It’s Green Campaign Conference weekend

Blogging might be a bit slow here this weekend, as the Green Party’s Campaign Conference is underway. This is the start of the democratic process under which aspiring and current Green MPs get to present their credentials to the Party membership.

After the Conference there will be an initial vote by STV ballot from electorate delegates to the Conference after consultation with their electorates, to provide an indicative Party List.

The indicative List will then be circulated to all Green Party members, other than those who have very recently joined, who will have the opportunity for input on the Party list ranking. The members will then vote, again through an STV ballot, to decide the final Green Party List.

Most of the conference is closed to the public, as the Green delegates and candidates need to work through issues in confidence, but this is surely the most democratic candidate selection process any Party has. We don’t autocratically bring in a David Garrett to bring us a sector vote (in Garrett’s case a very nasty bigoted one); nor do we reward Party strategists for their hard work (as National did with Steven Joyce).

On Sunday, Russel will be delivering the traditional Green “State of the Planet” speech. He will focus on the economic issues neither National or Labour have the guts to address:

The world is turning towards smart, green economics,” Dr Norman said, “and this means there’s great opportunity for New Zealand.

We know that the environment is at the heart of our economy, and that we need to sustain our natural capital.

Sunday’s speech by Russel will give an overview of how we can do that and what benefits it has for New Zealand.

32 thoughts on “It’s Green Campaign Conference weekend

  1. I have a friend who wants to join I guess it would be too late for him to vote?

    I don’t think any other party has an internal voting system, then I could be wrong.

    The Bahai Faith is the only religion that I know of that has an election where members vote for nine of their elders. But they don’t believe in partisan politics.

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  2. If economic is on the agenda then maybe you should give a few basic tutorials to your co-leader. Norman really should know better than to put the following in a press release

    “Once the assets are privatised, government will no longer receive the dividends from the assets, and so the government’s fiscal position will be worse. And consumers will face monopoly electricity generators,” said Dr Norman.

    I didnt know there could be more than one monopoly generator..

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  3. I am amazed at how stupid people can be, we have all this evidence of screwed up privatisation, Telecom, Power reforms, Rail,……

    Yet these morons still can’t get it into their thick skulls that we are actually worse off every time this happens.

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  4. And in this case we have the added bonus of giving up significant power to influence energy policy just as climate change starts to bite. Bloody brilliant.

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  5. Just remember that government has a 30% stake in all dividends or profits generated by private investors (the income tax) and a 15% stake in everything they spend on consumables. (GST)

    Much of the privatisation in the eighties, all around the world, was driven by the fact that so much infrastructure was wearing out, or was obsolete, and governments were reluctant to raise taxes to pay for the necessary investment – most already had more debt than was comfortable so could not borrow. Ideology had little to do with it – and because it was purely pragmatic little time was spent on developing good models.

    Of course the private shareholders had to finance the same reinvestment and prices went up in consequence.
    Privatisation got the blame but the price rises would have happened anyhow and taxes would have increased too. You can see why it was a popular idea with politicians of all shades.

    Key’s proposal has the merit that he plans to use the windfall to invest in other infrastructure, but he is also facing rising power prices because of the ETS and would probably prefer the public to blame it on privatisation rather than a specific government policy.

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  6. Hi Valis

    Thankyou for your comment which nails the critical point:

    ‘And in this case we have the added bonus of giving up significant power to influence energy policy just as climate change starts to bite. Bloody brilliant.’

    We are just about to enter one of the most turbulent periods in our nation’s history due to the imminent energy crisis and we’re selling off control of the mission critical energy sector. An energy crisis clearly now recognised by most if not all the main oil companies.

    I should also add that Bernard Hickey has well covered the stupidity of selling profitable energy SOEs –

    ‘In total, the four SOEs potentially up for sale generated total dividends last financial year of NZ$732.5 million and shareholder (government) equity stood at NZ$9.642 billion. This implies a combined (and very raw) dividend yield of 7.6% last year.
    Does this compute?
    Yet the government is currently having to pay around 5.5% for the new debt it is selling, mostly offshore.
    So on the face of it the government is a net loser by selling half of these state assets and avoiding having to raise new debt.’

    He would also no doubt welcome the Green Party initiatives on Property Gains Taxes, and possibly also welcome a general discouragement of selling our precious land to overseas speculators.

    Hope that Green Campaign Conference is going well and I look forward to continuing intelligent policy from your political party.

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  7. We need to get the toxity out of the economy and create a green economy, clean up the mess. Industry sector, by industry sector.

    In savings and investment – and end to subsidising property losses and a CGT brought in to improve structural balance.

    Regulation to require rental property has household insulation and minimum farm standards.

    That’s all just another green job, cleaning up the mess of the old order …

    http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2011/01/30/lets-talk-about-these-green-jobs/

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  8. Russell got a good spread in the Herald. It has to be one of our best PR “shots” in a long long time.

    Out-Standing!

    respectfully
    BJ

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  9. And TV3 did two excellent pieces – one on the State of the Planet event and the other with Russel rubbishing the Bluegreens Akaroa junket – both were seriously good coverage for Russel.
    Metiria wore a lighter hei tiki too – all good!

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  10. is it true that in his speech..

    …russell didn’t even mention those hurting most under this govt…?

    ..are you lot determined to burn off yr social-justice component..?

    ..the energy about to flock around a new political party focussing on those disposessed…

    ..should have you very nervous…

    …as it will bring into focus how the green party has changed…

    ..you seem to be aiming firmly at the middle-class..

    ..and have become more careerist…

    ..and you have already turned yr backs on/burnt off not only what got you there in the first place..

    …(namely the cannabis-legalisation constituency…

    ..and i think irrepairably…esp given metirias’ abysmal deriliction of duty on her private members’ bill…

    ..i don’t think they have forgotten…)

    ..and now the social justice voters…

    ..will have a valid vehicle..

    ..one with more chance of guaranteed success…

    ..both electorally…and in hard-ball negotiation …than you…

    …and not emphasising the social justice…in yr state of the nation speech…

    …will almost guarantee burning off many of those voters…

    ..and speaking personally..you guys have had my vote since day one..

    ..but ya hafta say…the results in the hand…from over a decade in parliament…

    ..have been abysmal…eh..?

    ..and a new vehicle articulating so many of my concerns..

    ..must tempt my vote/support…

    ..how could it not..?

    ..i guess you had better hope yr new voters make up the shortfall..

    ..eh..?

    ..time to get out the worry-beads…eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  11. Owen you really think Rail reinvested, they took out dividends afforded by not reinvesting – the same occured with Telecom … .

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  12. @Phil “is it true that in his speech..

    …russell didn’t even mention those hurting most under this govt…?”

    No, it’s not. Here’s the speech:

    http://www.greens.org.nz/speeches/smart-green-economics-state-planet-speech

    You will see that it’s a wide-ranging speech that essentially looks at connections between economics, social justice and environment, and in no way diminishes the Green Party’s absolute commitment to social justice.

    It’s true that the speech is not mainly focused on raising the minimum wage. No speech can be focused on everything, and the fact that it isn’t focused on that one point doesn’t mean that we have changed our position on it.

    Personally I thought it was great, and extremely well-delivered.

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  13. Before the Greens get carried away with the Capital Gains Tax rubicon, will we see a policy statement on what it will entail specifically?

    He would also no doubt welcome the Green Party initiatives on Property Gains Taxes,

    Is this a new direction, a tax on property gains only or are the tuktuk fingers moving too fast over the keyboard.

    What is a property gains tax? Buy a property and incure a tax? Like stamp duty in Australia?

    Come on Greens spell it out was is the tax on, how much is the expectation it will raise and how will it be collected?

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  14. well kevin..

    i went and read it….

    ..and save for a reference to the haves and the have nots…

    ..it’s pretty bare..

    (he gets far more impassioned/overwrought about salmon…more than anything else..)

    ..there is no way he reaches out/talks to those voters….

    ..people living lives like me look at that..

    …and we don’t see russel norman speaking to/for us with anything like passion/committment..

    ..(and surprising given his background/childhood…

    ..given that..you’d think he could talk to those voters with a voice they would believe…

    ..him having lived it…

    ..and could talk with even more passion than bradford…

    ..and why haven’t we heard of that from rags story before…?

    ..why hasn’yt that been part of that back-story..

    ..(who had a comfortable/middle-class upbringing…go figure..!)

    ..but he dosen’t…

    ..and as an aside…where the f has metiria been..?

    ..since she was elected…?

    ..people out here are really hurting..

    ..prices are going thru the roof…

    ..and we just get shit…

    ..and the promise of a pogrom…

    ..turei has been silent..

    ..and norman did not connect with voters like me at all…

    ..they never get to eat salmon…

    …eh..?

    none of what norman said changed my opinion that a party that really reaches out to those hurting..

    ..and promises/vows to go gangbusters for them..

    ..will get a lot of votes…

    ..from people like me..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  15. Owen you really think Rail reinvested, they took out dividends afforded by not reinvesting – the same occured with Telecom … .

    They did in the early years (1993-99). I would note the DQ class locomotives, as well as the former British Rail Mark 2 carriages which were originally bought for use on long distance trains, but eventually ended up largely in Auckland. The problem to an extent was that Tranz Rail needed to not only deal with the effects of the decades of decline that had been faced by NZR, but also that Burkhardt wasn’t given sufficient time by the likes of Fay/Richwhite to truly grow the company.

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  16. It would be useful if Hone Harawira was thrown out of the Maori Party and formed a new one with Matt McCarten, Sue Bradford and Laila Harre

    They could campaign on the leftist economic and social issues and leave the Greens to focus on the many core policy concerns that need to be made strongly. Labour will always be a little too centre centre left to win votes and needs a straight left wing alternative, as there was in 1999, to keep them honest to their core supporters.

    This gives the Greens a chance to differentiate themselves, say that given their wider programme they would prefer a coalition with Labour, but that they would seek to advance core concerns under any future government.

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  17. Valis says “And in this case we have the added bonus of giving up significant power to influence energy policy just as climate change starts to bite. Bloody brilliant.”

    Which is complete rubbish.

    The partial privatisations leave the govt with 51% of the company, which gives them 100% control – exactly the same as if they owned it all.

    And Shunda thinks we were better off losing hundeds of millions every year for over a decade on NZ Rail, when the private companies who were running the railway and were suffering the loss instead of the taxpayer.

    Privatisation is good or bad or indifferent on a case by case basis. Unfortunately the simpletons on both extremes only see a completely positive case for privatisation or a completely negative case.

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  18. Privatisation is good or bad or indifferent on a case by case basis. Unfortunately the simpletons on both extremes only see a completely positive case for privatisation or a completely negative case.

    Telecom Photonz1, a good service provider?

    And quite frankly, I would prefer 100s of millions wasted on rail, than some greedy bastards from Australia purchasing it, asset stripping it, running it into the ground, and then walking off with one billion dollars of tax payers money.

    My power bill is also WAY more expensive, thanks to mad Max.

    Hey, a private coal mine just blew the guts out of my community, lets sell Solid energy to private interests too!!

    Kiwi bank, well they said that would never work so I guess they won’t sell that, oops!! turns out it’s worth something after all.

    Sorry Photonz1, the only “simpletons” are the ones currently suffering from amnesia.

    Can you provide an example of when privatisation has worked?

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  19. This gives the Greens a chance to differentiate themselves, say that given their wider programme they would prefer a coalition with Labour, but that they would seek to advance core concerns under any future government.

    SPC, this is exactly our position and practice now. No new party is needed to achieve it.

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  20. The partial privatisations leave the govt with 51% of the company, which gives them 100% control – exactly the same as if they owned it all.

    The key issue with partial privitisation is not the percentage sold off, but the conversion from an SOE to a limited company. As an SOE a govt can set strategic goals as it wishes, while a limited company’s main responsibility is to return a profit. Once Solid Energy is operating solely on a profit motive, we will have lost all hope of keeping our coal in the ground. That would happen even if only 1% was hocked.

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  21. “…The partial privatisations leave the govt with 51% of the company, which gives them 100% control – exactly the same as if they owned it all…”

    do you factor in the possibility of up to 49% of the profits from those entities flowing offshore…?

    how does that effect ‘the figures’…?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  22. What is really rubbish is the belief that private business is going to invest more and that our SOE’s don’t make money, money that goes to maintaining our civilization. The potential long term costs in privatisation ie money going overseas, removing services and a lack of investment easily outweighs any short-term benefits. If you think otherwise you’re just mentally retarded.

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  23. “…The partial privatisations leave the govt with 51% of the company, which gives them 100% control – exactly the same as if they owned it all…”

    No. Because as a shareholder company the legal requirement is to act in the best interests of all shareholders. Minor shareholders can sue if the National interest it put ahead of dividends and share values.

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  24. A resurgence of third-world diseases amongst the impoverished.

    That has to be a defining statement of the effectiveness of our current administration. Although I agree with your sentiment phil u, the Greens have done a lot of work to try and alleviate the causative legislation. The fact that we have such a divide within our society whereby people are living in such degradation that third world diseases are prevalent clearly shows that the system is not working. The Greens are fighting an uphill battle of entrenched resentment and hate politics, which is so caught up in its own bullshit, cannot see the realities and pain it’s causing. I am astounded at the heartless and cynical view perpetuated by the National government that has allowed this atrocity to continue to occur and in fact get a lot worse. Have they no heart at all?

    If you want to effect change, you need to point your guns in the right direction.

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  25. Does any one seriously think that NACT will stop with partial robbery once they have got the public used to the idea.

    Of course not… That’s why we can’t open the door a second time to the thieves.

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