Great Together


As election fever rises, the Greens are stronger than ever. We have the largest and most diverse line-up of candidates ever. We’re more active and organised in electorates than ever. And we’re more needed than ever.

The Greens have started laying out our election platform. Our vision is a more sustainable, more inclusive and a more equal society – a society in which, as James Shaw said last weekend, we read about poverty in the history books not the newspapers. The Greens campaign launch on Sunday in Nelson set out the three big themes of the campaign – we will protect our rivers and our water, we will support healthy families and ensure a decent income for all, and we will be honest and responsible in government.

These priorities are supported by policies the Greens have already announced on legalising cannabis, achieving 100% renewable power, doing our fair share to support refugees and making te reo part of the core curriculum. Climate change, transport and other policies will follow. The theme is ‘Great Together’, bringing New Zealand together to rise above the politics of distrust, division and apathy, to build a better future.

The launch was held in Nelson. The Greens are aiming for a big increase in the Party vote at this election (up from 11% in 2014) across the country, but are also targeting the Nelson seat. Matt Lawrey, a Nelson Councillor who is #21 on the list for the Greens, is contesting the seat. Nick Smith was elected to Nelson in 1990, the same year the Green Party was founded. It has been 27 years. After a series of disasters on housing, rivers and climate change, and having resigned from Ministerial portfolios over a conflict of interest while at ACC, it is time for him to go. As MC Hayley Holt said, it’s time to give Nick the flick.

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The Greens launched our policy on protecting drinking water. Analysis by the Greens shows that 45,000 people are drinking water that contains E-coli. Some smaller communities need to boil their water before they can drink it safely. But beneath their feet is millions of litres of pristine water from aquifers that is given away to corporations for bottling or shipped offshore in tankers. Water bottlers and exporters are making profits from our resources. Our precious taonga should not be given away.

The Greens announced a policy to ensure that all New Zealanders have access to safe clean drinking water. Water sources will be protected and small communities will be supported in securing safe water. There will be a charge of 10 cents per litre on all bottled water sold or exported in NZ. Any new consents for bottling water would be halted until new regulations are put in place.

A working party will help develop a system to charge all commercial water users “a fair amount”. The charge should respect te Tiriti and tangata whenua will play a critical role in deciding on how water levy on commercial use of our water resources would be implemented. This policy is part of the Greens commitment to ensuring our rivers are brought up to a swimmable standard, allowing public use and protecting the natural ecosystems. Our full policy will follow.

Despite the policy announcements, most attention has been on the politics of the launch. Co-leader Metiria Turei made it clear that the Greens were committed to change the government. The memorandum of understanding with Labour is the foundation for building the next government. However, if we were not part of the coalition, we would not accept a Labour-New Zealand First government and certainly not a National-New Zealand First government. Neither will be acceptable to the Greens. We want the Greens to be the beating heart of the next government and the strongest possible party vote for the Greens is the only solution.

It’s time. We cannot allow National to get back into power again. We need a progressive government to tackle the challenges of deepening poverty, the housing crisis, prejudice and exclusion, pollution of our rivers and beaches, mining on our conservation land, endangered species and climate change. The Greens are the only Party who can be trusted to step up to these challenges and build the society that includes us all. Support us during this crucial campaign.


Barry Coates entered Parliament as a Green Party list MP last October.


  1. Well Barry, tell your leaders to attack the govt , not NZF. As much as I don’t like NZF we are going to have to work with them. Metiria was ,quite frankly, stupid to shoot ourselves in the foot. We need unity if we are to beat these pricks in govt.

    • 100% Garibaldi.

      My feelings entirely.

      “United we stand divided we fall”

      Remember this Barry Coats, or if you miss the boat of joining with Labour/NZ First you are part of the problem.

      History will repeat your allowing National back into Government to finish us all off with closing Kiwirail and destroying our environment entirely, is that part of a Green Party policy Now as it was just the opposite when I was a Green Party member in 2000-2001?

      • I agree with you. We need to get rid of the Nats. The Greens are open to a potential coalition with Labour and NZ First. We are committed to changing the government. But we won’t support a coalition of Labour and NZ First that cuts out the Greens. The reason is because we think it won’t be a sufficiently progressive government. And we want to make the point that if you want to change the government, and have progressive policies, you need to vote Green.

    • Thanks. We haven’t said we won’t work with NZ First in a coalition, just that we won’t support a coalition of Labour and NZ First that doesn’t include us. It’s a message calling for a wider coalition, not the fracturing that has happened in the past (2005) when NZ First refused to be in a coalition with the Greens.

      • Mate , – if you play your cards right and make a showing of appreciating a few good common area policy’s you share between the Greens and NZ First ,- you will neutralize any media frenzy that tries to exploit this situation in Nationals favour .

        I’m thinking in particular of names that are similar to ‘ Glower ‘ and ‘Hustings’ …

        You have nothing to lose yet everything to gain. There’s a a lot of shared material in common , and its a win / win situation that strengthens unity and a sense of common purpose.

        And that common purpose is to displace this destructive National government.

        And playing the long game – the Greens win , Labour wins and yes , NZ First wins , – and more importantly ?

        The New Zealand public wins.

    • Totally agree and Barry should keep his mouth zipped too about matters he has no right or sense to talk about like forcing elections. Give me strength do we want to help replace the government or not!

  2. Nice work from the Greens lately. Apologising for their comments on immigration, and now pointing out what many on the left think of NZ First.

    You’ve probably just won my party vote. Retreating into conservatism is not the left’s solution. It’s a solution for the right

      • Mana, but Mana have changed since the last election. So this time it was a toss up between Mana and the Greens. Looks like the Greens now.

        Ideally I’d vote for a Corbyn-like Labour Party. Not only would I vote for them, but I’d actively campaign for them. Unfortunately for now I can only critique Labour…maybe in 2020

  3. Congratulations to the Greens and Metiria for being driven by principle and vision and not compromising on truth telling. It is a very sad day when the likes of Peters can threaten that there “will be consequences” …this is not about you Winston, its about our children and grandchildren. Keep up the great work Barry and Metiria.

    • “Let start attacking Winston”?

      Why? Is he above criticism all of a sudden? When did we start adopting a hands-off to Peters? Did it start with the Trump prtesidency?

  4. “The Greens are aiming for a big increase in the Party vote at this election (up from 11% in 2014) across the country…..”

    so MT’s weekend strategy change was indeed poll driven…constantly polling above 12% pre the 2014 election the greens are currently reduced to single figures….something had to give.

    • I agree the Greens aren’t as high as we should be but we’re at around 12.4% (not “single figures”). That wasn’t the reason for the announcement this weekend. We wanted to be clear about where we stand politically.

      • yes 12.4% in PoP although 9% in recent Colmar Brunton…and I’m sure you don’t need me to remind you that the Greens achieved some 2-3 % points below polling in 2014 election….12.4 minus 3 is single figures.
        Clarity… you believe any potential GP voter was unclear on its position re racism?

  5. Thanks for comments. The idea isn’t to “rip into NZ First” but to point out that if you want to change the government, don’t vote NZ First. Winston has repeatedly said that he is willing to prop up a 4th term government. He has been a coalition partner with them before.

    The other aspect is that the Greens aren’t going to support a Labour/NZ First that cuts us out of a coalition (as happened in 2005). The reason is that we do not think that a Labour/NZ First will be a sufficiently progressive government on this issues that matter.

    So if you want to change the government and you want progressive policies, give your party vote to the Greens.

    • Come on Barry, what’s the bet if NZF leapfrogs us Greens that Labour will dump us to secure NZF in a coalition and have the Greens for supply and demand only. It’s a highly possible scenario and ,to me, is preferable to 3 more years of the Nats (with NZF).

    • Well we have to live with the fact people will. Greebs and labour aren’t gonna get over the line together so you’ll have to work with em



        Get this sorted out; – as you can straighten this out simply by saying to NZ on MSM what you said here;

        “BARRY COATES says:
        JULY 12, 2017 AT 10:36 AM

        “We haven’t said we won’t work with NZ First in a coalition, just that we won’t support a coalition of Labour and NZ First that doesn’t include us. It’s a message calling for a wider coalition, not the fracturing that has happened in the past (2005) when NZ First refused to be in a coalition with the Greens.”

        BARRY; That is A fair comment but get this out into the press now! – as TV1 & 3 are this morning saying it is an attempt by greens to wreck the election and let national rule again and making you & Greens look like you are a National plant!!!!

        Based on what you have said here, you are clearly are NOT, so get this clarified NOW PLEASE BEFORE WE ARE ALL DONE.!!!!!!!

  6. I think if Greens wants votes they are going in the wrong direction.

    “These priorities are supported by policies the Greens have already announced on legalising cannabis, achieving 100% renewable power, doing our fair share to support refugees and making te reo part of the core curriculum. ”

    None of those are traditional in the ‘Green’ sense.

    Many want the Greens to be the custodians of the NATURAL environment for future generations.

    Legalised pot smoking, high rises with renewable power full of refugees and speaking Te Reo, might not be quite the popular vision the the Greens think it will be amongst their traditional supporters…

    You might get some voters that believe in some of the issues, but combined??? Seriously think about it! You are heading into well below 10% voter territory. It’s all about moderation and priorities.

    I support the Greens but they are going in a weird direction lately well away from the superb work former Greens did to build up the party.

    Would prefer a local, environmental first approach, that’s also Green policy – start doing good in your own back yard… Greens need to look at their priorities and unfortunately personal pet issues of Green politicians seem to be over riding any good sense or wholistic policy.

    The trick is to make sure you KEEP your voters while adding more. Not throw away previous voters and then flip flop on piece meal policy, looking like idiots.

    Greens have some of the most honest and respected politicians in there, as well as some of the best policy.

    I’m seriously worried that the Greens are being hijacked by some Green Party politician’s pet projects and bizarre priorities that were probably dreamed up in some corporate brain storming policy wonk sessions, well outside of popular opinion.

    If the Greens continue in this vein (think of the combined offering not piece meal policy) it will not end well and it helps National the most and the environment the least.

  7. If Greens want to increase their votes here are some popular choices to highlight.

    Protect the NATURAL environment and have that as Green’s first priority.
    Remove TPPA and look at renegotiating trade agreements that have gone too far outside of local interests.
    Be the “peace’ party, with foreign policy -keep NZ nuclear free, keep NZ sovereignty, remove troops from Middle East, etc
    keep NZ assets and land owned by Kiwis only or as a percentage less than 20% owned by foreigners.
    Remove the corruption that has escalated under National with cronyism and services that don’t work any more and decreasing democracy.
    Get NZ on rail and improve public transport
    Remove charter schools and corporisation of public services.
    Remove the ‘Serco’ type agreements for hospitals, keep our public services focused on their main job of health care improvement and customer service, not penny pinching by serving fake food from global multinationals.
    Highlight how our 2nd largest export is now profits, debt has ballooned, National’s economic management is NOT WORKING.

    What is the Greens vision, is it a 100% Green, clean sustainable vision, that protects locals?

    Pot smoking, refugee helping, high rises speaking Te Reo is not a vision that should be the main policy driving the Greens. Together they speak of a bizarre society which most individual voters in NZ would struggle to consider a priority policy vision or even want to vote for.

    Labour and Greens need to learn to ‘edit’ because they have fallen into the habit of throwing out piece meal policy that does them little justice, often as a response to National party policy. They need a real vision, and to integrate that vision into the policy, not just throw things out at National or MSM like a weird echo chamber.

  8. Unfortunately Barry, much of your mahi and the other experienced members of the party is being undermined by the kindy been overly populated by the kids.

    The strategy to fight NZF for what? Votes? You have got to be fucking kidding! NZF voters are hardly going to vote Green, maybe Labour or NZF or TOP or go back to National.
    The Greens 2014 10.7% & the current polling cycle the Greens are in compared to the past 3 elections.The Greens are in the shitter!
    Sorry Barry, your party has abandoned its core values to become a middle class urban wannabe 4th biggest political party in NZ.
    If the Greens can hang onto 10% this election, they’ll be doing all right. Check RNZ & Pundits (running polls) Poll of Polls.
    With a 7000 candidate majority (BiPolar Nick) and more than a 17,000 party vote deficit in Nelson, you’ve kinda got to think the Greens strategy is to spend some of that gifted $250,000 on something in the region and hopefully get a boost in the polls from that? Could be $250,000 wasted.

    I have always split my vote (in the last 4 elections) & the Greens have always got my party vote, however I won’t be doing the same this time.

  9. All this talk these days about pot….

    The wildwood flower grew wild on the farm,
    And we never knowed what it was called.
    Some said it was a flower and some said it was a weed,
    I never gave it much thought
    One day I was out there talking to my brother,
    Reached down for a weed to chew on,
    Things got fuzzy and things got blurry,
    And then everything was gone!
    Didn’t know what happened,
    But I knew it beat the hell out of sniffin’ burlap.

    Then we got grog,….

    In some of my songs I have casually mentioned
    The fact that I like to drink beer
    This little song is more to the point
    Roll out the barrel and lend me your ears

    I like beer, it makes me a jolly good fellow
    I like beer, it helps me unwind and sometimes it makes me feel mellow (Makes him feel mellow)
    Whiskey’s too rough, Champagne costs too much, vodka puts my mouth in gear
    This little refrain should help me explain as a matter of fact , – I like beer ! (He likes beer)

  10. You guys are so naive, you will get shafted again by real politik.

    How about some Green Nationalism & a broad based, non-partisan government of National Unity/Salvation sound?

    I’ve got a big picture non compromising vision for greater, healthier & independent NZ & a plan on how to realise it, have you?

    It will require a little sacrifice for sure, but you can’t shape & build a new world while reaping the benefits of this one.

    You guys have bought into the careerist party political money go round game, it has destroyed your soul & it will be your parties, & our nations undoing.

    I bet my comment & enlightening link does not see the light of day, so much for P.C. democracy.

    Regards, Malcolm

  11. If the greens wont work with winston, theres no point in having the election in sept & leave the nats in power for another 3 years to wreak havoic on NZ

    • If the greens wont work with winston…

      And how do we know that Winston Peters will choose to be the third wheel of a Labour-Green-NZ First coalition?

      We do not.

      Let me remind people here that Peters has steadfastly refused to declare his post-election coalition preferences.

      In effect those voting for him are handing him a blank cheque to jump either way. We have no way of knowing what’s in his head.

      But what I do find interesting is that when Peters refuses time and again to declare his post-election coalition preferences, many in the media and electorate now take it as the ‘norm’.

      But the moment someone ‘rocks the cosy boat’ by daring to refuse to jump to Peters’ tune – there are squeals of indignation?!

      When did Labour and the Greens become bound to the whims of a political party that has shown time and again it’s political promiscuity?

      When Key announced in 2011 his refusal to work with Peters, he was applauded for his pre-election honesty;

      I don’t see a place for a Winston Peters-led New Zealand First in a government that I lead.”


      Maybe that is what is missing from our modern-day politics – the balls to stand up to a man who would play the political system for his own benefit.

      • or looked at another way… enabling the re-election of a political party whose policies and corruption all three decry, for individual ambitions and all to the detriment of those they claim to represent

  12. Greens and Labour are going about the right way to lose another Election, 76% of NZF supporters would prefer a Labour/NZF Coalition Government and if required a Labour/NZF/Green Coalition.

    Many NZF Policies are Greener than Green including the Banning of the Use of 1080 which I 100% Agree On. Blanket poison dropping 1080 across NZ is madness this stuff is highly toxic and gets into the food chain. The Taupo Lake Catchment has been hammered for years, wouldn’t touch a trout out of Lake Taupo. Similar senario to the USA Airforce, blanket spraying Vietnam with Agent Orange which was manufactured by Dow Corporation in New Plymouth during the 1960-70’s.

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