The Greens

November 29th, 2011 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

MPs in

Eugenie Sage (List), Jane Logie (List), Steffan Browning (List), Denise Roche (List), Holly Walker (List), Julie Anne Genther (List). Mojo Mathers may come in on specials.

MPs out

None

Result

7.5/10.

The break the 10% barrier, which may be a first for a Green Party. They grow their caucus by four or five MPs, and just as importantly ranked their list smartly so that the new MPs are relatively youthful and talented. They have changed their brand significantly, no longer seen as the radical hippies. All very good achievements. They probably never have to worry about dropping below the 5% threshold again.

They will be slightly disappointed that as usual the vote dropped back from the polls. Getting James Shaw in would have been a coup. It also would have positioned them better to try and be seen as a “major” party not a “minor” party. But they only have five more seats than NZ First, so will be clumped together with them as a large minor party.

The only other disappointment for them, is one they had no control over. Labour did so badly that once again they are not in Government.

Challenges

To some degree their biggest challenge is NZ First. The left could do well in 2014, but it is hard to see that Labour and Greens alone could win a majority. This means that NZ First may hold the balance of power. As in 2005, this could see Peters insist to Labour that the Greens do not get to be Ministers as the price of their votes for confidence and supply. There may be no way for the Greens to ever get into Government unless they can reach some common ground with NZ First.

Another challenge is the relationship with National. The decision to do a policy co-operation agreement with them in 2008 paid off, as did their decision to not rule them out in 2011. It is part of the reason their vote increased. What areas can they get a policy co-operation agreement in, and how do they walk that line between not being too close to National but also not being seen as just a greener shade of Labour?

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29 Responses to “The Greens”

  1. Manolo (14,206 comments) says:

    A motley array of lunatics, socialists, neo-communists, conspiracy theorists, wowsers and doomsayers.
    The Luddites have little or nothing to contribute to New Zealand. Quite the contrary, they are a serious threat to the progress of our country.

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  2. Don the Kiwi (1,826 comments) says:

    The Green’s push to acceptability has worked for them, but they are not exposing their socialist/communist streak. Their endorsement of Obama style Green jobs and the environmental rhetoric attached to them hides the fact that those policies are a dismal failure.
    Mankind generally has not been a good steward of our environment, but that has been changing over the past few decades and will continue to change. As for their adoption of AGW, this shows how out of touch with reality they really are. There are new technologies in the pipeline where CO2 is a major contributor. Time will tell.

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  3. eszett (2,450 comments) says:

    I suggest a new drinking game. Drink a NZ produced alcoholic beverage every time DPF writes or says: “NZ First may hold the balance of power” between now and the next election.

    [DPF: Well it is highly likely. Nat/ACT/UF/Maori only need to lose four seats (3% party vote) and NZ First hold balance of power. And Lab/Gre/Mana would need to gain 13 seats (10%+) to govern without NZ First.]

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  4. RRM (10,104 comments) says:

    I think DPF is trying to have a grownup discussion of this Manolo.

    Why don’t you toddle off to TrueblueNZ where you clearly belong?

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  5. RRM (10,104 comments) says:

    eszett –
    You’re on.

    At least, I may not actually drink every time I read NZ First may hold the balance of power, as I often read this on my lunch break at work.

    But if you see me quoting that catch phrase and then posting the single word DRINK! you will know what it is… :-)

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  6. RandySavage (223 comments) says:

    Manolo youre a dinosaur mate.

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  7. KH (695 comments) says:

    Negatives for me about the greens are the lefty policies.
    Positives for me are the real grown up behaviours around negotiating and compromising. Just excellent.

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  8. eszett (2,450 comments) says:

    [DPF: Well it is highly likely. Nat/ACT/UF/Maori only need to lose four seats (3% party vote) and NZ First hold balance of power. And Lab/Gre/Mana would need to gain 13 seats (10%+) to govern without NZ First.]

    Calling it highly likely 3 years out? On what basis?
    You called it highly likely 3 weeks prior to the election and it didn’t eventuate .

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  9. seanmaitland (501 comments) says:

    The thing I don’t get, is that part of their campaign was built around 100,000 green jobs being created. Where did they get these numbers from, and what sort of jobs are they talking about? The only way I could see this happening is if the jobs were government subsidised (and hence not actually economically viable).

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  10. Pete George (23,851 comments) says:

    Green beneficiaries who want to work must have an average of 1.0 children, hence 100,000 green jobs to get 100,000 children out of poverty. But they can’t do it with 10% of the vote, especially being 0% in government.

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  11. MT_Tinman (3,325 comments) says:

    Manolo (5,465) Says:
    November 29th, 2011 at 7:13 am
    A motley array of lunatics, socialists, neo-communists, conspiracy theorists, wowsers and doomsayers.
    The Luddites have little or nothing to contribute to New Zealand. Quite the contrary, they are a serious threat to the progress of our country.

    So well put it is worth repeating.

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  12. Ross12 (1,489 comments) says:

    History will show the Greens peaked in the 2011 election.

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  13. MT_Tinman (3,325 comments) says:

    eszett (982) Says:
    November 29th, 2011 at 7:37 am
    I suggest a new drinking game. Drink a NZ produced alcoholic beverage every time DPF writes or says: “NZ First may hold the balance of power” between now and the next election.

    Take it easy my friend, I drive for a living.

    I’d never bloody work!

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  14. virtualmark (1,306 comments) says:

    The Greens were a major beneficiary of centre-left vote needing another home after losing faith in Labour. The Greens have a more telegenic set of leaders, and the “sexy” environmental credentials. So it’s a safe place for disaffected Labour votes to move to.

    The short-term challenge for the Greens over the next 3 years will be to, at minimum, retain that ex-Labour vote, and hopefully for them grow it further.

    The medium-term challenge for the Greens will be proving that they can work effectively with National – if for no other reason than it makes Labour value their seats more highly and forces Labour to include them in any future centre-left coalition.

    The long-term challenge for the Greens is that most of their economic policy – in particular – is idealistic dreamworld stuff that would crash heavily if it were ever implemented. While you’re in permanent opposition you can have looney economic policy designed only to appeal to your supporters, and never have to worry about whether its workable or not. But if they ever want to have a real seat around the cabinet table they’re going to have to acknowledge the economic realities which would curtail their wishlists. But that would mean leaving behind their long-standing supporters. Caught between the devil & the deep blue sea …

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  15. seanmaitland (501 comments) says:

    The problem I have with the whole “green jobs” thing is that somehow they make the step from certain green technologies having potential to “If NZ leads the world in this technology we would create thousands of jobs and bring billions of dollars into the country” – they never have any credible way of getting from point A to point B.

    It seems to be a similar approach to the left’s criticism of John Key’s wealth – they say that he didn’t have to do any hard work and made his millions without even working a sweat up. They have never shown even an inkling of recognition that to generate any sort of legal wealth it takes hard work and risk, and a huge amount of investment of time and resources to get there.

    As a result, I think that the Greens would be probably the worst party out there in terms of actually generating these so-called green jobs.

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  16. BeaB (2,166 comments) says:

    Question Time is going to be a hoot as this motley crew jostle for position while National can gaze serenely on and implement its policies. Can’t wait to see Hone, Peters, Norman and Cunliffe/Parker all trying to get a share of the limelight. Easy pickings for National.

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  17. leftyliberal (651 comments) says:

    Perhaps in 2014 if it does end up like DPF suggests, the Greens will abstain on confidence + supply in order to side with the Nats. Let’s face it: Labour has treated them like shit, so while they may agree more with them on policy, they’ll see they can get a fair amount achieved with National. Further, National for their 3rd term would be looking to ensure they tow the central line in order to get a 4th term, and this would be a decent way to do it.

    Agreed that it was a pity that James Shaw didn’t make it in this time around – I hope he’ll move up the list as more retire in 2014 (Delahunty perhaps?)

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  18. Nichlemn (60 comments) says:

    “The Greens break the 10% barrier, which may be a first for a Green Party.”

    Nope, the German Greens won 10.7% of the vote in 2009. They’re also polling at about 20% now.

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  19. david (2,194 comments) says:

    You do have to admit though that the greerns were very clever in the way that they distilled their policy numbers down to three “priorities” and avoided the hard questions on what it really takes to run a country. They used language designed to be unthreatening and difficult to criticize, they stayed true to the message and repeated and repeated and repeated it ad nauseum until everyone knew (or thought they knew) what the party was all about. Clever also that the party’s name and philosophy are so easily linked in the mind.
    Somehow the Nats need to draw the greens into more complex issues where they will need to either endorse mainstream policies or define some whacky ideas that the opublic can see for what they are.

    Alternatively, National could keep them outside the tent but adopt some of their key planks so that they are reduced to hingeing about how someone has pinched their ideas.

    T’will be interesting to watch how it unfolds.

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  20. big bruv (14,228 comments) says:

    Well said Manolo

    For far too long now the Greens have slipped under the radar when it comes to being put under the spotlight by the MSM.

    Any half decent jounro would have enough info to sink the Greens for ever if they did a thorough investigation.

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  21. Paulus (2,718 comments) says:

    The make up of the Greens, particularly the new members, really seriously frighten me.
    They are the, now grown, first of the Uni ?PHD’s in environmental studies, and they are vicious in the belief that they are now the leaders of our country. To review their backgrounds makes me worry as to what we are going to get from them – presumably Parliament will stiffle them to a degree, but the media will support them outside.
    May we live in interesting times ?

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  22. Pete George (23,851 comments) says:

    We are living in interesting times. While I think much of the Green appraoch is idealistic and impractical they make valid points about environmental and sustainability issues. I don’t know if it was just in Dunedin or not but sustainability was the biggest issue here with multiple groups driving it.

    We need to take a serious look at where we are headed as a society and how we want to manage our diminishing resources and increasing population and consumption. But we need to find practical and do-able ways of dealing with it.

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  23. RightNow (7,016 comments) says:

    The colder the world gets, the less support there’ll be for the Greens.

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  24. Mark (1,502 comments) says:

    It would be interesting to see the demographic of the greens vote. Anecdotally they have have been supported by the young voters in fairly significant numbers. I would be surprised if they don’t consolidate that 10% next time around if they are sensible in this term. Norman was impressive in the campaign and whether or not a bunch of centreright bloggers like them is probably not going to keep them awake at night.

    Green issues are likely to continue to be in the frontline debates as will issues around social justice. They have already shown that in opposition they have worked with national on one or two issues they consider important so to dismiss their vote as some sort of protest by the disaffected labour voter may be hopeful speculation.

    Business is taking notice and they are now on the lobbying circuit.

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  25. hj (7,212 comments) says:

    I heard Meteria turie say that the 10% was an endorsement “and for all our policies. Actually of course, they would realise that a lot of people aren’t aware of their position on the foreshore and seabed , te tiritti etc. The Greens are sort of managed by (eg) radioNZ who only highlight the acceptable policies.

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  26. hj (7,212 comments) says:

    Jan Logie:
    Ethnicity Tangata Tiriti
    Previous occupations Sue Bradford’s EA 2007 – 2008, Executive Director [ Sue Bradford’s entrails]

    Eugenie Sage …. a genuine Green.

    Catherine Delahunty
    “I am a political animal with a Te Tiriti foundation”………. Her hero is Margaret Mutu.

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  27. hj (7,212 comments) says:

    NZF beat the Greens in Coromandel, where people are concerned about the sale of beach front property and the Greens favour Maori ownership of the foreshore and seabed (in perpetuity).

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  28. hj (7,212 comments) says:

    Opponents of the legislation say the battle over the foreshore is not over with a promise from the Greens that it won’t let the foreshore and seabed issue die as it heads into the election campaign.

    :wink:

    Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says the Maori Party has betrayed its supporters.

    “I’m very distressed about this, this should not have happened,” she says. “The Maori Party had the power to fix the 2004 legislation, to repeal it and to put in place a just outcome, and they chose not to.”

    Ms Turei is furious at the Maori Party.

    “We should repeal the racist law and restore access to the courts and genuine justice,” she says. “We’ll continue to hold the Maori Party to account for their role in allowing this legislation to pass.”
    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/newsdetail1.asp?storyid=193090
    http://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/denial-customary-rights-unacceptable-say-greens

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  29. Elaycee (4,425 comments) says:

    “I heard Meteria turie say that the 10% was an endorsement “and for all our policies.’

    Of course, that logic means that 90% of the electorate reject them.

    A point that should not be lost within a party destined to remain on the opposition benches.

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