Green-Labour Damage Control finally kicks in


Thank God someone within the Labour-Green leadership teams has come back on deck after the Summer hols and realised that the strategic blunder of having Genter framed as competing with Jacinda (in a by-election that should just be another momentum step towards the Election) is incredibly stupid and they’ve thrown together another hastily organised public bonding session with a joint State of the Nation address.

The haste with which this has been thrown together is similar to the haste for the MoU announcement in that large empty dusty room they used last year.  The announcement had to occur the week before the Green Party Conference to stop a drive from factions within the Greens to push for a neutral position entering the Election so that they couldn’t get out played by the Labour+NZ First bloc again.

The joint State of the Nation address is a very smart move by Labour and the Greens. The purpose of Unity and the symbolism of that Unity is what gives voters confidence to vote for them. No one wants to vote for a Party that looks like it’s going to rip itself to pieces 30 seconds after getting elected.

That’s what happened to Labour in 2014.

What would be especially powerful is if they jointly announce a new policy (Universal Basic Income you chickens) and offer to adopt one of Winston’s most cherished policies up as a symbolic gesture of good will to NZ First.

This has the real possibility of reseting the narrative leading into the Election and thankfully eclipse the Mt Albert by-election fiasco.

Now all they have to hope for is that Gareth Morgan doesn’t run in Mt Albert.

TDB Recommends


  1. Blah Blah Blah, really … if you’re under 35 you’re not going to be watching this rubbish. Just more regurgitated feed for older lefties that can’t work smart-phones or computers well.

    • OK “ZB”, what’s your plan to get the under 35s to vote? Coz right now they don’t – it’s the over 35s that do!

      BTW – I’m 67 and have worked in and on computers since the early 1980s. A lot longer than you’ve been around, judging by the snide tone of your post. Cell phones are a doddle compared.

      • Oh no. Not more 35 year olds being interested in what’s going on, ‘how gastly’ they must be radicalised before Martyn gets to them. Who knows, 35 year olds might figure that the game is rigged. That would be horrible for my car detailer

      • I’m under 35 and I always vote. I tell my friends about the political parties who would benefit them. My millennial friends who smoke cannabis have been interested to hear about The Cannabis Party (5th most popular party in NZ).

        My friends concerned with housing are very uplifted to hear about The Opportunity Parties’ policies, especially the UBI. Keeping in mind I’m a swing voter, if the election was held today I’d vote for TOP. I find Gareth Morgan’s message of equality through opportunities compelling.

        Millennials do vote and more millennials will vote for Labour and the Greens if they can produce and promote clear policies that benefit millennials. These policies would need to be straight to the point, example:

        – We will legalise cannabis
        – We will support all workers for 3 months between jobs before means testing can even enter the equation
        – We will ban letting fees
        – We will build homes tirelessly until homes are no more than 5x the average income.
        – We will reform and simplify the tax system

        Metiria Turei said house prices should be brought down by 50%. Millennials like that, but she had no plan. Andrew Little said he’d build 100,000 affordable homes (over 10 years) but millennials looked at the immigration numbers and what Andrew Little considered affordable … what a letdown. Both parties said they would not legalize cannabis beyond medical use.

        Don’t forget, many millennials who rent have seen both National and Labour take turns running the country and life for the renter hasn’t been great under either. They might start to consider voting Labour and the Greens if they saw stronger policies coming out.

        NZ has appalling rental stock so requiring a landlord to insulate a roof is often cold comfort. Also, trying to encourage longer leases when housing stock is shocking will cause many people to be locked into terrible housing situations for longer.

        Labour and the Greens should focus on making it illegal to increase rents during a fix term tenancy, rather only after a fixed term has ended my a rent increase notice be sent. Letting fees should be banned.

        I think the question, ‘how do we get under 35’s to vote’ shouldn’t even be asked. Rather I say, “earn the millennial vote”. Are Labour and the Greens willing to come out strong for the millennials, even if it means angering some of their core base? Or have these parties lost touch and don’t want to rock the boat?

        Until you choose to come out strong for people it’s foolish to ask ‘how can we get them to vote?’ or ‘why don’t they vote?’ I certainly wouldn’t start by patronizing them on the importance of voting.

        Bernie Sander’s showed us millennials aren’t looking to celebrities or promises of extreme wealth. Millennials are looking for and willing to back politicians who authentically have a heart for them, are honest with them and most of all, will fight for them! … even if it’s a little old man with grey hair who could be in a rest home tomorrow.

        Those are my thoughts and the reason for the blah, blah, blah.

    • Zack, I can work a computer and smart phone very nicely thank you, sunshine.

      Sally and I are in our, *ahem*, fifties.

      So, aside from that little tanty you just chucked, do you have anything constructive to offer?

    • @ ZACK BRANDO … so terribly wrong there sunshine!

      I’m an older leftie (70). As left as they come in fact. And I am digitally literate, to the extent I am able to fix a fault on my computer, when things go wrong! Might take me a while to fathom things out, but I get there in the end, no sweat. Even set up my mobile phone myself as a mini computer to use when I’m not at home. Despite your ageist rant, most of my generation are able to do the same!

      So get your facts right before slinging off about “older lefties.”

  2. Ideally, Julie Anne should make clear that she is there to add to the debates in the electorate and offer a Green perspective on where the future New Zealand Government will want to go, rather than compete for bi-election votes with what will be a fraternal (or sororal?) party once in government.

    She might also make it clear that she is enthusiastic about representing a physical electorate, if she is, with the implication that the Labour-Greens might in some instances stand a single candidate, while competing vigorously for the party votes.

    • I’d say Genter smokes Arden by a thousand votes. This isn’t any normal year because Trump won. Not even Gana be close. If I have one criticism, it would be Marama Davidson should be standing, it is literally her side of town, wasted opportunity.

      But if Garreth stands in on short notice I reserve the right to change my prediction

  3. Does this mean the Greens are taking a step to the centre?
    We have yet to see how/if this MOU works. Fingers crossed.

  4. What I want to hear is what labour and the greens are going to do about the winz relationship rules re benefits and superannuation. The current rules are so 1950’s and out of date they are a joke and causing more harm to young and old they are noting but a cruel torturous punishment . Causing physical harm in more ways than one.

  5. “Now all they have to hope for is that Gareth Morgan doesn’t run in Mt Albert.”
    And that Greg o’Connor really isn’t going to join Labour..

  6. Smart move Little going on the listings.

    If he was standing for an electorate then fat money would target him without ethic of reason.

  7. I predict

    If Andrew Little does not announce the end of Labour’s support for deep sea oil drilling, not only will this be the first joint Labour/Green policy launch, it will also be the last.

  8. Until the Labour Party announce that they are dropping their support for deep sea oil exploration all such joint policy launches will be a farce!

    Climate Change is the greatest ecological and human catastrophy of our time. Climate Change threatens to severly degrade the global biosphere on which we all depend. The scientific community are convinced that the complex web of life that sustains billions of human beings and all the other higher creatures, in the oceans and on land, is under threat from slowly rising average global temperatures, caused by the release of Green house gasses from the burning of fossil fuels.

    To properly address climate change all political parties must have the determination and courage to face down the power of the oil companies.

    Emblematic of this determinaton to address climate change in this country, and stand up to the oil companies, is the ending of deep sea oil drilling.

    Any politician who gets onto the speakers platform at this joint policy launch on the 29th, and says that they are concerned about Climate Change is just posturing and lieing, if they refuse to withdraw their support for deep sea oil exploration.

  9. I suppose the only question left, is will Jacinda Adern, stand up to her Party’s old Neo-Liberal rear gaurd (which seems to have captured most of her Party’s caucus), to join with the Green Party candidate Julie Anne Genter on the podium to denounce deep sea oil drilling.

    “Labour says views on mining close to Govt’s”

    “I don’t think we are much different from National,”
    “They’ve continued on with the programme that we started in respect to oil and gas,”

    David Parker

  10. On current poll results, to beat the government, the Green and Labour Parties have to work together, this is an escapable fact.
    But there are differences between the Greens and the Labour Party, instead of trying to resolve these differences, the Labour and the Greens are trying to paper over them with the MOU.

    But organisational forms or arrangements cannot solve political differences.

    The primary difference between the Greens and Labour, is Labour’s denial of climate change, symbolised by Labour’s fanatical support for Deep Sea Oil Drilling.

    Weirdly there are no votes in it for Labour. Polls have indicated that 80% of New Zealanders are opposed to Deep Sea Oil Drilling in our waters.

    And there are no jobs in it, the drillng crews come from overseas, in the specialised drill ships.

    Despite there being no votes, or jobs, in it, Labour stick with deep sea oil drilling and ignore the threat of climate change because of the old neoliberal hold outs who dominate the Labour Party caucus.

    In a nutshell Neo-Liberalism can be summed up, with the “Trickle Down” theory, first expounded in this country by Roger Douglas.

    Trickle Down theory holds, that increasing the exploitation, of the population, (and the environment), will provide windfall profits for the few at the top, who then, trickle this extra wealth back into society.
    (that’s the theory anyway, it hasn’t worked out quite that way in practice).

    For their part, the Greens cannot concede on climate change without getting offside with the bulk of their support base.

    I have heard the arguments. Labour say that the Greens must concede to Labour over this issue because Labour have much bigger voter support than the Greens, and that is democracy.

    But the physics of Climate Change don’t care about Parliamentary majorities.

  11. UNDO This!
    Then I might vote for you!

    Ruthanasia – 1991 – 1993
    National Government: Ruth Richardson the opportunity for major cost-cutting.
    Richardson’s first budget, delivered in 1991 and named by the media as ‘the mother of all budgets’, introduced major cuts in “Social Welfare & Unemployment and all other Benefits” were substantially cut and ‘Market Rents’ were introduced for State Houses, in some cases tripling the rents of low-income people. In combination with the high unemployment resulting from some of the 1980s reforms, this caused poverty & a massive increase in the need for “foodbanks and soup kitchens appeared in New Zealand for the first time since the Great Depression of the 1930s”.
    The government also felt that “Market Forces” should be introduced into the running of Hospitals, Schools and Universities. User charges were introduced in universities and hospitals for the first time, and educational institutes were instructed to compete with each other for students. Although not a policy as such, the government’s retention of the superannuation surtax (a tax on pensions), despite promising to abolish it, was also significant.
    In some areas, government standards were relaxed in the expectation that market forces would assure quality via competition, such as in the Building Act 1991 – which was seen as one of the steps leading to the leaky homes crisis in the following decade.
    ‘Ruthanasia’ (named after Ruth Richardson) was massively unpopular, especially following the equally dramatic reforms of the 1980s. As a result, the government came extremely close to losing the 1993 election. Subsequently, Richardson was replaced as Finance Minister by Bill Birch, and left politics. National’s period of major economic reform was over.
    Health reforms and hospital closures
    One of the most ambitious and controversial aspects of the Fourth National Government’s programme was the comprehensive overhaul of the public health system. The system of democratically elected Area Health Boards was abolished and replaced with Crown Health Enterprises (CHEs), run according to the prevailing new public management ethos that created an internal market for the provision of hospital services and required the CHEs to make a profit. The degree of corporatisation of hospital services was scaled back after the 1996 election. Thirty-eight public hospitals were closed down during the term of the Fourth National Government.
    Sale of state-owned enterprises
    State-Owned Enterprises of New Zealand
    The government continued the previous Labour governments’ controversial sale of State-owned enterprises. Following the near collapse of the Bank of New Zealand in 1990, the Bank was sold in 1992 to National Australia Bank Group. In 1993 the government sold New Zealand Rail Limited to a consortium led by Fay, Richwhite and Company for $400 million. In 1996 the government split the New Zealand Ministry of Works between consulting (Opus International Group) and construction (Works Infrastructure) arms, selling both branches. The same year the commercial arm of Radio New Zealand was sold to Clear Channel forming The Radio Network. In 1997 electricity generator Contact Energy, formerly a part of the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand was floated on the New Zealand Stock Exchange. In 1998 the government sold its 51.6% share in Auckland International Airport by way of a public float. At that time, the Company had some 67,000 shareholders, mainly New Zealanders holding small parcels of shares.
    The government also corporatised a number of government departments, or restructured state-owned enterprises with the intention of privatising them at a later date. For example, in 1998 the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand was divided into a further three generators, Meridian Energy, Mighty River Power and Genesis Power. In 1999 the Accident Compensation Corporation was exposed to competition, albeit only for one year. Plans to corporatise Transit New Zealand never came to fruition however.
    The Employment Contracts Act
    This was a major overhaul of employment law, which abolished collective bargaining and seriously weakened the power of unions.
    The government passed the Citizens Initiated Referenda Act 1993. This Act allowed for non-binding referendums to be held on the petition of citizens.

Comments are closed.