Sustainable NZ could help Labour, Greens as well as environment

The newly launched Sustainable NZ Party has been criticised a puppet party set up to either give National  coalition option they are currently lacking, or compete with Green votes to try to stop the Green Party making the 5% threshold,

But if SNZ makes it into Parliament (this is a long shot but possible) they could help Labour or the Greens (if the get back in) as much if not more than they could help National.

SNZ in Parliament could give Labour a choice between them and the Greens, giving them more coalition bargaining power.

SNZ could also give Labour or Labour+Greens an alternative to NZ First for a coalition.

A Labour+Greens+SNZ coalition should have a strong environmental mandate, far stronger than currently with NZ First in the mix.

The Greens have actually reacted with “it only strengthens democracy when we have a diversity of people running in general elections”.

And even if National and SNZ form a coalition, that must be better for environmental policy implementation than National on their own or with ACT.

The bleating from the left seems more old school politics where parties like Labour think they should be able to effectively rule on their own, or as far as the Greens are concerned worried about self preservation (the threshold), or seeing themselves as the exclusive champion of environmental policies.

Martyn Bradbury at The Daily Blog: The real purpose of National’s new ‘Sustainability NZ Party’

The point of Sustainability NZ for National is not to get over 5% and join them in Parliament, it’s to take just enough green voters away from the Greens so as to sink them under 5%.

That’s just one possibility. Voters may see differently – two environmental parties could be better than one.

If we had a Green movement that wasn’t more focused on meaningless consensus and middle class identity politics, they could see this challenge off from Sustainability NZ, but because of the shrill alienation the Greens  manage to create, this could be the plot to rob them of any representation post 2020.

He also takes a swipe at the Greens. The bitterness of someone with no party to support.

Voters could dump the Greens from Parliament regardless of SNZ. If that happens and SNZ manages to get in then we must be better off than being left with National versus Labour.

MickySavage at The Standard: Sustainable Party launches

The Sustainable Party, National’s sock puppet party designed to weaken the Greens has launched.

That’s a negative Labour reaction, without stopping to think through the possibilities.

At a time when the world is in a crisis caused by run away climate change there is only very oblique reference to this most pressing of problems.  It should be centre and front of any policy announcement by a so called environmentally focussed party.  That it is not speaks volumes.  And that the policy is being used to try and wedge the Greens on  Generic Engineering shows the real motivation behind the party.

The Greens should be challenged on their ridiculous entrenched anti-GE position,

Of course the reality is that this party is a puppet party, designed to cause as much grief as possible to the Greens.

And he refuses to accept that late stage capitalism and unfettered greed and growth are the cause of our problems.  That economic disparity and ecological decline are happening hand in hand because they are symptoms of the same problem.  Instead he claims that his party is  “pro-progress, pro-technology and pro-science” and seems to think that eternal economic growth is possible.

This sounds like knee jerk anti-new party syndrome – established parties seem to hate newbies with new approaches. They seem to feel threatened.

Beyond the overreaction of political bloggers, RNZ – Sustainable New Zealand political party: Other parties unruffled

The Greens said they were “not too fussed” about a potential rival, saying in a statement the ‘teal’ vote was miniscule.

“We think National are the only ones likely to lose support,” it said.

“However Mr Tava is welcome to give it a go – he has every right to and in fact it only strengthens democracy when we have a diversity of people running in general elections.”

Yes, under MMP more parties in Parliament strengthens democracy, giving major parties more options to get genuine majorities to progress policies.

Former Green MP Sue Bradford did not think Sustainable NZ would take many votes from the Greens.

“While Mr Tava talks about being willing to go with National or Labour or anyone else I think it’s pretty clear that they are positioning themselves very much on the right side of the political spectrum with all their talk of working with business…

Funny, Bradford equates “talk of working with business with “very much on the right side of the political spectrum”. Even Russel Norman appeared willing to talking with businesses, and James Shaw certainly is willing.

Apart from the fringe far left healthy business is seen as an integral part of the way we live.

Forest & Bird chief executive Kevin Hague said more voices for protecting the environment was a good thing, but he thought the party might struggle to get a coherent message through.

“Much of the destruction of the environment has been the result of commercial exploitation and it seems like their economic policies may not be ones that would actually change that, so we look forward with interest to see what the full suite of their policies might be,” he said.

Mr Hague said focusing the majority of their policies on the environment, could place them at a disadvantage too.

“If they say they’re just going to have environmental policies that is going to make them pretty much a lame duck within Parliament on most issues.

Not necessarily. All parties in Parliament have to make decisions on issues they don’t have policies on.  That doesn’t make them lame ducks on those issues.  And where parties have policies on issues the reality is that most parties have to compromise on their own policies most of the time.

Labour’s 2020 campaign chair Megan Woods said they had not yet discussed the prospect of working with the party.

Ms Woods said however it would not change anything about their campaign and Labour would just be focused on telling its own story.

“[The] launch comes as no surprise, this has been well signalled, but what it does show yet again is that National still has a big strategic dilemma around a lack of coalition partners,” she said.

If she or Labour thought things through it could be a positive change for them – providing they can win more votes than National next election.

Newshub: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern throws doubt on Vernon Tava’s Sustainable NZ

Jacinda Ardern has hit out at the newest political party Sustainable New Zealand, saying the Government is already catering to the environmental needs it’s offering.

“I do believe that environmental matters are a huge focus for this Government and I don’t see that there’s necessarily a space that [Sustainable NZ] need to fill,” the Prime Minister said Monday.

But Labour leader Ardern questioned the need for Tava’s party in the current political space, asking reporters at her post-Cabinet press conference: “What is the political issue that they are trying to solve?”

Ardern said the current Labour-Green-New Zealand First Government is already doing plenty for the environment, pointing to the Zero Carbon Bill that passed its final reading last week.

She also reflected on the $181.6 million funding boost over four years given to the Department of Conservation in Budget 2018 – the largest bump in conservation funding since 2002.

“If they claim that they are operating in an environmental space… I’d say that it’s being very well catered for by this Government,” Ardern said.

How well the environment is being catered for is debatable, and could be better catered for if SNZ replaced NZ First as a coalition partner for Labour+Greens.

SNZ could compete with votes that could otherwise go to Labour, and that’s not what a party leader wants.

But for non-aligned people like me another party option to vote for is a good thing. I don’t think there are any current parties in Parliament that deserve my vote. I’d like more options, and SNZ looks to be potentially a good one.

Sustainable New Zealand Party launched

The Sustainable New Zealand Party was launched yesterday, They will be led by ex-Green Vernon Tava.

This has been signalled for some time. They will be aiming to attract people who want an environmental party without the ‘socialist’ leaning of the Green Party, which has been showing signs of tension, especially over the more moderate collaborative approach of James Shaw.

Sustainable NZ look like being a bit like the Shaw Greens without the Marama Davidson Greens.

Some on the left complain that it’s just an attempt to take Green votes to the extent that the future of the Greens could be in jeopardy, as they only just beat the 5% threshold last election and are struggling to please even some of their own supporters.

(Someone mentioned online that Labour may gift the Greens the Dunedin South electorate that Clare Curran is vacating, but that is just rumour, and they would be far from guaranteed of winning Dunedin South. A lot of their Dunedin support comes from Dunedin North which covers the university area, and grew support through the efforts and successes of Metiria Tuirei).

I have voted for both the Greens and Turei in the past, but would strongly consider voting for Sustainable New Zealand – an environmental party without the more extreme social policies of the Greens.

RNZ: Sustainable New Zealand Party to prioritise water, native species, economy

Sustainable New Zealand has launched in Wellington this afternoon with its leader stating the party’s willingness to work with any political party will set them apart from other environmental groups like the Greens.

Refusing to consider doing a coalition deal with National has put the Greens in a relatively weak bargaining position. They rely on Labour getting them into power, and Labour know this.

Party leader Vernon Tava said until now if someone wanted to vote for the environment, they would have had to vote for a party which had been a “clearinghouse for left-of-Labour activist movements”.

“This has excluded many of us, perhaps most of us who genuinely care about the environment, but don’t accept this requires some sort of evolutionary overturning of the economic system.”

He said polluted waterways, diversity and climate change were too important to be dealt with by any party committed to occupying the opposition benches half the time.

Its top three priorities are water, saving native species from extinction and sustainable economic growth.

Among the party’s policies is to invest $1 billion in conservation.

The party is aiming for 10 percent of the vote next election.

That’s ambitious, but it could be possible to at least beat 5%. The Greens polled 10-16% last term before the Metiria induced crash just prior to the election (they dropped as low as 5% and ended up getting 6.3%).

Mr Tava said it was extremely ambitious, but there were plenty of people in the centre of politics who were mobile with their votes.

He said so far the membership of the party had been broad.

“It is a really clear spread across many different former parties of political support, we’re not just taking votes off of National.

“We’ve got disgruntled Greens, we’ve got some people who voted for Jacinda last election, people who have supported National in the past, even some New Zealand First people have even joined the party,” he said.

I think there is certainly space on the political spectrum for a party prepared to work with either Labour or National. The big question is whether they can look like getting close enough to 5% to attract maybe voters.

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    Sustainable New Zealand is a political party that will contest the 2020 general election on the basis of putting the environment first with an economic vision to transition us to a sustainable future. We will be able to work with any party in government.

https://www.facebook.com/sustainablenewzealandparty/

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Sustainable New Zealand Party
@SNZparty
Environment-focused party for NZ. Working with any party to get the best deal for water, wildlife, fisheries, soil, and climate change mitigation & adaptation.

Website: https://sustainablenz.org.nz/

What We Stand For

We all know that New Zealand is blessed with one of the world’s most beautiful natural environments. We also know that this paradise is slipping away from us. Government after Government has ignored our most pressing environmental concerns. It is time for a new political party that champions a politics of sustainability, putting the environment first.

Sustainable New Zealand is neither left nor right wing but is focused on sustainability.  We are able to work with parties of the left or right to get the best deal for the environment. Sustainable New Zealand’s approach is to work with business to innovate and to correctly price ‘externalities’. We will be led by the science when finding solutions and developing policy. Our future will only be sustainable with technological and scientific innovation.

Sustainable New Zealand’s focus is on being ‘practical environmentalists.’ We will work with rather than against our farmers. We favour a regulatory light-touch where possible but with a willingness to act decisively on core issues. We will foster innovation to transition our economy from one that relies on chopping down, digging up, burning or milking something for economic growth to one that is environmentally-benign and makes us all richer. We know that nothing is free. We need to be prosperous to ensure that we can afford to look after our people and our environment.

Our Top Priorities

1. Protect our Water.

We will improve the quality of water in our rivers and streams, and on our beaches. We will strengthen controls to stop run-off from farms polluting waterways and ensure that waste is better managed to stop plastic getting into our water and food chain. We will ensure that there is a long-term investment plan for water infrastructure across New Zealand.

2. Save our Native Plant and Animal Species.

We will fund scientific research into introduced predator control methods, including gene-editing technologies. We will fund initiatives for community groups and farmers to control introduced predators, protect waterways and set aside land for habitat.

3. Improve our Resource and Waste Management.

Waste is a resource. Our resources are finite and we must remove, reduce, reuse and recycle to make sure we have a future. Ultimately, we must transition to a circular economy; we would make this a core function of government.

4. Expand our Reserves and Protect the Ocean.

We will promote sustainable fisheries management, balancing the interests of commercial and recreational fishers. We will prohibit bottom trawling and purse seining (huge nets) in NZ waters.  In addition to regulation we will ensure that we can protect what is important to us by investing in our navy and air force to defend our Exclusive Economic Zone.

5. Dealing with Climate Change.

We will work to establish a bipartisan approach to dealing with Climate Change. We support the approach of the Zero Carbon bill. We will establish a Climate Change Commission and follow their advice to reduce global emissions, including putting a fair price on emissions. We will always seek to offset any additional resource or pollution charges with a corresponding reduction in income and/or company taxes.