What would happen if the Greens held a conference and no one noticed?

Lost in the forest

Yes, because every NZer is going to read a 52 page policy document (I’m not making that up for comedic effect)…


Green Party co-leaders Marama Davidson and James Shaw are urging New Zealanders to “think ahead” and vote Green, as they firmed-up their negotiation position for a post-election deal with Labour.

The party plans to campaign differently in 2020, streamlining its focus to six main policy priorities that it will campaign hard on.

The party’s broader policy platform is detailed in its policy vision document, a 50-page manifesto released today.


…it’s Sunday morning and this 52 page policy release by the Greens has already sunk beneath the headlines without impact.

The new Kiwiburger song is more memorable.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

I think the only hope for the Greens now is Chloe winning Auckland Central which explains why they are throwing everything at it…

NZ election 2020: Greens ‘throwing everything’ at Auckland Central to ensure place back in Parliament

…it’s funny, every time I hear from the Greens I think they are less likely to get over 5%.

Only the biggest politics geek with an enormous luxury of time or the most fastidious Green Party follower who recycles their own body waste is going to read all 52 pages.

Sure there are some great ideas amongst all this, but the point is to sell those ideas in easy bite sized chunks, subsection 5A with 12 point KPIs will sail over the heads of 95% of the electorate.

My understanding is that the Greens don’t like to sell the sizzle of their vegan sausage because that’s white heteronormative cishet male privilege where as a dour 52 page manifesto is a far more honest.


I think as a brand, the micro aggression policing middle class identity politics virtue signalling by Green woke activists on social media is such an enormous turn off that the Greens gaining over 5% is too big an ask.

The Greens keep going backwards each election and at no point have they asked if their activists pure temple mantras of all white people are racist, all men are rapists and those defending free speech are actual Nazi’s has helped in making them politically noxious to most voters.

Chloe winning in Auckland Central and saving them from political oblivion might be the wake up call they desperately need, if that comes to pass Chloe has to become the new leader.

As someone who has voted Green all my life, this is the first election where I’m agnostic about them gaining representation in Parliament, and if someone as political as I am doesn’t give 2 shits about them getting back in, I wonder how many other white male voters they’ve also alienated.

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  1. Actually Martyn the greens have absolutely nailed it, it’s in the title to the manifesto:
    “Think ahead : ACT now”

  2. I can’t speak as a white male, because I’m not one, and I have no great urge to either change my gender or talk incessantly about it.

    But I did think ahead, and I voted Green for many years before the current opportunists commandeered the party for their own purposes as a handy waka to get them to where they wanted to be; I see Saint Chloe in this category, Golriz as a minor irritant, but her best friend Marama Davidson’s sanctimonious public hostility towards white NZ’ers, as ignorant, and raising questions about her suitability to hold public office representing all of the people. I dislike her more than I dislike Bennett, Boag, Collins, and Attila the Hun.

    A 52 page doc is equally unrealistic; their own pr people should know to aim at something about a third of that size if they want people to read it – the briefer the better, but they may be incapable of expressing themselves clearly and succinctly.

    Climate change is such an urgent issue that I’ve been pondering whether govt would be better advised to set up an advisory group of local experts and pragmatists from maybe eg academia, Forest and Bird, Federated Mountain Clubs, Green Peace etc rather than relying on the Greens as bona fide environmentalists and just let them sod off and virtue signal to each other.

    • Apart from the identity politics hammered towards various Green party MPs, no other party is pushing for radical climate action.
      The fact that they also have a social agendas leaved them open to attack by those who really don’t want to know about climate change and moving from BAU.

      What have other parties got to say about action to reduce environmental impact because it is not just GHG emissions.
      National have no policy nor have they shown any action towards reducing GHG emmissions or environmental restoration.

      Labour also have no action plan nor have they shown any effective action towards reducing GHG emmissions or environmental restoration. But they have a lot of headline talk suggesting they have environmental goals. Where is the action. Is it just a coalition with NZF that has stopped effective environment action on a virtually non existent or minimalist policy.

      NZ First rhetoric swings about depending on who Winston is attacking. No climate change policy comes through in their politicising. They are careful not to upset their BAU followers.

      Top are not a environment action party although the words include suggestions they are. It just that you can’t do climate while you promote anti climate BAU.

      The Greens have ceased to become a one issue party and even the public who would like to see action towards restoring environment, are confused obviously.

      So you may be pissed off with the Greens for whatever reason but what are your other options.
      BAU is the default position, where you become a part of the problem.

      The world will change and our kids and grandkids will get to understand what pricks you are if BAU is given oxygen by default.
      Ok you may want to be a part of the herd happily settled on your families path to the slaughterhouse. What’s your choice , 4 degrees or 6 degrees or doesn’t it matter because you won’t be here.

      • John W – PM Ardern described climate change as , “my generation’s nuclear free moment,” and said that Labour would tackle it head-on. Was I wrong to believe her ? Quite possibly. The coalition has had a couple of big distractions, but I won’t accept them as good enough excuse for any sidestepping.

        I may not be here if/when the earth shrugs us off – and nor may be my kids, and they know it; one, who was Green before I was, has chosen not to have children themselves for precisely this reason – ergo won’t be part of the problem.

        I still think that there may be better alternatives than the Green Party, as it is now, for addressing climate change, and if any political party produces anything other than buzz words before the election, I’ll be listening.

    • Snow White I am in your corner here as a ex Green Party member are very disturbed at our old green Party now has turned into what you accurately term as an “opportunists commandeered the party for their own purposes as a handy waka to get them to where they wanted to be”.
      I have always voted for a party that fights for cleaning up our environment as it has now become ranked as the dirtiest at the lower end of the 170 countries, stated by our premier Ecologist Professor Mike Joy at the environmental conference yesterday.

      Mike said we ranked at around 150th worst our of 180 and that shows that the environment is where we need immediate action here, and the current Green Party does not sound like an alarmist about cleaning up our environmental record.
      In our day in the green Party the front line of Green Party were Rod Donald, Jeanette Fitsimmons, Sue Kedgely and a full raft of powerful eco-warriors behind them then but today there is nothing behind the co-leaders save for two possible others considered as eco-warriors. I will vote NZF and labour sadly as there is no real other choice.

      Winston has done more to fight for rail than any other party and he also fought to get wool utilised as using wool as an insulation source instead of using ‘toxic plastic’ in homes, ceilings, walls carpeting and also he was heading in the right direction.

    • re “Climate change is such an urgent issue that I’ve been pondering whether govt would be better advised to set up an advisory group of local experts and pragmatists from maybe ….”

      ädd to that list ‘Fish and Game’…and NZF …and the Labour Party

      Green Party have lost all credibility

  3. Never mind the width, feel the quality. The Green 52 pager is actually full of good stuff that would benefit many working class people. Rail networks prioritised over new roads, increased EV charging stations, “opt out union membership”, individual to holder benefits, a whole bunch of Basic Income type payments, wide solar implementation, Increased privacy for citizens etc.

    Sure, bite sized policy releases to grab low information voters is needed, but Greens really need to reach a critical mass of informed voters to ensure a Labour/Green Govt. “One Labour to rule them all” has to remain a Labour loyalist and insiders dream until Rogernomics is rolled back for good.

  4. You make an excellent point Martyn: If the Greens can’t get good press on this forum then you know they have a problem!

    A more intriguing is point is to ask yourself why a party that is normally so good at publicity/propaganda buries its own manifesto in verbiage. I see two possibilities:

    1. There is a lot of internal strife within the party that prevents a clear and coherent message being presented.

    2. Their policies won’t survive close scrutiny so they have to obfuscate.

    or both

  5. Greens party is a gone-burger as ‘Labour is adamant it won’t be doing a deal with the Greens in the Auckland Central electorate.

    Wise move; – as a good poker player keeps their cards close to their chest right?

    I recall after the last election where they sacked some good green Party members Kennedy Graham and Kevin Hague, both very good ecologists, – and it looked messy for them, so they actually canvassed National first for a deal, – and kept their cards close to their chest then????


  6. The “Green Vision for the Future” is a lengthy document, yes.
    But it contains many useful proposals and approaches, and is a valid policy reference.

    Certainly it would be helpful to re-package this in 2-3 concerted policy briefs, to be emphasized and promoted until election day.

    Those selected 3 policy highlights could be:
    • Climate Change and green economy.
    • Social equality, justice and poverty after Covid19.
    • Citizen and community participation in disaster risk policies and management.

    Unfortunately, all party options for the upcoming election are ideologically ‘free-market driven’, basically representing various degrees of neo-liberalism and capitalism.

    Unfortunately, there is no eco-socialist formation in AO/NZ which, I do anticipate, would be most ideally fitted to politically respond to the unfolding ecological and socio-economic faults that will impact us.

    Under the given circumstances, voting the Green Party remains the most suitable option for the coming election.

    Whether one likes it or not.

    Red-green flowers

  7. Indubitably…
    There is nothing on this stage to persuade me to bother getting along to the polling booth.
    I understood elections were about making choices.
    No choices here…

  8. Yes the Greens are the only ones doing a decent job of looking for than 12 months ahead.
    Long term illness issues haven to be taken seriously and at least then greens have made an start and their Guaranteed Minimum Income along with an ACC makeover are all LONG OVERDUE.
    The only problem is the property owning class wanting to keep their capital tax free gains and still have their meds and long term illnesses covered which is why our whole healthcare system is munted from top to bottom.

    • The biggest cost to the health care system is people in the first 3 years of their lives and the last three years of their lives… and NZ seems to be encouraging the world to come to NZ and have kids and at the same time bring your aged parents for a pension and free health care which has increased demand in the greatest areas of demand…..

      The demographics show what is going on. Although COL managed to screw up the census which would have revealed a lot more of the problem …In NZ aged asian pensioners have somehow sky rocketed and now is expected to be more than the number of aged Maori and Pacific Islander’s combined within a decade.

      Why, because health care and pensions are not free in most Asian countries so of course it makes sense to goto NZ where you can get free care… our residents visas are running hot off the hook for immigration…

      Public Health care in China is not free for urban nationals…

      “Residents of urban areas are not provided with free healthcare, and must either pay for treatment or purchase health insurance. The quality of hospitals varies. ”

      “Despite this, public health insurance generally only covers about half of medical costs, with the proportion lower for serious or chronic illnesses. Under the “Healthy China 2020″ initiative, China is currently undertaking an effort to cut healthcare costs, and the government requires that insurance will cover 70% of costs by the end of 2018”.


      Public Health care in India is poor quality and most people don’t use it…

      “The Indian public health sector encompasses 18% of total outpatient care and 44% of total inpatient care.[10] Middle and upper class individuals living in India tend to use public healthcare less than those with a lower standard of living.[11] Additionally, women and the elderly are more likely to use public services.[11] The public health care system was originally developed in order to provide a means to healthcare access regardless of socioeconomic status or caste.[12] However, reliance on public and private healthcare sectors varies significantly between states. Several reasons are cited for relying on the private rather than public sector; the main reason at the national level is poor quality of care in the public sector, with more than 57% of households pointing to this as the reason for a preference for private health care.”


      Chinese pensions…

      In China you have to CONTRIBUTE minimum 15 years to get a pension and only get 1% of the indexed wage in China for your public pension.


      In India it sounds like no free public pension and minimum 10 Years of CONTRIBUTIONS of 12% and only 12% of the work force seemed covered for pensions anyway.

      In NZ you don’t have to contribute at all to a pension as an overseas person or be working, just be resident here for 10 years (used to be 5 years) to get 43 per cent of the NZ average wage and it is not means tested for overseas pensioners either.

      That is one of the reasons NZ is getting poorer and poorer and our health care is more and more run down, we are adding to demand not just with our own ageing population but using ageing immigration (and any resident in NZ being able to have kids in NZ on the backs of a dodgy student/work visa/failed relationship and then use them to stay) to make NZ’s existing problems with pensions and health care in particular, much worse.

      Kiwis can’t go to China and India and get free pensions, gold cards, free residency and health care and buy housing for their Whanau, and their economies are a lot richer than NZ! (Maybe that’s the point!)

      • +100 saveNZ…and it is ironic that many young NZers can not afford tertiary loan free education, or get jobs in NZ, or buy a house in NZ, or have NZ children

        …instead we import from countries that are sexist and ageist and not ecologically minded


        NZ has been an ecologically aware and egalitarian country …and NZ men and women for the most part have have consciously limited when they have children and the size of their families (0- 2) until they had houses and could afford children

        It is about time we got some respect for our own ecologically minded country and put limitations on immigration from countries which are not

      • …in the meantime NZs elderly ( tax payers all their lives)are short changed…denied life saving operations and killed off with pain killers like fentanyl( while the medical profession opposes marijuana/cannabis

        …there should be an audit of the Health and Disability Commission to see how many complaints they have ignored on how NZers elderly have been treated or not treated

  9. Giving it some thought i have decided that it will be two ticks for the Greens in September for three reasons.
    1 I want the party in coalition with Labour and back in parliament.
    2 Their recent release of their programme for the next three years.
    3 The return of Chloe Swarbrick and if the vote holds up some new Green MP’s that will make an impact in parliament and a future government.

  10. Greens may have finally lost me.

    Labour should have the social policy and Greens should have the environmental policy…. but if Greens just have social policy with environment being secondary to their goals then to me they are not being true to what their party is supposed to represent…

    I’m interested in policy about saving the planet in the next 1000+ years, not just promises of some cash for the next 3 years from the Green Party which will probably not happen anyway… money is a construct that when disaster strikes is not as valuable as many think.

    Greens seem to be getting away from what is real and important and long lasting which was part of their value as a party and which is why they continued to grow support for decades as a minor party, until their seemingly current obsession with being about identity, handing out cash and themselves and a few tinker environment policies….

  11. Lets hope the Greens have ditched the fiscal stability pact this time around. More fool Labour for signing up to it. That piece of nonsense practically guaranteed any progressive policy was off the table for the first 18 months of the current term. The previous Labour government were running surplusses. There was no need for them to prove their fiscal credibility to anyone. Would be a shame to see the Greens go, but acting as a handbrake when there was a mood for change all but ensured their irrelevance.

  12. Caught the Greens joint leaders on the tele the other day, putting the wind up those who say taxation is theft a.c.t. taxpayer!s union, and other bourgeoisie with the words Taxation is Love. Sorry Marama politics is not a hippie love in. Should have said Taxation is our deposit on our Humanity.

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