Greens down, but not out yet

It has been a disastrous month for the Green Party. Metiria Turei’s ‘mission’ against poverty got out of control. Two Green MPs withdrew from the party list, and Turei followed suit so is very likely to leave Parliament after the election, her slim chances relying onb the Te Tai Tonga electorate.

In the aftermath the polls tell a grim story. The Greens initially surged to a record 15% in both Colmar Brunton and Reid Research polls (conducted in July), but the latest polls have dived.

Last week it was reported that UMR had the Greens down to 8%, and the Reid Research poll conducted from 2-8 August (during the Green implosion) had them down to 8.3%.

Yesterday a Colmar Brunton poll (conducted 12-16 August) had the Greens below the threshold on 4.3% – this puts them at real risk of not getting back into Parliament.

1 News: Watch: James Shaw appeals to voters after Greens’ ‘momentary lapse of reason’

“Tonight’s TVNZ poll, which shows the Greens on a really low base, is clearly not great news,” Ms Shaw said, speaking directly to a camera from a seat in his office.

That’s a different base to the one he last week claimed they would bounce back to.

“And what it shows me is that we have a lot of work to do over the course of the next five weeks to rebuild the trust and credibility with all of those New Zealanders who have supported us in the past”.

“I know that the last couple of weeks have been messy. And if there’s one rule in politics it’s that New Zealand voters hate it when political parties engage in kind of messy activity and all of that kind of stuff.”

“So I know that and I’m hoping that our track record over the last 17 years in Parliament, and the years before we even got into Parliament, will show that what happened over the course of the last few weeks was, shall we say, a momentary lapse of reason.

“And actually we are still going strong, we are the same Green Party that we’ve always been, with the same vision the same values.”

Sadly that’s not true. Kennedy Graham and David Clendon quit because they couldn’t stand on the vision and values the party lurched to following Turei’s mission, and Turei, MP for fifteen years and co-leader for the last eight years.

The Greens now standing for this election are quite different.

Mr Shaw appealed to viewers to “help us out, talk to your friends and stand with us over the course of the next five weeks”.

He said “a strong Green heart at the next progressive government is absolutely vital”

Shaw gave his Adjournment Debate speech in Parliament yesterday, in front of very subdued looking Green MPs:


That’s Graham and Clendon sitting on their own separated from rest of the Green MPs, and Turei is absent. The Green heart looks like it is on life support.

Video of Shaw’s speech:

He referred to Graham and Clendon well into his speech:

And speaking of hard work and sacrifice, thank you so much to the Green Party caucus, who are leaving this year…

Shaw paused and turned towards Graham and Clendon in isolation up the back.

…and finally, and finally I want to acknowledge Metiria.

Child poverty was not an issue that most Parliamentarians in New Zealand wanted to talk about. You made it an issue that every politician has to talk about.

You stood in this chamber and you spoke up for those who could not speak for themselves.

A relatively brief mention.

And the next government of New Zealand will have an end to poverty, the restoration of our rivers,  and leadership on climate change, at the top of it’s order paper.

Thank you Mr Speaker. I’ll see you in six weeks.

The applause that followed was as if it followed a speech at a wake.

Greens have suffered serious and largely self inflicted wounds. The latest poll is either an ominous sign of a mortally wounded party, or it could prompt a slight revival if enough voters decide to rescue them this election.

It would be a real shame to see the Greens disappear from Parliament, but they took a major risk and fell flat on their faces. It will be difficult for them to look confident during the campaign.

Last night on Reddit: Ask Us Anything: Greens Co-leader James Shaw and MPs Mojo Mathers, Jan Logie, and Gareth Hughes


  1. Gezza

     /  August 18, 2017

    The Greens are stuffed. Their two co-leaders have snatched oblivion from the jaws of hubris.

  2. Richard

     /  August 18, 2017

    Shaw still doesn’t get it. Turei didn’t ‘open a converstaion about poverty’. She lied about her circumstances when she was defrauding WINZ, trashed those who were supporting her then, and was found out.

    • He’s in denial. Long may it last

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  August 18, 2017

        If she hadn’t lied about her circumstances when she committed the fraud….but she did, She also either committed benefit fraud for two years, living with her partner-the baby’s father-or electoral fraud-making a false declaration to the Electoral Commission.

        She must also have badly hurt the father and his family by claiming that she had no support at all from them !

  3. Ray

     /  August 18, 2017

    Well the Greens have just proved that Bomber and his three mates are wrong, NZ voters don’t want a left wing revolution, the Mana-Internet party only got 34000 votes and that is about it.
    For some reason the Greens felt they could tap into these people and now they are wearing the results.

  4. Warren

     /  August 18, 2017

    Many Green supporters have just come to realise that the Green party is just like the others on the left….social justice warriors with a name that promised environmental concern.

  5. Blazer

     /  August 18, 2017

    The Greens can rebuild.Advice…stop talking about…Meteria.

  6. Bradbury explaining the reasons 96% of us won’t be voting Green.

    “The Greens need to regroup quick smart and double down on promoting the $180 a week lift in benefits, a Green Card (free public transport travel for students and beneficiaries), climate change reform, legalised cannabis reform and a serious renters rights agenda because the Greens right now need to play to their youth issues to bring them out on election day.”

    People don’t respect or appreciate benes with their hands constantly out. Many hard working Labour voters especially. If you’re disabled – fine, but if you’re a long term unemployed, a mother with several well-spaced children to different Dads, why should you get free transport and an extra $180 a week, as much dope as you like without blood testing. Oh yes and what about that ( regulated) warm house which the long suffering taxpayer pays for.

    Keep it up Bradbury and Trotter – all the way to the election. How did that shilling for Turei work out then? -12% I think. Is it possible to drop any more?

    This is NOT Bene bashing, but the whole St Metiria cheating the system and brazenly encouraging others who do the same, has amplified the extent of this small group of people, has got neighbours checking out for Sky Antenna and large tubs of discarded KFC in the trash.


    • Blazer

       /  August 18, 2017

      dear oh dear…what sort of neighbours do you have?So much for prime ,leafy …suburbs.

      • Brown

         /  August 18, 2017

        I’m surrounded by middle class working families and its great. Very green and leafy. No too far away is the bene Housing Corp area. Not green and leafy unless you can roll it in paper.

      • Always ad hominem and attacking individuals who post here. Never the issue.

        • Blazer

           /  August 18, 2017

          if you want to be taken seriously….at least be…plausible….’has got neighbours checking out for Sky Antenna and large tubs of discarded KFC in the trash.’

    • Gezza

       /  August 18, 2017

      The simple fact explaining this crash in Green support is that New Zealanders just don’t like dishonesty. They don’t like it in millionaires, shopkeepers, financial planners, bloggers, shopworkers, teachers, pastors, government officials, tradespeople, rugby players, politicians, beneficiaries, tv reporters, policemen, gang members, lawyers, kids, & pretty well anybody.

      • Ray

         /  August 18, 2017

        And voters have a pretty good antennae for picking up real dishonesty. Though that doesn’t explain how Winston Peters manages to get 10%, maybe that is the percentage who don’t have antennae for dishonesty!

        • Gezza

           /  August 18, 2017

          They have built-in tolerance for a certain level of bullshit, especially blokes. It gets regularly topped up in pubs & at barbecues. But bullshit is one thing, blatant dishonesty is another. Well, that’s my theory anyway.

    • Gezza

       /  August 18, 2017

      As I had the impression the Greens were pretty much following Martyn’s advice already, in the face of his stellar record of his political predictions usually being pretty consistently totally wrong, I’m not sure that doubling down on the things he suggests is likely to do anything more than double their chances of dropping even further in the polls. Any rise they might get now is likely to be sympathy votes.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  August 18, 2017

        I didn’t take Traveller’s claim literally (Sky, KFC hunted for by the neighbours) but it’s a valid point. The taxpayer is not obliged to provide these things. I remember one woman on the news who was crying poverty but hadn’t the sense to hide the bin full of empty tins and KFC boxes from the cameras….

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  August 18, 2017

          I forgot to say that ‘free transport’ isn’t free. Gold Card holders are issued with tickets and the price of these is recovered by the busco. People think that it’s free as when someone gives someone else a lift, but it’s not. It costs many millions-a very large proportionof which is people joyriding to and from Waiheke Island on the ferry.

  7. Zedd

     /  August 18, 2017


    NZF dropped out once & came back even stronger.. maybe ?