Polity by Rob Salmond

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Polity: Labour and the Greens in a tree...

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  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Bachelor analogy (on TV news last night) while not referencing or crediting it

    whoops, I got that wrong he does allude to it
    - hmm, maybe I'm frothing a wee bit too...
    that man makes me so mad.
    :- (

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    ...that man makes me so mad.

    Is that because of his pompous demeanor, his redirection of the science budget to multinationals and friends of the National party, or the total disregard for democracy he shares with his cabinet colleagues?

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Fen Tex,

    And it doesn't mean anything until we see one party concede policy to the other and/or both assert who from either party will speak for portfolios

    They have agreed who gets Finance. That should head off some of the wild squawking from righties about not wanting the Greens anywhere near the money.

    They both can't realistically talk about other portfolios until they see how the votes stack up, including Winston's mob. I'm really looking forward to seeing Kevin Hague as a Minister of Health and Julie Anne Genter as a Minister of Transport, but who knows when that will happen?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Alfie,

    his redirection of the science budget to multinationals

    That isn't true of this budget.

    Marsden (pure science) got +12 million per year (added to the current 53 million they have). So that's quite a big step up.

    MBIE bidding is influenced by "benefit to NZ" but they have taken a much stronger "science first" position this year. That of course is subject to change at any time.

    So much as I'm quick to criticize the paucity of science funding I can't in all fairness do that for this budget - well except to say they should have tripled the Marsden fund.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Sacha,

    I’m really looking forward to seeing Kevin Hague as a Minister of Health and Julie Anne Genter as a Minister of Transport

    ... and Steffan Browning as minister of science?????

    Sorry but it had to be said.

    There are significant issues in this coalition. I agree with the two you proposed, There are very few anywhere in the house who have been able to speak with more knowledge and authority about her portfolio than Julie Anne Genter.

    But that expertise is not present in all the portfolios.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    ... and Steffan Browning as minister of science?????

    for all that I despise the nonsense that individual spouts, I'm kinda tempted by the view that he couldn't be much worse than Nick Smith as Minister for conservation or Pullya Benefit as Minister of Social Welfare. It might almost be a refreshing change to see someone so publicly clueless rather than the National repeated success at persuading the media that their minsters are competent and good-intentioned.

    Plus I love the idea of a chemical-free Science Minister. Now *that* would be innovative!

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Sam Bradford,

    Jeez, if they committed solidly to something bold (that would be criticised!) like UBI I’d probably join the Labour Party.

    If they committed to a UBI I would probably join too. Until then, I'll probably continue to vote Green. We are in the middle of a poverty crisis, and only a bold plan is going to do a damned thing to alleviate things for the bottom 5%. To lift the entire bottom half would go a long way further.

    I see this MOU as probably a good thing. Everyone knows they're natural bedfellows anyway, so claiming not to be was just silly, easy points for Key. Beyond that, we'll have to wait and see what substance is behind the U part of the MOU.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to BenWilson,

    Everyone knows they’re natural bedfellows anyway...

    David Cunliffe admitted as much after losing the 2014 election.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Moz,

    he couldn't be much worse than Nick Smith as Minister for conservation

    What in particular do you dislike about Nick Smith in Conservation?

    I'd much prefer an alternative government, but from the options available and from what I saw of him, Nick Smith actually took a strong interest in it and, past issues aside, I thought he was probably the best available option, at least in the context of the intentions of National's Cabinet as a whole. He put lots of effort into considering both the Fiordland tunnel and Monorail proposals, and ultimately resolved to deny both of them.

    Nevertheless, he came after rubber stamping Kate Wilkinson who was a terrible Minister of Conservation, and who was responsible for authorising some dreadful decisions. The Crystal Basin swap for one, which went directly against advice of the Canterbury Aoraki Conservation Board and the Nature Heritage Fund, which had bought the land with intent of it becoming gazetted Conservation Park, and Ngāi Tahu for that matter.

    And then there's Maggie Barry in there now, and overseeing an unprecedented demotion of Conservation Park land to Stewardship Land, specifically so it can be swapped away for commercial purposes, and thus creating a radical new precedent which threatens what it even means for land to be classified as specially protected.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to izogi,

    What in particular do you dislike about Nick Smith in Conservation?

    Purely based on his responses to personal communications, I got the impression that he was quite unwilling to spend political capital on DoC issues (or maybe he didn't have enough clout to achieve much). There was no way he was going to get involved in an argument about extending protections or supplying enough money to DOC to fulfil its statutory functions. I suppose what really annoyed me was that he seemed so reasonable in comparison, but in the end has was just "not as bad as other Nats".

    I fully agree that other Nat ministers have been absolutely atrocious.

    I suppose it's important to note that my expectation for Green MP's is that they will be genuine and doing their best, so saying that Nick Smith seemed to meet that bar at times is my version of condemning with faint praise. I expect Stefan to be in that sense similar to Nick - charitably, he'll try but he's just not up to the task. The more I think about it the more I realise that I had unrealistically high expectations of Nick as a minister, since he seemed quite keen on the conservation estate. He didn't *do* anything politically that made me think that was actually true. (sorry, repeated edits as I think about this)

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Moz,


    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3227 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    I've said it before, but Labour's digital apprenticeships policy is a potential deal-maker for me personally, since it could be the one thing that gets me out of the dead-end cycle. So if Labour needs to stand for only one thing, it's extending the "ladder of opportunity" for those who haven't won the social lottery - the "Kiwi Dream" sounds like that on the surface.

    The MOU is a starting point for heeding Abe Lincoln's immortal words: "A house divided against itself cannot stand." Now if they can stay on message, and retain some even half-decent publicists, and in the long run tell the seat-warmers to know when to quit...

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5443 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Shouldn't the title be "Labour and Greens up a tree"? Or is that one of those regional difference things?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to izogi,

    It’s the shallow end of journalism... Patrick Gower’s brilliant at it...

    Sure enough. Paddy's big story tonight was about the "first row" between the two parties. He asked Meteria Turei if the public "would get to see what a joint government would look like before the election?"

    She said "Yes. New Zealanders want to know what a credible and progressive alternative government that's presented by Labour and the Greens, and possibly others, will be before the 2017 election."

    Then he asked Andrew Little the same question.

    He said "No. Because the people are entitled to have their say. The whole thing about democracy is that the voters speak, they decide who will get into parliament, who has (th.. th..) the numbers in the house and you work it out from there."

    Little gave the impression that he probably had his fingers crossed behind his back when he signed the MOU yesterday, and that he'd have no problem renegging on the deal with the Greens if he found a better deal with Winnie.

    It was a typical beatup by Gower. But FFS sake guys, how difficult is it to agree on the basics so you at least appear to be singing from the same songbook?

    And has anyone in the Labour camp thought about getting Little some media training? He's fine when he's reading a statement. But when he's winging it, the constant ums and ahs make him sound indecisive.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    “Labour and Greens up a tree”….


    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,



    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    And (hopefully)

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Pattison,

    Interesting how nobody's talking about the Mt Roskill by-election; which I presume is where the first round of this MOU is going to play out. Are Labour and the Greens going to coordinate and only going to put forward one left candidate?

    Had everybody forgotten about that?

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Well, I just read Clare Trevetts piece and that is such a catatonically neoliberal framing that I can only imagine that her head is so far up the arse of the political establishment she spends most of her day wondering why they haven’t privatised tonsils yet.

    The idea that the Greens are somehow crazy in a way that ACT is not is laughable in a reality based world. Yet her framing that the Greens are “unacceptable” to “middle NZ” (a group that appears to grow ever more grasping, unpleasant and blinkered with every passing day in conservative pundit land) is classic.

    My 2c worth is it has been clear for some time now that Labour support has suffered an historic collapse in the provinces, probably forever. Labour’s electoral presence in many seats isn’t even at the level of an insurgency anymore, more like Japanese soldiers in the 1970s who haven’t heard about the surrender yet. Where National does lose support in provincial NZ those votes now go to either the not voting at all category or to NZ First. So those New Zealanders won’t be put off voting Labour by this move. In fact, Labour is now largely a rump urban party often competing for the same voters as the Greens.

    As I have said elsewhere, Labour is in bad shape politically. It’s performance in opposition is woeful due to it having a bunch of MPs who are hopeless politicians. They might be great technocrats and wonderful champions of their respective factions but they seem useless at politics. The party is saddled with several high profile MPs who well past it but who cling to safe electorate seats in a grim rearguard action for neoliberalism in Labour. They seem a lazy and underperforming lot, something no leader can correct without making a few examples of some people. The trouble is, without growing their vote Labour can’t renew, since too much deadwood clings to electorate seats and the list seats are mostly made up of party apparachiks selected mostly for their factional suitability – some (Clare Curran and Sue Moroney spring to mind) can lose votes by the fistful and end up getting promoted. Given Labour’s poor state, the Greens bring an injection of fresh talent and fresh faces. James Shaw so far has proved a lacklustre and largely useless dud as a leader, but if he can be jettisoned soonish then I say all good for the likes of Julie Anne Genter, Eugenie Sage and MetiriaTurei to shine.

    While Labour is showing an encouraging sign that is finally recognising it’s parlous state with this deal and I think it also needs to consider how to play a long game with NZ First. In the long run, Labour needs it’s provincial voters back to be a credible broad based party capable of governing for long periods of time. The thing is, Winston Peters is 71. He won’t be around after 2020, max. Labour ought to be thinking now about how it exploits his departure to rebuild a presence in the provinces. Peter’s departure will provide Labour with a one off chance to regain it’s former reach. The best way to develop and enact that plan is by being in government in 2017. This deal is the best way to ensure that, as long as Labour can work with Peters

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Seriatim,

    It's brilliant they're officially collaborating; about time. All that joined-up talent will make a vibrant bunch, with everyone more space to concentrate on their specialties; and such a relief to know at last that a vote for either is a vote to get rid of the Nats, with no danger of a mini-Nader effect. Sure, a lot will have to be thrashed out, but that's exciting too.
    If this hasn't got the Nats really worried I'll be very surprised.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2010 • 57 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Ian Pattison,

    volcanic pique…

    Mt Roskill by-election;

    Labour’s Goff (18,637) had 8,000+ votes over National’s candidate (10,546) last election, while the Greens only had 1,682 votes (and John Minto had 300) - the whole Right / Conservative bloc (including NZF) still only totals 12, 357
    As long as Labour picks a worthy replacement to Phil Goff they shouldn’t have any worries – but yes, we do live in strange times…

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    ..and let's face it National just doesn't give a toss anymore it seems.
    They tweeted from the embargoed Budget lock up - 3 and a half hours before it was allowed

    Gerry and the Placemakers have shouted down any questions about the last minute changes to the stated 'purpose' of the new Chchch rebuild entity Otakaro

    They are still trying to bluff their way through the fact that they have no idea what they are doing in regard to the oversized Chchch Convention Centre

    need I mention their woeful addressing of the housing situation
    Time for a change !

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    What would the part of government tasked with monitoring project risk across all departments know about that anyway, blusters bumbling Brownlee.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    [a Green withdrawal] would have gained Chchch Central for [Labour] last election

    But that would have made no difference whatever to the number of Labour or Green MPs, which is entirely determined by the party vote.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Yes, it only helps where there is an overhang.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

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