James Shaw gaining respect

The Green Party survived the election largely due to the efforts of James Shaw, after the mess left by Metiria Turei’s fall. They then negotiated their way into Government, including three ministerial roles outside of Cabinet (wise positioning).

Now Shaw is slowly gaining respect as a leader in Government. Possibly his biggest challenge will be to keep Green factions happy with the compromises essential in any governing arrangement.

Audrey Young: Elation at winning power has given way to reality of compromise

Shaw was in a Victoria University lecture theatre seeking an acceptance from party faithful that compromise will be necessary if they want a sustainable political future.

His message was that if the Greens want to be part of the 2020 Government, they cannot afford to stand on principle on every issue; they have to focus on the big issues and can’t fight every battle.

It was effectively a commitment to stick to the current Government parties for the next election.

It was also sensible advice from a leader whose standing has risen substantially – inside and outside the party – since leading the Greens solo through its leadership crisis last year and saving it from the precipice of parliamentary oblivion.

But the Greens are better known for being more principled than compromising and that makes for special challenges for them.

Green activists (and some politicians) are known for their uncompromising approach to politics and policies. How they adapt from opposition to the practical realities of being in Government will be important for the Green’s re-election chances, and also for the Labour led Government’s chances of retaining power beyond a single term.

It is early days and patterns are not yet firmly established. The Greens have not yet settled on whether they are an equal part of the three-way Government, or whether to emphasise the technical reality that they sitting outside of the two-party coalition, and claim greater independence.

Certainly, when Ardern takes leave to have her baby in June, Winston Peters as Acting Prime Minister will have to have normalised his historically distant relationship with the Greens.

That will be an opportunity for Shaw and the Greens to get more attention. They will have a female co-leader again by then. But they will be competing with baby-mania, so politics may struggle to be seen.

The events of this week have marked a turning point in the three-way Government because it is the first week in which major differences over major policies have been highlighted.

The first was over the conclusion negotiations of the TPP, opposed by the Greens, and second was over employment law, with a heavy dilution by New Zealand First of Labour and Greens’ policy.

The TPP will play out over the next three months. How the Greens manage their on-going opposition will be important for themselves and for the Government.

For Ardern, who has been promoting her Government as “transformational,” it has become more apparent that the possibility of real transformation are limited in the short term.

It is a sign of MMP in maturity that the differences this week have not been painted by the media as unstable Government or a Government in disarray.

It is also a sign of MMP maturity that the transformations are unlikely to be dramatic.

Shaw appears more ready to genuinely work across the aisle than Labour or New Zealand First.

That’s interesting given that the Greens were adamant it was untenable for them to help National form a government. However being outside Cabinet they have more flexibility than Labour or NZ First.

In his own Climate Change portfolio, Shaw has promised to consult widely including with National before introducing legislation for the Climate Change Commission.

National’s new spokesman on climate change, Todd Muller, said last year he was open to considering support the commission, but he since curbed his enthusiasm and is seeking greater recognition for his own party’s progress in office.

To secure a secure long term path for action on climate change Greens need to get buy-in from National. This is where the Greens can establish credibility as an environmentally focussed party, something they have wide electorate support for.

In his latest email newsletter Shaw focusses on climate:

Every year the Greens deliver a State of the Planet speech, outlining our eco-centric approach to the world in which we live and our ambitions for change. I’ve just given that speech recently in Wellington.

Basically, I outlined that we have a mammoth task ahead because the State of the Planet is bad:

  • The Earth’s mammals, birds, and fish, have declined by 58% between 1970 and 2012
  • 239 million hectares of natural forest cover has been lost just since 1990
  • In New Zealand three-quarters of native fish, one-third of invertebrates, and one-third of plants are threatened with, or at risk of, extinction
  • We are overshooting the Earth’s carrying capacity and simultaneously overloading that carrying capacity using the equivalent of 1.6 Earth’s worth of resources every year
  • More than 8 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the ocean every year. New Zealanders use 1.6 billion single-use plastic bags every year, many of which end up in our oceans and on our shorelines
  • Worldwide, we use one million plastic bottles every minute. On average, each New Zealanders uses 168 plastic water bottles a year
  • Despite the signing of the Paris Agreement, current atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases are at 400 parts per million
  • There are now 65 million forcibly displaced persons in the world, of whom 22 million are refugees
  • The number of people living in extreme poverty remains unacceptably high with 767 million people living on less than two dollars a day and inequality is increasing at an extraordinary rate.

It is bleak, very bleak. Yet the Greens won’t back down from the challenges facing the planet and our species. And with every passing month and year that we don’t face these challenges head on, means the task becomes even harder.

Obviously, we have huge ambitions for only eight MPs in a three-party government.

And while we’ve got some levers of power now, the change we want to see will require transformation – transforming across the spectrum how we view the environment, the people, and of course how we view the economy.

To get this transformational change will require bringing people to the table in government, in councils, in communities, in businesses, in schools and universities, in families, in households. We must get as many people on board, and as many people doing what they can too.

We want to call everyone in, rather than calling them out – an opportunity to build a better future through collaboration and sharing.

There will always be some who oppose the Greens no matter what, and who oppose doing anything about ‘climate change’ no matter what.

But if Shaw manages his policy ambitions well, gaining credibility and support from across the political spectrum, the Greens stand a good chance of improving their support.

However this may mean keeping the more socialist Green policies a bit more low key, accepting the compromises that fiscal restraint and political realities make necessary.

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58 Comments

  1. Trevors_elbow

     /  January 29, 2018

    Watermelons… be interesting to see if they can hold the skin to the core for the next period… already expelled two moderates because they wouldn’t support benefit rorting…I suspect it’s going to be hard to maintain the smiling, caring front forever.

    Also interesting that Shaw implies world population is too great…but dont the Greens support beneficiaries in particular breeding and breeding without any constraints?

    Reply
  2. PDB

     /  January 29, 2018

    “James Shaw gaining respect”

    Considering he has started at such a low base level even rising to 2% total respect is a doubling of his previous %.

    Reply
  3. Blazer

     /  January 29, 2018

    The Greens environmental message has cut thru.The militancy of their Queer and Feminist factions will prove troublesome..imo.Shaw ‘s pragmatism needs to prevail against factional…’principles’.

    Reply
  4. robertguyton

     /  January 29, 2018

    Greens, in Government and gaining respect.
    PDB’s nightmare.
    Makes me smile 🙂

    Reply
  5. robertguyton

     /  January 29, 2018

    It’s going to be many, many years of torment for you, PDB/M, as The Greens sit in Government, gaining respect and kudos, gravitas and support from all bar the likes of you; atrophied dinosaurs from past era; your comments each remind me of how well The Greens have positioned themselves for success; as you continue to snark at them, I know they’re doing well. The day you heap fulsome praise upon them, I’ll be really worried something has gone wrong!

    Reply
  6. Blazer

     /  January 29, 2018

    The Greens are well represented at TS…a recent discussion made me..smile..’Agreed Anon. I find the right wingers can provide the most interesting comments. And it is good for lefties to confront right wing beliefs to critique them.’MS…this from a blog that banned Hooten,Mapp and any other serious commentators who have the temerity to challenge some of the barking…mods there.

    Reply
  7. Zedd

     /  January 29, 2018

    I find it fascinating a large portion of the population are reportedly ‘concerned’ about Pollution, environmental degradation & climate change & yet, in the next breath they can cast scorn on the one party that are totally devoted to reversing this !

    Again proving that ‘how fat their wallet/purse’ is their real main concern.. even if it means MORE pollution, MORE environmental degradation & GREATER levels of climate change.. only one more words to add: OSTRICHES ! 😦

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  January 29, 2018

      “they can cast scorn on the one party that are totally devoted to reversing”

      But they aren’t ‘totally devoted’ hence why they spent considerable amounts of time trying to defend Turei’s deception & fraud. The NZ Green party is the Mana party dressed up in environmental drag & essentially stooges for a Winston led Labour govt.

      “Again proving that ‘how fat their wallet/purse’ is their real main concern”

      So the Greens will come out strong in the MSM & in parliament against Winston’s plans to payoff his racing donors with a multi-million dollar taxpayer funded indoor horse racing track? No?

      Reply
      • Zedd

         /  January 29, 2018

        ho hum pdb..

        lets forget the REAL issues & finds a couple of diversions to mention instead, eh..
        Metiria has moved on & the Current Greens need to, as well.. onward & upwards 🙂

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  January 29, 2018

          Way to avoid asking relevant & awkward questions there Zedd…the old ‘diversion using fake diversions trick’!

          Nice of the Greens to allow taxpayer millions to benefit rich race horse owners though – very generous of them.

          Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  January 29, 2018

        You anti-sport, PDB? Hate the All Blacks, do ya? Despise the yachtsmen? Loathe the cricketers? Hate the horses? You’re a disgrace, PDB, call yourself a New Zealander? Probably a vegan. Closet vegan, PDB! Your sandals made of discarded Morris Dancer’s ribbons and glued together with mung-bean paste? Get a haircut, PDB, and a real job!

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  January 29, 2018

          Wasn’t too happy with the cricketers yesterday…

          Reply
        • Gezza

           /  January 29, 2018

          I’ve never really quite understood why racing is considered sport. I guess the jockeys and the horses get a workout & people talk about motor sport in the same vein.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  January 29, 2018

            Racing employs 42,000 people,and has a flourishing export market…is it..’sport’?10 Mil is chump change compared to the Americas Cup or even a flag referendum for…26 mil.Murray gave an Arab shiek $11mil of tazpayersmoney..for 0!

            Reply
    • So tell me Zedd – why do they spend so much time, effort and energy on “Social Justice” matters when mother Gaia is their REASON for being? Maybe because they are less interested in the planet than they make out to be?

      Reply
  8. Alan Wilkinson

     /  January 29, 2018

    New Zealanders use 1.6 billion single-use plastic bags every year, many of which end up in our oceans and on our shorelines

    Evidence?

    We will be able to judge the Greens’ effectiveness by whether they actually improve plastic recycling in this country or just talk about it.

    Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  January 29, 2018

      Evidence? Really, Alan; you’re unaware of the problem of discarded plastic bags reaching the ocean? Incredible!

      Reply
      • Gerrit

         /  January 29, 2018

        Robert.

        Yes we do need to be responsibly dispose off and minimise usage of plastic bags.

        However the vast majority of plastic in the ocean comes from just 10 rivers.

        http://www.dw.com/en/almost-all-plastic-in-the-ocean-comes-from-just-10-rivers/a-41581484

        So we (as New Zealanders) may do our responsible bit but don’t think for a moment it is going to alleviate the problem 0.000000000000000000000000000000001%

        Reply
        • robertguyton

           /  January 29, 2018

          Alleviate, Gerrit?
          That’s exactly what we can do!
          alleviate
          verb
          make (suffering, deficiency, or a problem) less severe.
          “he couldn’t prevent her pain, only alleviate it”

          Reply
          • Gerrit

             /  January 29, 2018

            ???????????????????

            As I said we can alleviate the problem but the effect by New Zealanders not using plastic bags will be minuscule. (miniscule — extremely small; tiny.)

            I reckon about 0.000000000000000000000000000000001% of the plastic waste in the oceans is derived from New Zealands use of plastic bags.

            Reply
            • robertguyton

               /  January 29, 2018

              Sooo…let’s deal to our own contribution to the problem. Perhaps we can save 0.000000000000000000000000000000001% of the wildlife that suffers as a result of plastic bags. Or are you still implying that we should do nothing. I guess every American state could claim their contribution is only miniscule and therefore they don’t need to do anything either; the USA though, regarded as a whole, might have a much more significant figure attached to it. Globally, I suggest, users of plastic bags should “do something about it” as as we are “users”…

            • Gezza

               /  January 29, 2018

              Plastic shopping bags (and other plastics like bottles, takeaway containers) are a reasonably common problem in my stream. Supermarket shopping bags blow around & get caught up in the blackberry bushes. Can be there for months, shredding but not blowing away.

              I clear the stream around my area of pladtic & other waste every few months. It’s mostly plastic, but can even be things like sheets of corrugated iron, brought downstream when it’s in flood.

              I have seen the ducks, the eels, & yesterday the pukeko chick trying to pull at plastic bags underwater that have filled with sediment & are hung up on stream bed obstructions – to see if they’re edible.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  January 29, 2018

        Please identify for me the proportion of NZ used plastic bags that reach the ocean, Robert, with references. I’m always willing to learn.

        Reply
        • robertguyton

           /  January 29, 2018

          Please do your own research, Alan. Are you suggesting that somehow plastic bags in New Zealand don’t do as they do elsewhere in the world; end up, many of them, in the ocean? If so, what leads you to believe it’s different here?

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  January 29, 2018

            Yes. I suggest the vast majority of plastic in the ocean does not come from NZ or from plastic bags and the vast majority of NZ plastic bags do not finish up in the ocean. In short you believe a lot of b.s.with no evidence and spout a lot of crap.

            Reply
    • Corky

       /  January 29, 2018

      The ones I get from Pak’nSave degrade fast in the sun. I pulled one from under a shrub yesterday and it crumbled in my hands. Bloody handy things, plastic bags.

      Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  January 29, 2018

        Yeah, Corky, crumbs of plastic, much better!
        What could go wrong?

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  January 29, 2018

          Obviously if they are breaking down in sunlight, they wouldn’t pose as much threat to an animals digestive system. Of course, it’s a different story with other grades of plastic. But what the hell, ban everything,, right Robert?

          Reply
        • Gerrit

           /  January 29, 2018

          Don’t want to give the Greens the idea to ban cars, trucks buses, bicycles and washing our clothes but

          “between 15% and 31% of plastic pollution came from primary microplastics, of which the biggest contributors (almost two-thirds) were abrasion of synthetic textiles, while washing, and abrasion of tyres, while driving.”

          http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-39042655

          So plastic shopping bags contribute how much?

          Reply
          • robertguyton

             /  January 29, 2018

            Gerrit – your argument seems to lack logic; you indicate that you don’t want the plastics in tyres and textiles addressed politically, but also question a focus on plastic bags! Are you proposing that “do nothing” is the best option?

            Reply
            • Gerrit

               /  January 30, 2018

              No, As I alluded to in a previous comment, we should ALL take individual responsibility to use less plastic.

              Who said I don’t want the use of plastics reduced in clothing, and tires?

              I was simply drawing a comparison between the volume off plastic shopping bags ending up in the ocean versus the volume of other plastics.

              Totally logical to me.

              Strategically the Greens are going to down a one way street if they cannot quantify how much of the one way shopping bag plastic ends up in the oceans (note the word “strategically”). Would require just one question in parliament to expose their lack of knowledge.

              And without the known quantity of plastic shopping bags in the oceans, how can the Greens be concerned about it? Tilting at populist windmills or in league with the supermarket duopoly who want to remove the costs of plastic bags from their expenditure column?

              As I have factually and logically pointed out, far greater volumes of plastics are in the oceans from other sources.

              Supermarket bags are an easy target, aided and abetted by the duopoly.

              Far larger contributors of plastic in the oceans are ignored for the Greens are hanging onto a very slim margin in parliament and their appeasement to stay there, is showing in the James Shaw speech.

              How many votes would they gain if they went after the biggest causes of plastic in oceans and that was the world’s (and New Zealand’s) use of plastics in clothes and vehicle tires? None.

            • robertguyton

               /  January 30, 2018

              “Supermarket bags are an easy target…”
              Good. Once that’s been “hit”, move on to the next.
              “Far larger contributors of plastic in the oceans are ignored …”
              Don’t address lesser problems, because there are greater ones, is that what you’re proposing, Gerrit?
              Pick the low-hanging fruit, then buy a ladder from the proceeds.

    • Gezza

       /  January 29, 2018

      Maybe not. There’s less plastic than they expect in gyres, but it’s just a hypothesis:

      “In theory it is possible that some microbes have evolved the ability to break down plastics. Studies by Linda Amaral-Zettler of the Netherlands Institute for Sea Research show that the microbes colonising floating plastic are quite distinct from those in the surrounding water, and suggest some are feeding on pollutants.

      In effect, the plastic is creating a whole new ecosystem that Amaral-Zettler and colleagues call “the plastisphere”.

      But when ter Halle looked at the DNA of the organisms on floating plastic in the North Atlantic, she didn’t find any microbes known to be capable of breaking down plastic.”

      Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  January 29, 2018

      Will those microbes also eat oil? Mind where you release them!

      Reply
  9. He has a job minding that Golriz . She has an interesting idea of the Coalition fealty or lack of it. See this thread

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  January 29, 2018

      Oh dear. I suppose this chick will be pulling selfie stunts all year.

      Reply
    • Gerrit

       /  January 30, 2018

      And contributing to the world plastic problem by using a one trip plastic bottle to combat her dehydration.

      Surely the Greens would be drinking out of recycled aluminum or glass reusable containers?

      You know, like setting an example?

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  January 30, 2018

        For someone proud of a career in senior management, you display a lack of simple logic in presenting your arguments time and time again.You are inaccurate, as in your Rocket lab assertion that it was entirely private investment,hypocritical in that you support corporate welfare when it suits,and in this thread disingenuous about the degree of pollution in the environment…or just plain…stupid.

        Reply
        • Gerrit

           /  January 30, 2018

          Nice of you to remember my credentials and read all my arguments.

          Care to explain where I was wrong about the degree of pollution?

          Rocket Lab got start up funding through the Gallaghan Innovation Growth Grants program. This grant does not cover production, only R+D

          http://www.callaghaninnovation.govt.nz/grants/project-grants

          It than had to find private investors to facilitate the next step.

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/90657588/rocket-labs-value-shoots-past-us1b-after-capital-raise

          Now I don’t know the size of the initial R+D grant and if it required repayment. However the government makes investments like this and it is repaid (if successful) many times over in taxes (GST, PAYE, Company, etc).

          Basically Rocket Lab production, operations and future development is privately funded.

          You can debate if it is corporate welfare or a smart corporate investment by the state that is going to be paying dividends (as in taxes) for a long time.

          You suggesting that the Gallaghan Innovation Growth Grants be done away with?

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  January 30, 2018

            the NZ Govt put 25mil into Rocket Lab=fact.As for corporate welfare you rail against 10mil put into all weather tracks for an industry that employs 42,000 people and has a thriving export market yet not a whisper about real largesse handouts like the Amercas Cup etc.Very selective you are and very…unconvincing.

            Reply
            • Gerrit

               /  January 30, 2018

              In yachting parlance. What will the make the boat go faster? $25M into Rocket Lab or $10M into an established industry with marginal room for growth.

              What will gardener the greater dividend for the state?

              And you don’t need to worry about any state American Cup expenditure. Cup will be raced for in Italy. Auckland cannot provide the facilities required. For part of the reason is that Team New Zealand wants the money spend to have a lasting use in the city after the event.

              Council and state cannot agree on what that entails in conjunction with Team New Zealand so the cup wont be sailed here.

              The tax payer having spend $40M on Eden Park for a few games of rugby in 2011, the fact that now the council wants or state do not want a bar of it is a bad bad investment from the tax payers dollars. It has done nothing to increase tax cashflow for the state or council.

              Maybe have a moan about that?

              https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/94595186/eden-park–the-fortress-no-one-wants

            • Gerrit

               /  January 30, 2018

              An update for you on Eden Park, It was not $40M spend by the tax payer but $190M

              “The Government wrote off $190 million of taxpayers’ money it spent upgrading Eden Park for the 2011 Rugby World Cup but retains control by still appointing up to five of the nine Eden Park Trust Board directors. It has offered to change the Trust Deed or the law to give that power to the Council but the Council does not want to take that responsibility on.”

              From the link provided above.

  10. Blazer

     /  January 30, 2018

    is this breaking news or did I just miss it?’. Cup will be raced for in Italy. Auckland cannot provide the facilities required’….I am not in favour of selective corporate welfare,but while it exists it should be kept in perspective.How much global advertising does 40mil buy?The L.A Olympics was funded by private investment and made a profit.If a business case is good,surely private investors will invest!

    Reply
    • Gerrit

       /  January 30, 2018

      Re-. Amaricas Cup, just a feeling many have and based on sentiments expressed in the ether and around clubroom bars.

      Scuttlebutt maybe, to force Parker and Goff to make a decision. A decision Parker just cant seem to make. All the teams need is flat ground to park a crane and build a container/tent infrastructure.

      The Italians have the money, the ability to quickly built infastructure and the desire to hold the cup races.

      Dubai will throw a ton of money at the event to hold it there but the teams are not keen on that idea.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  January 30, 2018

        Googled it. Still just Italy offering itself as a second venue. Checked out the new foiling monohull concept that’ll feature. Amazing design stuff these chasps come up with.

        Reply

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