Greens confirm they will vote for ‘waka jumping’ bill

The Green caucus decision to vote for Winston Peters’ ‘waka jumping’ bill has been a contentious issue in the party, as they have had a history of strongly opposing similar legislation.

They affirmed their decision to vote for the bill at their conference in the weekend.

RNZ: Green leadership stands firm on Waka Jumping Bill at AGM

The Green Party leadership have dug in their heels and will not be reversing any of the decisions they have made in government.

Party stalwarts Jeanette Fitzsimons and Sue Bradford had hoped the caucus might be persuaded this weekend to pull its support from the Waka Jumping Bill.

Co-leader James Shaw was pushing the party’s biggest wins, ending oil and gas exploration and committing the country to a zero carbon future.

But the concessions they have made got a brief mention in his speech too.

“We haven’t won every debate, and the menu does feature the occasional dead rodent,” he told the party faithful gathered in Palmerston North.

He was referring to the Waka Jumping Bill, described by their own MP Eugenie Sage as a dead rat they had to swallow as part of a coalition government.

One of the party’s founding members, Jeanette Fitzsimons, said it went against everything the Greens stood for, making it clear there were parts of the core base that were still hugely unhappy with that decision.

“I simply don’t buy the line that the government would have fallen,” she said.

“Simply don’t buy the line that Jacinda Ardern and Winston Peters were going to say ‘ah well we don’t want to be in government anymore’ and let it all collapse, because they didn’t get this bill through? I mean, really.”

Ms Fitzsimons said they had tried everything to change the caucus’ mind, but described the eight MPs as a “brick wall.”

That’s not a good sign. The Greens used to promote their practice of the party making important decisions rather than the political leadership.

“This is a compromise that we had to make. I understand the different perspectives on that, but the decisions that we came to as a caucus and a party arrived to this,” Ms Davidson said.

“Because we think that providing New Zealand with stable government, is more important than that one issue,” Mr Shaw said.

That’s bullshit. It’s very difficult to see how Greens making a decision based on important party principles should destabilise the Government. The governing arrangement should not force such a contradictory stance on a party.

Unless perhaps Shaw is not being up front about threats made to him (by Peters and/or Labour) if the Greens don’t vote for the bill.

This is a prominent stain on the green stint in Government that they are going to have difficulty washing off.

I think it’s also fair to ask why Jacinda Ardern has allowed this situation to be forced on the Greens.

19 Comments

  1. robertguyton

     /  August 20, 2018

    If The Greens had “held the Government to ransom” over this bill, detractors would have shrieked, “The Greens are holding the Government, and the country to ransom!! Warning, warning Bill Robinson!!!” – the tail’s wagging the dog, The Greens have too much power!!! The Opposition would have had a field-day/week/year/term.
    As it is, the party has to swallow a dead rat, but as you know, parties do that as a matter of course.

    • Too much power remaining strong on an important Green democratic principle?

      The Greens really rolled over for fear of being criticised?

      If the Greens stood up for their principle, and the Government collapsed as a result and forced an early election, who do you think voters would side with, Greens or NZ First?

      • robertguyton

         /  August 20, 2018

        Voters would laud The Greens for collapsing the Government, Pete?
        Pete? You okay?
        Pete??

        • Gezza

           /  August 20, 2018

          “Warning, warning Will Robinson!!!”

          These things are important to get right.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  August 20, 2018

          Pete said ‘side with’ NOT ‘laud’. The two things are quite different.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  August 20, 2018

        It’s an own goal, Trevor.

    • Trevors_elbow

       /  August 20, 2018

      An the time pot principles, holier than thou green party crown rolls off into the gutter

      What a poor excuse for a ‘let’s do politics better’ party the Greens are now.

      What was the pay off Robert … are the Transparent Open Greens going to divulge what they got in return?

      What a great attack line has been opened on the Greens by the Greens.

      • robertguyton

         /  August 20, 2018

        The party you support, Trevor; ever had to swallow a political “dead rat”?
        If so, you’re being hypocritical to suggest The Greens oughtn’t to.

        • Trevors_elbow

           /  August 20, 2018

          I dont support any one party Robert. And only the Greens have trumpeted from the rooftops how pure and principled they are…

          Oh how the pure have fallen into the gutter….

          • robertguyton

             /  August 20, 2018

            The various parties you have supported then, Trevor, presumably had to swallow dead rats, putting them, as you describe, “in the gutter”; why do you support such “gutter”parties?

            • Trevors_elbow

               /  August 20, 2018

              No other political party has made a Fetish of their purity and belief in principles as the Greens…

              But when access to the perks of power is dangled they sell their principles down the river…

              Or maybe they just recognize good authoritarian party first follow the leader legislation that Matama can use to take over the party?

              Either way they ate not who they say they are… there is a name for that…

            • Blazer

               /  August 20, 2018

              ‘No other political party has made a Fetish of their purity and belief in principles as the Greens’

              Sure they have…National and ACT believe in private enterprise and the free market….DON’T THEY?

  2. Rickmann

     /  August 20, 2018

    Ah ! The sweet smell of power and the attendant income and monetary benefits ! Principles walk, money talks. How strange.

  3. Blazer

     /  August 20, 2018

    Real politik.

  4. Zedd

     /  August 20, 2018

    Its called MMP; a coalition of parties..
    NOT ‘We have all the power to tread on all the others & chuck them a few scraps, if we want to !’ (as Natl did for 9 looooong years, with Act, U’F & Maori pty)

  5. Trevors_elbow

     /  August 20, 2018

    @Blazer as I cant reply directly to your comment below.

    National are not particularly principled but are pragmatic within a rough framework as you well know.

    The market works and it always has… go read the definition of a free market as 0er all the basic texts on the subject.

    What you constantly say is the free market is in fact monopoly and/ or oligopoly on display.. these are anti free market forces and hence why they need regulation in a mixed economy which is the structure of the economies of the Western World

    • Blazer

       /  August 20, 2018

      except the ‘market’ does not work anymore..its existence is tenuous now…and collapse is inevitable.
      Q.E ,derivatives and unpayable debt levels are not sustainable.

  1. Greens confirm they will vote for ‘waka jumping’ bill — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition