State of the Planet speech 2011

Last Sunday Russel gave the annual State of the Planet speech to a packed and excited crowd at Te Mahurehure Marae in Auckland.

It was a great and powerful speech that clearly defined the Green vision for Aotearoa. Russel also attacked National and Labour for bludging off our grandchildren and pulling the ladder of opportunity out of reach for those who need it the most.

Watch the speech below or click here to read.

11 thoughts on “State of the Planet speech 2011

  1. Well said Tony. The problem is Phil Goff intends to give us one of the highest tax rates on the planet, and it will only give everyone a tax free limit of $5000 (at our current 15% tax rate that saves everyone $10 a week).

    So after we have sky high tax rates, more spending is wanted to put benefits up, more for early education, teachers want more, they want student loans gone, more on health, more on the environment, more everywhere.

    But there’s only ever one idea for where the money will come from.

    But where does the money come from?

  2. The speech was fine as far as it went but I still wonder about the Greens. Russel started well with a criticism of government “with its centrally-planned drive for growth regardless of social or environmental costs.” and the idea that “we need to live within our means”. But, for the rest of the speech he seemed to be saying that growth is OK, provided it’s green. Here are some snippets:


    “The brand is already worth $18 billion to New Zealand, and can be worth much more in the future. ”

    “Our organics sector has grown into a half billion dollar industry”

    “The global market for clean technology, goods and services is already $400 billion per year. It is going to grow to nearly $2 trillion by 2017. If we can access just a fraction of this market we will prosper.”

    “Windflow is the only utility-scale wind turbine manufacturer in Australasia and is now moving to export into the British market.”

    “Māori business, based on use of our natural resources, forestry, fishing, farming and tourism, and growing all the time, is also part of this move towards a green economy.”

    I get the impression that Russel thinks that being smart, we can have a very similar economy, society and civilisation as we have now, complete with growing exports, global tourism and growing prosperity, if only we become green.

    Not a word about changing a monetary system that requires growth.

    As Al Bartlet said, dumb growth destroys the planet, smart growth destroys the planet.

    And not a word about population.

  3. It was an excellent speech, not rabble-rousing or heart-string-plucking as too many politicans’ speeches are, but considered, thoughtful and constructive. Our new leadership are stepping up well.

  4. Great stuff from Russel. And before we get any more false dross about the current leadership abandoning the poor, have a read of this from Metiria:

    Household Labour Survey highlights inequality

    Rising unemployment will hurt Kiwi families who are already struggling, and widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots, the Green Party said today.

    “Unemployment has risen to 6.8 percent in the last quarter, and the rate is even higher for Maori and young people. Combined with food price rises and the GST increase, it’s getting harder and harder for many New Zealanders to cover the basics,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.

    Mrs Turei was referring to figures in the Household Labour Force Survey for the December 2010 quarter, released by Statistics New Zealand today.

    “Today’s unemployment figures show that those hit hardest by the recession are still experiencing it.

    “The response of John Key’s Government has been to raise GST, deliver tax cuts to those on the highest incomes, and make it harder to access welfare support at the toughest time.

    “The result is to widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots in New Zealand, a gap that is already one of the widest in the OECD.

    “Without a coherent plan from the Government to create real jobs that pay a living wage and reduce this gap, our most vulnerable families will fall through the cracks.

    “The Greens have real solutions on the table that would do this.

    “We would build 6,000 new state houses in the next three years. This would create 28,000 new jobs, help to get 10,000 people off the state house waiting list, and give our kids warm, safe, healthy homes.

    “Every child should be guaranteed the basics: a warm, dry, safe home to live in, healthy food, and a family income that can sustain them.

    “We can help to guarantee these things by investing in solutions like those outlined in the Green Party’s ‘Mind the Gap’ package to reduce inequality: building new state houses, extending working for families income support to the poorest children, and making the first $10,000 of everyone’s income tax-free.

    “Sadly John Key’s Government is eroding the essentials instead of investing in policies to guarantee them,” Mrs Turei said.

  5. Dobbie – the greens need to be about more than timid semantics, they needs to be a strong voice, not concerns about the odd negative bit of media. Community gardening etc is a thing whose time has come, along with transition towns and all the concepts that are becoming very mainstream and are something that a lot of people deeply connect with. The Greens is a solutions based party.

    This is the kind of stuff urban greens should focus on:

    Len Brown embraces Eco City

    uckland mayor Len Brown wants to see a 40% reduction in carbon emissions in his city by 2025.

    He is asking council staff to evaluate setting the target, one of the green initiatives he is announcing today.

    There is also to be an investigation into the possibility of using solar energy for water heating and electricity generation in the city.
    And the mayor wants to roll out the Eco-City model adopted by the former Waitakere City Council, which would give the city a stronger environmental focus.

  6. Good on you Russel and the Greens. I’ve had a gutsful of Labour, National and Act politicians feathering their nests and those of their greedy baby-boomer mates at the expense of the environment and our grandkids (theirs too). Greed is the reason the political right still believe in trickle-down economics of tax cuts for the rich, which have never worked (the money DOES NOT get spent, get invested or create jobs) in the thirty years since they came into vogue. Sickeningly, they ignore the very real, trickle-down benefits of investment in the environment, education and healthcare. You can count on my vote.

  7. I guess a big question is – does labour have what it takes to make a proper plan to deal with climate change – building a low carbon economy and having binding domestis emissions reduction targets.

    Otherwise companies like Solid Energy and their big polluter buddies undermine all the work done on climate change:

    Billions of tonnes of southern lignite, the lowest grade of coal, are being investigated for energy conversion by several companies; but it’s possible use flies in the face of environmentalists’ concerns over fossil fuel use and climate change.
    http://nzresources.com/showarticle.aspx?id=1740&gid=30001740
    The State-owned coal miner Solid Energy has chosen its former Mataura mine site as the preferred location for an up to $25 million demonstration briquette plant — which could potentially be operational by early 2012.

    I think a challenge for environmentalists is to build a strong Green Jobs program, and convince sceptics and the non converted of its merit.

    I think the public expects a strong voice on shifting from bads, and supporting goods. That means making deep sea oil and lignite coal mining a central environmental, social and climate issue.

  8. PS Also wondered about the references to ‘John Key’s Government’. Given that he enjoys massive support, I wonder whether we shouldn’t focus on playing the ball, rather than the man i.e. focusing on the ‘Government’ rather than ‘John Key’s Government’. Labour have been trying and failing to damage the ‘John Key’ brand so why beat your head against that brickwall? Leave Labour to play the personality politics.

  9. I really liked it. However, wondered about the ‘backyard gardening and local markets’ bit (which was picked up and reported by the DomPost). I am a home gardener and a massive fan of local markets and love that the Greens support them. Howvere, going into an election year where we are looking to grow our share of vote and present a credible face to the public, I wondered whether there might’ve been something more powerful and less marginal to say in this space? For example, in response to the impact of rising food prices Jan Logie spoke about ‘supermarket regulation’ during the Mana campaign.

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