Greens don suits, and gumboots

Today the Green Co-leaders launched our Green New Deal stimulus package to “to save the economy and the environment at the same time”. Launching it, Jeanette said:

We’re engaging on economic issues on a new scale.

The Greens’ package is costed with the best available published figures, and clearly specifies the benefits of each initiative to jobs and to economic development. Green MPs will hold public meetings around the country to get feedback and listen for more new ideas where the Government can invest in both the economy and environment with the same dollar.

We’re talking to New Zealanders ahead of the Budget about how this approach works and what it might look like in Aotearoa, so they can compare it to the Government’s plans.

The proposed package covers: energy efficiency, transport efficiency, protecting waterways, building more homes and community sector initiatives.

Energy efficiency is an area covered by the Greens-National MOU, and the budget will reveal what the Greens and the Government have agreed to go ahead and implement already. The other areas of the package are ideas we hope the Government will pick up too. Forestry was mentioned at the launch as an area still being developed but requiring more consultation with industry.

Russel spoke about Government investment in good old gumboot work: proposals that “would see fencing and planting projects around New Zealand to provide jobs and support rural businesses such as fencing suppliers and plant nurseries.”

I think it’s awesome that the Greens have jumped in suits, gumboots and all into the arena of economics, and come up with great ideas that have obviously been thought-through in detail.

The full package is here, and a set of four speeches outlining the background to Green Economics and Green New Deal investment is here.

12 Comments Posted

  1. Frog

    P H-C uses the report I quoted. She doesn’t quite take the same liberties with it that the GReens do. SHe says “A conservative cost-benefit analysis of this intervention trial indicated that the tangible health AND energy benefits [my emphasis] outweighed the costs by a factor approaching 2…”

    So she says it is not a factor of 2, only “approaching 2” and she says it is for combined energy AND health, not health alone as the Greens are claiming.

    So the question is, why are the Greens distorting the results of these studies, and if I found that in the first line of the economic analysis, how many other liberties have the Greens taken?

  2. Owen – that’s a Milton Friedman anecdote.”

    It preceds him too.Henry Hazlitt uses it in his early 20th century book “Economics in one Lesson”…..something everyone should read…especially ignorant lefties who think money appears “somehow’ out of thin air.

  3. I was not talking about building houses.
    I was making the point that if we use precious capital to build infrastructure we should build it as efficiently as we can.
    The fact that tunnels use more labour than surface roads or that rail uses more labour than buses is no reason to invest in one rather than the other.
    Otherwise the ideal motorway would be a deep tunnel dug with teaspoons.

  4. Never let a crisis go to waste, eh? You’re just using the current downturn to add an extra zero onto your existing spending ambitions and rebranding it an “economic stimulus” package.

    – “We estimate that by spending $200m per year we create nearly 5,000 job”

    You can create any number of such “jobs” you like by throwing money around, but they won’t be real.

    And since you’ll be thieving the money from us workers for your self-indulgent blowout, how about considering all the real jobs you’ll be destroying by such an action – all the goods and services we would have bought before you took our money away and spent it on your own priorities.

    Owen – that’s a Milton Friedman anecdote.

  5. Owen, the point is that building houses is a specialist task that does take lots of specialist and skilled input. That is good as you get better quality outputs and also provides lots of employment.

  6. insider – just read Phillipa Howden-Chapman’s work in the British Medical Journal. All the latest stuff is based on it and the results are considered conservative.

  7. Job density is a double edged sword.

    I think it was Richard Prebble who visited a hydro construction site in China and noticed thew workers were moving the earth with wheelbarrows and shovels.
    He asked why they were not using modern earth moving machinery.
    They said the manual labour created a lot more jobs.
    Richard suggested that replacing the shovels with tea spoons would create even more.

  8. If it’s costed with the best available figures, why is there only one reference note in the whole document?

    I’ve already spotted one dodgy statistic on the first line of the exec summary of their stimulus package, and I was skim reading!

    It says there are 2:1 health benefits from home insulation. The only NZ study I know of that has got close to quantifying the benefits was Ralph Chapman’s and he came up with 1.73, which was total including energy costs not just health, and which is not 2.

    If that “is costed with the best available published figures, and clearly specifies the benefits of each initiative to jobs and to economic development” then I’m not sure of the value of the rest of it.

  9. A Green New Deal, with costings – brilliant!
    Fencing, Russel? I guess the farmers will love that.

  10. Excellent excellent excellent work.

    28,000 jobs created by investing in 6000 state houses, those are fantastic figures. I know where around 5000 of those houses could go, contact me for more info 😉

  11. Great to see someone in NZ is finally coming up with some solutions to the multiple crisis we are facing, it just seems to be more of the same from Natlab

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