Greens sweat in heat of Government kitchen

It’s not surprising to see claims (from Green Party staff) of difficulties with the transition from always being in Opposition to being in Government for the first time. There have been additional pressures due to fewer staff being required after they dropped from 14 to 8 MPs.

They need learn to deal with these added pressures, that are inevitable with their greater responsibilities.

If they can’t stand the heat they should question whether being in the Government kitchen is for them.

RNZ: Greens letter reveals ‘damage to staff morale’

A letter from disgruntled Green Party staff to its MPs has revealed complaints of low morale, bad communication and unfair treatment.

…the letter reveals staff are unhappy with the way they’ve been treated since the party has become part of the government.

RNZ understands there has been a push from senior party staff to hire external people for key advisor roles. There was some pushback, with one minister, Julie Anne Genter, going against the directive and hiring existing staff.

There could be good reasons for hiring external staff when shifting to a Government role, which requires different skills to being in Opposition. In particular, specific skills will be required to assist with the portfolios that Green MPs now have.

The letter makes it clear that some staff also took exception with the processes and some were left with the “distinct impression they were not valued” or that they had “defects” in their work.

“MPs and senior staff should now be fully aware of the damage to staff morale created by this drift away from Green kaupapa,” the letter said.

“Many staff have been in a holding pattern for over a month, which has created uncertainty, paralysis, and low morale,” the letter said.

The letter also states staff were prevented from providing feedback on a proposed staffing structure and “MPs impinged upon important rights to be heard”.

“They should also know that the manner in which Green staff have been treated has already diminished the reputation of the Green Party.”

Until this letter made to issue public the reputation of the party wasn’t really diminished.They have strengthened slightly in post election polls.

The letter is likely to hit their credibility.

The low -morale within the party shows it is still struggling to completely recover from a poor election campaign that was disrupted by the resignation of its co-leader Metiria Turei.

Moral will already have been rocked when Turei created chaos which resulted in her resignation,  plus  the resignations of David Clendon and Kennedy Graham.  This will have directly affected the staff of three MPS, and put the party at risk of missing the threshold and being dumped from Parliament altogether.

It was a tough campaign for the Greens. Staff must have wondered if they would all lose their jobs or not.

While the Green Party has been celebrating having ministers for the first time, it’s understood this has created some tension within the caucus, with some long-serving MPs, who were overlooked, feeling disgruntled.

This is common in parties when they get elevated to positions of power – those who miss out can get disgruntled.

The Greens had operated under their own democratic systems of appointments, responsibilities and rankings. Negotiating to be in Government and then being in Government meant they were dictated to by necessity, by Labour and by NZ First. This is likely to have also created tensions.

Airing all this in public probably won’t help the Greens. Letting off steam may ease the pressure on some but will create other pressures.

This all adds to the substantial increase in pressure due to increased scrutiny that being in Government inevitably attracts.

Some are likely to complain that criticism is unfair and is an attempt to destabilise the Greens and the Government. It is certainly a change from the past when Greens were allowed to promote and support some fairly extreme policies without much examination.

But being in Government means much greater responsibilities, and a healthy democracy means that how Green MPs execute those responsibilities will be open to criticism.

If they didn’t want that to happen they should have stayed out of Government.

It’s obviously a culture shock for the Greens, but if they don’t step up they are going to stumble, which may not only mean they are a one term Government partner party, it could put their future in Parliament at risk.

The Greens can’t have their slice of Government cake but keep eating their easy ride in Opposition.

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61 Comments

  1. Ray

     /  December 11, 2017

    No surprises there, you can’t beat the value of strong light as a disinfectant.
    The Greens, who most people think have at least one sensible policy also can come across as mad as cut snakes!
    Who can ever forget that clip of them moriss dancing at a Conference.
    They have also been cut an enormous amount of slack about their many policies, almost all of which have the word “ban” in them.
    Time for a good hard look at the Parties who are supporting the Government.

    • robertguyton

       /  December 11, 2017

      “Who can ever forget that clip of them moriss dancing at a Conference.”
      “Them”, Ray? Any of the present Greens feature in that clip, or are you living in the past?
      Genuine question (the first part, at least). Second genuine question; In what year was that “dancing clip” filmed? I remember a short piece of film from the past too; Rob Muldoon, National Leader, Prime Minister, seemingly drunk, declaring a snap election or some such important thing – are we to characterize Nation, especially her Leaders, as drunkards, because of a past event such as that? Ray? Aye?

      • Gezza

         /  December 11, 2017

        Yet another example of the dangers of consuming alcohol & the doing something really stupid – that one’s sober mates shake their heads at, & that one ends up regretting immensely!

      • robertguyton

         /  December 11, 2017

        Ray? Remember that fateful night? Who can ever forget?

      • What about, what about, what about. Let’a head back to the 70s and 80s shall we.

    • Blazer

       /  December 11, 2017

      they are the same parties National wanted to enter a coalition…with.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  December 11, 2017

        Was it actually Morris Dancing or just old-fashioned folk dancing ? I don’t remember Morris Dancing, but would love to see the Greens doing that.

    • robertguyton

       /  December 11, 2017

      Ray’
      “What about, what about, what about. Let’a head back to the 70s and 80s shall we.”

  2. David

     /  December 11, 2017

    Its quite striking how invisible they are, aside from the dodgy refugee woman, its almost like they have slipped quietly into opposition.
    They have some really tough decisions ahead and some dont strike me as tough enough to weather the blowback.

    • Ray

       /  December 11, 2017

      Maybe that is going to be their strategy while supporting the Labour lead Government, being invisible with the hope that come the next election the voters will have forgotten who the Greens put into government!

      • Gezza

         /  December 11, 2017

        I expect there will be several more shit fights among the Greens before the next election. Keeping all those competing factions in order will be like herding cats now their reps in Parliament have to do deals to get deals.

  3. Blazer

     /  December 11, 2017

    all of 7 weeks since the election,and a rush to judge….keep calm fellas….the best is ..yet to…come.

    • Are you saying that the staff who wrote the letter are quick to judge?

    • PDB

       /  December 11, 2017

      Can only get worse for the newly-wed govt once the honeymoon is over.

      • robertguyton

         /  December 11, 2017

        The honeymoon’s still on?
        Good news.

        • PDB

           /  December 11, 2017

          Yes – a bit like these…especially no. 4.

          https://www.oddee.com/item_98611.aspx

          • robertguyton

             /  December 11, 2017

            Didn’t link.

            • PDB

               /  December 11, 2017

              No. 4: “It’s normal for couples to have in-law issues, but they generally don’t begin on the honeymoon. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for an Italian woman named Marianna, whose husband brought his mother on their post-nuptial trip to France. The couple, from Rome, got married in a church ceremony last month after a 12-month romance. Apparently, the bride didn’t know that her new mother-in-law planned to come along; she simply showed up at the Rome airport, queued for security, and boarded the flight with the unhappy couple.

              The infuriated newlywed asked her husband to send his mom home, but the mama’s boy refused, citing health reasons. The 36-year-old woman spent three weeks in France and then requested a divorce because her husband maintained an “excessive emotional attachment” to his mother. Marianna has since left the marital home for Naples.”

          • robertguyton

             /  December 11, 2017

            Didn’t read 🙂

            • PDB

               /  December 11, 2017

              Didn’t or can’t?

            • robertguyton

               /  December 11, 2017

              Can’t bring myself to waste time on what I guess will be your facetious offering; didn’t because I … didn’t.

            • PDB

               /  December 11, 2017

              Considering how poor the Greens have been the last month or so best you keep to your safe space then.

  4. High Flying Duck

     /  December 11, 2017

    The last thing I want to read about on a Monday is sweaty greens!
    But with their whole Kum Ba Ya lets-have-a-hand-holding-debate where everyone speaks and is equally heard mantra, they will struggle to decide what kind of tea to buy over the next 3 years, let along how to be part of a functioning Government.
    They remain irrelevant and will receive a few token baubles and virtue signalling junkets in return for propping up the agenda’s of Labour and NZF.

    • Blazer

       /  December 11, 2017

      yes everyone should be ..just like you,think like,you,dress like you …and it would be…a wonderful…world!

      • High Flying Duck

         /  December 11, 2017

        Diversity is a wonderful thing Blazer. I was just pointing out that the Green brand of diversity is not conducive to collaboration and compromise, or to hierarchy structures, decision making or accepting other people have valid points of view.

        • Blazer

           /  December 11, 2017

          there is no compelling evidence to suggest any of those allegations….most interested in… not conducive to…’hierarchy structures’.Care to elaborate?

          • High Flying Duck

             /  December 11, 2017

            Perhaps the fact their organisation structure is a circle gives a clue:

            https://home.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/images/phphlc4QE

            And the fact decisions are made by all members…

            Talking to a Green member gives you all the evidence you need that their point of view is the only point of view.

            • robertguyton

               /  December 11, 2017

              Arthur’s round table was a innovation and a revelation, at the time. The old four-cornered world is still preferred by the FPP, Might is Right, trickle-downers, even here in these far-flung isles.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  December 11, 2017

              At least Arthur (the myth) kept the decision making to those actually at the table…

            • Blazer

               /  December 11, 2017

              ‘And the fact decisions are made by all members…’..not a fan of the democratic process…then.

            • PDB

               /  December 11, 2017

              “decisions are made by all members”

              Pity they didn’t keep their own staff in the loop then!

            • robertguyton

               /  December 11, 2017

              Arthur didn’t listen to his people? You know this how ?

            • High Flying Duck

               /  December 11, 2017

              Your obtuseness does you no favours Blazer.
              There is a reason we elect representatives to govern. Once they are elected, they make decisions on behalf of the electorate.
              This is as basic as it comes with regards a the democratic process, and yet seems to have completely eluded you and Robert.

    • robertguyton

       /  December 11, 2017

      “The last thing I want to read about on a Monday…”
      Yet you did read; glutton for punishment, HFD?
      So bitter about The Greens being in positions of power! Don’t get too het-up at this early stage, HFD; there’s years of this ahead for you as this Great Government reshapes New Zealand, with The Greens subtle guidance, into a far, far better place than it was in the dirty days of the Hollow Men Government.

      • PDB

         /  December 11, 2017

        The only power the Greens have in this new govt is wind driven.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  December 11, 2017

        No bitterness here Robert. Why would impotent Greens rile me up?
        I’ll await this grand awakening of the new order. Of issues, of substance over style…to be ushered in just as soon as Jacinda finishes her Vogue photo shoot.

        • robertguyton

           /  December 11, 2017

          The Greens are already exerting their influence, HFD; the New Order has already begun. I didn’t expect it to be heralded by trumpets and the sound of the tearing of the fabric of society; it’d be a disaster if it was, so this gentle, softly, softly approach is making me smile to myself; all is well, the grass is riz!

          • High Flying Duck

             /  December 11, 2017

            Sorry Robert. You are right. Here is an extensive list of achievements already heralded in by the Greens:

            • robertguyton

               /  December 11, 2017

              I told you they were subtle; too subtle it transpires, for you.

            • PDB

               /  December 11, 2017

              To be fair HFD they have already had one of their MP’s discredited for being economic with the truth and a staff rebellion due to poor employment relations on their behalf. That high standard of hypocrisy at such an early stage is pretty impressive, even for them.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  December 11, 2017

              So Green achievements are like homeopathy then…all in the mind.

            • Blazer

               /  December 11, 2017

              so Blue achievements are like vaccination then…all in…vain.

          • robertguyton

             /  December 11, 2017

            Yet in the lead-up to the election National desperately wanted to go into coalition with The Greens, wooing them across the media, with the vocal support of Righties everywhere! Spurned, you were, by The Greens, hence your bitterness.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  December 11, 2017

              I don’t recall any offers being made or even a phone call.
              Just sit in your dark corner and wait out the term, revelling in those oh so subtle advances Robert.

            • robertguyton

               /  December 11, 2017

              Should I link to the discussions? I’ve got all day, but does Pete have the space on his server?

            • High Flying Duck

               /  December 11, 2017

              It wouldn’t take up any space, as both BE and JS said no formal contact was ever made.
              Such was the desperation…

            • robertguyton

               /  December 11, 2017

              National’s feelers were shrivelled by clear messages of NO THANKS from The Greens. No wonder no “formal contact” was ever made; the humiliation would have shrivelled the rest of the body-Tory as well!

  5. robertguyton

     /  December 11, 2017

    “They need learn to deal with these added pressures…”
    Wise and All Knowing Pete, we thank you for you Most Gracious advice!

    • Corky

       /  December 11, 2017

      Be kind to those people you meet on the way up, Robert. They are the same people you meet on the way down.

      • robertguyton

         /  December 11, 2017

        Very wise, Corky. Hope never to be going down though 🙂

  6. PDB

     /  December 11, 2017

    The left always eat their own. No doubt tensions are high within the Greens having conceded all power within the new govt to NZL First/Labour at the behest of Winston Peters who simply treats the Greens as ‘Labour’s problem’.

  7. robertguyton

     /  December 11, 2017

    The Right always eat their own and that grinding sound you hear is a combination of Judith’s teeth and Simon’s knife-sharpener.

  8. Alan Wilkinson

     /  December 11, 2017

    James and his harem will be a fun watch until the next election.