How ill prepared are the Greens for Government? This ill prepared…

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“Well, I tried to start a revolution, but didn’t print enough pamphlets so hardly anyone turned up. Except for my mum and her boyfriend, who I hate. As punishment, I was forced to be in here and become a gladiator. Bit of a promotional disaster that one, but I’m actually organizing another revolution. I don’t know if you’d be interested in something like that? Do you reckon you’d be interested?” 

Korg – Thor: Ragnarok

I like the Greens, I  support the majority of their policy and I’ve voted Green most of my life.

But.

They are chequers players trying to play chess and the leak today of an internal strategy paper is so woeful and concerning, it’s like catching your Surgeon checking on how to do your operation on wikipedia.

Let’s break down the Green Party strategy and consider if they have actually comprehended what they are saying and doing here…

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

The Green Party is considering opposing NZ First’s “Waka Jumping” bill – a deal struck in coalition talks – unless Labour gives it a national “Parihaka Day”.

Green Party justice spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman, in an internal email obtained by Stuff, suggested some horse trading with Labour to acknowledge the fact the party has long opposed waka jumping legislation.

…firstly – what the fuck are the Greens doing having this kind of discussion on an unsecured email and how the Christ did it get into the hands of the Media?

In the email Ghahraman said Little had “unlawfully” shown her a “ministerial advice paper” about proposed waka jumping legislation but not the full text of the bill.

…secondly, it’s not ‘unlawfully’ but why the fuck drop Andrew Little in the shit even if it was? So what the Greens are saying is they will nark on you if you share them information?

This isn’t so much burning bridges as napalming them.

The response from the Greens is even more eye rolling…

“It’s not surprising that Labour Party and Green Party MPs are having these kinds of constructive conversations and working together; in fact, that’s what New Zealanders expect of government parties.

“It’s commonplace for ministers and MPs to have these kind of conversations – that will continue,” the spokesperson said. 

…yes. that’s right, MPs do have these discussions, and the public expects that. What the public don’t expect is having that dialogue described as ‘unlawful’ or using that information for Party self-aggrandisement!

It continues…

A “Waka Jumping Bill” first arose in 2001 to stop MPs defecting to another party – as happened after the 1996 National-NZ First coalition government collapsed.

The Green Party is aware of the “political tensions” its opposition to the bill could cause.

In a caucus briefing note obtained by Stuff it was outlined that a “strong communications plan” would be needed by the Greens regardless of whether the party chose to support or oppose the bill.

“We will need a strong communications plan to either explain a changed position, or to front foot any political tension or risk of being seen as an unstable part of Government, if opposition went public.

“If we supported the bill we would also need an internal plan to communicate the decision to members and supporters,” the briefing note stated.

The bill’s aim is to preserve the proportionality of Parliament by making an MP who entered Parliament via a party list resign from Parliament rather than switching allegiances.

Labour has included a clause in the bill that means two-thirds of a party caucus would have to agree with a party leader’s decision to get rid of an MP from caucus.

The Greens have asked Little to amend the bill in respect of the way a party leader could trigger the ousting of an MP. That is, a leader would have to show an MP had acted inconsistently on party policy or ethic on a persistent basis or substantial level – “not just a one-off vote or a minor issue”.

The caucus briefing noted Little was “open to further suggestions”.

“Given the timeframes and that Labour will want to know our position before a bill is introduced to the House, we will probably need to inform them of an initial position on the issue without having seen the legislation,” the briefing note stated.

“The Government won’t have the numbers to pass the legislation without us, and if we decided to oppose it then they would need to consider other options such as approaching the National Party, who opposed the 2005 bill.”

“Opposing the bill would cause political tensions given the inclusion of the bill in the Labour-NZ First coalition agreement and the apparent importance the Government is placing on it.

“However the nature of this Government requires all parties considering issues on a case-by-case basis and this is an area we have had a different position to that of Labour and NZ First, and our Confidence and Supply Agreement gives us the independence to choose to vote against it,” the briefing note stated.

“Supporting the bill would be seen as changing and weakening a long standing and public Party position. It would risk criticism from our core supporters and commentators.”

…let’s just pause here and understand and appreciate what the Greens are doing and what they seem to have missed utterly and what they are prepared to ‘horse trade’ all of this for.

Let’s start by asking a simple question shall we?

Why does Winston want this waka jumping legislation in place?

He wants it in place because he knows there is one hell of a global economic correction coming and he knows the first thing the right wing do when a crisis of that magnitude threatens their wealth is they buy who they need to protect that wealth.

Winston is inoculating his own Party from having MPs who can be bought by National when the economy hits the skids, that’s why he included it in the negotiations with Labour. With that law in place he knows he can hold his Party together when the worst hits. This is a stability measure that holds the new Government together, what the internal memo shows is that the Greens seems to have no fucking clue as to why Winston wants this law, and they don’t understand that passing it strengthens the stability of the Government they themselves are part of!

This law would actually strengthen their own position!

They are trying to gain leverage over a law that itself strengthens their own Government’s longevity.

It’s like trying to bet on the Titanic sinking while you are still on the bloody Titanic!

What they should be saying is ‘we understand how important this is for the Government and we are prepared to support that for the strength and unity of this new Government. In return, we would like a fair hearing on an issue that is important to us’.

Because they have no idea why Winston wants the law change or see how it’s actually beneficial for them long term, they merely see it as an opportunity to extort the Government!

And what is it they want to extort the Government for?

Parihaka Day?!?

Parihaka Day?!?

WHAT TE FUCK?

Look, let me first state I am in 100% favour of a National Day for Parihaka, I am. The outrageous injustice committed at Parihaka against peaceful resistance is a shameful and empowering moment from our history that demands and deserves respect.

No qualms there.

But are you fucking seriously telling me that of all the issues the Greens could be getting serious consideration on in return for their agreement with waka jumping legislation (which ultimately ensures they get a full 3 year term) is Parihaka Day?!?

What about climate change in every school curriculum?

What about a real lift in benefits for beneficiaries?

What about a binding referendum on Cannabis?

What about Free Public Transport for students?

What about dumping all punitive measures used against the poor?

Of all the issues they wish to progress, they are prepared to sabre rattle over a law that secures their 3 years for Parihaka Day?

They want  to blackmail the Government into supporting an idea that stands on its own two feet? Wouldn’t that in fact dishonour the very values Parihaka Day is supposed to espouse?

Are they listening to what they are saying for Gods sake?

This leak means the idea is utterly dead. There’s no way Labour or NZ First could look like they have been blackmailed into supporting Parihaka Day when they would have likely supported it anyway.

I’ve had my concerns about the Greens for some time, this leak has been a cringeworthy exercise in seeing how right those concerns were.

The Greens really have to lift their game dramatically if they want to be part of a functioning Government.

42 COMMENTS

    • Ye,s well said Martyn and this just gives more evidence as to why to Winston “doesn’t get on with the Greens” mantra.

  1. Thank you. I have responded to today’s Green request for donations saying not while their Justice spokesperson appears to be acting like one of Enid Blyton’s ‘Secret Seven’.

    As a long term Green voter and supporter I have emailed James Shaw today saying that I may have made a big mistake; I no longer know what their core values are; that he needs to explain principles, and being seen to be principled, to his Justice spokesperson, or to lose more supporters.

    Of course remembering the invasion of Parihaka is hugely important, but that is a separate issue from Waka jumping. And we need to accept that the Crown will never be able fully recompense NZ Maori for the injustices done them, and that is a separate issue too. But the Green’s antics are incredibly clumsy and more the behaviour of an opposition than of a grown-up coalition partner, and if that is their mindset, then they should have spelt that out pre-election.

    As for their priorities, who knows ? I don’t.

  2. Don’t throw your toys, this government was never meant to last three years, so I said.That is unless extreme discipline is applied on all sides, so there is the challenge.

    • James Shaw and Marama Davidson are portrayed sympathetically? Any reports I’ve read about their roles in the Government has them looking like people who are trying to manage stuff which is way over their heads and fucking up because they don’t even realize that those things are more complicated and that they don’t have the necessary qualifications for them. In other words, not unlike Donald Trump’s attitude to politics, just a little bit better behave and more well-spoken.

      But here in lies the quandary of anonymous sources. Out your source and then you have confirmation, but good luck getting any information from that source ever again. Which in this case happens to be a minister in a government the Greens are in a coalition with, Andrew Little.

      Keep your source protected and nothing can be confirmed. Are the Greens making the story up? We only have Ghahraman word to go by? I mean do you see any fucking problems here? You nub.

      So it can only be implied that Ghahraman or one of her allies is the source by the articles glowing recommendation of her, and unless Andrew Little comes out to bat for the Greens, the Greens are left with there own mess. Unfortunately, this may be the only way we get a (somewhat) straight scoop inside the Government. So don’t fucking do it again.

      Just got to take it one issue at a time. Present one or a number of pre-election promises as a bargaining chip, rinse & repeat. And then if social justice warrior values prevent discourse and negotiations. Jump into to bed with fucking National.

    • I also have concerns with regards to some of the Green PMs making ramdom public statements on various issues which seem ill considered and politically immature.
      A lot of Kiwis have waited a long time to oust National and it seems the Greens behavior could well contribute to underming the credibility of the coatilion government. Some have said who needs an opposition when we have the potical contrary Greens with a confidence and supply agreement.

  3. I was active in the social justice arena for some time. But I was never interested in student politics or joining any sort of political group unless it was beneficial, practically, for the causes I was passionate about. I was naive in that I thought that wouldn’t matter. Left-wing types like Mavericks, don’t they? They are more compassionate and accepting of others after all…

    Nope. Didn’t have student politics recognition. I was painted as a National Party supporter because where I was from, which is a laugh because the Young greens doing that were way more privileged than me if it means being closer to political power and big business. Nope, I just wasn’t part of the tribe. It didn’t matter that I was more effectively working towards positive change than anything they had ever done.

    • Hi Martyn,

      Part of my soul belongs as a REAL GREEN PARTY MEMBER, as my family came home to NZ in 1998 after 11yrs in Canada & USA and NZ was on the verge of voting in a new Labour ‘lead’ Government, and my familly joined the alliance/green ‘mob’ as they were VERY credible and had some high profile members in both ‘fledgling’ parties.
      The alliance people sadlyhad dropped away but we still have an alliance withsome HB members today.

      The greens have now ’emerged as another styleof political Party than they were when we jioned them in 1999, and like most others we are all confused about their whole strategy today.

      That having said, I have always agreed with the ‘core’ environmental’ planks and always will but I do seriously miss jeanettee itszimmons and the late Rod Donald whom we all met several times in Napier andtoday as said we are very distanced from todays “new green party” members.

      M heart will always be ‘green’ because they are seriously needed here, during the global rot setting in with the savengers who are stealing everything from all countries for profit.

      Water, oil, and many other commodities are being extracted at such a blind rate that our future is a peril as is the climate that we all depend upon.

      James Shaw we do like now as he seems to be a very level headed individual.

      We hope he takes control of the green party core members and puts out a statement that all is progressing between labour and the green party over this “hickup” and the so called “horse trading” claims over “waka jumping” is just not a big issue as stated but constructive discussion was always on the table over what to do about the side issue that has emerged.

    • A trainee surgeon learning on the job does so under the guidance of qualified senior colleagues, not by striking out alone rudderless. Yesterday Labour, National, and NZ First, were united in saying that an issue should be decided upon it’s own merits, and they were right. It may not always happen, but for some reason I had always thought the Greens to be above slippery horse-trading, and responding to their coalition partner’s known concern about Waka-jumping, with a trade-off of one person’s niche interest which is of no direct benefit to the many NZ’ers currently leading hard lives, and when so much needs to be done to ameliorate their lot, was selfish; emailing that Andrew Little had behaved unlawfully when he had not was irresponsible. That is now a matter of permanent record – that the Greens believe Little to have acted unlawfully, and that is not good enough.

    • How long have they been in the house,and their only serious political friend is Labour.Excuses they know the ropes and should know better.

  4. They, the Greens are fucked! Having supported them for many times in elections except for this recently past election because of my ‘gut’ feelings about the calibre of some of the newbies. This kinda shite would happen. Wishlist things prioritised above core fundamental party values which seem to be getting butchered for the sake of a few pieces of fools gold. WTF! Lets hope by the time the next election comes around, they’ll go by the way side like Mana, Maori party, TOP & the Conservatives. FFS!

    • Yep you sound like a true-green supporter all right. The Greens may have a lot to learn and I think this is a screw-up but we need a breadth of voices in our parliament not a return to a two-party system. That worked well.

  5. I can’t help thinking this is a leadership issue. One has to remember that under James Shaw the party vote dropped by around four percent to the point. I feel like Shaw, for all his positive qualities, got off lightly with the Green membership when in fact it was the die hard Green supporters who saved the day, not the leadership.

    • Who could they get to replace him? The Greens are unbalanced in terms of gender and have no suitable male candidate to replace James. There is nobody left with a public presence among the party ranks. I wouldn’t have confidence in Gareth Hughes to do a better job as leader. Given the leadership hole left by Metiria its more pertinent to select a female coleader. I think Julie Anne Genter is the better candidate but expect Marama Davidson to take it on account of JAGs American accent.

  6. +100…good on Martyn Bradbury for this Post …if we want to win the next Election we must be eternally be vigilant and unafraid to examine the coalition partners…this Election was hard fought and a lot stands on winning the next Election too

    there is a naive, idealistic, intolerant and lunatic fringe in the Greens which finds it difficult not to be ‘holier than thou’, likes to grandstand, is underminingly critical and competitive with NZF and does not know how to work cooperatively with coalition partners

    …why this is I do not know…immaturity?, ambition ?, entitlement?, dogmatism?, authoritarianism?, narcissism? religious fervor at the expense of realism and pragmatism?

    …they could sink the coalition boat

    … and I say this as one who contributes financially to the Greens and has forever supported the core of what they stand for eg clean well flowing rivers for everyone, primacy of climate change issues, permaculture, organic farming, conservation of New Zealand’s natural resources and environment

    • I don’t know often this myth about the Greens “core” consisting only conservative-friendly conservation issues has to be corrected. Yes, the Greens core principles do include environmental wisdom, but they also include social justice, appropriate decision-making, and non-violence, and all four principles have been part of the Greens charter since their founding.

      Yes, the Greens clearly need to make some improvements to the way their information security protects their sensitive conversations (not using proprietary spyware like NationBuilder would be a good start: https://www.coactivate.org/projects/disintermedia/blog/2017/04/04/unhappy-with-nz-greens-use-of-nationbuilder/). But this is an operational issue. It has nothing to do with the legitimacy of their policy platform, or the personal qualities of their leaders or MPs.

      Perhaps a more principled way to address the Greens’ concerns with the potential chilling effects of parties being able to fire list MPs on a whim, would be to require a majority of the party membership (or a super-majority like 60% or 75% or 80%) to vote for their dismissal from parliament, and their replacement with the next person on the party list?

  7. Left political parties in Govt need to be disciplined. They need to be aware that the GCHQ and their surveillance is not their friend nor ever will be.Golriz Ghohraman is an interesting case in point.So far she has been involved in a protest against rightwing protestors that was in effect an infringement on the other protestors free speech. To Golriz presumeably , free speech is only for those who share her views! Then in her maiden speech in parliament she gave a history of political oppression in Iran that strangely only started with the Aetollahs and the Islamic Republic. No mention of the CIA instigated coup in Iran that overthrew a democratically elected government and brought into power the Shah of Iran and his brutal torturing secret police.Does Golriz think the Shah’s rule was benevolent? Interesting!
    And now we have this debacle.Wet behind the ears politicians running amok.A pretty face with no substance. Plenty of thrills and spills ahead!!

    • Historian Pete – we must have been listening to two different speeches. I heard Golriz say how elated her parents were when the Shah was overthrown.

      • Dear Esoteric pineapples.I have checked the transcript of the maiden speech of Golriz Ghohraman and there is no reference to the Shah being overthrown in her speech, or indeed anything about the Shah.I suspect the problem is in your nom-de- plume.
        Esoteric: “Intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialised knowledge or interest.”
        You are so specialised that you have got to the point where you understand and comprehend nothing! The pineapple has only served to further confuse you.Have a nap and then read the transcript .

        • This is getting even more interesting.Pineapples and Janine both making a positive identification of the presence of the Shah of Iran at a speech at Parliament, when it can be proved by reading the transcript that he was not at the scene at all ! If this was a crime scene ,some poor sod could be languishing in jail on the strength of a false identification by two credible witnesses! A cautionary tale indeed!

    • She worked for the ECCC, which is US and Soros funded. Her other experience also places here on a certain track. Her “protest action” and rhetoric puts here in the same camp, again (Antifa Soros funded, etc, etc). Left neoliberal. It would be interesting to know what her parents did or who they were working with.

      Privilege? She went to Oxford. She’s on 200k per year or whatever it is. Her colleague Chloe was set up with multiple businesses at a young age (check the companies register).

      These are wealthy, privileged elites. They have no right to talk about privilege and personalise it just because they are female. Or for being non Anglo-saxon… for goodness sake Iranians who got out when her parents did were the privileged ones.

  8. Absolutely agree with Martyn. I am a Green/Labour voter, but sometimes what the Greens come out with really irks me, to the extent I wonder what I have voted for!

    Greens need some lessons in how to represent their supporters and country in a mature and positive manner, supportive of the government parties they are in coalition with!

    As far as this latest nonsense from the Greens is concerned, all it’s doing is giving Natz fodder to throw back as shit at government!

  9. Winston wants this law not because of a possible economic meltdown but because of the inherent stresses within this coalition.

    NZF was supported mostly by centre/right rural voters as a protest that National had drifted too far left under Key. Much to their shock, Winston did a deal with the Left and then became invisible (as usual).

    He knows there are left leaning policies on the table which will cause some of his MPS to spit the dummy. These MPS know that this is Winston’s last rodeo and are more concerned about what their voter base thinks than what Winston wants.

  10. Party politics eh, rotten to the core. I detect the guilt of privileged liberals at work here. Small beer, where’s the big picture picture focus gone? Our focus should be on transitioning our nation from the old & stale (suicidal business as usual) too a revitalising, localised & independent new. This will only be achieved by transcending the machinery of party politics, which is very unlikely. If our leaders are genuine about putting the well-being of our people, & the long term survival of our nation before the interests of themselves & others, they will need to develop a unified approach. I’m not holding my breath as we’re all too human after all?

  11. Very concerning that the Greens would consider opposing the ‘waka jumping’ bill.

    Even worse wanting something so tokenistic as some sort of weird leverage. That thinking (tokenistic) is what has caused Greens to plummet to 6% .

    A holiday might be symbolic to those on a $200k salary but to voter’s they get pretty disillusioned when the party the vote for’s individuals get bribed or are just so stupid they jump ship and derail the democratic process and the Greens are prepared to oppose legislation to stop that.

    For MMP to work, voters need to know if they vote for a minor party they will not jump ship to support another for their own personal gain.

    Greens should be unconditionally supporting the Waka jumping legislation.

    And also the reason it’s necessary is that the National party have a history of derailing democracy by using it to pick off weak minded MP’s.

    Why would the Greens support that?????

  12. How the hell this email escaped is interesting.

    It seems that a discussion is occurring about the “waka jumping” topic.

    One opinion among several conversations hardly makes it a party policy.

    I imagine that opinion did not survive the ensuing discussion.

  13. Battle tactics and Grand Strategy aren’t usually the natural fortes of peace loving personages such as card carrying green party members. However they understand giving their friends compliments such as a parihaka day.

  14. Nothing to do with this ? …” Dumped NZ First MP Brendan Horan is digging his heels in and refusing to leave Parliament.

    NZ First leader Winston Peters today expelled Horan from the party after receiving “substantive material” that caused him to lose confidence in the Tauranga-based list MP”

  15. I left the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand because of James Shaw MP’s total misrepresentation of the Paris Cop 21 climate change agreement as a success. The voluntary low and still unachievable targets were both non-binding and not even remotely successful in addressing our climate emergency. The situation is dire in the extreme and if our so called “Green Party” can’t speak truthfully about the predicament who will?
    https://kevinhester.live/2016/10/28/a-critique-of-the-green-party-of-aotearoa-n-z-climate-change-policy/

  16. You know it really sucks how bad our right wing friends attitudes are at union action. I think they are going to fight to the end. But surely they must see their cause is lost now with the change of government. Maybe they are in denial.

  17. re- ‘Parihaka Day’…which the Greens are proposing …which would be a commemoration and celebration of passive resistance by the Taranaki Maori of Taranaki Parihaka Pa against the British soldiers …and by implication a shame Pakeha day

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/98573351/national-parihaka-day-back-on-the-table

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parihaka

    I wonder if the Greens proposing a ‘Parihaka Day’ know that passive resistance was first practiced by the Moriori of the Chatham Islands…and these people were virtually exterminated by said Taranaki Maori tribes

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moriori

    “Moriori are the indigenous people of the Chatham Islands (Rēkohu in Moriori, Wharekauri in Māori), east of the New Zealand archipelago in the Pacific Ocean.

    These people lived by a code of non-violence and passive resistance (see Nunuku-whenua), which made it easier for Taranaki Māori invaders to nearly exterminate them in the 1830s…”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nunuku-whenua

    “Nunuku-whenua was a Moriori chief and famous sixteenth century pacifist.

    The Moriori are a Polynesian people who settled in the then-uninhabited Chatham Islands around the year 1500.[1] Following an intertribal conflict, Nunuku-whenua, a prominent Moriori chief of the Hamata tribe, established “Nunuku’s Law”, which forbade war, cannibalism and killing in any form.[2]

    The law was strictly abided by, and peace was maintained in the Chathams until the islands were invaded by about 900 Māori from two iwi, the Ngāti Mutunga and the Ngāti Tama, in 1835. The invaders had guns and massacred the Moriori, who gathered urgently for a council at Te Awapātiki.

    Although youths argued in favour of armed resistance, elders ruled that Nunuku’s Law could not be violated for any reason. The Moriori population, conquered and enslaved, fell from over 1600 in 1835 to less than 100 thirty years later.[3]…”

    … if we are to celebrate passive non violence resistance in a special national holiday…a ‘Parihaka Day’

    …we must also REMEMBER and CELEBRATE the MORIORI as the first people to practice passive non violent resistance

    … in response to the Taranaki Maori tribal invaders with great bravery and in the face of a massacre and a genocide against them.

    https://infogram.com/the-moriori-genocide-1g143mn34x53pzy

    CAUSES OF THE MORIORI GENOCIDE – WHAT IS IT?

    “We took possession… in accordance with our customs and we caught all the people. Not one escaped…..”
    – A Māori conqueror

    The Māori were in search of resources and new territories to conquer. Hearing of the peacefulness of the Moriori, they set their sights on the Chatham islands.

    “Parties of warriors armed with muskets, clubs and tomahawks, led by their chiefs, walked through Moriori tribal territories and settlements without warning, permission or greeting. If the districts were wanted by the invaders, they curtly informed the inhabitants that their land had been taken and the Moriori living there were now vassals.”

    “[The Maori] commenced to kill us like sheep…. [We] were terrified, fled to the bush, concealed ourselves in holes underground, and in any place to escape our enemies. It was of no avail; we were discovered and killed – men, women and children indiscriminately.”
    – A Moriori survivor

  18. It’s not the Right that worries me so much as what the Left puts in writing and then sends out as emails, and then is aghast when some cretin leaks it to the media.

    Lesson 1 in politics: DO NOT DISSEMINATE SENSITIVE MATERIAL – EVEN AMONGST ‘TRUSTED’ COLLEAGUES. There will always be one Judas who breaks that trust.

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