This Queen’s Birthday weekend, the Green Party held its AGM at Upper Hutt’s native bush-surrounded Silverstream retreat with ‘Growing the Greens’ the appropriate theme.
The largest Green Party AGM yet kicked off on Friday 1st June by celebrating the founding of the Values Party some 40 years ago.
This was the party from which the Green Party took root, took its ethos of environmental and social justice for all New Zealanders, and indeed many of its values.
Over 200 members attended, engaging with lessons and stories from 40 years of tough and fearless work to reach the unprecedented success achieved last election, while looking toward the future – one that many believe will be in Government.
Russel Norman’s address to the conference mentioned not only facing the future, but also remaking our economy to live within nature’s means.
“…Within our lifetimes, a smart, green economy will be the only economy still working.
We can protect natural capital, enhance our quality of life, and share our prosperity fairly. Such a country will be, in the words of the late Sir Paul Callaghan, “a place where talent wants to live”.”
Metiria Turei spoke about the challenge ahead to transform our country into a place where compassion and justice are at the heart of our decisions.
Focusing on the need to value our women and children more – more than current policies allow us to – she reminded members that New Zealand women are fierce, with plenty of Green evidence in store:
“While other parties lose women MPs, the Greens build women’s political power.
Holly is touring Aotearoa showing the Inside Child Poverty documentary in a town near you so we confront and deal with the realities of poverty on women and their children. Jan and Denise are working with women from unions and community networks to expose the impact of National’s low wage obsession on women and children. Mojo is blazing a trail through the veil of discrimination for all women with disabilities and for the mothers of children with disabilities.
Eugenie is working with women who are standing up for our rivers so our kids can swim in clean water, women who want our rivers wild and free, where tuna can grow old and wise like our kuia. Julie Anne has taken the government to task over failed transport plans and is championing smart green transport to make it safe for our kids to walk and cycle to school. And Catherine is challenging the vicious cuts in education, exposing the ‘class warfare’ waged by Hekia Parata and presenting families with education solutions that respect their children’s learning.
Women are fierce. Our transformation is in our hands.”
Green MPs and Green Party members, young and old, see a bright green future in Government and in New Zealand. We are already in new territory, rising to 13% in the latest Colmar Brunton poll result, while the results of National’s ill considered policies and Budget hit home for New Zealanders.
This is new territory for the country and for us.
What will guide us, as it always has, is our commitment to our planet, to our charter, to our people and to our country’s children.
Because that’s our reality check.
Our AGM in the news: