare is a good example of this as it is a perfect storm of how to ruin the entire ecosystem of a catchment.

              I am not arguing that all waterways need cleaning up, yes I know there are clean waterways.

              I’m not arguing that all waterways are polluted.

              My definition of “all waterways” was directed at the greens, meaning their clean rivers campaign should also include lakes and wetlands, not just rivers. That does not mean I am implying that every body of water in this country is polluted.

              Which brings this back to a full circle in my criticism of the greens in that the waterways that need cleaning up need to be done for the right reasons ie: the environment and sensitive ecosystems, not just for grubby whiney socialists that want a swim.

              I advocate for the environment, irrespective of the views of any given political party (or my own political leanings) or any independent source.

              That doesn’t necessarily make me a fan of some twit that gets his jollies from motorcycling through communist dictatorship states.

              It just makes me a fan of cleaning up the rivers and lakes that us destructive humans have ruined. And that’s what we all want……don’t we?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  1st January 2017

              The typo in the first word of your first comment on this post made your criticism seem more general than you intended. Waterways have multiple functions and uses and acceptable solutions vary accordingly. Swimming is a relatively rare use and should not be made a general standard. Even when it is appropriate exceptional circumstances such as flood events can be acceptable reason for short term breaches.

            • Didn’t even notice that typo Alan!

              “Swimming is a relatively rare use and should not be made a general standard”

              Well of course it shouldn’t. Swimming is an activity for the self gratification of humans, and shouldn’t be a factor in regards to goals that are set for water quality (neither should ‘wadeable rivers’), because in many circumstances the waterways aren’t suited for swimming regardless of water quality.

              The human factor should be entirely irrelevant, instead focusing on getting them restored to their closest possible natural state as we can.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  1st January 2017

              I don’t agree with either of those objectives. The human factor is not irrelevant and must be considered where and when relevant. Restoring to natural state doesn’t seem a sensible target either. NZ will never be in its prehuman state again – certainly not while we have a role to play. Some parts can be and presumably natural water quality will follow. Most won’t, and will need compromises and decisions about use, allocations and controls – which pollutants matter (where and when) and which don’t. Ultimately, only the local communities can make these value judgements.

            • The natural state doesn’t necessarily mean gin clear waters that we can swim in. Obviously some rivers in their natural state are more increased in suspended sediment than others, likewise some are tainted with tannins from decaying vegetation etc.

              But the time has come where we have to accept the way we are using the land is unsustainable and do something about it.

              Fortunately we are seeing the tide turn with some councils and industry, albeit very slowly. Some are making some positive changes, and some are still dragging the chain to serve their own best interests.

            • And I can see one problem with your local committees……

          • And I didn’t say you said I was a green supporter, I was referring to your environmentally ignorant mentality, not quoting you directly. Good evening sir!

            Reply
      • Blazer

         /  31st December 2016

        pretty simple,1 dairy cow produces 25 litres of urine per day,the dairy cow population is now over 5 million!

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  31st December 2016

          That is one pollution source, B, of very many. There are many waterways in which it is not a factor.

          Reply
        • Klik Bate

           /  31st December 2016

          You could be onto something there Blazer. What beats me is why the likes of Fonterra haven’t seen the export potential in this…..

          As a cure for Acne, imagine the size of the Indian market alone ❗

          Good old clean, green, New Zealand pasturized cow’s piss…..the next big thing ❓

          http://www.menshealth.com/health/drinking-cow-urine-acne-cure

          Reply
        • PDB

           /  31st December 2016

          Blazer: “pretty simple,1 dairy cow produces 25 litres of urine per day,the dairy cow population is now over 5 million!”

          They still produce less crap then you do in a typical day on here……….

          Reply
  3. “Silly crap, Travis. You obviously know nothing about it.”

    Thank you for your well informed rebuttal. I know a lot more than you about it Alan, and I could destroy your argument all night long, since it lacks…well….literally anything. Maybe you’re best suited to commenting on politics, since you’re marginally better at that than your ecological expertise on water quality. 🙂 Happy New Year, see you in another 12 months!

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  31st December 2016

      I doubt that Travis since I probably was doing water chemistry before you were born and my father certainly was, publishing papers on it and being heavily involved in practical efforts to clean up NZ waterways 60 years ago.

      Reply
  4. Brown

     /  1st January 2017

    Meanwhile back to something completely different.

    “Turei is well supported and respected amongst her own.”

    As was alluded to that’s no measure on relevance of course and I would suspect she will be seen by most as what she is – light weight, self indulgent and of no use beyond spouting slogans and wasting your money.

    Reply
    • The greens will increase in popularity the day she steps down. Shaw looks possibly like the breath of fresh air the party needs, but they’ll struggle to win any new support with her still at the helm of this politically correct trial of ‘co leaders.

      Reply
  5. Zedd

     /  1st January 2017

    yahoo.. gooooooo Greens ! 🙂

    Reply

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