Bad timing by Greens on refugees

Greens want to substantially increase the number of refugees coming into New Zealand.

Newstalk ZB:  Greens push for even bigger intake of refugees

The Green Party is pushing for an even bigger intake of refugees into New Zealand.

It is looking to further extend the country’s refugee policy, and is committing to do more than double the current quota.

Co-leader James Shaw said they would aim to increase the quota to 4000 refugees a year, to be phased in over six years.

“We would need to build an additional refugee resettlement centre, that would not be in Auckland. We would be asking council to apply. We know that there are number who are already keen,” he said.

Shaw said they would also introduce a new community support programme that would allow NGOs and support agencies to take in another 1000 refugees annually.

“When the Syrian crisis really hit the front pages last year, we did hear from a lot of community organisation, church groups and NGO’s to say actually we do have capacity, we do want to be able to support refugees. And so we are taking them up on that offer,” he said.

Immigration is a hot topic leading into the New Zealand election campaign.

Winston Peters and New Zealand First wants to substantially reduce immigration numbers, but they don’t seem to have any policy on refugees – see their Immigration Policy.

Labour announced policy last week that would reduce overall immigration by tens of thousands – see Time for a breather on immigration – but that doesn’t mention refugees. A fact sheet states “These changes won’t affect the Refugee Quota”. It also gives numbers:

Labour will increase the refugee quota to 1,500.

This will continue Labour’s proud tradition of welcoming victims of war and disaster to our shores, which extends back to taking in refugees during World War II and is just as needed today, with conflicts such as in Syria creating the largest number of displaced persons since 1945.

The Green proposal is substantially more, with an eventual aim of 4,000 refugees per year.

There may be many more Syrian refugees looking for a safe haven as their civil war escalates yet again – see US shoot down Syrian jet – but with an escalation in Muslim tensions in the UK – see London Finsbury Park Mosque attack – there are likely to be growing concerns and opposition.

The timing of Green proposal may have been pre-planned but it is unlikely to be well received with the current international situations deteriorating.



Shaw could work with Peters with gritted teeth

James Shaw has said he would prefer not to have to work with Winston Peters, but would if it meant changing the Government (getting National out of power).

This suggests he sees a NZ First dictated coalition as better for the country than the current Government.

It also implies that he thinks a Labour+Green+NZ First collation would do better for Green policy preferences than National+Green

Newshub: ‘If I have to’ – Greens co-leader James Shaw on working with Winston Peters

Green Party co-leader James Shaw says he’ll work with Winston Peters if that’s what it takes to change the Government.

“If you look at the trends in the polls… it’s about level pegging,” says Mr Shaw. “This is a very close election.”

“I can [work with Mr Peters] if I have to. Ultimately, it wouldn’t be my first choice.”

It may be the Greens only choice if they refuse to work with National.

Last year Mr Shaw and his co-leader Metiria Turei were split on whether working with the National Party was a possibility – Mr Shaw open to it, and Ms Turei “100 percent” against it.

It is claimed that Green Party members, who theoretically at least would make any decision on who they would and wouldn’t go into coalition with, are strongly against working with National.

On current polling Labour+Greens are nowhere near getting a majority, and Labour has gone backwards in the latest Newshub poll to 26%. Greens didn’t pick up all Labour’s shed support, they were on 12.5% but combined that is less than 40%.

NZ First rose more to 9.4% and may challenge Greens for the third party spot. They may have no choice than to go with NZ First and Labour.

If that happens it won’t only be Shaw with gritted teeth.

In an interview with The Spinoff in March, Ms Turei said despite Mr Peters being “annoying as hell” and holding “racist views”, she admired him for his tenacity and the advice he’s given her over the years.

Shane Jones looks set to join NZ First and seems to have more rancid racist views – see Jones signals a rancid approach.

Greens claim to be much better than this, but Shaw suggests they would join with it anyway, ironically to oust National who have more open immigration policies than Labour and especially NZ First.

Who needs principles when you want power?

Reactions to Labour’s immigration policy

Labour announced their immigration policy yesterday – see Little announces Labour’s immigration policy.

Greens are usually quick to respond to political news of the day but have nothing on their website about it yet.

NZ Herald:  English says Labour’s immigration ‘breather’ would stall momentum in the economy

Prime Minister Bill English’s strenuous opposition to Labour’s proposed “breather” in immigration draws a clear battle-line in the election.

Labour leader Andrew Little wants net migration cut from the current 70,000 a year by up to 30,000 – mainly targeting overseas students – saying it will relieve pressure on Auckland road by 20,000 cars and 10,000 houses annually.

But English says Labour’s policy is based on a misunderstanding of the export education sector – 70 per cent to 80 per cent of such students left New Zealand at the end of their study, the students did not buy houses and not many had cars.

English also said the cut would stall the momentum in the economy which was producing 10,000 new jobs every month.

RNZ:  Labour’s immigration policy could ruin colleges – industry

Up to 70 percent of private training colleges could collapse if Labour’s new immigration policy is implemented, an organisation representing the industry says.

The Labour Party’s policy targets international students on low-level courses, in a bid to cut down migration by up to 30,000 people a year.

Independent Tertiary Education New Zealand, which represents the industry, predicts up to 70 percent of the sector’s business could collapse.

Chairperson Christine Clark said targeting private training establishments (PTEs) would not solve the problem.

She said Mr Little had confused low level with low quality, and the policy sent a message that people who studied at PTEs were low-level people.

“By saying low level, he’s also targeting the providers who are training the chefs and training the barristers and the technicians and the horticultural people and the farmers and the caregivers.

“New Zealand actually needs those people.”

Dave Guerin from Ed Insider, a company which gives advice to tertiary education groups, said polytechnics would also be in trouble.

“Polytechnics are heavily reliant on the Indian and Chinese market. In some places they make up 80 to 90 percent of their international students.

“I’ve just gone through most of the polytechnic sector’s annual reports. Most of them are seeing growth in international students and declines in domestic students, so if they see a decline in international student then they’ll be in the red financially.”

Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman said about 20 percent of its workers were on student visas.

Mr Chapman liked Labour’s idea of a visa system which would help people get more jobs in the regions, but said the overall policy did not promote growth.

“The whole policy needs to recognise that we do need skilled workers in this country, be they Kiwis or [through] immigration. We need that balance.

“Any policy that pushes down and stops growth is not assisting the industry going forward.”

RNZ:  ‘Pandering’: Rival MPs criticise Labour immigration plan

United Future leader Peter Dunne…

…said Labour’s plan was “really all about race and pandering to a certain section of the vote”.

“It’s a nod and a wink to try to get New Zealand First on side.

“But frankly it’s going to have a detrimental effect on a number of tertiary institutions in terms of their funding [and] also in terms of the skillset coming into New Zealand.”

ACT leader David Seymour…

…said it was a sad day when “the major opposition party starts beating the race drum”.

“They’ve clearly been watching the UK election. They’ve seen UK Labour do well from the collapse of UKIP [United Kingdom Independence Party]. They’re getting desperate.

“They think that maybe they can engineer something like that by moving into New Zealand First’s territory.”

The Green Party…

…is worried some might see the policy as a pitch to xenophobia, but has come to Labour’s defence.

Co-leader James Shaw said he did not think that was where Labour was coming from.

“They’ve done a lot of work and they’ve come a long way from where they were in this debate.

“My sense is that they are trying to reframe the debate as one about how we manage this for the sake of the people who are coming here.”

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters…

…said Labour had finally seen the light.

“But when we were saying it, we were being dumped on by all and sundry, and now all of a sudden the lightbulb’s gone off.

“They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery and that’s about the size of it.”

Andrew Little has just been asked on RNZ what endorsement of Labour’s immigration policy by Peters meant. Little said he was happy to get support for the policy from anyone.



Insight into Green party positioning

James Shaw calls this “one of the most on-the-money insights into the political positioning in relation to other parties I’ve yet read”.

But it appears to indicate that the Greens fear what will happen to them if they get into government, and would rather play safe and remain pure.

Newstalk ZB – Alex Braae: Greens would be fools to court National

Around this point of the electoral cycle, the demands begin for the Greens to flirt with National. The siren song of government sounds. Unless they move to the centre, they will always be Labour’s hostage.

The logic is appealing. Labour will likely need both the Greens and New Zealand First, and Winston Peters will have a stronger hand. It’s happened before too – during the Clark years the Greens were repeatedly ditched. The Greens therefore have no choice. If they are going to wield power, they must play National and Labour off against each other.

While that’s a beautiful proposition to Very Very Smart Political Commentators, it doesn’t actually make any sense. It’s a fantasy, a demonstration of the hard nosed beltway chops of the VVSPC. Alas, actual voters tend to hate that sort of behaviour, and hate parties that do it.

But do voters really hate that? The biggest rise inb support this term has been for NZ First, and that is what Winston Peters bases his strategy on.

Such calls look at politics as a game in which one less valued policy can be traded away for a ministerial role, where politics can be modelled, sculpted, and scenarios of the perfect parliament simulated as if it were a computer game.

Ah, no. It’s how politics works when more than one party have to find a way of working together. It necessarily involves compromise, something the Greens seem averse to, but they have never experienced the reality of being a part of a government.

Could the Greens not occupy that space? 

The reason why they couldn’t is about the people that actually elect governments. Voters aren’t stupid, but the average person on the street probably couldn’t say for sure what National’s position on genetic engineering is, or name number five on New Zealand First’s list. They might not even know that David Seymour is in favour of charter schools, or that Peter Dunne is technically the leader of a party. 

So when you aren’t reading detailed policy manifestos, or digesting every tweet sent out by MPs, what does cut through? Successful parties are able to give clear, unambiguous statements of what they stand for. What does National stand for? Being dull and sensible. ACT? Less government. Labour? The messages have recently been mixed, and the party’s reputation suffers accordingly.

And the Greens?

Like it or not, they are about purism over politics.

Government is politics. So do the Greens put more importance over ‘purism’ than being able to implement some of their polices?

Green members are typically baffled by the idea that anyone could rationally support a different party, because, don’t they know about climate change/inequality/filthy rivers etc. Lower information voters who care about those issues currently know that even if they don’t keep up with the detail of the policy, the Greens are the one party that hasn’t yet tried to screw them. This strategic maintenance of principled stances matters far more than any tactical decision ever could.

Non Green members are baffled by the idea that a party would rather promote 100% of their policies without implementing any rather than progress 20% of their policies as a part of a government.

For it to work for the Greens, they would have to extract huge concessions from National in areas like agriculture and tax.

So the Greens want all or nothing. If the Greens went into coalition with National they should be able to have a 20-25% say in what policies actually happen. That’s a bit better than 0%.

Same if they form a coalition with Labour and NZ First.  Labour and Winston are never going to let them implement all their polices completely.

Granted, the Greens have stepped away from the radical left during their time in parliament. But one only needed to look at the gritted teeth of members when the leadership signed up to the Budget Responsibility Rules pact with Labour – a document that could make it difficult to implement their policy if they make it to government.

So Braae concedes compromise is necessary even with a party supposedly closest to them, through gritted teeth.

Unless Greens get 50% of the party vote and form a government on their own it will be very difficult to implement all their policy if they make it to government.

To borrow one of their favourite words, the only sustainable option for the Greens is to simply continue doing what they’re doing. Keep growing slowly, keep the base happy, keep winning the odd skirmish from opposition.

Green MPs may not get a chance to ride in ministerial limos this time around, or even the next. But if they are careful, by the time they do get there, they’ll be big enough to actually wield power. Only then will the party be able to survive government.

Braae seems to also concede they are unlikely to get into government after this year’s election. I wonder how insightful Shaw thinks that is.

If they are this sort of careful they will never get into government and will never wield power.

What’s the point of just surviving in Opposition?

Do they Greens lack confidence in being able to be part of a government? They seem to fear the consequences of not being the dominant party in a coalition.

Are they really afraid of getting into power? Does Shaw share this fear?

This is an insight into the Greens into their party positioning, a remarkable one that the Greens don’t seem to fully understand, unless they don’t actually want to be in government.

Shaw versus English on the budget

James Shaw had his first confrontation with Bill English since the budget in Parliament yesterday.

3. JAMES SHAW (Co-Leader—Green) to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by all his Government’s decisions?

Rt Hon BILL ENGLISH (Prime Minister): Yes, especially the Family Incomes Package in the 2017 Budget, which provides around $2 billion to support family incomes. It will benefit around 1.3 million families by an average of $26 a week. I am pleased to see that the member supports this decision, because it will help so many low and middle income earners with young families, and it is impressive that the Greens thought supporting those families was more important than supporting a dysfunctional and flailing Labour Party.

James Shaw: Does he stand by his Government’s decision in last week’s Budget to cut funding for rheumatic fever prevention when rheumatic fever rates are rising?

Rt Hon BILL ENGLISH: I would have to check the details about the actual funding for rheumatic fever, but I can tell the member this: this Government set up the rheumatic fever scheme, with, I think, $60 million at the time. It has been innovative, it has had a significant effect on rheumatic fever rates, and the lessons from that have been applied to the new Better Public Services result around reducing hospital admissions for children for preventable conditions. So essentially we are taking the rheumatic fever scheme and applying it on a much wider basis, so that we can have more healthy children, and fewer of them going to hospital.

James Shaw: Does he stand by his Government’s decision in last week’s Budget to stop insulating homes at the end of this year?

Rt Hon BILL ENGLISH: A law has been passed precisely to make sure that all homes are insulated where that is reasonably possible—

Phil Twyford: No—rental properties.

Rt Hon BILL ENGLISH: . —all rental homes. I cannot help feeling that the Greens are running into the same trap as the Labour Party, and that is that now that those members have decided to vote against the Government on the confidence motion, they are trying to find reasons for that vote.

James Shaw: Can he confirm that the law that he just referred to—the change in the insulation standards that the Government introduced in 2016—is based on 1978 levels, will not come into effect for another 2 years, is lower than the current building code, and is lower than officials recommend for a healthy home?

Rt Hon BILL ENGLISH: No, I cannot confirm any of those things.

James Shaw: Has he seen reports that there are still 600,000 homes in this country with poor thermal performance, which are cold and damp in winter, and which make the people who live in them sick?

Rt Hon BILL ENGLISH: I have seen all sorts of reports about the state of our housing stock. That is one of the reasons why the Government has legislated in the way that we have just described, and it is also a reason why we have now put in place for the first time systems for dealing with children, in particular, who show up in hospitals with diseases that may be related to the poor state of the house that they are in. The good news is that more new houses are being built than ever, the State housing stock has been significantly improved since this Government came into office, and the standard of houses in New Zealand is rising.

James Shaw: Does he agree with Otago University professor Philippa Howden-Chapman that home insulation is “a very, very good investment”; if so, why is he not funding it under his social investment programme?

Rt Hon BILL ENGLISH: As the member may be aware, the Government has spent hundreds of millions on subsidising the insulation of homes, and has come to the view that the best thing from here is to make it a requirement for all those who do own rental homes to insulate them. It seems to me, in the same way we do not spend money subsidising the spouting or hanging doors in homes, that that should be an integral part of the standard of the home.

James Shaw: If a 6:1 benefit-cost ratio to tackle a problem that puts kids in hospital 40,000 times and kills more people than the road toll every year does not meet the criteria to be considered a good social investment, what does?

Rt Hon BILL ENGLISH: There are lots of proposals that meet the criteria for sound social investment, but, as I have already explained to the member, because of the significance of insulation, we have legislated to require insulation to a specific level in all rental homes.

Greens – 2017 list

The Greens have revealed their final party list that they will go into the 2017 election with.

Green Party unveils strongest ever candidate list

The Green Party is excited to today reveal its final candidate list for the upcoming election, with a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent set to take the party into government.

The final list was voted on by Green Party members, after a draft list was created by candidates and party delegates in April.

“I am confident this exceptional group of people will take us to our best ever election result and into government in September,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“We will be continuing our work on the big issues New Zealanders care deeply about – our people, our environment and our planet – and we will take that work into government.

“This list reflects the progress the Green Party has made in the 27 years since our inception. We are bigger, bolder and more diverse than we’ve ever been. We have supporters in every neighbourhood, town and city in Aotearoa New Zealand, and a candidate in most areas.

“I am thrilled that there will be highly skilled Green Party representatives in the next government and Parliament, who are experts in their given fields.

“Our returning MPs are joined in the top 20 candidates by new Māori and Pasifika candidates, a human rights lawyer and refugee, indigenous rights activists, climate change campaigners, business people, a farmer, a former diplomat, and a TV presenter.

“This list truly reflects 21st century Aotearoa New Zealand. Chloe Swarbrick will become New Zealand’s youngest MP in 42 years. In Jack McDonald we have one of Te Ao Māori’s leading young voices, Pasifika candidate Teanau Tuiono is a noted activist and expert on climate change, and human rights lawyer Golriz Gharhraman will become Parliament’s first MP who came to New Zealand as a refugee.

“The Green team will go into this critically important election united and determined.

“We will be a force to be reckoned with this election and in the next Parliament,” said Mr Shaw.

 Green Party list:

  1. TUREI, Metiria
  2. SHAW, James
  3. DAVIDSON, Marama
  4. GENTER, Julie Anne
  5. SAGE, Eugenie
  6. HUGHES, Gareth
  7. LOGIE, Jan
  8. GRAHAM, Kennedy
  9. SWARBRICK, Chloe
  10. GHAHRAMAN, Golriz
  11. MATHERS, Mojo
  12. COATES, Barry
  13. MCDONALD, Jack
  14. HART, John
  15. ROCHE, Denise
  16. CLENDON, David
  17. HOLT, Hayley
  18. CROSSEN, Teall
  19. TUIONO, Teanau
  20. TAMU, Leilani

There are currently 14 Green MPs. They will be hoping to do better than that this election.

They have promoted younger mainly female candidates. They presumably want to retain the support of those who voted Green last election and grow the young female vote, and maybe the young male vote as well to increase their overall party vote.

However most people are barely aware of party lists so a lot will still depend on the pulling power of leaders Metiria Turei and James Shaw.

Green position on the budget

There has been a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about the Green Party position on the budget delivered last week, after Greens voted for the tax package in the budget, and also for the settlement on the pay equity case.

Co-leader James Shaw tries to clarify: Our position on National’s 2017 Budget

A number of people were left with the impression that the Greens had voted for “the Budget”. This is incorrect. The Green Party did not – and will not – vote for “the Budget”.

The Budget is what allows National to govern. If National failed to pass the Budget, all its legal ability to tax and spend would dry up and the Government would fall apart. There is no way we would vote for the Budget, because that would be supporting the National Government and its agenda.

Budget time often brings other legislation too, which gets debated under urgency. This year, there were two such Bills:

  • The first was a Bill giving effect to the settlement of the high-profile gender pay equity case for people in the caring profession, brought by Kristine Bartlett.
  • The second was a Bill changing Working for Families and income tax thresholds.

We voted in favour of both of these.

We voted for the pay equity Bill because, well, we believe in pay equity. The Bill the Government introduced is far from perfect. But it has been a long time coming and it fits comfortably within our Green Party policy and our values.

The Working for Families legislation was also far from perfect. But we voted for it because, imperfect as those changes are, they will make a positive difference for some people. We had to make this decision quickly, but we did not do so lightly.

Ending child poverty in New Zealand has consistently been one of the Green Party’s top priorities for many years now. The Government’s Bill is not the transformative income support and tax package that a Green Government would put in place (we’re working on that – watch this space).

But the Child Poverty Action Group estimates that National’s changes to the Family Tax Credit will bring between 35,000 and 50,000 children out of poverty. We asked ourselves if we could in good conscience oppose something that would help up to 50,000 kids, and on balance, we decided that we couldn’t.

In the Budget two years ago, National raised benefits by $25 a week. Both the Greens and Labour supported that, even though we both knew that not all families would get the full $25, and even for those who did, we knew it wouldn’t be enough.

But it was something – and so, last week, we made a similar call to vote for a package of measures that will mean that New Zealand’s hardest up families get even a little more.

Our friends and colleagues in the Labour Party made a different call last week. That’s quite common.

Since the last election, we’ve often voted differently from Labour. On 68 occasions, Labour has supported National while we have opposed National. And on 11 occasions, we have supported National while Labour has opposed.

We’re different political parties, after all. When MMP arrived a little over 20 years ago, many of us hoped it would lead to a more pluralistic Parliament, where political parties came together in different formations around the merits of any given policy proposal.

About 40 Bills have passed unanimously since the last election with the support of all political parties. A lot of what Parliament does is relatively uncontroversial.

On this occasion, we’ve talked it through with Labour.

There have been reports that Labour was blind sided by the Greens voting with the Government.

They understand why we supported National’s tax and Working for Families Bill and we understand why they opposed it.

Does anyone else understand? There has been a lot of confusion and discussion.

Those talks began on Budget day itself, when Opposition parties go into a small room together and have an hour with the Budget books before everything becomes public at 2pm.

It’s been a year this week since we signed the MOU with Labour. The MOU is an agreement to change the Government – not to always do everything the same way as each other.

We’re looking forward now to the election, and to this time next year when a new Finance Minister will deliver an entirely new kind of Budget that puts people and the planet first.

We might even replace the Budget’s traditional blue cover with a nice shade of green.

We? Would Labour go with shade of green budget?

Would NZ First go with a shade of green budget?

Is Shaw hinting at (or wishing for) a shade of green finance minister?

Political ups and downs

From Stuff’s weekly summary of political ups and downs.


Social Housing Minister Amy Adams: If you can’t beat ’em join ’em. Adams announced the government’s plans to build 34,000 new homes in Auckland over the next 10 years and got big ups even if, as her critics claim, she nicked the policy from Labour and there’s some trickery over the numbers.

It’s not exactly nicked policy. National had to be seen to be doing something to address the severe Auckland housing shortage, and their plans are significantly different to Labour’s.

Labour leader Andrew Little: The Labour congress and Little’s property speculator tax got his agenda back on track and got people talking about Labour policy again rather than splits and divisions.

Prime Minister Bill English: Japan’s commitment to the trans Pacific Partnership Agreement is a huge boost to New Zealand and ensured English’s trip there was a success.


Greens co-leader James Shaw. Shaw claimed  Donald Trump was the “worst world leader since Hitler“, SAD. SILLY.

Alfred Ngaro. The junior government minister earned himself a dressing down after crossing the line and threatening financial reprisal to groups that disagreed with the government line.

Shaw’s claim was embarrassing for him but probably won’t be very damaging.

Ngaro’s threat was seriously embarrassing for National and could lurk through the election campaign as an example of the arrogance of third term power.

From: Below the beltway: Amy Adams gets the plaudits for policy some say she nicked and James Shaw ends up with egg on his face


Shaw embarrassed by Trump-Hitler comparison

James Shaw accepts “it wasn’t really an appropriate comparison” when he likened Donald Trump to Hitler. It was a dumb thing to say.

NZ Herald reported on it here (with some irrelevant reactions from Andrew Little and Bill English):

Shaw said Trump was “the most dangerous person since Adolf Hitler” on TV show Back Benches on Wednesday night as part of a panel of politicians.

Shaw said he accepted it was not an appropriate comparison.

“I said that in the context of a pub politics show and I was being hyperbolic, and it wasn’t really an appropriate comparison.

“However, I do think Trump has the capacity to plunge the world into chaos. The US does have safeguards, which he is testing at the moment.”

It’s understandable that some people are concerned what may happen in the world with Trump president of the United States, but there is no comparison to Hitler in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s – nothing is likely to come close to that again.

But it was way over the top and a silly thing to say no matter what the situation. This is quite embarassing for Shaw.

How Green is this PR?

When I saw this headline I thought it was relevant to a post I wanted to do:  How PR ‘completely transformed’ New Zealand politics: Metiria Turei, Green Party co-leader

But it was another sort of PR – proportional representation. The post was by the UK Electoral Reform Society.

What I wanted to write about was this ‘Public Relations’ exercise by the Greens:


That image is very young female dominant.

Remember Jeannette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald? The current crop of Greens seem to have forgotten about the past.

The Greens are obviously trying to repackage themselves and attract more voters.

The target of this PR is not the hippy greens, nor the impoverished people the Greens say the represent, nor the Maori that Metiria Turei had seemed keen on targeting not long ago.

This is certainly a new Green image, without much green showing at all, in colour and in character.

It’s a curious combination of personal. The only ones on the North & South cover who are current MPs are co-leaders Turei and James Shaw, neither of whom look like they would be at home in a garden.

The others are all candidates for this year’s election.

Only one of them, John Hart, has stood for the Greens before. He was 18 on their list last election, and has climbed to 12 on their ‘initial list’ announced last week. If he remains around that position on their final list (after members vote on it) he stands a very good chance of becoming an MP. It doesn’t look it in the cover photo but he’s a farmer.

Next is Chloe Swarbrick, placed at 13 on the initial list so a god chance of success. She is young (22) and was given a lot of publicity by media in the Auckland mayoral contest last year, and more since then. She chose Greens to advance her political career, but she’s a young urban whose green credentials aren’t clear.

Then there’s Golriz Ghahraman, at 15 on the initial list in the maybe zone. They currently have 14 MPs and will either have to increase their vote or Ghahraman will have to improve her position on the final list. She has impressive credentials – Barrister, United Nations Consultant (International Human Rights Law, Justice), United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime – but is far from a typical Green.

And there is Hayley Holt, she has pretty much no show from 29 on the initial list (the Greens only show the Top 20 Green Party Candidates on their candidate photo page. She is “snowboarder and ballroom dancer notable for her appearances on several reality television series”. gain not a very typical greenie.

I presume the Greens have done their research and are targeting the trendy urban celebrity (mainly Auckland) voter types.

But they risk losing traditional green support.

Possibly more importantly, they may find that the fluid Green support, those who like a strong environmental voice in Parliament (I’ve voted Green on that basis in the days of Donald and Fitzsimons), may not like what they see in the New Green look.



…is barely green.

I barely recognised James Shaw on the cover, and didn’t recognise John Hart. This is his Green candidate photo:


Maybe the typical North & South readers don’t like the typical Green look. (I think Hart would be a good MP).

Remember how Greens used to look?