Greens leaning greener

The most significant signal from the Green conference in the weekend was their obviously deliberate focus on green (environmental) policies.

I think that most people will generally approve of a greater green focus, and will support policies that will protect or improve the New Zealand environment, but some may baulk at policies that impact or impose costs on themselves.

Bryce Edwards’ political roundup: The Green Party goes greener

Those who want the Green Party to focus primarily on the environment should be very happy with the direction the party is heading in. Over the past 10 months in government – and especially during the weekend – it has become clear that the party is more about the environment than ever before and much less focused on economic and social issues.

The conference in the weekend presented the party at its most green ever. All of the main issues that the leadership and membership focused on were environmental. Unlike last year’s conference where Metiria Turei unveiled an incredibly leftwing welfare policy – and dramatically confessed to welfare fraud – at this conference the talk was all about climate change, conservation, landfill waste issues, and water bottling.

For the best account of how the party has returned to an environmental focus, see Henry Cooke’s Bruised Green Party go back to basics at annual conference. He points to the two major announcements on water and waste, saying these “catered entirely to the more environmentally-focused wing of the party”.

Cooke suggests the focus is strategic: “With the party facing a raft of criticism from the commentariat that it was forgetting the ‘Green’ in the party’s name, launching some solid environmental policies made sense. The water testing stuff, clearly aimed at big foreign water bottlers, was some of the most populist policy the Greens have had in years, and will be well-received across the country.”

Of course it’s strategic – annual conferences are a primary way for parties to package and promote their current strategies.

Do the Greens need to get more radical?

A number of commentators have pointed to the Greens getting fewer policy wins than the New Zealand First party, and the fact that they haven’t been able to make more of the environmental wins they have achieved. For Guyon Espiner it’s a case of the MPs simply needing to use the “weapon the Green Party appear reluctant to use: Its voice” – see: The Green Party needs to speak up.

Many are pointing to the need for Davidson, in particular, to speak up more. And although Espiner agrees, he says others should too: “As a backbencher Ms Davidson is completely free to speak her mind. Even the Green ministers are largely free of the constraints of collective responsibility, in that it only applies to their portfolios.”

Given responses to Davidson speaking up recently, that may not be a positive thing for Green support. While Davidson was riding the greener Green wave at the conference, much may depend on what she chooses to champion ongoing, especially on social media.

Similarly, Sam Sachdeva has said the Greens need louder voice in government. He argues that “The party may need to fight its corner more often if it is to survive and thrive”. In particular, “A dead rat or two may be palatable, but the Greens must show they can choose their own cuisine when they want to.”

A huge challenge for any small party in power is to not only show they can be a cohesive part of the Government, but also to retain their distinct identity and credibility. They have struggled with that at times, especially over their odd position over the waka jumping bill.

Being seen to focus more on green (environmental) issues is a smart move, because that’s where the Greens are most likely to pick up support they lost in the lead up to last year’s election.

But we will need to wait and see whether a greener Green is a short term strategy, or a longer term shift in direction.

39 Comments

  1. robertguyton

     /  August 21, 2018

    Good post, Pete. I thought this line most significant:
    ” but some may baulk at policies that impact or impose costs on themselves.”
    It’s seemingly “natural” for people to resist change, as evidenced here on your blog, where every Green environmental proposal is met with howls of indignation and refusals to budge from personal behaviours that harm the environment 🙂 This sort of self-interest and head-in-the-sand-ishness is what The Green Party has to deal with always and managing that is their greatest challenge. Tonight, in Invercargill, a public meeting on climate change, hosted by The National Party; I’m going along to represent the Greens and speak out for the sake of all of our grandchildren 🙂

    • Corky

       /  August 21, 2018

      The problem with the Greens Robert is their myopia. They don’t see the big picture. They think they do. But life isn’t just about saving the planet…you actually have to live on the planet day to day. Economics doesn’t tolerate idealism…only survival.

      For example we have this present hysteria over plastic bags in the ocean. Is that warranted? Concern is definitely warranted. However, less than 2% of plastic winds up in the ocean.

      Then we have their climate change nonsense( admittedly they aren’t the only ones). They want to economically shackle us with financial burdens because of projected climate change scenarios based on discredited climate change models.

      For example a recent Frontier Science Review study explained coral bleaching has been happening in cycles throughout history; some periods worse than others. The Greens and others don’t tell us this, only that it’s a man induced phenomenon.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  August 21, 2018

        Most of the plastic that does end up in the ocean comes from countries with poor waste management.

        • robertguyton

           /  August 21, 2018

          Every country has poor waste management, it’s just that some are considerable worse than others, making the better of a bad bunch look good.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  August 21, 2018

            The differences are extreme, Robert. Small developed democracies like ours tend to be the best as problems are visible and actioned.

            • robertguyton

               /  August 21, 2018

              Like exporting our plastic waste to…China?
              Very enlightened of us.

          • Pink David

             /  August 21, 2018

            “Every country has poor waste management”

            Start a waste management company. Show us what good waste management looks like. You will reap the rewards of your success.

            • robertguyton

               /  August 21, 2018

              David; your measure of success seems to be purely a monetary one; each time you demand that I prove something by starting a company and making profit, you reveal your paucity of imagination. There are other index that demonstrate success; perhaps a little research on your part would reveal those, to your great advantage. No need to thank me, your success will be reward enough for me.

            • Pink David

               /  August 21, 2018

              “David; your measure of success seems to be purely a monetary one; each time you demand that I prove something by starting a company and making profit, you reveal your paucity of imagination. ”

              Your narrow focus on money is your own. There is no need for your company to make a profit. Your success can be measured simply in the great and wonderful service you provide.

              You can also do this as a trust, a foundation, a charity, a co-op, or as a non-profit. The structure is entirely up to you. The wonderful thing about capitalism is the freedom it provides for you to pursue your goals, irrespective of mundane issues such as profits.

    • Pink David

       /  August 21, 2018

      “It’s seemingly “natural” for people to resist change, as evidenced here on your blog, where every Green environmental proposal is met with howls of indignation and refusals to budge from personal behaviours that harm the environment”

      Didn’t Pol Pot say exactly the same thing when he introduced his agrarian revolution?

      Stalin made this a crime called ‘vreditel’stvo’ or ‘wrecking’. People who have different views, but you speak for the environment, so your motives are pure and not about self-interest like all those ‘other’ people, isn’t that so Robert?

      This is why you are so gleeful about getting power. You want to use it.

      “I’m going along to represent the Greens and speak out for the sake of all of our grandchildren”

      Can you please point out to exactly were you got the right to speak out on behalf anyone else, much less anyone else’s grandchildren?

      Your arrogance is truly breathtaking.

      • robertguyton

         /  August 21, 2018

        “Didn’t Pol Pot say exactly the same thing when he introduced his agrarian revolution?”
        No. You said a stupid thing there.
        You go on to say, in an even duller way:
        “This is why you are so gleeful about getting power. You want to use it.”
        Because when your “team” was in power, they didn’t want to use it???
        What a bunch of losers they are then!
        David. You need to take a good look at yourself. You’re coming across as *whispers a bit silly !

        • Pink David

           /  August 21, 2018

          “Because when your “team” was in power, they didn’t want to use it???
          What a bunch of losers they are then!”

          They were not my ‘team’. The whole point of power is to use it as sparingly as possible.

          “David. You need to take a good look at yourself. You’re coming across as *whispers a bit silly !”

          Too you, I’m sure. All you see in power is the ability to wield it, you clearly don’t understand anything else. You actually revel in t. There is no good place that goes.

  2. robertguyton

     /  August 21, 2018

    There’s “hysteria” over plastic bags in the ocean, Corky?
    Hysteria? Really? People fainting, throwing themselves against walls, screaming uncontrollably?
    Nope.
    “They want to economically shackle us with financial burdens ”
    Ya reckon The Greens sit around saying, “Let’s shackle them with …”
    Nope.
    That interpretation is yours. The Greens are often criticised for concerning themselves with social issues, rather than just environmental issues, but here, you ignore the fact that they want to improve the health and well-being of everyone, not burden and shackle. You might well disagree with how they propose to make life better for everyone, but even you might be able to see that The Greens’ intentions are good.
    But it seems you don’t accept the climate change “story” at all, so I guess my words are wasted on you. Hei aha.

    • Corky

       /  August 21, 2018

      ”But it seems you don’t accept the climate change “story” at all, so I guess my words are wasted on you. ”

      To reiterate: I accept the climate is changing. I do not accept this change is manmade. I believe those perpetrating this scam are criminals. I only hope down the track when this is proved those criminals are brought to justice. If they have already died, their legacy should be besmirched.

      • Griff.

         /  August 21, 2018

        Classic
        Its called cognitive dissonance
        If those in denial actually examine their world view in a rational way they would find their denial is nuts.
        Like if corky actually admitted to him self who he just called to be prosecuted he would be struck with how mental his world view is .
        To avoid this they dont actually think logically about the ramifications of what they believe as to do so makes their tummy hurt because of the dissonance it causes.
        The mental contortions needed to maintain such a fractured world view is measurably insane.
        .

        • Trevors_elbow

           /  August 21, 2018

          God you are boring Griff ever.single.post on climate change you ad ho. Those with a different viewpoint… you’re nothing but consistent

          • robertguyton

             /  August 21, 2018

            “God you are boring…”
            “you ad ho”
            Pretty funny, Trev!

          • Griff.

             /  August 21, 2018

            ROFL.
            Science is our best understand about the world around us.
            Your “view” on climate change is equal on this question as that of flat earthers on the shape of the world or creationists on the origin of man.

          • Griff.

             /  August 21, 2018

            Ad ho
            Nope your logic fail .
            It was a clearly laid out explanation that I can support based on well documented psychology theory.
            Pointing out the defict in someones thinking is not an Ad hominem.
            Your cognitive dissonance is showing
            You think it is an Ad hominem because your world view is included in my diagnose.

    • Pink David

       /  August 21, 2018

      “The Greens’ intentions are good”

      A suicide bomber has good intentions.

      • Corky

         /  August 21, 2018

        What have both got in common? An unremitting ideology.

        • Pink David

           /  August 21, 2018

          Correct. They answer to a higher power. They are righteous and selfless.

          • robertguyton

             /  August 21, 2018

            Are the National/ACT parties…unrighteous and selfish? Is that what you’re implying, Pink?

        • robertguyton

           /  August 21, 2018

          Is the ideology of National, remitting? Do you mean they’re …flakey?

  3. Zedd

     /  August 21, 2018

    “Marama & James for co-PMs !” 🙂

    • Zedd

       /  August 21, 2018

      … in 2020 ?! 🙂 😀

      • robertguyton

         /  August 21, 2018

        Audacious!
        (I like it!)

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  August 21, 2018

        No, on Mars. What a fab recipe for a collapsed economy that would be. I see Venezuela is taking five digits off its currency to catch up with its inflation. Socialism rocks.

        • Pink David

           /  August 21, 2018

          It will reduce waste, with everyone having to search through the garbage to get something to eat.

        • robertguyton

           /  August 21, 2018

          Here in Earth (a different place from Planet Key; remember that hell-hole?) Marama and James are presently in Government and the economy hasn’t collapsed, despite the tame Business Leaders dark and menacing “confidence” declarations. Your fantasy seems…to be that of a frightened person.

        • Blazer

           /  August 21, 2018

          Venezuela is experiencing that classic squeeze ,illustrated by that 2 min clip I posted recently.

      • Corky

         /  August 21, 2018

        “Marama & James for co-PMs ??? Co-losers would be more like it. The Greens will probably split after 2020. After gaining a taste of power these ideologues won’t be able to stomach being in opposition for the next 20 years.

        • robertguyton

           /  August 21, 2018

          Yeah! Those ACT ideologues gave up the moment they lost power…

          • Corky

             /  August 21, 2018

            They didn’t have to wait for 20 years.

            • robertguyton

               /  August 21, 2018

              We Greens are as patient as saints.

            • robertguyton

               /  August 21, 2018

              Pink likens The Greens to suicide bombers and Pol Pot.
              What a lightweight.

  4. Gezza

     /  August 21, 2018

    Mike Hosking on ZB early this morning said the plastic disposal problem should be easy to solve – why aren’t the Greens & government looking to business for solutions?

    He mentioned the company (Fulton Hogan) which is turning it into road surfacing material. (This featured on a 1ewes item not long ago.)

    “There you go. Problem solved!” (or words to that general effect.)


    https://www.fultonhogan.com/trial-recycles-plastic-containers-asphalt/
    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/old-oil-containers-turned-into-new-asphalt-like-product-plastiphalt-in-christchurch
    http://architecturenow.co.nz/articles/path-to-sustainability-plastic-roads/

    • Corky

       /  August 21, 2018

      Good old Mikey. Have microphone…will solve. That’s the Rightie philosophy.