The real purpose of National’s new ‘Sustainability NZ Party’

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Blue-Green: That ugly bruise colour capitalism leaves when it's pretending to be environmentally conscious

Sustainable NZ Party launches with promise to boost conservation spending by $1 billion

New Zealand’s newest political party, Sustainable NZ, has launched today with a promise of increasing Conservation funding by $1 billion over four years in a bid to halt the extinction of native species.

Leader Vernon Tava said the funding could come from New Zealand First’s $3 billion provincial growth fund.

And he has endorsed the use of gene technology to help reduce predators.
He described the party as a “full-time environment party”.

“Until now, if you had wanted to vote for the environment, you have had to support a party that has been a clearing-house for New Zealand’s left-of-Labour activist movements, often putting social justice ahead of protecting the environment.”

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Hilariously climate change doesn’t even mention in their focus, it’s all bullshit conservation which is meaningless if the environment that biosphere is living in is getting killed off.

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%.

The two reasons National signed up to the Zero Carbon Act is because it doesn’t do anything and so that they can pretend to believe in climate change, Sustainability NZ allows them to ignore it altogether.

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.

Matt McCarten’s strategy for Labour in the 2017 election was to undermine National’s support parties to create the space for a win. It took Labour 3 terms to realise that strategy, it’s taken National one term out of power to adopt it.

29 COMMENTS

  1. Another shiny bonced politician declares himself essentially a Nat. Mr Tava will be playing a spoiler role for NZ National at the very least.

    Perhaps he can rub skulls with Mr Luxon in a back room like some frat boy ritual…

    Blue/Green seems attractive to some people that really should know better, but the actual Greens and Labour certainly do not help themselves by clinging to that neo liberal consensus.

  2. Bomber
    I formed the first party under MMP – when my safe Tory seat of Hobson was abolished under MMP.
    I had a mathematician on my electorate board who produced stats which suggested no party would ever win in its own right – under MMP. History has vindicated Merv.

    Whether blue of red, each major party needs a minion.
    WE READ HISTORY TO HELP US UNDERSTAND WHAT HAPPENED AND WHY AND WHAT TO DO NEXT.
    Here’s a strip from wiki:

    Meurant had led the New Zealand Police’s high-profile “Red Squad” during the controversial 1981 Springbok Tour. He became a National Party MP in 1987 and won re-election as such in 1990 and in 1993. Meurant often clashed with the leadership of the National Party over Maori policy, and was regarded[by whom?] as one of the leading dissidents within the National caucus at the time[when?]. Eventually, in September 1994, Meurant decided to break away from National and to establish his own party, adopting the name “Right of Centre” (or “ROC”). The acronym represented Meurant’s right-wing economic philosophy of privatisation of government assets.

    The new party was originally conceived by former National MPs Rob Munro (formerly a lieutenant-colonel in the New Zealand Army), lawyer Graham Reeves, and Meurant. Munro and Reeves had lost their National seats in 1993. Meurant remained in Parliament but was an implacable critic of Prime Minister Jim Bolger. To some extent the new party represented an opportunity for the former MPs to re-enter parliament. However, as the 1996 general election loomed, Munro retreated to obscurity and Reeves returned to the National Party fold to contest the unwinnable Tukituki electorate seat for National.

    Meurant held the view that the new MMP formula for delivering parliamentary seats precluded any single party from achieving an outright majority (except in the most exceptional circumstances). Misguidedly, he anticipated that Prime Minister Bolger and his trusted aide, Finance Minister Bill Birch, (now Sir William Birch), would recognise the mathematical inevitability of the MMP formula and embrace Meurant and the former National party conspirators, in a post-election coalition.

    But Meurant had mis-read the animosity Bolger had for him that, in the final analysis, condemned Meurant’s party to oblivion. Though history did vindicate Meurant’s belief that the MMP formula would not deliver an outright winning party at the polls. In fact, in 1996, the Bolger government finally accepted the inevitability of Meurant’s claim and reached a pact with ACT, the second political party to be formed under MMP. ACT had been formed by former Labour Finance Minister Roger Douglas (now Sir Roger Douglas). National withdrew its candidate from the Wellington Central electorate to ensure ACT’s candidate, Richard Prebble, would succeed in the election. This provided ACT with an electorate MP to offset its failure (as happened with all minor parties in the first general election under MMP (including the Christian Coalition) to reach the 5% threshold of votes to qualify as a political party with “List MPs” in parliament. This manoeuvre enabled Bolger to cobble together a coalition with ACT personalities whom he preferred to Meurant.

    Prior to the 1996 general election, however, and prior to Meurant resigning from National, Meurant came to an arrangement with Bolger whereby Right-of-Centre would not oppose the National Party government in votes of confidence and supply; in exchange, Meurant would keep his governmental post as Parliamentary Undersecretary for Agriculture.

    Until the emergence of other dissident National and Labour MPs (who formed the political party United with a base of seven MPs), Meurant actually held the balance of power and this allowed the National government to maintain its majority in the House.

    Meurant built a political party largely on the provincial farming network of Federated Farmers (former president Lumsden was a candidate) and Meat Board representatives (Tim Britton and John McCarthy were both candidates).
    In September 1995, Right of Centre clashed with the National Party when Ross Meurant was sacked as Parliamentary Undersecretary for Agriculture. This came as a result of Meurant’s accepting a directorship of Prok Bank, a Russian-owned bank registered in Vanuatu. Prime Minister Bolger believed that this directorship was inappropriate for someone holding an executive post in government, and requested that Meurant resign the directorship. Meurant refused, and was sacked as Parliamentary Undersecretary. Despite the tension this generated, Right of Centre continued to support the National government.
    As the election loomed, internal disputes in Right of Centre occurred. In February 1996, Meurant rejected pressure from the executive of the party to abandon right-wing economic policies in favour of the more traditional and socialist provincial New Zealand policies. Meurant refused, claiming he alone had garnered substantial monetary donations from wealthy individuals, and on the promise of right wing economic policy forming the basis of the new party.

    When the executive of the Party overruled Meurant and refused to return political donations garnered by Meurant on the promise of right wing economic policies, Meurant left the party and became an independent, following the path of most former independent MPs: to political oblivion. After the general election of 1996, the remnants of the party amalgamated with the United Party.

    WE DONT HAVE TO LIKE HISTORY BUT THE ABOVE IS WHY WE HAVE NZFIRST AND ACT AND GREENS AND HAD NEW LABOUR AND ALLIANCE AND WHY NATZ HAVE NOW GOT BLUE GREEN

    BUT I DONT THINK IT ILL WORK – UNLESS NATZ GIVE THIS PARTY AN ELECTORATE SEAT.
    OTHERWISE THE GREEN VOTE WILL BE SPLIT AND THERE WILL BE NO GREEN OR BLUE GREEN IN THE HOUSE

  3. Based on Meurant’s theory, the Greens vote will be split and neither side will get 5%

    Unless as he says National give blu greens an electorate seat, Greens are gone.

    May I suggest here the Labour give an electorate seat to the true Greens?

    Logic

  4. A party that declares itself a full-time environmental party yet does not mention the words “climate change” in its principles or policies.
    An oversight? or a clue to their National Party parentage?
    I know what I think.

  5. I wonder what Vernon Tava dreams about at night. Making a difference in the fight to conserve New Zealand’s once-pristine environment? Or getting his bum in one of those comfy parliamentary chairs and staking his claim to a fat pension? Knowing my sole reason for being was to prop up the smirking abomination that is the National Party would likely give me nightmares. Perhaps Vernon’s made of sterner stuff.

  6. Or, they cut a deal in a susceptible electorate a la Epsom to get the new party over the threshold via coat tails.

    The “green” space is becoming a crowded sector with TOP in there as well.

    The Greens need to secure an electorate seat and it would be smart of Labour to accede somewhere to do it.

  7. Cynical comments, I suppose. By the way, the Sustainability Party does actually mention Climate Change in their policy overview and so forth:
    https://sustainablenz.org.nz/our-vision/
    https://sustainablenz.org.nz/policies/

    They even mention that inequality is not sustainable.

    But it is just intended to take votes off the Greens, so to provide an alternative that the Nats can deal with. They will not do more than the Greens, simply want to be ‘business friendly’, so as if the Greens under James Shaw and his present co-leader are not willing to deal with business and make concessions to business (see the BS Zero Carbon Bill).

    A Vernon Tava vanity project, I conclude.

  8. Green Wash Party now followed by Sustainability Green Wash Party.

    By the way, the Iranians just discovered a new and rich oil field. More carbon to burn, no end in sight. Saudi now want to offer Aramco via an IPO, certainly not to shut oil exploration and drilling down.

    NZ SUV drivers can rejoice, more petrol supplies are safe.

    • The Ford vehicle franchises will be on-line right now ordering thousands more Ford Rangers so that rural townies can have more fun breaking speed limits, passing on no-passing lanes and parking on bus stops.

  9. There’s no other way to save our biosphere’s non human inhabitants than by a human mass extinction event occurring. Since we can’t behave ourselves en masse then logically there simply needs to be significantly less of us.
    The most polite way to achieve that is by having less kids but what a miserable, and totally unreasonable expectation that is. That, is just not going to happen.
    The other way is by removing billions of us overnight. And then there’s the logistics of that. How does one do that? By non ballistic, biological means would be the obvious method.
    If I was a person living in one of those vast cities, particularly middle eastern and central and south east Asian and South American countries I’d be worried.

    • This is exactly correct. For those that genuinely believe in Climate Change, the only priority for “sustainability” is the human population itself. Outside of that every other action we take is moot, offering nothing more than buying a little more time (and inevitably increasing poverty and lowering standards of living). I’m not seeing a lot of calls for local (let alone global) population control, which is why I’m not convinced anyone really believes in Climate Change.
      https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/there-is-no-climate-emergency-say-500-experts-in-letter-to-the-united-nations/

    • no country boy , thats not real

      https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/protect_half_our_planet_loc_sus/

      there are lots of good ideas that could be very useful .

      and its not just about climate change its about the death of insects , the death of our seas .lots of things.

      we can either sit back on our arses . snivel and blame others .or do whatever we can ,to do to do our best to clean up this bloody mess we all have made .. win or lose at least we will have tried .

      we have freedom of choice and there is only one choice to go on or not .

  10. Not happy with what I heard, he (Tava) said he is concerned about inequalities but has no policies to combat this instead he endorses nationals flagging social investment approach that uses racist algorithms. In my view he is sitting on the fence and will be lucky to get over the threshold and NAH! we don’t need another environmental party we already have one, the Greens. This is just more duplication even though they claim to be very different.

    • Michelle
      As I said above:
      Greens will be extinct if two ‘green’ parities run – unless (a) National give the blue greens an electorate seat or (b) Labour give the Greens an electorate seat.

      The total green vote on a good day is 8%?
      Divide that between lefty greens and blu greens – neither is going to emerge with 5%.

      Maybe that is the strategy behind the blue greens? After all, National have shown scant interest to expand their running mate (to conform with Meurant’s thesis’s above) beyond ACT.

      It seems to be that its time Labour started to strategically plan how they survive next elections- especially if the court case goes against Winston.

      • That’s your view cobaka my view is this new party wont make the threshold they have bugger all policy and they are sucking up to national and we know what happens to parties that become friends with them. See ya later

      • Hang on a minute-last election we had two green parties (TOP) and one survived-quite easily in the end. The fact that the Greens will go with Labour means that Labour voters can switch to the Greens without losing anything….I think that is what happened last election when the Greens were close to going under 5% and ended up with over 6%.The same will happen again I reckon.

  11. ‘Sustainability NZ Party’ ? Fuck off.
    From the parent party who spawned that narcissistic little mini-tyrant mike hoskings who, so it was reported by one of his work colleagues, went around tvnz’s studio espousing the mantra ‘Greed is Good’?
    Basically, and as I see it, our biosphere is over populated by us Natzo-esque consumer types. We’re a plague on a host but unlike a plague we don’t know when to stop.
    We doughy, greedy consumer-cons need culling.
    Waiter? Can I have The Virus to share around the table please?

    On a lighter note :
    And I know how much you lot love to hate on the farmer and how much the farmer loves to hate on themselves.

    John Legg.
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/countrylife/audio/2018721325/farming-with-the-future-in-mind
    Now? Can I ask?
    What political party lured farmers away from such farming practises above ( Beginning nearly 70 years ago! ) then pimped farmers out to the banksters and the retailers of such wondrous chemicals as Glyphosate and artificial fertilisers which, in so doing, led to farmer debts, social stigmatising and land-ruination?
    Can you guess? Go on? Have a go?
    Begins with ’N’? Ends with scum bags.
    To actually, really, properly begin to rebuild a sustainable ecological environment here one must begin at the root cause of such dis-ease and dysfunction by purging our beautiful AO/NZ of the foreign banksters. Until that happens, any funds sent in that particular direction will ultimately be funnelled back to The Beast by carefully written tax and bankster laws. Ultimately, as things stand, they get our money. That is all that will happen.
    Westpac? $980 million NET profit.
    BNZ? $1,0200,000.00 NET profit.
    ASB? I don’t know.
    ANZ ? I don’t know but jonky does.
    Us? Fucked. That much I do know.

    ( And they, the banksters and their minions, are lining up another 1 billion bound to come their way by way of the absurd ‘provincial growth fund’ . A pointless ( Unless you’re on the receiving end of the pay off’s.) logical fallacy scam designed by accountants to seem as if by some miracle, NZ First recognises and cares about the provinces. People? It’s a swindle! Wake the fuck up! )

  12. Vernon Tava, in his interview with Kim Hill overuses the rhetorical device , “look” in an attempt to assert his authority in advance of asserting a point. The belief seems to be that if I say, ”look”, it implies that I am now going to give you some inside perspective or a pragmatic truism about the topic .
    It is a rhetorical trick, an attempt to seem more down to earth, an attempt to talk like a friendly expert.

    John Key used it well, (no doubt on advice from Crosby Textor) Bill English less well and there was an epidemic of National MPs who tried it-Melissa Lee ‘s attempts were ridiculously overdone. Simon Bridges uses it often but prefers the device, “the reality is…….”

    Kim Hill was obviously unimpressed.

    (Rhetoric-language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect, but which is often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content.)

    • I love it when National MPs start crapping on about “hard-working NZ taxpayers” or “Mum and Dad investors”. Always makes me roll my eyes. It’s like slippery turd Jordan Williams of the Taxpayer’s Onion is writing all their speeches.

  13. I predict any electoral support will be from Nats, eating into their base. If that happens, expect Tava to get the hard word to “cease and desist” from National Party HO

    Most Greens will be too saavy to fall for this faux “greenblue” scam

  14. By not thinking the current capitalist system is too blame for the serious issues we are experiencing NOW not in 2050 he has no credibility too campaign on sustainability or anything else.

    Sure give the Nasty Natz a partner too do absolutely nothing is not a solution.

    Spending a billion dollars in conservation is misdirected when the problem is the worlds addiction too fossil fuels , animal production and greed are endemic in most countries in the world and no more so here in this country with the National and Labour coalition parties presiding over it.

    Another missed opportunity too do anything meaningful with the environment and the climate disaster that is slowly creeping up on us.

    2050 ??? is now 2020 with the idiots like the sustainability for the rich party.

  15. Michelle (above) said “Not happy with what I heard, he (Tava) said he is concerned about …”

    What Tava is concerned about is being an MP. As an individual he was rejected by both National and the Greens and since they wouldn’t pick him for their teams he has made his own team and his own game. If in doing so the Green Party is killed off and he himself doesn’t make the cut his disappointment will be about the rejection not that any green agenda is harmed.

    The idea of National gifting a seat to a reject is wonderful to contemplate.

  16. Can’t vote for the Nats or Labs, both have proven to be 2 peas in a pod being overly self interested and shit at running the country. Not to mention TDB makes many Lab voters look a little disturbed and bugger being tagged in with that lot. Can’t do NZ First as I don’t vote for thieves and racists. Can do McGillycuddy but why waste my time. Mana is out, they don’t like pale skins. Don’t know if the last mob I voted for still exist, the Maori party. But I do have a big streak of liking the environment so you’d think the Greens would be the call but you’d be wrong, far too much silly ideology and pure wankery from that lot plus all they want to do is hide and transfer all of NZ’s CC evilness which means the Greens are increasing green house gas outputs not decreasing them. So we are left with whatshisfaces Sustainably party. Unlike too many here I will not be working on weird, out dated, tribal blindness, so tinfoil it is very humorous, silly n plainly ridiculous assumptions and will wait until more comes from them to judge if they are worthy or not.

  17. Remember the Progressive Greens of the 1990s?
    Even at the time the Progressive Greens were dubbed as “The ACT Party with a green face”.
    Two of their highest profile candidates, Stephen Rainbow and Guy Salmon, later stood for parliament on The National Party list.
    The Sustainability Party is simply the Progressive Greens Mark II, the more environmentally conscious wing of the National Party. As such they were formed to fool well-intentioned but naive people into thinking National is genuine about the environment and climate change.
    National’s environmental conscientiousness evaporates as soon as the next oil driller knocks on their door or the next shipment of palm kernel animal fodder arrives in port.
    Ditto the Sustainability Party.

  18. I would argue the opposite Martyn.
    The Greens achieve very little in the way of real bread & butter conservation. They love to chain themselves to railings or glue themselves to each other – anything for a photo opportunity, but aren’t interested in real, practical, conservation work.
    I’m actively involved with weed clearing and rat baiting but I don’t see any of these ne’er do well hippy types joining the work parties. They’re pretend environmentalists.

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