Business experience

I noticed a few frogblog comments recently perpetuating the false belief that the Green Party knows nothing about and has no experience of business.  I’ve always thought this was a bit of a fallacious argument – implying also that National does not have enough experience in, say, conservation to be allowed to govern on that issue or that Labour lacks enough first hand experience in hairdressing or truck driving.  But let’s assume the argument holds water and look at what the Greens top 12 candidates offer in terms only of employment experience.  I’ve just picked from the website what seemed to be their one or two main paid employment jobs and listed them accordingly.  By necessity I’ve left out a lot of work experiences, including all their political work, to keep this post shorter than a novella:

  1. Lecturer
  2. Researcher and farmer/gardener
  3. Community development worker and tutor
  4. Lawyer and researcher
  5. Reporter, director, producer, film-maker
  6. Book store manager and factory worker
  7. Chief Executive of District Health Board
  8. Education co-ordinator and author
  9. Senior Lecturer and diplomat
  10. Business advisor and lecturer
  11. Climate campaigner
  12. Manager of horticulture business and shop owner                           

It’s a bit hard to say that there is no business experience there.  I count 6 successfully involved in management of private sector businesses and/or independently self employed. I suspect what some people are really complaining about is that it is not big multinational business experience.

If I had to pick a real imbalance in that top twelve I would say it is overly literate and engaged in education.  That’s certainly not something we want is Parliament is it?

More importantly though it’s probably important to look at what each parties’ candidates did in their unpaid time because that sends a stronger signal as to where their passion and commitment lies.

[UPDATE] – I see StephenR has also looked at this issue too.

156 thoughts on “Business experience

  1. StephenR – some may be and some not, it hardly makes a difference, after all money has no conscience.

    With the unholy mess the world economy is in at present, it doesn’t say much for the integrity or sustainability of ‘the system’, nor does it say much for Mr Key’s business skills as he is well known for his slavish devotion to the ‘business as usual model’ which is busted. Same goes for Helen and her cronies. May my god save me from these dinosaurs.

  2. any top investors have recognised this and are ploughing their money into all sorts of Green businesses,

    But they aren’t necessarily doing so because of ”integrity and social conscience”, it’s just what happens to be profitable at the moment.

  3. The discussion has strayed somewhat from the original contention that the Green List contained at least some candidates who may have some business acumen.

    I would firstly argue that that attribute would not be the most important qualification for Political Office, however, the point lost on almost all posters is that Green business IS the future. Many top investors have recognised this and are ploughing their money into all sorts of Green businesses, particularly Alternative Energy companies but not restricted to them by any means.

    I would argue that the Dinosaurs in the Nats and Labour cannot get past the ‘business as usual’ syndrome where they are blithely assuming that the future will be much like the past (few hundred years). Perhaps new ways of doing business will evolve, but I won’t hold my breath. Business is business after all, and the profit motive will never go away, but more integrity and social conscience will be the order of the day.

    The assumption that just because you respect the planet and don’t want to screw it up, means you’re a business laggard, is completely misplaced and just plain wrong. How else can you run a sustainable and long term profitable business, except by respecting the source of all your raw materials – the planet ! Plunder it at your peril. That is just common sense and doesn’t take a business genius to realise.

    A ‘clever’ business man who has no thought for where he will get his raw materials in 10-20-30 years time is a fool, and won’t prosper in the long term.

  4. Gerrit, There’s a simple reason why SH20 took fourty years to get built. It was originally a regional motorway, the responsibility of the ARA and it’s ratepayers. But Auckland ratepayers in time honoured tradition refused cough up the dough, just like their refusal to allow a special to extend the tramways in 1927. But don’t worry, Canterbury has been told that work will recommence on the Chch southern motorway just as soon as they stop paying for SH20 – a mere 35 years after work abruptly stopped, someone had to pay for the new Mangere Bridge :roll:

  5. the world economy is not sensible, and the greens are about more than GDP economic growth, ecomists need to learn more than just growth fetish and profit at any price… economics.

    the greens raise a lot of points, but NZ cannot operate alone, or in isolation.

    sending coal to china |(solid energy), and military gear to the US (rakon) is not going to benefit NZ or the world in the long term.

    clark and key are not going to fix global economic problems, they wont even talk about the causes of them.

    the greens will at least look into them – its up to all of us to do the next step.

  6. BJ,

    Totally agree, and in truth, was playing a “bit” of the devils advocate.

    Am in the same boat as you where I would like the Greens to become a bit more pragmatic about a lot of things.

    Decision making in new Zealand is extremely slow. When we came the New Zealand we were told that the vacant land bordering the street was for a motorway, to be started next year. Fourty years later they finally finished that section of SH20. Even though one end still does not meet up with the Southern and the other end still is way short of the North Western motorway.

    Similarly my first job at the Railways department was to survey the new Onehunga to Avondale rail link. 30 years later that then owned railway land now has a motorway on it (SH20) with no sign of railline.

    Also surveyed the Oakleign to Marsden Point rail link 30 years ago. They are now just talking building this rail link. Costing then was $1M per mile. Hate to think of the cost now.

    Mind you to some this is good forward planning.

    Wonder how much of state servants time is wasted on this type of planning?

    You would think that with the commercial experience available to the Greens with their candidate selection, they would be able to produce more economically sensible polices.

  7. Gerri

    How I behave in a situation isn’t a line. It’s a decision. The law itself defines (to the extent that the parliament deigns to actually define anything in its laws), the line that the society thinks is generally appropriate. Here in NZ that’s a pretty fair (if almost illegibly fuzzy) set of limits to our behavior.

    When people cross the line their behavior can be judged by the society in a court of law and the society can punish or not punish them for crossing the line. The actual situation can be examined. Exceptions can be made.

    The process can bring to light problems with the law and with the behavior of other people, government or corporations. Then the society has a chance to amend its laws or behavior.

    Personally I prefer setting up public stocks, floggings and pillories so that the miscreants can be publicly shamed and punished directly. I don’t think the rest of the party is ready to follow me though :-)

    Respect for the property of other people is something best taught early, and made reasonable by a society that distributes wealth fairly. Being defended by law is a poor third in my judgment. Not many in this society are getting the lesson and many in this society are aware that the game is rigged.

    The other side of that coin is of course, that the society is being bled dry by an economic vision that incompletely accounts for the effects of size and distance on competitive industry and as a result exports its lifeblood of capital, successful businesses and individuals more rapidly than it can regenerate those things. This erodes the tax base and impoverishes everyone. This makes for bad tempers on both sides of the divide between rich and poor and everywhere in between. Blaming the wealthy for being in control and not giving enough aid isn’t right. Blaming the poor for being hopeless in their poverty isn’t right either. Both sectors are suffering, fighting over crumbs, and this is not something that goes away magically through policy changes as it is the result of our geographical position and size. We have to make a conscious decision (as a society) how to handle it and here in New Zealand we aren’t actually very good at “deciding” anything. It took what, 3 decades to decide to build a road which is obviously necessary?

    respectfully
    BJ

  8. Kevyn said: I find it rather surprising that you were all arrested for driving slowly over the harbour bridge… Sure you’re not jelous of the amount of media coverage the “big rigs? got.

    I can assure you that you can be arrested if there are 16 cars, all synchronised, that slow down to 0kph and block all 8 lanes.

    I acknowledge that this is not the same as what the truckies did, but it is similar – the intent is to disrupt traffic flows.

    Not jealous, Kevyn, rather admiring actually. Even though I am not convinced by all their arguments (although I acknowledege that they at least have valid arguments re the consultation process Government agreed to undertake being abrogated), I think it was a creative and effective protest.

  9. Ari,

    “for the cuts that had been made to these positions in the nineties….”

    Those cuts were made because the country just could not afford the staff levels and expenditure in these non productive and unquantifiable performance departments (SPARC comes to mind — 47 people earning over $100,00 each, $5M web site, etc.).

    With the tax take heading North and the economy heading South the country will once again be in a position where another bout of rogernomics will have to occur.

    And it wont matter if Labour or National or the Greens hold the balance of power.

    There will need to be a correction.

    TYou are doing a frog there Ari, attacking the messenger not the message.

  10. It sounds like Bagrie is doing the same old trick of conflating support staff with management and admin. He also does a lot of handwaving to make his case- such as discluding the unemployment benefit’s falls due to the expanding economy when a labour shortfall has been Labour’s deliberate strategy to get people off the unemployment benefit.

    He also doesn’t seem to compensate for the cuts that had been made to these positions in the nineties and just how little admin there was being done in the first place when he talks about growth of admin staff.

    Poor form- he’s being just as partisan as he can without openly admitting he’s batting for National. Makes me wish Labour would actually address these things properly instead of giving out talking-point replies so that they look like chumps.

  11. BJ,

    I understand what you are saying and to a certain extend can sympathise with it.

    But it comes to the line in the sand again. What is exceptable?

    My grey area differs from yours so what I deem exceptable (murder a tagger for an extreme example) would not be in yours. Does that make it OK?

    Of course not.

    Now does the latest vigilanti action on taggers where members of the public catch taggers, strip them and spray them with their own spray cans acceptable?

    Seems totally reasonable to me, the property owner has a massive clean up job to remove tags. The tagger has a massive clean up job to remove paint from every orifice on and in the body.

    Is that the type of society we want?

    How does this “shaded of grey” permissiveness stack up with the Greens law and order policy?

  12. Toad. I didn’t see any truckies doing somethng similar last week. I find it rather surprising that you were all arrested for driving slowly over the harbour bridge. Or did you actually block the bridge thereby committing an arrestable offence (obstruction) instead of a traffic offence. The truckie’s prootest was modelled on cyclist’s critical mass protest, sans redlight running because most truckies can’t afford to pay a weeks wages to the government for not carry their photo ID cards. Cyclists don’t have that to worry about, and the Police know it so they know that since they can neither arrest nor fine cyclists, especially en mass, they better find somewhere else to be if they actually hear about a critical mass protest before it is over. But then cyclists don’t actually give a weeks notice that they are going to be riding en mass through peak hour traffic.

    Sure you’re not jelous of the amount of media coverage the “big rigs” got. It was the trucks, not the truckies that the TV was loving. The modern equivalent of steam locomotives. Gleaming, glittering, hissing and roaring, smoke belching from the stacks, etc etc.

    But then some of us have had summer jobs working for a rural contractor loading hay and grain and livestock and have seen what trucking is really like. The Molesworth road in a stock truck is a real experience :) More gear changes than you’ve had hot breakfasts.

  13. treesoftomorrow, You can’t be arrested for traffic offences, only prosecuted. Of course, if you are stopped for committing a traffic offence then you open yourself up to the risk of being arrested for a subsequent action if that action is an offence under the Police Offences Act (or Crimes Act) or some other arrestable offences Act.

  14. “Research tells us as many people die from vehicle related air pollution as die in road crashes every year.” Does your research tell you how many die from road crashes every year? If the average age of death of people seriously injured in road crashes is less than for the overall population then the road toll is going to be several times higher than the official “death within 30 days” road toll. It’s really not a good idea to base party policy on incomplete research.

    The policy is also rather out of date. The law was changed last week so that all of the petrol tax is now dedicated to its original purpose although Labour had been paying the Crown’s share of the petrol tax in selected regions since 2006.

    Surely the external costs that transport imposes on the taxpayer is taken care of by the fact that almost all transport users are taxpayers, irrespective of their choice of mode of transport.

    Is Green’s policy to have a special levy on firewood to cover the external costs imposed on hospitals by winter smogs? A lack of consistency in policy when there are obvious similarities in the two situations does lead people to suspect ulterior motives.

  15. bjchip
    I am trying to see your view on this, I assume you are not suggesting the anarchist approach is a good idea, so how do we as a society maintain a healthy respect for the authority that has been established while maintaining our personal liberty?.
    An example for me is the new building code rules. I am capable of repairing my house and have sufficient skills to replace a window, build walls and renovate my house to an exceptable standard. The new laws state that I am not allowed to do alot of work that I feel competant in, without a “registered building practitioner” peering over my shoulder. The temtation is quite strong to avoid ANY form of building consent because of all the red tape. So I can see that there is an issue here, as over regulation only encourages lawlessness.
    The question is how do you really find the balance between individual responsibility and the current nanny state?.

  16. btw BJ breaking the laws against Cannabis by smoking cannabis is fine
    by me.

    Since nobody’s rights have been broken.

    Of course if you smoke my cannabis well then you have broken the law :)

  17. Sometimes I think that environmentalists might have something useful to contribute to the debate if they weren’t so left wing. Then I read (truly scary) comments like some of the above and see that environmentalism is actually tied up with socialism. The two seem to go together.

    Why?

    Is it because environmentalism is a battle that’s already been won, so the only people left on the band-wagon are the extremists? Or is it because communism isn’t so cool any more? What is going on?

    I am genuinely frightened for NZ to see such opinions from people with actual political power. I’ll be selling my property tomorrow also.

  18. Trees you seem to be pretty fast to throw out the insults,

    sick, twisted, rednecks

    It seems that anyone who has a different world view from you is instantly attacked.

  19. Gerrit

    Any argument, taken to an extreme, can seem ridiculous. Obeying Mugabe’s laws or Stalin’s edicts, or permitting people to do whatever they please wherever they please for no reason at all… none of that is sensible. My point and it remains my point, is that my decision to obey the law is MY DECISION. It isn’t a given and though society reckons I ought to do it I really can decide not to and I am aware of that as a responsibility. I am also aware of the fact that the law in this country is usually a reasonable interpretation of actual moral behavior and is ignored at my peril, but the decisions remain mine.

    This isn’t about a tagger defacing property. It isn’t about a revolution against a tyrannical dictator. This is about what limits do you go to, to protest illegal and immoral government and corporate policies. The entire subject is gray, not black nor white and attempting to impose simple black-and-white on the picture causes information to be lost and judgment to be impaired.

    The Vietnam war ended in part because we broke laws. Here in NZ we have a better democracy than in the USA., and it is mostly unnecessary and we CAN take things to the courts… but I have no more respect for any law than that law deserves. I don’t give it the benefit of the doubt, as a rule I doubt the benefit of the law, and I consider it, the punishments attached to it, and the moral requirements that are its raison d’etre.

    The laws of Physics I have to respect. The laws of human beings… I have to question. We still put people in jail for having and consuming a relatively harmless and non-physically-addictive drug that actually has some medical uses. That law has its genesis in the need, at the end of the prohibition era, for something to replace demon rum. It is so obviously counterproductive that even though I don’t smoke I give full support to those who recognize that the damage done to society by the law is worse than the damage done by the drug. I obey the speed limit sometimes. It isn’t anything but a reasonable guide however, and in no way makes good sense to absolutely obey nor makes you safe by being absolutely obedient.

    Yet even “thou shalt not kill” can be called to question if it is a matter of defending myself or my family. There is no law so great that it transcends the need to judge for yourself what is right.

    The important thing though, is that we all will always judge the situation somehow, Simply accepting the law without questioning it is a pre-judging. It can be useful here in NZ… but it is still a failure to take the real responsibility that is available.

    respectfully
    BJ

  20. Patrick, as far as the last part of your post re school teachers is concerned, I don’t believe we should, because the law specifically sanctioned it at the time – although what I have seen through the media would indicate that what David Benson-Pope did contravened the even law as it was then and probably should, on moral grounds, be criminally investigated.

    But the statutory limitation with regard to the potential criminal ofences he might face have passed. Civilly, he might be able to be sued by anyone aggrieved – the limitation relates to the date that there is a perception by the aggrieved party of the grievance.

    And as far as past judicial executions are concerned, we should not “track down the descendants of every executed criminal for compensation”.

    But if someone claims, and judicially proves through a competent Court or Tribunal, that one of their ancestors was wrongly convicted and executed under the law, as it was at the time, then they, and adjoining descendants, should be eligible for compensation.

  21. are you calling murder vandalism? you are sick

    >>Gerrit Says:
    July 9th, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    treesoft,

    They both broke the law. What you are suggesting is that the judisary are now redundant and the general populace such as your good self can decide what is a “bit? against the law and what is not?

    I suggest that the property owner did a bit of vandalism.

  22. i would agree with two of them – stopping the coal train and ripping up GE crops… how bout u?

    >>Whre do yuo draw the line. Is rape OK? Is child molestation OK? Is >>stopping a coal trainOK? is ripping out GE plants OK? Is home invasion OK?

    where do you draw a line in the sand?
    depends how far u want monsanto to go; and how committed to climate campaigning you are. a friend of mine asked his family before he did an action – if they were ok with him possible getting arrested.

    i suggest the rednecks read more of the history of aotearoa and the land wars and learn more about colonization and english history too.

    ——- it was in the past is no excuse, thats not to say people cant change.

  23. So Toad, my question of course is where do we stop over what was considered acceptable in the day, as opposed to the laws or standards of today?

    Do we now track down the descendants of every executed criminal for compensation?
    Do we track down every school teacher who caned or strapped naughty pupils and prosecute them, and perhaps compensate the pupils?

  24. treesoft,

    They both broke the law. What you are suggesting is that the judisary are now redundant and the general populace such as your good self can decide what is a “bit” against the law and what is not?

    I suggest that the property owner did a bit of vandalism.

    Whre do yuo draw the line. Is rape OK? Is child molestation OK? Is stopping a coal trainOK? is ripping out GE plants OK? Is home invasion OK?

    Where do you draw the line treesoft?

    Spell it out, come on. Where is you line in the sand?

  25. aaryn….. you asked why non greens post on this site?
    for me there are 2 reasons.

    The first is that I believe our planet is at a crossroads politically and environmentally. I am interested in true sustainability especially in a community sense and how that might be achieved, so obviously I need to check out what the greens think.

    The second reason is because the green party and some of their friends have become a very influential political force in NZ. Some of the ideals they promote are afecting me in a very real way ie child discipline, food laws and a whole lot of other stuff in the pipe line. I don’t agree with many of the greens social policy but at the same time I am trying to understand why they come to the conclusions that they do, hence the blogging which is talking to real people about real issues instead of through the media.

  26. Patrick Starr said: Minister Barker stated; ?There will be no compensation paid. How can we be held responsible for the actions of others over 20 years ago.
    At the time these things were done they were considered acceptable.?

    I owuld suggest that Rick Barker is one of the least competent Ministers in the current Government, and this was a very stupid thing to say.

    Just like with Treaty issues, Partick, we have to move on and address this issue from a human rights perspective, rather from what was “considered acceptable” at the time. I mean 150 years ago, forcible acquisition of land and even genocide were considered “acceptable” in this country.

    Barker should pull his head in, and if Labour does lose MPs at the next election, as the polls predict, I hope he’s one of them. Comments like that are despicable.

  27. anyone can break the law, and if so deal with the consequences. if the law if immoral, maybe it is moral to break it at times.

    ie the UK law where u couldn’t protest in front of parliament.
    ‘dealing’ to a kid is called something: murder.

    rather different to smashing a butchers window or occupying an arms industry conference entrance.

    there is a bit and there is a lot. non violently protesting, is different to killing a tagging kid in cold blood with a knife.

    the tagger did vandalism, the property owner ended a life.

  28. I can’t go with that sort of reply turnip – I’ve never addressed a vegtable before.

    I heard that people on this blog label you so they can pigeon-hole. No I’m not a socialist and in many respect while capitalism represents an individualistic persuit in extinction – socialism represents a joint venture in extinction.

    Not left, not right – but in front

  29. Shunda barunda said: I have a friend who is a govt social worker, I was told that if you are investigated and not charged for smacking you will still be registered in a “naughty parents book?

    If that is the case, then it deserves a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner. There is no lawful reason that CYFS or the Police should be retaining records without purpose.

    However, if the Police were to decide that there had been a prima facie offence upon which a prosecution could probably be sustained, but to issue a warning rather than prosecuting, then there would be a valid reason for retaining the information.

    The very occasional light smack should not be prosecuted, but if there is a pattern of persistent smacking, prosecution may well be justified.

    Under the previous law, a parent could smack their child 20 times a day, and as long as they could justify each instance as being “reasonable” and for the purpose of “correction” (without any acknowledgement being given to the cumulative effect, they had a defence in Court against any charges brought by the Police.

    Effectively, the percious law was a licence for child abuse.

  30. Meghan,

    “by that I mean not shoot comments from cannons hid safely behind pseudonums”.

    My monikor is my name, It doesnt take much googling to find me.

    BJ.

    It is a problem this breaking the law just a “bit”.

    Not a kilometer away from where I live a tagger defaced someones business and residential property (he worked from home). Guess that was just a little “bit” of breaking the law.

    Unfortunately the property owner fearing for the safety (maybe) of his family (like Meghan) dealt to the tagger with a knife to the heart.

    Now he did break the law. Was it just a little “bit”?

    See BJ define that little “bit”.

    Megnah would violate the law, just a little “bit”.

    But would defend her children (as we all would) to the nth degree.

    Question is where to draw the line.

    Toad has an interesting comparison.

    He slowed quit legitamitaly (sp?) people going to the springbok game, way back then. As long as he did not break the speed limit he was entillted to drive at 0.5 mph along the motorway. Just like the truckers did last week.

    Neither broke the law so the protests were legit.

    However what meghan and others are saying we are entitled to break the law. As long as it is just a “bit”.

    Sorry that does not wash. You change the law in parliament. Not on the streets. Unless you want a revolution. And who knows what side will win that one.

  31. Well we are ment to be a democracy so really the land does belong to everyone, atleast in principle, since the land of new zealand belongs to the state due to its ability to utilise coercive force and in democracies the state is owned by the people :P

  32. Trees
    Interesting you bring up Maori property. Last night on TV3 news Labour minister Rick Barker was interviewed about the injustices done to Wards of the State in the 80s

    Minister Barker stated;
    ?There will be no compensation paid. How can we be held responsible for the actions of others over 20 years ago.
    At the time these things were done they were considered acceptable.?

    Do you agree with Minister Rick Barker?

  33. Hi, me again.
    BluePeter, Well I do have five charaties that I give to and I do work for an NGO promoting sustainablity and helping people by making their houses warmer and cheaper to run. So I’m ok with how I live. If I gave all my money away then I’d need charity – so what’s the point of that. Plus I have a beautiful daughter to take care of.

    There is enough for the needy, not for the greedy. And by the way, I am realitively young (how very perseptive of you). Why did you bring that up? are you old, bitter and burnt out?

    Good night

  34. read the green party policy.

    there are several strands with in the nz green party.

    some are socialist, some are capitalist some are something else.

    the UK greens has an eco socialist faction.

    there can be several levels of ownership too.

    a question: who owns the sky? space, the sun, the moon and the core of the earth?

    :P

  35. So you are a socialist then aaryn and believe that property should be owned by everyone.

    Is this the official postion of the green party then? That property should be owned by everyone and not the individual.

    I haven’t seen this being expressed to the public of New Zealand either.

  36. Toad
    incorrect I am afraid.
    I have a friend who is a govt social worker, I was told that if you are investigated and not charged for smacking you will still be registered in a “naughty parents book” if you get to many “naughty parent marks” you will be reffered to the “appropriate agency”.

  37. >>Give all your property to charity if it means nothing. Go on. Do it tomorrow.

    charity is a very capitalist thing. anarchists are more into mutual aid.

  38. Shunda barunda said: don’t change the subject TOAD

    I didn’t. I was replying to a previous post from BP on this thread. And have now replied to yours re s 59.

    Some of us do have long hours of paid employment, and it’s sometimes difficult to keep up here! But I try.

  39. so u want to ignore kyoto (its not only the greens who care tho… remember?) and uphold property over other rights.

    but i’m the inconsistent one.

    ive never said non maori shouldn’t be in the south island, but to ignore NZ history is stupid.

    the british empire did a lot of immoral things, and built a lot of their empire on blood and the sweat of others.

    i think the commons is more important than some having land and other having none.

    im not into feudal systems.

  40. >>I’m sorry because you don’t know what it’s like to be part of something meaningful.

    The (obviously youthful) arrogance is hilarious.

    >>on property rights

    Give all your property to charity if it means nothing. Go on. Do it tomorrow.

  41. aaryn
    maybe if you stuck to all those interesting things instead of preaching how I should raise my kids more people would listen to you and be “liberated”.

  42. Shunda barunda said: So if I get arested for smacking my kid on the bum for running out on the road, I can just tell the cop that the law is only a guide line and my personal interpretation is that light physical discipline is ok so kindly let me go on my way?

    You can try! It is the objective circumstances of the actual event, rather than your personal belief, that should – and from my understanding after the law has been in force for a year does – determine whether you are charged with a criminal offence or not.

  43. Meghan, you’re great! Just a bit on NVDA – thank good we have people who are prepared to shake things up!

    Seriously, we need to wake the up! We are running out of fish, we lose a football field of rainforest every two seconds, climate change is happening, we release over 80,000 chemicals into the environment every day, we have created a hole in the ozone layer, not to mention the human and animal rights violations that are perpetrated in the name of ”progress”. I don’t mean to sound doom and gloom but we have a few issues. So to all those insulated people who seem so focused on property rights and protecting their ”things”, I can’t help but feel a bit sorry for you.

    I’m sorry because you don’t know what it’s like to be part of something meaningful. That is why you are so focused on property rights, you’re trying to consume your way to happiness. Guess what? You can’t!

    Post materialism is liberating, and if you have’nt heard of that term, go look it up. Go find out about permiculture, biodynamics, ecological building, energy efficiency and energy descent, localisation, green politics, tino rangatiratanga or any other way you can make a positive difference. And if you’re not interested in making a positive difference – why are you on this blog anyway?

    To all those who are striving to make a difference, those who want our children and grand children to grow up in a world based on respect, sustainablity and wisdom – thank you.

  44. Good point, Shunda.

    Nice to know we can all ignore Kyoto and other environmental regulations (ETS?), and any other laws the Greens vote in support of, past and present, as they are all simply guidelines.

  45. Trees stop posting your self into a corner.

    If you support squatting why can’t white settlers arriving in the south island claim ownership of the land based on squatting rights since their was a very limited Maori population in the south island.

    I don’t support that position because I hold up property rights.

    Your position changes from one thing to another with no consitentancy.

  46. BPsaid: when are the Green Party going to announce the maximum sustainable population level for New Zealand, and, more interestingly – how *exactly* do they plan to cap it?

    Soon, actually, I am reliably informed. But this is complicated and depends on whether people increase or reduce their consumption of finite resources.

    One of the good things about New Zealand is that we do not already have a population in excess of our land’s ecological carrying capacity, so we have a lot more sustainable options than many countries.

  47. Sorry trees it is you who is twisted.

    If you occupy someones land and violate their property rights, then claim that its ok because property rights are not as important.

    How can you then claim maori property rights are important.

    Since I hold property rights to be important I can see that Maori did have their property rights violated and as such deserve to be compensated.

  48. So if I get arested for smacking my kid on the bum for running out on the road, I can just tell the cop that the law is only a guide line and my personal interpretation is that light physical discipline is ok so kindly let me go on my way?
    Or if my kid gets the treat I have given him on his birthday taken off him at school as unhealthy food I can explain to the school that I am not stupid and know how to eat properly and the law dosn’t apply to me so it ok, they will listen?
    I think the greens must dream up these laws in a vacum, rules regarding other peoples property are a guideline, and rules regarding my liberty to raise my family how I see fit are not negotable.

  49. i support squatting if that is what you are asking.

    do you have figures on ownership in NZ?
    ——————–
    It is ok to violate property owned by a landlord, but not ok to violate property owned by a resident? Do you check ownership papers first or something?

  50. maori held different views of property,

    much land was taken by force.

    environmentalists dont take land by force, and kill property owners and then claim it.

    you are pretty twisted turnip, to compare NVDA to the murder of indigenous people on their ancestral lands.

  51. >>for one thing a lot of ppl in nz dont own their own homes.
    globally the few own the bulk.

    That is inaccurate – ownership is high in New Zealand. However, I’m not sure what you are suggesting.

    It is ok to violate property owned by a landlord, but not ok to violate property owned by a resident? Do you check ownership papers first or something?

  52. treesoftmorow said: like the truckers? didnt see them get arrested…

    Interesting coment! One of the things I did during the Springbok tour was organise and take part in a blockade of the Auckland Harbour Bridge for the Third Test – cars, not trucks, trucks would have been more effective, but we couln’t afford to hire them knowing they might be impounded for months as evidence, so we used our own cars).

    We held up the traffic from the North Shore, Rodney and Northland for 45 minutes, which meant many people going to the match didn’t get there until well after it started.

    We all got arrested. Didn’t see any truckies getting arrested for doing somethng similar last week though!

  53. To hold property rights sacrocanct above all is misguided.

    So it was ok to take the land from Maori who were not using it and give it to white settlers then.

  54. I very much agree with frog on his defining acceptable direct action. That falls within my “within reasonable limits” that I talked about way up there, on my first post about it.

    To hold property rights sacrocanct above all is misguided in my opinion. I am not talking about joe or joanne blogs down in the wops having protestors camp on their lawn because they don’t compost. I am talking about companies polluting waterways with impunity, illegal loggers plundering rainforest and displacing and killing those who occupy the land, business threatening the health and future of communities to make a profit.

    I believe in non-violence. That is why I trust the Greenpeace model – it exists on the principle of non-violent direct action. And it works – as part of a well-organised campaign, it has worked.

  55. since when did u need a permit to have a view….?

    >>Why are you getting arrested for a peaceful protest Toad. If you have a >>permit to protest then you shouldn’t be arrested.

  56. like the truckers? didnt see them get arrested…

    also rather expensive to challenge lots of laws in court. easier for rich or politically powerfull people to change them.

    ——————————-
    Yes but Toad you can’t create these parallels to Zimbabwe, we in new zealand live in a democracy not a dictatorship.

    If you don’t like the law Toad then change it.

    If the Law violates your constitutional rights then bring a case before the Courts. Don’t even know if a NZ’r can do this.

    As you can see Toad there is a path for you to choose if you don’t like the law.

    Why are you getting arrested for a peaceful protest Toad. If you have a permit to protest then you shouldn’t be arrested.

    If however during your protest you decide to block off a street then you are disrupting the rights of other citizens, where do you get your right to violate the rights of other citizens from.

  57. treesoftomorrow said: Do you really think people of different political persuasions feel any less about their future, and the future of their children?

    Of course they don’t trees.

    But they are persuaded to believe either the climate change/peak oil deniers or the greenwash pseudo-environmental policies of Labour and National, because there are very powerful interests with lots of money encouraging them to, consciously or unconsciously, do so.

  58. >>A pity really because the Greens have so much to offer if they can just get >>over their zealous ideology.

    anti green positions can be very zealous too… market fundamentalists etc…
    industrial hardliners…. development at any cost.. slash n burn…

  59. Yes but Toad you can’t create these parallels to Zimbabwe, we in new zealand live in a democracy not a dictatorship.

    If you don’t like the law Toad then change it.

    If the Law violates your constitutional rights then bring a case before the Courts. Don’t even know if a NZ’r can do this.

    As you can see Toad there is a path for you to choose if you don’t like the law.

    Why are you getting arrested for a peaceful protest Toad. If you have a permit to protest then you shouldn’t be arrested.

    If however during your protest you decide to block off a street then you are disrupting the rights of other citizens, where do you get your right to violate the rights of other citizens from.

  60. for one thing a lot of ppl in nz dont own their own homes.

    globally the few own the bulk.

    so property distribution is another issue for when debating property ‘rights’.
    that term sounds as tho property is a living being. heh

  61. no that is your reading, not my words.

    –The implication is clear – “we care, but other people don’t?. —

    i didnt say that.

    i have met national people who care, and people with reverse views of mine.

    two miners got arrested in australia last week with a bunch of greenpeace and others concerned about climate change.

    a lot of people support the greens, but think environmentalism is idealistic or not real.

    heaps of people are worried about things, but dont know what to do, or think doing minor things like using green bags or changing lightbulbs etc.

    a lot of people tho are concerned only when things effect them, others feel the issues are important even if they are not directly effected.

    the greens will grow slowly i predict and later join up with new groupings as labour declines and national shows what it is all about.

    neither labour, nor national have a solid climate plan, or a approach to sustainability and long term adaption to changing times.
    ————————————–

    >the greens are known how having deeply held beliefs and for being principled.

    Stop. It. Please.

    It is precisely that misplaced arrogance that will see the Greens remain a bit player. Do you really think people of different political persuasions feel any less about their future, and the future of their children?

  62. Meghan & Bryan (and Turnip, BP, Sapient and others, who have now entered this discussion) – this is all extremely interesting to me, because it becomes philisophical discussion, rather than just a political one.

    The key question is: “To what extent should we respect statute law when we consider there is greater issue of morality?”

    I doubt that if any of us had the misfortune to be Zimbabwean citizens living in Zimbabwe, we would respect Mugabe’s law. I suspect, or at least hope, we would all defy it, to some extent or another.

    I guess it comes down to where you draw the line. I acted in contravention of statute law numerous times during the 1981 Springbok tour, because there was a greater moral issue than mere compliance with statutes – the total abrogation of human rights in South Africa.

    Wher I draw the line is on the issue of violence. Peaceful protest, where no human or animal life or health is in jeopardy, is okay by me. If we get arrested, convicted and fined or jailed, then that is an expected consequence, and one those of us who protest should accept.

    But protest actions that recklessly disregard human or animal life or wellbeing are to to me morally unacceptable. The people who blow up abortion clinics have a valid ideological position (although one I do not agree with). But actions such as that are to me completely unacceptable, because they go beyond peaceful and inconveniencing protest, to threatening life and safety.

    Keen to know what others think.

    Hey, and those having a go at Meghan because of her relationship – let’s get past the sexism. Even though she herself mentioned her relationship with Gareth in her own post, please treat her as an individual with her own thoughts and ideas, not as an extension of Gareth’s thoughts and ideas and someone to attack him through.

    He’s the candidate standing for Parliament, not Meghan.

  63. “You are correct Meghan your opinions are yours and you are entitled to them and they do not in anyway reflect on Gareth.”

    Unfortunately they are the kind of opinions that will probably keep the Greens off the Treasury benches for the forseeable future. I find it ironic that the Greens protested against Labours abrogation of Maori property rights during the Seabed & Forshore debate but one of their prospective MP’s partner supports taking away other peoples property rights. A pity really because the Greens have so much to offer if they can just get over their zealous ideology.

  64. Why is everybody pandering around to Meghans childish out birst?
    For goodness sake, her husband is aiming to be part of the govt that runs our country. It is not unreasonable to assume that her partner shares similar views to hers and it definately does reflect on Gareth.
    If you guys support vandalism to get your point across don’t bitch when someone brings you to task over it.
    Politics affects alot of people and people have a right to know about these attitudes.
    Running the country is not the same as organising some greenpeace youth rally !!

  65. >>Property rights are not sacred, not the holy grail of the human species.

    Yeah BJ, but it always someone else’s property they are talking about, isn’t it? Any perceived violation of THEIR own rights and property, and they start howling.

    As we’ve seen demonstrated in this thread…

  66. some people would kill for property. kill someone for nike shoes, or for trespassing. id like t think life is worth more than that.

    —————-
    Of course, but no one is suggesting it. However, reflect on the fact people same way about THEIR property, family and personal sense of safety, and you advocating that it is ok to violate THEIR rights.

    >>Neither of us is prepared to compromise ourselves for the sake of status.

    Then your husband should probably rethink his career, because politics is nothing if not compromise.

    Grow up. blueman

  67. >>the greens are known how having deeply held beliefs and for being principled.

    Stop. It. Please.

    The implication is clear – “we care, but other people don’t”.

    It is precisely that misplaced arrogance that will see the Greens remain a bit player. Do you really think people of different political persuasions feel any less about their future, and the future of their children?

  68. Turnip, BP, and even you Gerrit….

    We each, EVERY SINGLE DAY, decide which laws we will obey and which we will not. I regard law, EVERY law, as advisory at best. I cannot be bound by another person’s judgment of what is right and wrong, I have to make up my own mind. Just as you do. Just as everyone does.

    Interesting. I first faced this point when I became a military officer. The training THEN was that there are orders that MUST NOT be obeyed and that one of the things that became our responsibility was remembering that that judgment was OURS to make, Of course this was all shortly after My-Lai… they probably removed that message decades ago. The point remains true.

    Meghan has the right of it even though she is making the point unclear. If it is necessary to bring some process up short and draw the public attention then it IS necessary, and the actions required of responsible humans are not limited to those that “respect property rights”. Property rights are not sacred, not the holy grail of the human species. They are important, but they are not inviolable. Nor, in the end, is ownership in the sense that it is legally defined, of a property a sensible thing in terms of the planet. You can own something that’s existed for 50 million years before you showed up and will exist that long after you’re dead and buried under it? Horse-puckey and other epithets.

    Responsibility is something you TAKE. Not many of us do.

    Greenpeace is less extreme than some, as the whaling fleet well knows but y’all seem to have forgot.

    respectfully
    BJ

  69. the discussion was on property damage, not political violence:

    ‘The issue remains: violence against people and property is unacceptable. Make an excuse for one, then you must excuse all who feel their action is just. I’m sure the KKK also felt their their actions were just.’

    im sure the US army feels their actions are just too, im sure their victims don’t.

    ————————

    it is a very western view, that property is more important than human and animal rights, indeed the viability of biodiversity and so on.

    there are many shades of green – some people only care about power and getting seats, some have much deeper principals and beliefs that arent for trade or negotiation.

    the greens are known how having deeply held beliefs and for being principled.

    ripping up crops that are GE and harmful might be considered a moral dity by some. the point it, it is up for debate whether they should be planted, and what the benefits and dangers would be.

    if you want to have safe seats vote for another party.
    the green party is not a single issue environmentally friendly pushover. it needs to have a strong backbone and argue what needs to be said, and do what it can.

  70. Mr Blue “It goes without saying we like boobies ” Peter….hmmmm…maybe I am not the one who needs to grow up…..

  71. You are correct Meghan your opinions are yours and you are entitled to them and they do not in anyway reflect on Gareth.

    I was refering to aaryn’s post which made the claim.
    I assume he/she was refering to the 2002 incident where 2 people boarded a ship off the coast of Miami, They were both found guilty of minor charges. Then the US government went after the green peace organization for it which thank goodness was thrown out.

  72. >>if ANYONE tried to hurt my child

    Of course, but no one is suggesting it. However, reflect on the fact people same way about THEIR property, family and personal sense of safety, and you advocating that it is ok to violate THEIR rights.

    >>Neither of us is prepared to compromise ourselves for the sake of status.

    Then your husband should probably rethink his career, because politics is nothing if not compromise.

    Grow up.

  73. The reason I would rather be annon is so people like Gareth and Meghan don’t camp on my front lawn!!

  74. Gerrit. “I dont think you have done your partners ranking and electability for the Greens any good at all.” Regardless of what Gareth does, I have a right to my own opinions. I know Gareth would totally support me in that too. I guess that is the difference between us and some of you. We live by our beliefs, and are prepared to stand up for them publically (by that I mean not shoot comments from cannons hid safely behind pseudonums). Neither of us is prepared to compromise ourselves for the sake of status. So if you think you can scare me off making comments by invoking my office-seeking husband, you picked the wrong woman.

    And for the record: if ANYONE tried to hurt my child, NO law, NO precious preoccupation to property rights would stop me from protecting him.

    I don’t know how you managed to frame direct action within the parameters of such arbitrary personal invasion. Can you please remind me of the Greenpeace action where they entered someone’s home and proceeded to do a sit-in in the bathroom?

    On that matter, Turnip28, can you enlighten me to the protest that saw Greenpeace board a ship on high seas?

  75. Meghan, Sorry to rain on your pity party but in fact it was you who brought your son into the blog:
    Meghan Says:
    July 8th, 2008 at 9:17 pm
    “You know, I may be a bit biased considering I am married to Gareth, and am the mother of his child (who takes after his father and is also very handsome)?

  76. Meghan
    I don’t think you can get to up set about sapient using information available on Gareths profile on the greens website, it go’s with the territory.
    What is more concerning is your support of vandalism if the cause is right, do you also support vigilanty groups in south Auckland?

    treesoftomorrow
    That is a pathetic excuse to justify vandalism.
    You mention the Westcoast, maybe if the rate payers of the westcoast didn’t have to fund the anti stockton coal protesters environment court costs things would be different. There are red necks here,but no more so than any where else, yet these environmental types have nothing but contempt for the West Coast People.

  77. >>the laws are made by the ruling class.

    Yes, and we live in a democracy, so everyone votes on the makeup of the ruling class, ergo – the laws.

    Mugabe is different. He is clearly breaking the rules of a democracy.

    The issue remains: violence against people and property is unacceptable. Make an excuse for one, then you must excuse all who feel their action is just. I’m sure the KKK also felt their their actions were just.

  78. Meghan,
    I appologise sincarly for offending you, i did not mean to do so. having met you in person on several occasions and having delt with gareth on a personal basis for quite some time i do have great respect for your family and respect both of you for your passion and dedication to what you see as right. I am however somewhat socially inept and do not always realise the full implications of my statements, i mearly ment to reprase the arguement in terms of that which i know you value. I can see now how my statement may have been taken to of been of hostile intent, that was not my intention however.
    While the Green Party may have a moral responsibility to advocate for that which it sees as wrong; it also has a responsibility to do what is in the best interests of ALL its causes. We can do very little for the environment or social issues if we advocate so much for fringe issues that we fall bellow the 5% boundry and fail to get an electorate. It is in the best interest of that which we advocate for if we maximise our ability to influence change, and for a political party that means we need seats.

  79. Well according to you Trees violating an environmentalists property is ok.
    Where as for myself it is not. No one may violate the rights of other individuals within New Zealand.

    You either hold the rights of all or you live in Anarchy.

    As to greenpeace boarding a ship on the high seas,
    Since when did 2 wrongs make 1 right.

    Where is this total disregard for the law coming from.

  80. gareth has views, making him more electable than a lot of politicians. whether u share them or not is another question.

    the blowing up of the rainbow warrior was way worse property damage than things greenpeace does, such as climbing on the roof of Huntly or planting tree on landcorp land.

  81. i support property damage, and civil disobedience in certain circumstances.

    robert mugabe has the law on his side, so did saddam, so does the burmese military junta. so did fascism, so did slavery, so did kings and so on.

    the laws are made by the ruling class.

    the greens will get only certain voters if they moderate their views and try mimic peter dunne and being centrist and there for ‘middle nz’ and mr whitie.

    and environmentalists have had their property damaged too: a house was arsoned on the west coast, and more recently someone had death threats, weed killer sprayed on their garden, eggs thrown at their wall and snail shells put in their letterbox.

    greenpeace and the greens are not extremist BTW – the Earth Liberation/ Animal Liberation Front is.

  82. meghan,

    Welcome to public life. Your naivety and inexperience is showing.

    While sapient was wrong to bring your family into the discussion, the pouint he raised is valid.

    If a “bit” of illegal property damage and occupation is Ok in your eyes. How big is that “bit”.

    And for the ones having their “bit” of personal freedom restricted through your “bit” of action by trespassing or damaging their private property, what are their rights?

    Or do “activist” only have rights?

    No wonder we dont have law and order in New Zealand when a political party openly endorses the breaking of the law.

    No, the Greens will never be a serious political party until they remounce violence against property (personal and public).

    I dont think you have done your partners ranking and electability for the Greens any good at all.

  83. How dare you bring up my son in a post. Care to tell me who you are, Sapient? So I can broadcast to god knows who details about your family? If I ever meet you in real life, I will remind you of your insensitivity and thoughtlessness. I have been posting on frogblog for a whole 24 hours, and you have just given me a reason to never to do so again.

  84. Meghan, im sorry but im going to have to support Turnip, BP and Brian (BS? lol) on this one, property damage is unacceptable. It is little different to if The Family Party decided to come and smack cute little Arlo because they thought you and Gareth were not diciplining correctly.
    Although i do not always agree with Turnip i am inclined to support his proposistion that we need to move away from such activities, at times i think the party realy would benifit most from a split, or maybe we just need to resurrect the Wild Greens.

  85. Hi,

    I just read the conversations above and found it quite amusing. First of all if Greenpeace were so extrememist they wouldn’t be the most effective NGO in the world at forcing business to more sustainable through market driven campaining an such as GE free fodd guides. Secondly, occording to a Swedish PHD thesis written last year GP is has the best campaign record at creating global and national environmental policies. If a ship from the Amazon is transporting illegally logged wood and GP blocks there path and boards the ship to highlight the fact who is really in the wrong? A bit of perspective please! Go read the UN millenium report and educate your selfs about the state of our world and its dwindling resources and ecosystems

  86. “Brian (sic), I am sorry, but you seem to be pretty extremist in your assumptions.” It’s extremist to expect people to respect other peoples property ? Not where I live Meghan, it’s called normal.

  87. >>You seem to have missed the point

    On the contrary, he has nailed it Meghan.

    To advocate “a bit of property damage” as being fine and fun, so long as it is presumably someone elses property, is abhorrent. If that is the view of the Green Party (?), then I’d like to see them be transparent about it and run with it for the election campaign.

  88. >>Greenpeace is probably one of the most mainstream environmental groups around.

    Mainstream? I guess a far-left activist might consider them mainstream.

    >>a bit of trespass, a bit of property damage, a bit of general disruption is fine. Quite fun, too.

    Bet you’d change your tune if it was your property eh Megan.

    Does Gareth hold the same view, then?

  89. How is trespassing and property damage within resonable limits. You either respect the law or you don’t. You can’t pick and choose which laws you going to respect and which laws you are going to break.
    Sadly its Meghans mindset which is what is going to stop the green party from ever becoming a party with 30-40% of the vote. You see Meghan I don’t want the green party to be a minor coalition partner i want them be the majority coalition partnership.

    For that to occur either 30% of New Zealanders need to decide that trespassing and property damage is ok or people in the Green party need to decide it is not ok and in fact we should be distancing ourselves from it.

    You change peoples minds through positive actions and providing alternatives not stunts involving property damage and trespassing.

  90. Brian, I am sorry, but you seem to be pretty extremist in your assumptions. I would rather not converse with an extreme, unreasonable man. You seem to have missed the point, grabbed another random prejudiced point in its place, and ran with it all the way to Angrymanville. Settle down a bit ey?

  91. Meghan: as a tax=paying property owner I find your comment deeply disturbing. So would these reasonable limits include coming into your home trashing your bedroom & staging a sit-in protest in your bathroom ? I think not.

  92. Fringe organisation Greenpeace??? Greenpeace is probably one of the most mainstream environmental groups around. I am a proud activist, one that thinks within resonable limits a bit of trespass, a bit of property damage, a bit of general disruption is fine. Quite fun, too.

  93. Yeah don’t even get me started on that fringe organization greenpeace and its anti-nuclear postion.

  94. turnip28: I am sure many Green leaning people think the same way. Unfortunately mud (even organic nuclear free mud) sometimes sticks and those on the extreme end of the green movement bring it into disrepute.

  95. I also get the feeling that within the green movement people who violate the law are seen as hero’s.

    This is not a good image for the Green party and it was the actions of the greens( not green party members i know) ripping up GE field trials during the G/E debate that stopped me from voting for the greens in the first green election.

  96. I am a green member and to me damaging private property is off limits due to the fact its illegal.

    You are free to protest peacefully, but peacefully does not include trespassing or property damage.

  97. I am not a Green, but green :-D

    People who do tarring (of any sort) are always a little too excitable for me…

  98. Given that unlimited growth is unsustainable, when are the Green Party going to announce the maximum sustainable population level for New Zealand, and, more interestingly – how *exactly* do they plan to cap it?

  99. StephenR: yes but unfortunately you all get tarred with the same brush. The aggressive & often rude young sales people hawking Greenpeace memberships in Three lamps are all lumped in with wise heads like Jeanette Fitzsimmons. Perhaps you need to re-brand ?

  100. “However the enviro-terrorists ripping up fields of GE corn tend to ‘scare the horses’ ”

    Again, these are greens, not the Green party.

  101. Shunda barunda: I tend to agree. A lot of the issues that the Greens promote seem to be popular among the ” Ponsonby housewife set” e.g. organic food,global warming, eco-friendly cleaning products, blah blah. However the enviro-terrorists ripping up fields of GE corn tend to ‘scare the horses’.

  102. Toad
    My point is if the greens were a little less agressive in persuing what many people consider quite extreme social policy, they would probably get alot more traction on environment issues.
    The law change on section 59 is one thing, Its the idealogy behind it thats another. I have read some of the things that Sue Bradford has stated, and researched some of the idealogy behind her beliefs and it is scary stuff.
    This is why people get put off the greens.
    Under an MMP system the greens could focus solely on the environment and do quite well, but honestly it seems like environment issues are only a small part of the parties focus at the moment, a vehicle to bring in a progressive socialist agenda.

  103. Shunda barunda said: How come the greens are getting into all sorts of side issues like banning smacking kids etc? If the geens stuck to environment issues and TRUE sustainability their credibility would probably grow imensely.

    The Greens policy is based on four Charter Principles – ecological sustainability, social justice, appropriate decision-making, and non-violence. Greens are therefore not just a single issue “environmental” party, but like other parties, will have policies derived from their other charter principles. The amendment to section 59 of the Crimes Act is based primarily on the non-violence charter principle, rather than the ecological sustainability one that seems to be the only one you think the Greens should develop policy from.

    And it is not “banning smacking kids”. What it does is removes a defence that parents had if charged with assaulting a child (or a similar offence)that the force used was “reasonable” and “for the purpose of correction”. The Police still have the discretion whether to prosecute in a particular situation, according to whether it is in the public interest to do so, and appear to be exercising that discretion in a responsible manner.

  104. “Eco-tax Reform – how it can happen
    Stage 1 – Polluter pays

    Raise around $300m per year by making diesel users pay their fair share —

    Research tells us as many people die from vehicle related air pollution as die in road crashes every year. Taxes on petrol and diesel vehicles both help fund transport. But only petrol has extra tax to help recognise other social and environmental costs like pollution.
    Stage 2 — Promoting Sustainability

    * Waste to landfill: Landfill taxes have been used for many years in some countries. Taxing waste gives a strong incentive for cleaner production, reuse and recycling.
    * Natural Resource Rentals: Many natural resources are part of the commons but are sold for private profit under licence or quota. Resource rentals are a way of ensuring the people get something in exchange.
    * Toxics: A levy on hazardous substances and pesticides, in proportion to their toxicity. This money will be used to fund the clean-up of contaminated sites and pay for organics research.

    Stage 3 – Ecological Tax Reform Commission

    The Greens will quickly set up a Commission to develop a strategy for further ecological tax reforms. It will look at:

    * all existing taxes and possible new eco-taxes; for example other forms of pollution or energy.
    * ways to make the tax and income support systems work together better; including ideas such as a Universal Basic Income and reducing the punitive tax rates on people who move from benefits to paid employment.

    The Commission will:

    * work with the community and business to find the best way to proceed;
    * develop recommendations for Government;
    * oversee the transition programme;

    before being wound up.”

    Personally I would be in favour, in principle, of this policy. Quid pro quo, I would expect (for example) public transport to pay it’s own way and not be subsidised by the tax/ratepayer as it currently is. I would also expect local & central government to slimmed down significantly including privatisation of rail, the state electricity generators, TVNZ, the prisons, the airports etc etc.

  105. Stephen: “Bryan – sorry I think I misinterpreted your Kiwiblog comment the other day – thought you worked there or something. Whoops.”

    In the interests of transparency: Yes I do work at interest.co.nz. I am the Blog Producer which among other things means that I produce our daily videos, take photographs, set up new bloggers, moderate comments etc. I also manage content promotion including viral content promotion which is why I spend a lot of time on the blogosphere making comments and as appropriate linking back to our content.

    I’ll take another look at the link as yes, I only saw the $15/week tax cut.

  106. Warwick, one of the National MPs has the same thing on her CV (she’s on the ‘Breakfast’ programme every week) – seems to be more of a badge of honour, especially in an article I read about her once (might’ve been the NBR).

  107. The biggest backfire ever perpetrated, I went to one of the links it said: “…been unemployed and on the DPB.”

    Can you remove it Frog, or try to bury it.

  108. I’ve decided to start a party. It’s called the “Ideal World” Party

    We will:

    Make public transport widely available and cheap
    We will provide income support to 90% of the average wage for all beneficiaries
    Education and healthcare will be free to all
    All food will be grown locally
    All polluters will be fined
    All businesses will provide paid maternity leave for five years at 100%

    We have:

    Absolutely no idea how we will pay for it.

    If you object, that merely indicates you are uncaring, lack vision, and not smart.

  109. >>Only the Greens recognise that unlimited economic growth is impossible – because we live on a finite planet. As a colleague of mine often quotes: “Good planets are hard to find?!

    What is the ideal, sustainable population for New Zealand Frog?
    Will Sue, and perhaps the Maori Party, be doing their bit to limit child birth?

  110. Toad
    How come the greens are getting into all sorts of side issues like banning smacking kids etc?
    If the geens stuck to environment issues and TRUE sustainability their credibility would probably grow imensely.
    It seems the green party has been over run with people promoting beliefs on adultism, ageism, feminism and just about all other ism’s.
    I have an interest in sustainability and know a few others with some very clever inventions, but the geens are not an option politically for us because of all the other attachments to “the cause”.
    Why for instance are the greens oposed to sustainable use of native timber on crown owned land? It makes no sense to be banned from using the nations resources in a sustainable way.

  111. Bryan – sorry I think I misinterpreted your Kiwiblog comment the other day – thought you worked there or something. Whoops. Anyway, you ignored everything in that link I gave you except for lowering income tax! That’s ignoring a lot e.g. “shift taxes off work and enterprise, and onto waste, pollution and scarce resources.” etc…

    I know Cullen has scoffed at the idea, so logically, ACT would love it :-p

  112. Seems I started something with my last comment!

    ith all that commercial experience surely it would not be too hard to get the Greens to publish an alternative budget?

    You know one where you spell out how to get PT funded? How to maintain wellfare and state servant levels on a declining tax take?

    Just what are the Greens plans to (as toad says they are going to do) make the pie bigger?

    In what all Greens believe to be a finite resourced planet filled with infinitely resourseful people.

  113. Panda: I believe the Greens were the only political party to have forseen, and voiced concerns about, the impacts of bio-fuel on both the world’s food supply and the environment.

  114. Oil demand is already exceeding supply, which is the reason for the massive increase in petrol and (at least to some extent) food prices.

    silly me I thought it was the bio fuel nonsense that was causing the spike in food prices

    and btw until we do something about the spiralling world population the resources are going to continue to be needed

  115. panda said: you cant keep dishing out bits of the pie if no one wants to make it bigger

    The issue, panda, is how you make the pie bigger. If you make it bigger by gobbling up more oil and more coal and more fresh water and more minerals, these things are going to eventually run out. Oil demand is already exceeding supply, which is the reason for the massive increase in petrol and (at least to some extent) food prices.

    And if you try to make it bigger by allowing more toxic chemicals and nutrients to drain into our rivers and streams and by emitting more pollutants into our atmosphere, you are going to eventually create the sort of environment that leads to ecological collapse, and consequently economic collapse – ie the pie getting smaller.

    Only the Greens recognise that unlimited economic growth is impossible – because we live on a finite planet. As a colleague of mine often quotes: “Good planets are hard to find”!

  116. There is no scientific evidence that homeopathy provides any benefit for health so why are we funding it Frog.

  117. “you cant keep dishing out bits of the pie if no one wants to make it bigger”

    Yep Panda. As far as I can see only the Act Party has outlined policy for making the pie bigger: National just wants to get into power so are focusing on not pissing off or scaring off voters. To make the pie bigger means leaving more money in the hands of the productive sector to invest and decreasing the size of government.

  118. My main point is this

    out off all the people on that list how many actually contribute anything to the overall wealth of this country

    as a trading nation we need to sell stuff so we can buy stuff ( don’t go all gar gar on me about self sustainability I am talking real world here)

    you cant keep dishing out bits of the pie if no one wants to make it bigger and I just don’t see anyone in the green party with any experience in real business

  119. The Greens can make an important contribution by keeping our focus on issues of sustainability,conservation,the environment etc but you guys have to ditch your loony fringe that wants us to spend money on flaky things like homeopathy.

    [In fact you have already got us spending money on that kind of rubbish

    “The Complementary Health resource within the Health Ministry website,
    http://www.newhealth.govt.nz/maccah.htm, funded by a Green Budget initiative,
    is launched. Sue K later calls for complementary health practitioners
    to be integrated into the health system.”

    http://www.greens.org.nz/about/achievements2004.htm

  120. “or did I learn it on the job from the other senior software engineers.”

    Exactly. We need academics just like we needs teachers but my concern is that too many of the lefts politicians are teachers and academics with limited/nil experience in the reality of making a dollar.

    John Key may have limited political experience but he knows much better than Helen Clark or Jeanette Simmons’s how to make a lot of money and how to hang onto it. I have more faith in him to respect the fact that tax payers money is not his money, it is other people money.

    Anyone can spend other peoples money, it takes a special person not to spend it.

  121. New flash!!!

    New Zealander’s have found the cure for cancer it turns out all you have to do is honour the treaty of Waitangi and the cancer is healed.

  122. I’m a software engineer now did i learn this from my time spent at canterbury uni doing my computer science degree or did I learn it on the job from the other senior software engineers.

    You can’t really learn something from uni you need to experience it in the real world.

  123. “$15 per week extra in the hand.

    We will remove all income tax on the first $5000 of income, for everyone. We will do this in three stages over the next three years. Low-income people will feel the benefit most; everyone will get something”

    http://greens.org.nz/node/18144

    So we are talking approx 4 double shot espressos ? Not going to get my vote.

  124. “economics boffin…” ? My degree is a Bachelor of Visual Arts (majoring in photography) from Auckland University. I’m just an interested ( and annoyed) taxpayer.

  125. A fair few lecturers do consulting business too – geology, geography and engineering being a few examples…

  126. >>As a general rule I think it’s ridiculous, especially in that it ignores anyone who is motivated by teaching and passing knowledge and new ways of thinking onto others.

    The best teachers I’ve had haven’t been teachers, rather mentors with skin in the game.

    I’m sure there are many great teachers.

  127. I know it’s slightly out of date rhetoric Bryan, but I’d be curious to know your broad views on this stuff re your ‘anti business’ post: http://greens.org.nz/node/18144 We hear very little about all this from anyone, and seeing as you’re an economics boffin…

  128. It’s one of those sayings that holds a lot of truth, in my experience…”

    Ah that’s different. Well I can’t argue with your experience, I just thought it ‘made sense’ to you. As a general rule I think it’s ridiculous, especially in that it ignores anyone who is motivated by teaching and passing knowledge and new ways of thinking onto others.

  129. I can NOT believe you are listing Kevin Hague as a good example of business management!!.
    The Grey base hospital is in a shambles, we have doctors speaking out against it, and at the moment pregnant women have to travel to Christchurch to give birth or sign a waver to remove liability if anything happens during delivery, (as per my post on Mr Hague’s U Tube video on this site )
    I have heard reliable information that he is difficult to work for, and has a “my way or the highway” approach to management.

    The number of green MPs that have worked for the UN in some capacity is interesting, as the UN is widely recognised as a dumping ground for sub standard or failed politicians!!!

    The greens need to lift their game to be taken seriously in the business community.

  130. well this is what you get when the process for selecting candidates is a poplularity contest.

  131. Panda nice one that is rather funny.

    Come on Frog you are stretching it a bit with the climate campaigner one.

    The list shows that we as a party are out of touch in the following fields
    Science and Economics and who exactly on that board has experience owning/running a small business of say 10-15 people.

    Also too many academics, staying in the land of academics does not place you in the real world where real people live and require real solutions.

    We shouldn’t pride ourselves on filling the party with tutors and lecturers.

  132. >>Climate campaigner -OMG you are serious! this is now a job description

    To be fair, he also appears to have a sideline in children’s entertainment….

  133. Oh what fun thanks frog

    # Lecturer -out for touch academic

    # Researcher and farmer/gardener depends on the mix my guess researcher is the main job

    # Community development worker and tutor- out of touch academic

    # Lawyer and researcher – nothing more to say really

    # Reporter, director, producer, film-maker unemployable politician is the only place left to go

    # Book store manager and factory worker- at least they would have got their hands dirty

    # Chief Executive of District Health Board -have you ever been to Grey Base hospital ? no well I have and believe me that is not a good recommendation

    # Education coordinator and author -out of touch academic

    # Senior Lecturer and diplomat – out of touch academic

    # Business advisor and lecturer – out of touch academic

    # Climate campaigner -OMG you are serious! this is now a job description

    # Manager of horticulture business and shop owner 2 out of 12 isn’t that bad I guess

  134. “I’ve always thought this was a bit of a fallacious argument – implying also that National does not have enough experience in, say, conservation to be allowed to govern on that issue or that Labour lacks enough first hand experience in hairdressing or truck driving. ”

    Yet that didn’t seem to stop you quoting Russell’s fallacious question on public transport in the previous post ;)

    >>That’s certainly not something we want is Parliament is it?

    No, we’ve had enough of the “those who can do, do. Those who can’t, teach” brigade.

    Given the business background, lets see some plans on how we can afford this “workers paradise” you advocate. What will the tax rates be? What services will be cut? Will we grow productivity? If not, where *exactly* is the money coming from?

  135. implying also that National does not have enough experience in, say, conservation to be allowed to govern on that issue

    Commerce makes it all these other areas possible though…

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