A Greens versus NZ First weekend

The Green Party and NZ First have clashed through the week, sparked by accusations against NZ First of racism from Metiria Turei last Sunday, both in an interview on Q+A and in a speech at the Green Party campaign launch.  There was tit for tat between the parties through the week.

It is set to continue this weekend with both parties having their annual conferences/congresses/whatever you want to call this week’s self promotion.

Journalists are already priming the competition for airtime.

Audrey Young:  New Zealand First party leader Winston Peters: How the Kingmaker could become PM

Winston Peters is shaping as the man who will choose our next Prime Minister – again. At 72, the kingmaker of New Zealand politics could make a final play to snare the top job for himself, writes Audrey Young.

When Winston Peters warned Green co-leader Metiria Turei that there would be consequences for her calling New Zealand First racist, history would suggest he meant it.

And history, as they say, is the best predictor of future behaviour.

Peters’ party had almost completed its coalition negotiations with National in 1996 but there were two outstanding issues.

The first: Peters wanted an apology from Prime Minister Jim Bolger for having repeatedly called him racist.

Would Turei apologise to Peters in order to form a Labour/Green/NZ First coalition? Probably not this weekend.

The second: What job Peters would get in a coalition Government. He wanted Prime Minister.

This could depend on the numbers. Would National be happy to give Peters the top job? the second top job? At 40% to 10% it seems unlikely, but what if it’s 35% to 15% or 20%?

Whether the “consequences” for Turei would be more severe than having to bury the hatchet in a whiskey session with Peters remains to be seen. Regardless, this election is shaping as the third time in 21 years that New Zealand First will hold the balance of power.

Maybe. As I recall media have predicted this every election for yonks. Twice in 18 years (6 terms) is not a high success rate.

Weird as it seems, Metiria Turei’s comments about New Zealand First were part of a strategy to try to strengthen the Green Party’s hand after the election.

It is more likely to have weakened both parties’ hands.

Stacey Kirk:  Swiping on the Green warpaint: the Greens go head-to-head with an old foe

They’ve spent a week baiting NZ First, but don’t think Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei’s lobbing of the word “racism” to Winston Peters wasn’t deliberate.

As the Greens gather for their election-year annual conference in Auckland this weekend, rank and file will be keen to dispel the ghosts of 2014.

Co-leaders Turei and James Shaw will be determined not to let the same thing happen again. To that end, the party’s annual conference is likely to be a tub-thumping affair, and may even call to traditional Green roots that in recent years have been actively played down.

Peters was understandably rankled, threatening unnamed “consequences”. It doesn’t take much to recall the post-election events of 2005 where Labour shunned the Greens at Peters’ demand, to form a third-term Government.

But the two parties will be competing for airtime as their conferences clash this weekend. And throughout the course of the election the parties will continue to vie for strengthened hands.

This may be the last shot at government and Prime Minister for Peters.

It may also be a last shot at government for Turei. She has been an MP in Opposition for 15 years (since 1972) and party co-leader for eight years, and if she fails this election she – and the Greens – may decide that a different co-leader is necessary.

Two polls were published yesterday:

  • Greens 13% (UMR), 13.5% (Roy Morgan)
  • NZ First 14% (UMR), 8% (Roy Morgan)

They are both desperate to be the third polling party on election day. This will provide important bragging rights and may influence relative power in any coalition negotiations.

Turei and Shaw seem to be playing ‘bad cop, good cop’ with Shaw trying to smooth over the slip by Barry Coates in saying out loud that Greens may force another election rather than support a Labour-NZ First government.

Turei led and continued the stoush with NZ First, and looks set to continue, speaking for the Greens on The Nation this morning (as is Peters).

It could be an interesting weekend with both Peters and Turei trying to claim the ascendancy.


Leave a comment


  1. Corky

     /  15th July 2017

    When I watch a televised annual conference, the first thing I look at isn’t the talking puppet on stage….it’s the audience. You can tell so much from an audience. Those with a good memory may remember the rag tag bunch who turned up for Dave Cunliffes conceding speech versus Nationals white collar affair that was well staged for maximum effect. Having John Key and the whanau walk down an elevated staircase to an adoring crowd of Righties was pure genius.

    These minor parties need to take note of the latter, especially the Greens. When the general public see a Greenie wearing a beanie with Rasta colours they straight away think of hayseeds and marijuana. Worse, the contrast between that and Shaw on stage in a business suit wont gel well. While recent photo shoots show the Greens are aware of this perception, I doubt they have thought about stage managing their membership during their conference.

    As for Winston, he should be keeping the blue rinse set to the back, and have the younger members to the front. Old aint bold, no matter what the polls say.

    Cruel observations, but politics is about perceptions and pandering to prejudices. Its not about respecting divergent viewpoints, respecting the elderly or believing young people have a brain.

  2. sorethumb

     /  15th July 2017

    Chris Trotter invokes Yellow Peril
    Trotter sees these behaviours as prejudices that are “deeply ingrained” – like dirt worked in from the top down. This fits with Marxist tabula rasa (blank slate).

    From Wikipedia
    The academic Gina Marchetti identified the psycho-cultural fear of Asians as “rooted in medieval fears of Genghis Khan and the Mongolian invasions of Europe, the Yellow Peril combines racist terror of alien cultures, sexual anxieties, and the belief that the West will be overpowered and enveloped, by the irresistible, dark, occult forces of the East”

    On the other hand
    Evolutionary psychologists hold that behaviours or traits that occur universally in all cultures are good candidates for evolutionary adaptations.

    “For most of New Zealand’s history, racism and immigration have been inseparable.:”

    People like to be part of a group with a common ancestry and history with a distinct territory.
    The left has always been at war with human nature.

    The inner circle on the left always knew what was going on:

    “SONJA DAVIES was only in Parliament for six years. But, she could hardly have chosen a worse six-year period to be a Labour MP. Her time as MP for the Wellington seat of Pencarrow (1987-1993) coincided with the crescendo of Rogernomics and the splitting of the Labour Party. It was not a happy time for the celebrated feminist and trade union fighter, and she was only too happy to hand her seat over to Trevor Mallard and get out.

    It wasn’t just the awfulness of life in the Labour Party in the late-1980s and early-90s that depressed Sonja Davies. As a shrewd observer of both local and international politics, she rapidly became aware that New Zealand was passing through a period of fundamental cultural and economic re-orientation. What concerned her most was how little New Zealanders were being told and, therefore, how little they knew, about the changes that were radically reshaping what it means to be a New Zealander.

    “If people had any idea about the scale of these changes,” she confided to me early in her first term as MP for Pencarrow,” they’d be horrified. It’s been decided that New Zealand’s future lies in Asia. That’s got massive implications – but most people haven’t a clue. No one asked them and certainly no one’s telling them.””

    Of course, you don’t have to tell the deplorables do you?

    • sorethumb

       /  15th July 2017

      Trotter is saying the left has been racist in the part but the Greens are holding to te progressive moral high ground.
      The Greens talk about tolerance and inclusion (means let people in) whereas NZ First wants to retain what’s left of the national character and way of life (keep people out).
      The Greens deny a link between immigration, housing and environment (as usual).

  1. A Greens versus NZ First weekend — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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