Green lobbyists liaising over $20b Covid Recovery Fund?

Further to yesterday’s post, several green friendly groups have promoted the $20b of the Covid Recovery Fund that is currently unallocated in what looks like coordinated lobbying.

The Green Party saw the money already allocated to ‘green’ policies – about $1b – as a start of the ‘Green reset’ – from RNZ: Parties look to secure wins from $20b ahead of election

…co-leader James Shaw has a few ideas about how to spend a large chunk of cash.

“The climate crisis, the housing crisis, the crisis in our rivers and in our marine environment and in our forests. Our three waters infrastructure, you know the water that’s coming out of our taps is unsafe to drink and it does occasionally run dry. So there are a series of things that we need to fix, all of which create jobs,” he said.

Shaw said it was actually the perfect time for parties to start offering up their own visions for the rebuild.

Today’s budget announcement invests over a billion dollars in projects which will create jobs that restore our natural environment, while also investing in housing initiatives to help reduce housing inequality and ensure all New Zealanders have access to a warm, healthy home.

We’ve made it clear that New Zealand must keep sustainability at the core of its COVID-19 reset. We’re really proud to be a part of a government making long-term decisions which put us on track towards an Aotearoa where all New Zealanders, and our natural environment can thrive.

More in an email from the Green Party:

We have now officially kicked off our Green Reset from the COVID-19 crisis with the release of Budget 2020. We’ve secured massive investment in Green initiatives which will create thousands of jobs while improving life for people and protecting the natural environment.

In an email yesterday from ActionStation:

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.

An email from Greenpeace:

Did you hear yesterday’s Budget announcement? A whopping $1bn has been set aside for restoring nature, which is fantastic. But the climate missed out.

But, so far the Budget announcement doesn’t add up to the transformation we need. Opportunities to address the climate and ecological crises have been missed, so our work is far from over.

With thousands of people like you signing our Green Covid Response petition and supporting this proposal, we know New Zealanders support a greener, healthier and more resilient economy that puts people and planet first.

We couldn’t have got this far without you – so thank you. And with you on our side, I know we still have a chance to make this a reality. Around half of the funds – $20 billion worth of investment – is yet to be announced, and that is reason for hope – and action!

We will work hard to make sure that the remaining $20 billion is used to build a nation that works in harmony with nature. A society where people, not corporations, are at the heart of governance. Where the economy works within our planet’s environmental boundaries.

I think we can expect more of this. There have been links between the Green Party, Greenpeace and Action Station, and all have similar goals – and now they have similar eyes on the $20b.

Of course there will be other groups lobbying hard for some of the $29b for their favoured policies. And the Green and NZ First parties will have their own ideas on how they can benefit from using some of the $20b to further their ideals and enhance their re-election prospects.

Time will tell what the real intention of the $20b made available in the Covid Recovery Fund is actually used for.  If it’s not all actually required to help New Zealand recover from the Covid epidemic than it could pay back the huge loans taken out to fund dealing with the Covid crisis.