How shallow are Green supporters for the baubles of office?

Actual Green Party Caucus in progress

There are 3 most likely possible outcomes with the Specials.

Labour gets an extra MP.

Labour and the Greens get an extra MP each.

Labour, the Greens AND the Māori Party all get an extra MP.

MMP, you gotta love it.

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While I hope for the 3rd one, the most likely would be Greens + Labour picking up an extra MP each and that would see the very excellent Steve Able, formally from Greenpeace joining a new influx of Activist Green MPs who want transformative change NOW.

This radical chapter will want to throw the crumbs Labour are offering to buy Green acquiescence for the next 3 years back in Labour’s face and righteously storm out to join the Opposition and mercilessly savage Labours unprotected left flank until 2023 when the demographic changes favour the Greens plus the Māori Party more than they do Labour.

The Green Leadership however will justify any crumbs as great successes and better to be in the tent blah blah blah. Normally this kind of watered down Green lime reasoning would be fine and dandy, but the fucking planet is melting and this pandemic is but the first wave of disruption from a biosphere in savage decline.

There can be no more waiting.

You can’t replace Winston as the handbrake from the last term with the entire landlord class of NZ and call that progress.

So there is an immediate friction inside the Greens between the Leadership and the new class of activist MPs alongside the sudden power of Chloe by winning an electorate.

The Leadership look focused on how to get the baubles of Office that Jacinda will offer them past the wider membership by tweaking the consensus threshold to 75%…

The group, called Tatau Pounamu, a Negotiation Consultation Group, has also settled on its terms of reference, giving a guideline for how it will settle on a final decision on what the Green Party’s relationship with Labour in Government will look like.

Tatau Pounamu’s terms of reference proposes a consensus be sought, and, if that fails, then a 75 percent vote of the Tatau Pounamu group in favour will be required “to carry a proposal that alters the status quo”.

…most Green members will be under the impression that they will all vote on this deal when in reality it’s their ‘representatives’ who will…

The terms of Tatau Pounamu agreement state: All decisions concerning the negotiations, including what agreement, if any, would be taken to a Special General Meeting (SGM) will be taken by the combined membership of Tatau Pounamu.” 

“Decisions will be reached by consensus. When this is not possible it will be by vote, with at least 75% of votes in favour to carry a proposal that alters the status quo.”

“Only members of Tatau Pounamu selected by the three-petal approval processes are involved in decision-making.”

The group consists of 16 Green members, including some MPs, ex-MPs, and the upper echelons of the Green Party who have existing positions in the hierarchy.


…so what baubles would be on the table from Labour?

James Shaw Climate Change Minister outside Cabinet

Chloe Swarbrick – associate Minister of Youth Affairs outside Cabinet 

No policy promises at all.

Labour would see letting someone as mild as James stay in the job a safe bet and the symbolism of a Green MP in the role inoculates them from doing anything. They would also see rewarding Chloe as a smart way of avoiding a real and popular critic from saying anything to damage them. They won’t bend on any policy.

This deal would be an embarrassment and walking away into Opposition would be far preferable and would achieve more.

So what baubles could be offered to make it worthwhile?

James Shaw Climate Change Minister inside Cabinet

Chloe Swarbrick – Minister of Youth Affairs inside Cabinet 

Doubling of welfare.

A new tax (Financial Transaction Tax).

A Public Ministry of Works that directly builds State Houses and affordable homes.

Free Public Transport.

Lowering voting age to 16.

Immediate inclusion of Agriculture into emissions standards.

An economic wide drive towards ‘sustainable resilience’.

Free mental health counselling for all. 

Now THAT policy platform would be worth supporting Labour for, but empty gestures would not be.

My suspicion is that the Leadership are gerrymandering the process to gain an agreement for some very low hanging fruit.

Labour want that because James and Marama are far easier to negotiate with than Chloe will be.

The membership will be up in arms if the baubles are so hollow and will be in furious surprise that they supposedly agreed to it once they see the fine print of what that actually means.

If the Green Leadership mistake their better than expected result as evidence that their middle class identity politics virtue signalling alongside incremental environmental gains was a success, then they are doomed.

The Greens better than expected result was driven by Labour Left voters seeing the pittance Jacinda was offering and backing the Greens to get some actual change, those Labour Left voters looked past the Green cringe of the last 3 years to do that, they weren’t attracted to incrementalism or woke nonsense.

I don’t think we won’t get a transformative Green option until Chloe is the leader.

New Zealander’s voted Green for them to be radical. So be radical!


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    • What has Pharmac, or the ACC got to do with this issue? Absolutely nothing is what… Are you sure there isn’t anywhere on the net where you can’t have “your say” on those issues? Or is this just you getting sick of waiting for your pet issue to come up? I could also assume you are just a frustrated tory who needs to find a scapegoat for your humiliation…. Which is it? Or have we a mix of all three, with a salting of reactionary bigotry for taste?
      I should thank you for demonstrating so ably, the completely irrational, and presumptive guessing games the tories are playing now, as a tactic to try to look like they are dictating policy to the government.. It’s childish, and, quite frankly, rather pathetic to watch these pretend grownups playacting at being “leaders” when they can’t find the door on their own…

    • Stopping environmental degradation of our air, land, fresh water and oceans and biodiversity to be preserved is also missing. Climate change has become a meaningless phrase that the neoliberals now control the discourse on and have endless talkfests about, aka climate change 2050…. too little too late, our flora and fauna is so under threat and barely mentioned.

      Sad that money is not more important to less discourse than actually life itself. Maori managed before money, and maybe if more Kiwis could eat from the seas and land and build houses traditionally if they wanted too, rather than be expected to rely on corporations to do it at great cost, then we would all be better off and reliance on money, less.

  1. ‘New Zealander’s voted Green for them to be radical. So be radical!’

    Not so sure, Martyn.
    As laughable as it sounds, now that we have our election results, my impression is that voters picked Green to make sure that National/Act would not gain victory.
    Radical needs to pair with Wisdom and whether that’s available in Green…. again: not so sure.

  2. ” If don’t think we won’t get a transformative Green option until Chloe is the leader ”

    ” New Zealander’s voted Green for them to be radical. So be radical ”
    Its not radical Bomber just common sense and where we need to be. The right like to scare the population over tax and radical Green ideas , anything that might effect their control of the narrative, privilege and staus quo.
    I voted for the Greens because i want their policies objectives implemented and a more left wing influence on the next government. As you have pointed out many times the opportunity for wide reaching reform is know within our grasp but can Labour be courageous and brave ? NO they will tinker as they always do with the next handbrake being their own lack of principles and nurturing their new yeah nah brigade. The right has not been defeated but will continue to exert influence.
    The Greens must stay on the cross benches if there is any hope of a more progressive government in 2023.
    Like Labours transformation which is an illusion we now have to wait another three years before we have a possible Labour Green ( Swarbrick ) coalition government.

  3. Have you tried to get an appointment with a counselor for mental health even at between $80 to $200. The thought of free counseling is great but where are they going to come from.
    Free transport is not free as it is paid for by rates or taxes . In Chch our rate burden is high enough for those not earning and I am sure this is the same in other centres . Unfortunately in most areas NZ does not have the population to support a good public transport system whether free or paid for.

    • @ Trevor, Yep, again, bad/untrained councillors can be worse than no councillors. We need more trained people like psychologists in NZ to help the mentally ill. Also more public help with things that prevent mental health issues (greening spaces, community led hobbies, training and social interactions)

      As for blaming our small population/large geographical area for our absence on public transport. Yeah, nah, Finland has both a small population and similar geographical areas to manage and has functioning public transport even though much harder to maintain with all the snow and ice! In addition they are not full of road works every few KM’s like NZ, even though they are big in forestry. Nor are they full of trucks either…..

      NZ’s transport woes are directly because roading and transport is a rort in NZ, and not used to provide a service to the public, but to take money for corporations in private profits to deliver little to nothing at big $$$$$ and the roading industry/transport big wigs certainly don’t want any changes while lining their pockets. It is about keeping the status quo.

      • In addition if you add the NZ 33% tax rates over $70k, 12% student repayment loans, 12.5% GST, 10% petrol tax, ACC, Kiwisaver and rates…. and deduct the expenses in NZ if you earn over $70k (tertiary education, doctors fees, prescriptions, one of the highest childcare costs vs income in the world for preschool, the cost of food, power, water rates and expenses compared to incomes, and that many in pain go private for operations to avoid longer and longer waiting times…. the constant threat of losing superannuation…) then not sure we are getting the best deal in NZ if you try and get an education and job…. in fact both seem to be declining in NZ aka less domestic students in tertiary education, and high paid jobs or even paid incomes outside of the neoliberal norms (aka arts, journalists, writers, artists, performing arts, not the ‘arts’ managers but the workers who do the work) are scarce here and not much seems to be changing – it’s propping up neoliberalism aka tourism/construction/roads/roads/roads while continuing to allow the previous rot of quality of life, to keep accruing…..

  4. Until The Green Party starts wooing our farmers with hugs and hot chocolate The Green Party are still to be confidently seen as full of shit. Expensive shit.
    Chloe Swarbrick winning Auckland Central will be seen as a ‘game changer’ in time to come.
    I have an enormous respect for and confidence in Swarbrick. Pop her on your watch list.
    Farmers must be urgently eased into regenerative agrarian practices and Auckland needs to be shielded from the four foreign banksters bleeding AO/NZ out or Auckland will become a nasty old slum full of once-were riche begging for loose change having long since eaten Ms Foofy the labradoodlespoodle.
    ‘Common sense is the least common of all the senses’.
    To you farmers in the Marlborough District?
    STOP USING GLYPHOSATE. Stop it. Just stop it.
    Why? Because Glyphosate ( Roundup) kills off the biome in your paddocks and its deadly run-off kills aquatic animals. ALL aquatic animals.
    “Biome : A biome is a community of plants and animals that have common characteristics for the environment they exist in. They can be found over a range of continents. Biomes are distinct biological communities that have formed in response to a shared physical climate. Wikipedia”
    The glyphosate you drench your land in will ultimately mean no bees, no worms, no beneficial bacteria, no microbes, no fucking nothing!
    So STOP IT!
    Sit down, pop a beersie, watch this, shit your pants.

    • The regenerative farming movement is happening! But it is happening DESPITE the official position, not because of it. The new proposed farm environment plan is all about imposing stuff from above with no understanding of reality on the ground, many farmers were meeting those standards 20 years ago and imposing them now just means farmers pay compliance costs instead of investing the same money into actually doing environmental work. The heavy-handedness of the previous Govt made this long term tree-planting organic certified farmer vote ACT. The proposals the Green Party in particular want to impose on us would literally bankrupt me. The Green Party don’t realise their policies punish sustainable land management and incentivise bad management, they refuse to talk with us farmers and want to impose regulations that will destroy us. Yesterday I sat in a room full of organic farmers all of whom had voted Green in the past and we all believe that keeping the greens out of Parliament is essential for the survival of organic farming.

      I’m sure the Greens do not intend to end organic farming, but this is what their policies would produce. They have really killed off their traditional support base, I don’t see the modern GP as anything related to it’s previous incarnation. Virtue signalling fools wanting to impose rules they don’t understand is closer to the mark.

      • Greens need to start with government and council land to restore the environment and lead by example. Also they control the above, so much easier for them to preserve it immediately. They should start this 2020.

        They then can learn what works, and then start the implementation of what works for 2021 with private land.

        Government do not get farmer buy in at present because the council/government is often the worst offenders of the environment. Aka Auckland Council proposing putting sewerage into the sea for another 35 years…. It is not about rates money, people were paying Watercare rates for over a decade but the money seems to be siphoned off with $775,000 management fees and neoliberal agenda (report a leak and go through to the Philippines call centre type approach, meanwhile the leak is not fixed, people get sick of complaining and give up) without much environmental focus.

    • I have little praise for Chch Council but to their credit they did not go back to using Roundup but it is going to cost $3 million more for weed control as they need more manhours to do the same job. As councils face the need to save money after the lose of income as a result of the virus I hope more do not go down the cheaper route. Perhaps the government can help with some relief in cash or manpower.

    • CB
      We may agree to differ on how the rural community view the future but when it comes to soil. precious soil, then you are right on the money.
      The rural community have to become less ignorant.
      Leaders like Mike Joy offer good information and helpful advice but he gets rubbished by ignorance and farmers fed.

      We can grow real food a better way.

  5. The only way an agreement makes sense is if the greens get something tangible. They aren’t. If that is the case better to be outside the tent pissing in. Yet Jimmy seems to think anything is OK as long as he keeps his ministerial warrant, larger office and free BMW rides.

  6. With all due respect Martyn,I wish people who have no idea about the mental health workforce would make theses sweeping proclamations as if saying free counseling for all would work.

    We have a significant workforce shortage of mental health therapists in this country. Resources need to be prioritised.
    Mental health is the one area of health that rises and falls on the quality of the person providing the service. Ok if I have cancer, it’s great if the oncologist is kind with a good bedside manner. But the chemo is still going to work whether she is or not.
    There is another issue in that the good therapists don’t want to work for an agency because they are screwed down pay wise, number of clients they have to see, lack of autonomy.

    Your not going to like this but the reality is those who can afford therapy and pay for it themselves most often do better in therapy. Believe me I know what I am talking about.

    The is a massive work force development issue in NZ that labour have made good progress on.

  7. Hopefully Labour/Greens will get around to these issues, rather than leaving them for another 3 years, making it 6 years of little to zero action ….

    Why the Meridian Energy hydro spilling scandal shows it’s time to democratise our energy

    State of the Gulf: Auckland Council report finds estuaries choking in sediment, shellfish dying

    NZ Government Secretly Funded Water Bottling Companies

    “A dam illegally constructed in an Auckland Council reserve is set to be lowered before Christmas, but not removed
    The impact of an illegally-constructed dam has been described by the Environment Court as “critical” for New Zealand’s most endangered bird but its removal will be a slow process, with the company which built it unlawfully setting most of the terms.”

    Harbour of doubt: The tiny creek that drains Auckland of its waste
    “St Lukes mall, one of the single biggest contributors of sewage into Meola, and likely among the biggest overflow points in the country.”

    No plan to tackle environmental degradation by increased tourism – Commissioner

    Protesters are vowing direct action in southern waters after oil giant OMV was yesterday cleared to drill up to 10 exploration wells off the Otago coast beginning this summer.

    Waihi runs out of water, council distributing water bottles

    Appeals against Chinese water bottling plant dismissed
    EPA grants drilling and discharge consent for Otago coast to oil and gas company OMV
    “Directors of Tamarind Taranaki, the New Zealand business of a Malaysian oil and gas producer say the company “may be insolvent”.

    Tamarind operates three oil fields according to its website, Tui, Amokura, and Pateke in the Tui Area oil field. It is the 100 per cent owner and operator of the fields.
    The company’s business model is to buy oil fields late in their production life.

    When buying fields off other companies, Tamarind assumes responsibility for any remediation costs when the field is closed.”

    Dairy firm wants ocean wastewater outfall

    Environment watchdog has never brought a prosecution

    EPA’s ‘inappropriate’ reaction to student’s speech

    Was former EPA chief scientist Jacqueline Rowarth muzzled?

    Palm oil giant Wilmar goes to full control of Goodman Fielder

  8. You never think of the poor pensioners. Double the pension, Heating allowance extended to cooling allowance for summer. Free public transport extended to regional flights and most importantly raise interest rates back to 8% so we can get some income from our savings.

  9. Bang on, we need radical because anything less then a new new deal will mean a new depression. The Green leadership should ask for the moon and refuse to inherit the sky. It’s too little. The next three years are going to be nothing less than awful on all fronts, not because of something Labour did, but from what they wont do. It’s baked into Labours DNA. I say stand back and stand by.

  10. Hi Martyn – can you clarify what “to carry a proposal that alters the status quo” means in this context? It would seem odd if the status quo meant the arrangements that applied in the previous parliamentary term when the numbers were completely different!

  11. Hi Martyn – can you clarify what “to carry a proposal that alters the status quo” means in this context? It would seem odd if the status quo meant the arrangements that applied in the previous parliamentary term when the numbers were completely different!

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