A $20 billion target for election lobbyists

On of the most unusual features of the budget announced yesterday was twenty billion dollars in the $50 billion Covid Recovery Fund “remaining for future investment”.

Investments totalling $13.9 billion have already been made from the fund to fight the virus and cushion the blow. Cabinet has agreed a further $15.9 billion of investments to continue the immediate response and kickstart the economy, leaving $20.2 billion remaining for future investment.

This is a huge amount sitting waiting for spending decisions to be made, on top of already large amounts of expenditure..

It hasn’t taken long for political lobbyists to see this as an an opportunity.

Yesterday the government announced their budget for 2020 and what we learned is that the Finance Minister has set aside $20 billion in the Covid-19 recovery fund that is yet to be allocated.

With an election coming up, those of us wanting something different out of yesterday’s budget have a clear window of opportunity to demand it.

In the last seven weeks, we’ve been challenged to reflect on our values, how we care for one another, and what’s important. The $20 billion left in the Covid-19 recovery fund is an opportunity to take what we’ve learned and use it to reshape our economy, democracy, the way we care for our environment, and the way we care for each other.

Let’s create this vision together, then work collectively to bring it to life:

  1. We will combine the power and wisdom of thousands of ActionStation members to choose the big ideas via this survey.
  2. We’ll launch the results as a people-powered community vision called The People’s Regeneration Plan .
  3. Together we will campaign to build the pressure and people power needed to make our vision a reality.

Now is the time for the ActionStation community to collectively decide what type of Aotearoa we want to build beyond this crisis, and that’s why we need to be clear about what we’re asking for.

ActionStation isn’t looking at Covid specific initiatives, but rather seem to see it as an opportunity to promote their political wish list.

A screenshot of the survey responses. A link to an accessible survey is provided below.

I didn’t think that was the sort of thing the Covid Recovery Fund was intended for but others obviously see it differently.

How Green is ActionStation?

Here’s some interesting links to a new “non-party political” action group.

Green Party leader Metiria Turei commented on her Facebook page “Jobs like this are rare, closes Friday” and shared this photo:

Action Station advertThis had been posted by Megan Salole who is the Executive Director of ActionStation. Salole also has obvious links to Generation Zero as per her cover pic.

“Generation Zero is made of up of young New Zealanders working together to secure a thriving zero carbon Aotearoa.”

About Generation Zero:

Climate change is the challenge of our generation, and young people are the inheritors of humanity’s response to climate change.

For that reason – Generation Zero, a youth-led organisation, was founded with the central purpose of providing solutions for New Zealand to cut carbon pollution through smarter transport, liveable cities & independence from fossil fuels.

Salole was National Campaign Manager for the Green Party in the 2011 election – see her Linked in Overview, Past:

  • Design Strategy at Conscious Consumers
  • National Campaign Manager at Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Social Innovator at Intersect Trust and Network for purposeful young professionals at Intersect
  • Chair at Sustainability Trust

The ActionStation advertisement leads to job details:

National Campaign Director

Our ambitious, not-for-profit enterprise seeks dynamic, multi-talented National Director to lead the organisation and revitalise progressive campaigning in Aotearoa New Zealand.

As National Director you will lead this exciting not-for-profit from its launch, shaping its day-to-day operations and overall direction as a major new presence in New Zealand progressive politics through the next election and beyond its launch to financial sustainability.

We will be going on to recruit the roles of Campaign Director, Technical Director and Membership manager.

It’s interesting to see what appears to be a well funded political activist campaign.

Action Station’s current campaigns are:

  • Fuel Poverty
  • Keep Our Assets
  • Paid Parental Leave

The job description:

Action Station Job description

And it includes a summary of ActionStation:

Action Station AboutAS is about people power, not party politics – “preserving complete independence from any political party”.

ActionStation party membershipSo ActionStation are trying to portray themselves as non-party political.

They just happen to have people and policies that are closely aligned to the Green Party and are promoted by a Green Party leader.