Russel Norman
First day back at parliament

Parliament’s back this week, and as is tradition for the first day of the year, party leaders had the chance to outline our priorities for the year and our greater vision for the country.

I used my time to talk about this year’s election, which I see as a turning point in our history. The result of this election will either be a forward-looking, progressive, reforming government, or a hard right throwback government.

This year, New Zealanders have the opportunity to make history by electing the first genuinely progressive government in more than a generation, with a strong Green Party at the heart of this government.

It’s been 40 years since we last saw a progressive reforming government in this country. It is time again for a new wave of progressive government reform in New Zealand. It’s time to refresh the progressive vision for Aotearoa New Zealand.

It’s time for green government. The Green Party is ready to govern.

A strong Green Party in government will focus on building a sustainable economy, dismantling inequality, and protecting our environment.

We will build on our wins to make sure that we have a smarter, cleaner, more compassionate country for all New Zealanders.

Bring on the election.

10 thoughts on “First day back at parliament

  1. Perhaps the Greens are a “progressive reforming” party. However, the one thing that the Green Party seems to have lost is a sense of is what is good for the environment.

    Just three days ago, Metiria Turei stated that the [Green] party is “fully behind” Labour’s [Best Start] polic[y].

    Do the Greens not understand that population growth is the number one problem? Its hardly a big leap to think that Best Start will encourage further population growth.

    Worse than that, it is likely to encourage population growth skewed to the very sector of population that we have the most difficulty finding gainful purpose for. I’ve been banging this drum for a while now, and was heartened to see The Economist stating The effect of today’s technology on tomorrow’s jobs will be immense—and no country is ready for it.

    Encouraging population growth is about as anti-environment as it is possible to get. That is simple fact. Speculating, population growth will also probably be the catalyst to societal breakdown. That is definitely “reforming”, but hardly “progressive”.

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  2. Dbuckley. Wasn’t it you or someone like you who were moaning that the “underclass did not take their finances into account before “breeding”?

    You can’t have it both ways.

    It is the wealthy who should be prevented form “breeding”. Their spoiled brats, grow up to consume many times more resources, than the poor.

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  3. Dbuckley. Wasn’t it you or someone like you…

    There is no-one like me :)

    … moaning that the “underclass did not take their finances into account before “breeding”?”

    You’re probably thinking of this thread from last year, which I enjoyed, but to which I did not contribute. I don’t understand how I could have anything both ways, my message on this point has been consistent for some years, once I “got it”.

    But… you’re diverting away from the core fact, which is about the environment, not about classes. A policy that encourages breeding is an environmentally bad policy.

    (I don’t like the term “underclass”, I don’t like “classes” in general.)

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  4. Except, as we have seen in reality, giving parents more money to support their children, and giving women, of child bearing age,more money and power, tends to reduce the total number of children born, though it may change the timing of having children.

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  5. Kerry,Do you have any evidence of “giving money to parents reducing birth rate”?
    Nb giving money is different from having/earning money, and specifically telling people they’ll be $60/w better off if they have a baby seems irresponsible.
    I’m not against the intended purpose of the policy. But maybe it would be better to somehow ensure the baby gets the bottle rather than the parent. With the increase in tobacco tax, some people are really struggling…

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  6. Fin. Why is being “given money” any different from, say, inheriting unearned money?

    Birth rates have gone down everywhere in the world, including New Zealand when the power, choices and money available to women has increased. There is no lack of references and research to prove it.

    Even the neo-liberal right wings propaganda magazine, The Economist, agrees. http://www.economist.com/news/international/21588385-giving-money-directly-poor-people-works-surprisingly-well-it-cannot-deal

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  7. Giving money to the poor makes them less poor! Funny that!

    “Now enough of these programmes are up and running to make a first assessment. Early results are encouraging: giving money away pulls people out of poverty, with or without conditions. Recipients of unconditional cash do not blow it on booze and brothels, as some feared. Households can absorb a surprising amount of cash and put it to good use”.

    A programme in the UK which did just that. Gave money without conditions to homeless people, was a huge success. None of them wasted the money. Unlike giving unaffordable tax cuts to rich people.

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  8. Kerry, thanks for your link. Interesting stuff, but I couldn’t find anything relating to birth rate in it..
    Never mind.
    From your link, it seems that giving money to the poorest people has real benefits and these benefits are greatest when the grant is conditional (on things like school attendance). I agree with you/your link on that.
    But is that what labours ‘best start’ policy proposes?

    Perhaps relieving poverty is not the goal of the policy anyway… it is election year. Maybe the policy will succeed in its intended purpose. I hope the Greens can ‘play the game’ too.

    Anyway DBuckley, if population growth is the #1 problem I can’t see how anything can be done about it in a democracy.

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  9. Anyway DBuckley, if population growth is the #1 problem I can’t see how anything can be done about it in a democracy.

    I don’t disagree. However, the fact we can’t realistically address the issue doesn’t stop it being the number one problem, and the root cause of several other problems, things we can only treat the symptoms of.

    The best one can hope in a democracy is, I guess, not have policies that make the problem worse by policy.

    All I can do is keep reminding people, people who are Green party members, in the hope that they will remind the Green Party not to forget their Environmental roots.

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The ability to post further comments on this blog will return after the election.