We need a Green New Deal for a Just Transition with democratic empowerment


The decision by the Green Party to seek a broad consensus on the so-called Zero-Carbon Act has meant that we have a toothless creation that cannot achieve its goal to radically reduce carbon emissions by 2050.

The only tool the government currently has to achieve the goals that have been set – the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)  – has been spectacularly ineffective so far. New Zealand’s climate change emissions are increasing not decreasing after a decade of using the ETS.
One assumes that the hopes of the sponsors are that by setting the target in law and establishing an independent commission to monitor progress and make recommendations that the public will force further action on future governments.
The weakness of the new Act led to a series of critiques from environmental campaigners and former Green Party leader Russell Norman who was deeply disappointed.
The person appointed to head the independent commission, Rod Carr, was previously deputy governor of the Reserve Bank and headed up an inquiry that led to the brutal restructuring of the health system in the 1990s at the behest of big business.
Every year that passes will exacerbate the failure of the existing system from being able to fix climate change.
What is required is a series of interconnected measures that radically restructure society to put people and the planet before private interests and profits.
The entire energy sector should be a single public utility under democratic control and planning with the duty to end the use of all fossil fuels.
Methods of production in agriculture and industry must be moved towards cooperative forms and democratic planning to achieve our goals.
Finance must be taken out of the ownership and control of for-profit banks and finance companies and made a public utility that is put at the service of the whole society and to finance the transition needed.
These interconnected measures and the scale and urgency needed are being discussed internationally under the banner of a Green New Deal.
The UK Labour Party is making a Green New Deal part of its policy platform. The policy document approved at its national conference is one of the most radical and comprehensive.
Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are making a Green New Deal a central platform of their campaigns.
The failure of the current law to have any meaningful mechanism for achieving its goal should be taken as an opportunity to write our programme of transformative change.
We need a Green New Deal for New Zealand that protects mother earth and priorities and protects the interests of all working people as the transition is made in a just manner.
Maori will be central to a Green New Deal that delivers meaningful social justice in the transition.
We need to end our role in this society as isolated consumers of someone else’s products.
And we need to radically empower local communities to take control of all aspects of our lives – energy, employment, food growing, housing, education, culture.
For a Green New Deal with just a transition and democratic empowerment.


  1. The saddest thing about the ETS is the realisation that humans are not interested in combatting climate change unless they turn it into another trading and money making exercise.

    • It is encouraging that Sophie Handford won the the youth category and was a joint supreme winner of Wellingtonian of the year after leading the climate change youth action. She along with the likes of Sorcha Carr who gave the EPA some unwanted advice and Micah Geiringer, one of the faces of the XR Wellington protest, will predictably be part of the vanguard of young people who will not allow the ‘all talk and no action’ hypocrisy to be mired in endless procrastination.

  2. “Methods of production in agriculture and industry must be moved towards cooperative forms and democratic planning to achieve our goals.”

    Ha! When I read that I had a flashback to the failed Marxist states I saw in Africa: Farms broken and run to weeds with everyone starving.

    • The green new deal is a joke.
      Completely unworkable and by the creator’s own admission focused on socialism rather than environmentalism.
      Sound familiar? It should do because it describes our own green party to a T.
      A true environmental party would be willing to cut a deal with Labour or National depending on which committed to the best environmental outcomes.
      And quite frankly I don’t think the Nats would need to be pushed too hard to best the Labour party’s efforts.

      • But the most recent National govt. demonstrated nothing but contempt for environmental issues. The whole “swimmable to wadeable” shifting of the goalposts debacle over waterways is a case in point.

        An environmental party foolish enough to seek a deal with them would have more success negotiating with bloody Enron.

  3. ‘Andrew the ‘Keynesian’ advocate again’ – pontificating John Key model of NZinc’ who under Key sold off all our assets then charged us astronomical prices for services like a common carpetbagger.

    Criminals like John key should now be facing the public rage now as we have lost our economic stability to these overseas carpetbaggers.

    Carpetbaggers have no conception nor a moral fibre to switch to a green new deal sadly.

    We are stuffed.

  4. “Finance must be taken out of the ownership and control of for-profit banks and finance companies and made a public utility that is put at the service of the whole society and to finance the transition needed.”
    This is true for many reasons apart from combating climate change. But that is an undertaking way beyond the vision of any current New Zealand politician with the possible exception of Winston. But if the Green New deal/ climate change movement can produce a “climate” that makes that possible in a global transition I will become a climate change advocate again.
    Without it being a world wide movement it’s too much to hope our government would unilaterally impose the radical changes on our society that would be needed to reduce our emissions at all , or even stop increasing them. I don’t think it is possible in a democracy. The devastating compromises required to our way of life, and even maintaining everyone’s life leave alone the flood of immigrants we are inviting is more than a government can impose and hope to ever be elected again. The population will need to be convinced to make the necessary changes on individual and family initiative like the hippy movement toward simple self sufficiency that some baby boomers embraced and acted on in the 60s and 70s. There are still some of them around doing it that way.
    D J S

  5. The only thing democratic about AO/NZ politics is the pretence of it. We think we live in a country that enjoys a democratic way of life but we don’t. Not at all.
    The Green Party is simply a tool to use to manipulate the uncluttered landscape of the national party voting farmers minds so as to enrage them to keep them voting for The National Party.
    I read once on a white baiters hut on the Clutha River.
    “ The only true wilderness Areas left are between a Greenies ears. “
    That, is an indication of an exploitable capital for the dreaded natzo’s and their wily ways.
    Aside from the shearing, my mother and myself could farm 3000 sheep and about 200 head of black pole cattle up in the high country behind Geraldine in South Canterbury.
    That involved the lambing, crutching, foot-rotting, drenching, dipping and tailing. ( Docking)
    The cattle were less intensive but for having to cut the little bulls balls off and give them a drench.
    I know. That’s why vegans rule.
    We sowed between 200 and four hundred acres of oats and/or wheat which we headed and kept in silos. Some of that was used as winter feed while the rest was sold.
    We also headed ( Stripped ) brown top and fescue grasses and sold that too.
    If only I’d know about cannabis. Oh my God! Harvesting good, high country Sativa by the ton. Oh my God.
    So? A wee woman and her dorky son could manage such things. Sure, we had the machinery my dad serviced and lots of porridge but we farmed that way for more than 15 years in the hills.
    Prior to that when I was a school kid my whanau worked a 650 acre farm near Matuara. My mum, my dad and my mums sister did all the work on an intensively farmed property but for the shearing.
    My point is that I must ask you; why then are we talking about the consequences of intensive chemical ‘farming’ and the need for artificial fertilisers when things can easily be done in AO/NZ in a natural and holistic way?
    There is nothing new in this.
    Meet Peter Legg.
    The answer of course is greed. It’s the greed of us all but particularly that of the banks. We produce far, far more than we can ever need on a rich few islands and the problem with that is that those whom most profit from [that] are on a feeding frenzy of unbridled greed.
    And they want it to stay that way, I’ll caution you.
    Four, then three, family members can grow all those mutton pies, socks and jerseys. All that lovely clean, lean high country Angus beef and all those kilos and kilos of clean, organic grain and we struggled to survive financially and in the end the manager of the bnz in timaru picked us off for a farmer mate of his by hatching a dodgy swindle.
    We never climbed a big hill then had our faces put on a fiver because of what we did but we did grow enough food and fibre to feed and cloth a small city. Annually.

    You. Yep. You and you and you my dear fellow AO/NZ’er’s. You’re being bullshitted by highly intelligent and well educated urban bullshitters and the reason I know that is because I’ve done the ‘hard yards’ to use a blue collar farmer colloquialism. I’ve seen both sides. All the sides I can name, actually.
    You’re all being fucked without the kissing.
    This, on this morning’s RNZ.
    NZ First-linked forestry company pushed for govt funds
    Sorry? Who’s funds again? You scum bags? The Gubbimints funds? But? Those funds ARE OUR FUNDS fuckers! Not the privateers, not the banksters. It is ours.
    This sort of shit’s the very tip of the iceberg. And ice berg that stretches back to the beginning of the previous century.

  6. DJS – Bloody well said David,
    I couldn’t have said it better. 100%

    At 75 I am still an environmental warrior.

    My 1931 depression/WW2 generational Dad said “lead by example”.

    • Dismantling capitalism? That’s called communism and it’s failed everywhere it has been attempted with generally disastrous and murderous results.
      Capitalism and socialism need to exist in a balance.

      • China seems to be doing ok?? In less than 40 years, its achieved much of what many in the west has and more, which has taken them decades if not centuries to develop. Yes, not perfect but still an achievement that many in the West are envious of.

  7. Sad but true, looks like Our Party comments are now being censored on TDB. Probably far to radical & common sense orientated for TDB, so much for free speech eh!

    Not surprising really as blogs on TDB are sometimes very similar to those on stuff news (which can’t be commented on). It just goes to show how closely related old & new liberalism are & how they work together to uphold the globalisation elites stranglehold on our nation.

    No wonder then that genuinely radical & alternative views have no chance of being heard.

    Anyway, TDB is firmly in the liberal/new-liberal globalisation establishment camp, so I suspect they’ll go down with the ship when the war heats up.

    Overblown ego’s & ideology eh, a really a bad mix. No one has a monopoly on good ideas.

    This will not be published but it’s quite therapeutic.

  8. It’s now obvious that TDB does not support free speech or alternative views. TDB & all associated with it will now be put in the enablers of the liberal/neo-liberal globalisation dictatorship & traitorous enemies of the NZ people basket by Our Party. Let’s hope the wokie TDB crew has a plan B when to tide turns, as things will get messy. Post this, yer right.

  9. …. not allowed having cows, hehe ….

    Different versions and variations of a ‘Green Deal’ are discussed since 30 years and longer, a more recent, succinct vision has finally reached the US Democrats and UK Labour. No doubt, this is good news.

    A large majority of Kiwis is aware of climate change and expects constructive reaction and responses from the government-in-charge.

    Large numbers of Kiwis across all sectors are knowledgeable and trained in matters of climate analyses, early warning, risk reduction, mitigation and adaptation, community and rural development, natural resources management, safeguarding of infrastructure, communication and (national / international) coordination. The list goes on.

    Certainly, no one knows everything, and no one can exactly anticipate details or predict timing and scope of potential events. This is also not required.

    What is helpful instead, is that the available substantial local expertise and wide range of local capacity is bundled, harnessed and brought together in a sort of Community and Expert Climate Convention (or similar network) that directly influences government action.

    The proposed small, private-sector oriented climate commission headed by a former senior staff of the reserve bank is completely inadequate for the challenges that NZAO and the Pacific do face.


      • A socialist green party at this moment in time would be a thing of wonder

        just what the doctor ordered and just might do the trick.

        be very useful wouldnt you say ?

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