The Greens’ deal

The Greens have always said that policy is what matters.

Here is what Jeanette and Rod have negotiated in return for abstaining on confidence and supply.

  • Build increased capacity for public transport
  • Increase the number of students eligible for student allowances by increasing parental income thresholds
  • Further reduce levels of child poverty
  • Increase Overseas Development Assistance in the next three budgets beyond that currently forecast.
  • Enhance organics advisory services.
  • Increase the minimum wage to $12 an hour by the end of 2008
  • Firm up the area of GE-free production
  • Maintain a dialogue around peacemaking
  • Retain the Maori seats for as long as Maori want them.
  • Intensive habitat management to restore populations of endangered species

Jeanette will be the Government spokesperson on energy efficiency and solar programmes and Rod the spokesperson on Buy Kiwi Made.

What do you reckon?

118 Comments Posted

  1. Tochigi

    The problem is that your argument isn’t really ANY argument that I can discern. You seem to be saying that we should all be simply voting for the people and things we believe in, EVEN if those votes are a totally meaningless waste of paper and time.

    Why should we bother at all? What do we accomplish by embracing futility? Is that the purpose of our party?… of ANY party?

    There’s almost a suicidal flavour to this argument.

    I don’t do that sort of self-abuse, there’s plenty of people lined up to abuse me.


  2. no, o’m saying i don’t aceept your arguments and i can’t force you to either recognise or accept mine. so that’s it, i’m not “withdraewing”. it’s just pointless to go back and forth when neither side is likelly to budge.
    and i don’t accept your assessment of my arguments either. if you don’t accept the validity of my arguments then that’s too bad, but i won’t let it worry me overly.

  3. but what is the substance of your response tochigi..or are you saying you don’t have one..:)..and upon reflection..have decided a polite withdrawel is the best course of action…?

    so far all you have said is ..”it’s easy..”..and..”it’s choice”…

    if that’s it..?…..q.e.d….:)


  4. it’s not scape-goating tochigi…’s a fact….those votes were pissed up against the wall..and the champion of their cause lost his seat…when in the normal (excuse the pun) course of events those votes would have gone to nandor/greens…and as i said…we would now have a totally different government….how close do the dots have to be..?

    and do you think the penny has dropped yet for those who didn’t think nandors’ decriminalisation bill went far enough..and so voted alcp..(‘cos that was the mantra used to secure those votes..the alcp deliberately white-anted the green vote to achieve their ends..)

    surely the big “duh!” factor in this


  5. Tochigi

    It is choice, it is stupid, and people cannot be denied the opportunity to be stupid. It is not however a weak argument to point out the nature and magnitude of the stupidity.

    Gore and Nader voters combined had the numbers to deny the Neocons the prize of the Presidency and the complete disaster of the domination of the US government by the forces of repression. Gore had the only credible chance of actually keeping some of the events of the last 5 years from occurring.

    I rather doubt that the Democrat voters for Bush numbered much over 100000 in spite of the traditional “conservative” democratic voters there, looking at the historical patterns reveals some startling inversions of percentages. The credibility of the count is dubious without appealing to coincidences with odds similar to being struck by lightning… inside a submarine. The real point however is that the nature of the election was clear and Nader KNOWINGLY risked, and ultimately caused, it to go to Bush.

    Nader is smart enough to know better. Greens are smart enough to know better. When I encounter someone who IS smart but does something outstandingly stupid like that for reasons of ideological purity I call it like I see it. Not a weak argumentl, and far more rational than voting “for” Nader or indeed any hopeless cause, because such votes are exactly the same in that situation, as voting for the candidate or principles you LEAST favour.

    When you understand the reason why this is true you’ll also understand why UNTIL 123MMP is in place, such ideological purity makes losers. The object in politics isn’t to make a statement, it is to get something done. You don’t do that by adhering blindly to some vision of perfection. You want to make a statement? Buy space on a billboard or write an editorial or organise a protest march… but make damned sure to cast a VOTE that will count against your worst opposition. IF you can also vote FOR something you want, that’s bonus. If you invert those two priorities you’re roadkill.

    Which is what the US Greens turned most of the USA into, and what the ALCP did to Nandor. Overall I don’t mind if the ideologues on the RIGHT of center act out their idiology, but I have a real short way with people who are otherwise politically savvy and who agree that a National led government (or in the USA a Neo-Con led government) is not to be permitted, yet toss their votes into the bit-bucket.

    Sorry to disagree so vehemently, I LIKE most of your stuff on this blog… but I have never forgiven Nader for what he did to the Corvair and I will never forgive him for Florida either. He AND the Greens in the USA, should have worked through the states to institute preferential, or instant-runoff balloting. They should have been making sure that the electronic balloting had paper trails to prevent some of the more obvious frauds and errors.

    Now it is too damned late. If the NeoCons manage to hold both houses of Congress in 2006 and there’s any question about the balloting procedures the next effective ballots will be the first shots of the next American Civil War/Revolution. It is not as bad as you think it is… it is worse.

    So ideology has its place, but that place is not in the voting booth… OK?

    Sorry if I am coming on strong… I really have some “issues” with respect to the Corvair 😉


  6. BJ and Phil,

    thank you for your replies.
    unfortuntely, these type of arguments are so weak.
    “bame Nader””
    “blame the ALCP!”
    ah, this is called choice, y’know, democracy?
    if Gore couldn’t pull enough votes to beat the “smirking chimp” it’s NOT Nader’s fault or the fault of the people who voted for him. as i said, there were hundreds of thousands of registered Democrats (in Florida) who voted for Bush or didn’t vote. Many more in these categories than all of Naders votes for the state. so why not blame them and leave the Nader voters out of it, please?

    and as much as i am pissed off about Nandor’s exit, this is not the fault of the ALCP. or the voters who voted for them. and i think the people who outright blame them or infer blame are being quite disingenuous.

    scapegoating is silly. and irrational.

  7. toghichi..ralph nader is to al gore as the aotearoa legalise cannabis party are to nandor..and our collective hopes of a centre-left government…

    what both these show is how important the single vote is…and how vastly different paths can open up…largely down to the whims of a few thousand voters….

    and yes..there are those who just stay at home…but the thing that really grinds the gears about nader/greens in america and alcp here is that both groups are politically aware animals…..who knew how close and how important the election was in front of them….yet they willfully chose to piss their votes up against the wall..

    in the case of america…it got us bush junior..and here it meant the exit of nandor..and a centre-right government..those five and a half thousand votes swung things that way…they could just as easily have swung things our way..

    the parrallels are striking…

    i wonder what the alcp will do in 2008…

    are you there michael appleby..?…how about answering some of these questions..?…though i can understand your reluctance to raise your head…( is a pun..)


  8. Tochigi

    In Florida and in other states as well, the Green party ran Ralph Nader against Al Gore and George Bush. Green voters, knowing that in a FPP electoral system they were basically casting a vote that would not be counted but being pure of heart, voted for Nader in a razor sharp election (and we all knew it would be), instead of voting to keep the smirking chimp from grabbing the reins. The results are what we all see and decry, but the Greens in the USA have a special answer. “There is no difference between Democrats and Republicans” – which is like saying there’s no difference between National and Labour.

    With MMP at 5% you get more than a choice between 2 evils, but you still don’t get an unlimited choice of goods. With straight MMP there is even more choice, but again you can waste your vote “making a statement” and fail to accomplish any part of your purpose. 123MMP allows you to make the statement and accomplish something anyway.

    In Florida the Greens split the vote on the left and took a bit over 1.5% IIRC. Bush won that state by about 0.1% and thus became President by a negative 50000 votes- such a system ! Since then there’s been the consolidation. The raping gerrymander of the Texas legislature and the systematic exclusion of democrats from the voting booth in Ohio… and the neo-cons reign in gloating triumph over disaster after debacle. Because some people (Greens in this case) decided to ignore political realities and vote their conscience no matter what the consequences.

    Yes, the swing back to the left in the USA is likely to be savage and excessive and possibly violent… and it may well carry the green party to positions of honor and even some power sometime in about a decade or so… in the meantime the US has lost almost all its friends, its budget surplus, 4 Jetliners, 2 World Trade Centers, about 12000 casualties (roughly 2000 fatal), Osama-Bin-Laden, the Alaska Wildlife Preserve and the City of New Orleans.

    Personally I don’t think it is worth that much to “vote my conscience”, but as others have noticed here, I am not a “true” green. My background is NASA JPL and environmental sensors and software. I worked on the MER and AVIRIS. I used to be a US Naval Officer. I grew up with Vietnam.

    I learned. Politics is NOT about what’s right or what’s wrong. It’s what you want to do that you CAN do, and so the term “The art of the possible”. Political parties and people have to learn this and understand it just as thoroughly as they learn the rules of MMP and 123MMP and FPP elections. Then they have to want what is right.

    Greens WANT the right things. They have to be/stay practical about getting them.


  9. BJ, let me get this straight: hundreds of thousands of registered Democrats either didn’t vote or voted for GWB, but it’s really the Greens’ fault that Gore lost?

    yeah, right.

  10. Thanks Brian – Scott described the purgatory of Australia, but someone needs to remind the rest of the party here just what sort of hellish shape the rest of the world really is in. Did anyone here notice that the USA is losing its ability to even count votes fairly? You all wonder why I am so pragmatic… I left that country because THIS IS BETTER! Helen Clark for 9 years vs Cheney and Boy George for 8? It isn’t even a contest…

    The point about the minor parties I made WAAYYY up the thread, is that in a 5% MMP situation, any vote that is made “on principle” is wasted. This is far more obvious in FPP but with a threshold it remains a factor. People who form and vote for parties on the basis of single issue politics and purity of motive are failing twice. They fail to achieve what they attempt and the fail to attempt what they could achieve. The Legalize Cannabis Now mob and other minor parties all have to consult their navels and consider their options. There are a lot of little parties out there… the ones left of center should be invited to talk and we DEFINITELY should be working on 123MMP which finally makes this issue go away.

    Until 123MMP we have to talk to them a bit and see if they are able to be smarter than the Greens in the USA (who actually PUT the shrub in office by running Nader to the left).

    Politics is the art of the possible.

    Labour is trying to occupy the center. We need to consolidate the left. Together we win.


  11. Your house is not on fire.

    Allow me to explain my position here. I’m currently in America, and here, our house is on fire. Or underwater. Or under fire, as the case may be. And so, I’m looking at the formation of the Government and I can’t help but think: Yeah, it’s not perfect. But there were some policy concessions – do you think for a minute that there’s such a thing as policy concessions in the U.S.?

    You’re all looking at what you were hoping to have, and you didn’t get it – like a man dissapointed at winning $100 in the lotto when he though he was winning $10,000. What you should be looking at is: “Hey, we got this and we didn’t have this before. What’s more we’re in a better position to get everything we want next time.”

    This is only a setback for the Greens if you pinned all your hopes and dreams on a LPG government – from where I’m standing, you’ve won quite a bit, and of all the parties in the Beehive you’re just about the only one who stuck to their moral guns and made political gains without looking like right jackasses.

    You’re also a key part of the Labour government even if it’s not. Peter Dunne, for example, knows that “pass this odious legislation or we’ll resign from Government” is an empty threat – Labour can go to the Greens, meaning that this “center-right” government is going to be more to the center than the numbers first indicate.

  12. I disagree with Weta, and agree with Phil when he says that it’s important to negotiate with Labour from a position of strength.

    Being in government 2002-2005 would have had a lot of negative aspects; Labour didn’t need us, and could have emasculated all significant moves simply by cutting off the budgets. Experience in France shows how bitterly frustrating such a position can be : even if genuine goodwill exists (but Labour is by no means unanimously well-disposed towards the Greens), the lack of a balance of power, in terms of the parliamentary majority, is fatal to the prospects of actually getting anything done.

    Actually a LPG+M government in this term might well have been pretty disastrous, in terms of being seen to be ineffective, for similar reasons : Clark, with such a narrow majority, would be constantly seeking to appease the centre, and inclined to neuter us (and to keep her options open for a change of partners mid-term).

    In order to be effective, we need Labour to need us. Numerically. Not in order to play constant brinkspersonship, but to enforce mutual respect.

    So perhaps we should be thanking the centrists…

  13. The Greens lost this election at the last election when they were not pragmatic enough to do a deal with labour. To become a more credible force in politics I think they need to develop a full economic platform- running a country is more complex than having a few pet causes(albeit worthy ones)
    Winston as F minister – It seems to me he already had the job. All the inside information he recieved about various foreigners in this country had to come from somewhere (watch that space) – why was he being informed rather than the department recieving the info and acting upon it?
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
    Your time will come………….

  14. Why is everyone thinking about 2008? For gawd’s sake, we only just got a government, in which the Greens can wield influence. Under the alternative, they had NO chance. This is positive, in proportion to the number of seats Greens got. Peters may appear to have got more, but he’s damaged his credibility in doing it, and better do a damn good job as FM. Dunne never had any credibility, I suspect he’s just a lever against the Maori. Who could at any time also support the government on many issues, Maori typically being Labour voters. Especially if Dunny starts wielding his 3 votes like anyone gives a shit about his ‘common sense’.

  15. yeah..i have no doubts that this fracas in a way makes 2008 even more do-able…it will help to focus minds…


  16. phil,

    Sympathy from the media will soon evaporate – re-read the Herald editorial of Sept 16 to see what I mean. Media want a right wing government or a centrist Labour one.

    Greens cannot be a force for change without a partner. While gaining acceptance in the centre for policies is vital – only one major party can be a coalition partner for implementing them.

    Abstaining on confidence and supply is the right course and so is continuing engagement with government.

    It’s National who with a large caucus would have hoped for an the chance to build up momentum to drive Labour out. Now facing 61 votes, backed up by 10 more from the centre left, they have more work yet to do. Provided the centre left remains solid, then victory in 2008 is doable.

  17. And in the meantime we should put all inclination to feel sorry for ourselves, and think of those POOR bastards back at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, like “what are we going to DO with him” (pours another very stiff cup of tea).

  18. i’d like to second what tony said..

    i would also like to point out that although i have railed against this is almost what i wanted…

    i never wanted the greens to negotiate an agreement with labour from a position of weakness..only from a position of strength..the election result put us firmly in the former camp..

    my contention was that we would be better being outside in opposition rather than being hopelessly comprimised through having a minor minor role in any government…

    and what have we got…we were so close to that ideal of opposition..but we have sorta got the worst of both worlds…

    our oppositional energies are emasculated….for not very much at all in return….

    the good news is that we aren’t totally compromised by being in a full coalition…

    we are getting the abused spouse sympathy vote from just about everyone..

    (and just for once..wouldn’t it be refreshing if rod wiped that smile off his face and snarled that ..yes..he is really pissed at the way this has turned out..?..)

    i am hoping that the green mps decide to kick out the jams….and get up and do the business as a real opposition party..both effectively fighting against what we oppose …and using the forum of parliament ..(and the almost guaranteed ongoing sympathetic ear of the media) provide practical/viable green solutions…so we go into the next election as a fully functioning/firing force for change….


    eredwen…(ahem) attempt at a humourous response at your dumping of me should have read ‘dudgeon’…:)

  19. I see an opportunity for the Greens to attract some of the Alliance MPs, as they talk to the MP over the next three years. Harre and McCarten and Jackson.

    It’s about gathering the centre left while the Labour party operates in the centre. It’s also about making environment/conservation policy a centrist issue and thus a Labour Green coalition becomes inevitable – a 1999 style renewal.

  20. This has been an interesting discussion and many of my views have been expressed already (both dissapointment, but realising things could have been worse). My hope, is that the left (Labour/Green/Progressive) can start to work together more closly over the next 3 years (at a grassroots level) on common issues of concern and buildings campaigns. I think sometimes we forget that we need to build campaigns and get the public onside on issues if we hope to implement them at a parliamentary level.

  21. Apologies – BJ – if this a bit slow on the uptake, but what exactly have we got to do with other small parties?

    Relative to L and N, small parties are radically single issue, no matter they represent concepts as abstract and diverse as Maori, environment, pot, family, New Zealand.

    Relative to each other, those parties contest their own single issue as The One capable of driving all others. The glory of that is that it’s not about left, right or centre, it’s about what they each think is best.

    I’m not saying you can’t shackle a united block of votes out of those diverse categories, but if you try, the first thing you do is fuck your single issue.

    I agree with the earlier posts calling for more – I hate this word – mainstream appeal, which I think Rod has worked towards. Here I don’t mean the tax/ spending cuts, racism and religion that characterise the centre and right, but simply plugging the core principles as an alternative to tired, slugged out spectral politics.

    I handed out Green pamphlets not because of a preference for left wing politics, but because of a deep belief in the concept of environment as a policy instrument, and I would expect the same response of those who go Maori, UF, NZ1, etc. (and if they did not, then their block-building capacity would be nil anyway, as in the Potparty). As a result, I have difficulty seeing an alliance (if you will) with those others that would suit me as a greeny.

    Better to just grow the Green vote, and the perfect time would appear to be right about now.

  22. hmm its all not so bad , thing to remember is that the greens were also commited to ensuring we do not have a National govt lead by Brash … this they have achieved . phew . that’ll be the resource management act safe for the next three years then . Grren support base will increase durring this term as those leftish labour leaning voters tire of centrist pragmatisim . You’d have to say the biggest losers are National … hahaha.. Once again they have no where to go..

  23. AJW/All…

    The prospects for the next election are pretty clear. Labour is going to be perceptibly further right than it was. We hold our position and CLARIFY it and we will get near/over 10%… and while some/most of that gain will be Labour left, Labour can pick up votes towards the center… clearly the strategy IT is pursuing. The gain for us will be significant. We need to have a chat with the “legalize cannabis” crowd and other smaller parties that have NO chance of representation under 5% MMP, and we DEFINITELY have to talk to the Maori party. That should give us a block of 10-15% of the voting population which opposes National “No Matter What”, and which pushes the available split for Progressive vs Repressive government firmly into our favour. Given the likelihood of Peak Oil and Warming issues getting more and more attention as we go forward, we are going to attract a LOT of people (if we don’t purposely scare them away).

    I don’t think the bitterness is justified. Not at all…and I certainly have no beef with the current leadership. When you have a bad hand you fold the cards and wait for the next game. We will have a better hand in that one.

    Labour needs to start thinking about grooming a replacement for Helen Clark though. Sooner or later she’s going to get tired of doing this dance and look to retirement… though I don’t see that happening before 2011.


  24. I agree. Vote for what you believe in, and who you believe will follow that.

    I can’t take seriously anyone who thinks they can predict the next election, though. Too much can happen. The international economy could crash, or boom. There could be more controversial wars. The moves made by govt until then could easily affect things in a positive or negative way. I’m personally far more worried about the next set of moves by the govt.

  25. AJW: I think that if the next election is tight, and people are wavering over voting Labour to make them the biggest party, we can always say “remember what happened last time; If you want the Greens to have serious influence, you have to vote for it rather than taking them for granted”. Depending on how badly this government goes, it may be a very powerful argument.

  26. Phil,

    You’re miles off on Eredwen’s association with Rod – but hey I’m sure he/she is honoured to think you hold him/her is this high regard.

    Eredwen is a thoughtful commentator on the current situation – no more and no less.


    Now moving on …

  27. I haven’t read all this board, but get a strong feeling of bitterness towards this deal.

    I’m a Green voter this time, and I’m not that pissed. I personally tactically voted green because they were vulnerable to the threshold, and expressed firm support for Labour, so a leftist government was more likely if greens got more votes. I’m surprised to hear lots of greenies went the exact opposite way for reasons I can’t fathom at all. Vote what you think next time!

    I was also more disposed towards Green social policy than Labour’s, despite feeling that some aspects of their environmental policy are unscientific moral panic. I mean anti-GE. Global warming seems to have a more solid backing.

    The reason I’m not gutted is because I’m pretty sure the bulk of Labour is far more aligned with Greens than the power-hungry opportunists at the supposed balance of power. And Green abstinence will be required on many controversial votes so it can’t swing too far to the Dunny. I wish the dunny door were closed too, but we need the votes to avoid a cretinous rightist assault on everything I came back to NZ for. His power is restricted to 3 votes, and he may find having ministerial power a distraction from grandstanding and bottom lines.

    As for the Peters factor, I’m surprised, but think we’ll have to wait and see. A foreign minister posting may actually temper his most xenophobic urges, when he finally actually meets some foreigners and finds they’re not all bad dudes. His economic policy is not totally out of line for either Labour or the Greens (now that the silly petrol tax thing has been quietly dropped).

  28. phil u:

    I won’t answer your posts in future.
    I’m sorry I made the mistake of thinking that you really wanted to know.

    You wrote earlier
    “you are mistaking my anger at their actions (or lack of them) as an ad hominem attack on them….(try to differentiate..)”

    Well I’m sorry, I can’t differentiate between your anger, your (supposed) desire to know (when you ask questions), and what increasingly appears to be your desire?/need? to appear smarter than anyone else. All this wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t so aggressive.

    I’ll stay well away in future.


  29. My $0.02.

    The deal isn’t that flash, but given that NZF and UF seem to have united against us, this meant that we could only get on board with Labour if the Maori Party joined in too. That didn’t work this time, for a raft of reasons. So it’s no surprise that we didn’t get in the door. If we got rooted, it was because the Maori Party couldn’t work with Labour.

    But I always thought that this election was about survival for us. The issues that are going to ignite our party are Peak Oil and climate change. These have really risen to the fore in the last 12 months, and there is going to be an exponential rise in the importance of these to the public . By 2008, if we play our cards right, we will be streets ahead of the other parties on these, the most vital issues of our age.

    In an ideal world, we’d have gained Cabinet positions to help prepare for these events, but that didn’t happen. We survived, that’s the important thing. The job now is to prepare for 2008 by positioning ourselves as the ‘Peak Oil and Climate Change’ party. We’ve laid some of the groundwork, we need to keep building on this.

  30. A small party that stands for something will always at the very least have a dedicated few who will support it. A small party that’s just a prop for a larger party will eventually become irrelevant. If the price of a centre right government is Green silence we’re already on our way to following the Alliance path to infighting and ultimately to oblivion. Being the conscience of the government is no use if nobody is listening.

  31. precisely stuey..they haven’t sold out for ministerial cars….

    could you remind me again just what they have sold the freedom of independence from this centre-right mess for..?..some infrastructural funding..?(oops..sorry eredwen)…

    i will repeat..stuey…if you think the greens will be able to function as a fully firing opposition party when rod and jeanette are beholden to the good will of clark/peters/dunne..i have a bridge i would like to sell you….

    so it’s just all win win eh stuey….spin on ..good man..spin on…it dosen’t change any of the realities…


  32. Hmmm. You know, on second thought, WILL this stop Green voters blocking National at the next election? I’d like to say yes, of course, Labour doesn’t deserve the Greens, and turned its back on unwaivering support for a party that openly preferred National and it’s policy (ZenTiger, to me UF is sooo right – out there with Act – not so much in economic policy but definitely in values).

    But then, next election, what if its this close again? What if a vote for the Greens means National will get in? Personally, I don’t know if I want a Labour government without the Greens… but how will everyone else feel? If its a case of right vs. left, won’t Greenies vote tactically for Labour? And if so, how can the Greens ever get stronger?

    It feels like we need to get tough. We need to risk losing a centre-left government for a term or two so that the Greens can develop. Otherwise, Labour will always be able to screw us over, to know that they will get the tactical votes even if they offer nothing else to the Greens, simply by being more left than National.

    More left than National? Is that ebough for Green supporters?

  33. bj and answer what should have been done..isn’t it obvious a term as a fully functioning/firing opposition party would be far better for the longterm health of the party..than a term beholden to a centre-right government of labour/nzfirst/united future…and for what..?

    please don’t try and paint what they have done as being the only wasn’t..

    eredwen..your reliance on the internal democratic processes of the green party is i suppose..refreshing..?
    is not the fact this crucial decision was made by a handpicked group close to the current leadership(who knew for a whole week beforehand what was what..) not a negating of your reliance…?..just a thought..

    your outrage at my attributing human emotions of survival to those who made this call is touching…..does the wearing of the green mantle wipe such human drives as self-interest..?

    eredwen..if you had choice a; meaning you have a job…and choice b; means you won’t have a job….who amongst us could blame you for leaning ever so slightly towards choice

    this is why you build such strictures/procedures into organisations…to compensate for these very human drives….that even greens have…

    (btw..eredwen..i’m still not convinced you aren’t rod in drag..or at the very least his electorate secretary/publicist..?…)


  34. Phil, it was the Exec that decided not to have an SGM, and we are asked to contact our Exec Networker to find out why – I believe that it is likely that local meetings to explain why will be held – see you there.

    I think you show yourself up by asking the same question 10 times over the same 16 hour period. I think it is reasonable to ask once, and then if no answer is forthcoming a day later, to ask again, but to ask at 7.23pm and then act all outraged when there hasn’t been an answer by 9.17pm is silly, not everyone spends their entire evening on blogs waiting for questions from you to answer.

    I fail to understand the vitriol that has been directed at the co-leaders (and the consultation group) by Tony and Phil and a few others. I could understand this if the co-leaders had sold us out in order to get a ministerial car, but they haven’t done this. They’re not ministers, we’re not in coalition, we’re free to criticise the government, AND we got some policy and budget gains. That is a good position – better than 2002 when we had the “purity” of opposition and zero policy and budget gains (except for transport).

  35. It seems to me that we have some proper tasks.

    1. Rewriting MMP so that it is not susceptible to a “Peters Principles” shift… (given that nailing down the principles in question is about equivalent to nailing a jellyfish to a tree)

    2. Going over our policies. Finely parsing the words we use and looking at their effect on NON-green voters, people seeing them for the first time. Why say “No New Prisons” when what we mean is a moratorium on prison construction until we see where the decriminalization of victimless crime leaves us? Yes, it IS simpler.. but it also prevents anyone with an ounce of sense from taking the policy seriously… EVER. Most won’t even read past that line, and it shows up near the top of the policy statement on the web.

    3. Do some homework. People want to know what they’re getting when they vote for a party. Not just on the issues we are passionate about, but on all the issues that affect the nation. This is a maturity issue for us, but for the average joe looking at our policies the conspicuous absence of some major policy areas is rather disturbing. It gets a lot MORE disturbing because ANYONE can fill in the blanks for us… and the usual volunteers are like the E.B., not our friends.

    We do those 3 simple things and serve our time and negotiate with the MP and get what policies we can in place and the next election will see us ahead of ALL the personality parties and well placed to ensure a Labour-Green government.

    Note what I did not say. I didn’t say compromise our principles. I didn’t say change our leadership. I didn’t say get angry. We did well enough to keep Labour in and Brash out, and it would’ve been hard for us to do much better. Labour is clearly positioning itself as centrist and by doing so it likely expects to pick up support from the center… that means it will almost certainly shed some leftists, and they will come to us IF we are seen as respectable/responsible/sane. Double digits in 2008, and no chance for National at all.

    Phil… what do you think they COULD have done under the circumstances? Your anger has to be based on the idea that something better was available. What? We make a promise, we keep our word, and some policies we want get implemented. We make a promise we break our word and Peter’s Principles hold sway. What path would YOU lead us on?


  36. SPC’s comment has a nugget in it that is very interesting. If the Greens are able to work with the Maori Party and that party ends up being on the centre left, I would be very very happy. It would give the Labour Party the option of forming a centre-left government instead. That was stolen away from us, leaving us with a centrist one instead, because of Tariana’s mis-steps.

    Interesting debate.

  37. Phil.

    You’re pissed off – get over it. 2008, here we come and given the track record of Winnie Peters it will be an early election so be ready for it.

    And to answer one of your questions: I can vouch that Eredwen is not Rod in drag – or anything close.

    Back to whether the agreement should have been preseented to the party: at the AGM this issue was openly discussed. In fact the discussion went over alloted time and extra time was made to reach a solution that everyone felt happy with.

    The current rumblings of discontent need to be worked out via the party’s 2 way communication channels and aired at the next appropriate forum. BTW I have never seen a party bend over backwards as much as the GP in order to implement “appropriate decision making”. How do you think the NZF party arrived at their decision LOL.

    Now is the time to constructively look at our messages and learn from what we did well, what we stuffed up and also lift our gaze away from our navels and see what other parties did and how they fared. Lesson time!

    In the elctorate I’m involved with we are doing just that and moving forward. That’s the challenge for the other 60 odd electorates. Build it from the ground up and move on.


  38. phil u:

    a sort of reply to your questions / comments.

    1. Your anger at their actions : I believe “they” made the best they could of a bad situation. with the future in mind.
    I get “defensive” because I know these people … how principled they are, how hard they work, how much they care.

    2. “its’ called the responsibilities/accountability of leadership:”
    all of those!

    3. “should we all just adopt fixed smiles eredwen:”
    No! but learning the facts before launching forth might be more productive.

    4. “you aren’t a psuedonym being used by rod are you?:”
    Rod would be more accepting, inclusive and polite.

    5. ” and as for your sneer that if i was an electorate rep i would know why the sgm wasn’t called:”
    Not a sneer, but a reaction to your assumptions … (I did think it “not very Green” but said it anyway!)

    6. ” I was told that the sgm only had to be called if a formal coalition was to be set up….and that this wasn’t a formal coalition…” :
    (YES: and I didn’t “lecture” you on that …)
    7. “my observation to this person was that they were dancing on the head of a pin….and that there is no excuse for them signing us up for this puppy without checking with the party as a whole…”
    (Ideal in theory, but: Consultations affect other parties and their are requirements for strict secrecy. The Greens couldn’t effectively consult everyone in the time availabe. That is why the rules (all of which have been worked out in Party wide consultation!) say “a formal coalition”.)

    8. “obviously we need to institutionalise strictures such as this on any green party leadership…. this can’t be allowed to happen again…”
    (As above … if you want to change things get active within the Party. However, the Green Leadership didn’t make this decision alone. The process and who was involved was all documented. There is also a big network for rapid Aotearoa-wide consultation when needed.)

    9. “were there any conflicts of interest in that group around the leaders..who approved this deal….namely the extra funding from kowtowing to these humiliations meaning they would keep their jobs current/potential/or promised..?
    if so many..?..if not most..?..and if so..they were voting for their continued employment..(and who wouldn’t..?..)
    imho this possibility/probabilityjust strengthens the case for any deals having to be brought back to the party….”
    (This is a joke. Right? What planet have you been living on phil? (or maybe What substance are you on?) You’re actually seriously asking this about the Greens!!! )

    shakes head in disbelief and exits stage right …

  39. As a member of no party whatsoever, I thought I’d hang back and let the party faithful have their say. I can empathise with what many of you folks are saying, but frankly, you’ve missed the big picture.

    This election wasn’t lost (from the Green Party perspective) by 1200 odd votes, or by campaigning or anything that happened recently, its was lost because the Green Party keep chosing to be a minor party, its buried deep in the psyche, and this time the question wasn’t so much about how good or bad the governmental psoition is but how lucky the Greens are to be represented in parliament at all.

    So forget this term – however long it lasts. Figure out how you are actually improve your support over the traditional flirting with threshold terrritory.

    Mr Farrar has noted that some of your policies have been claimed by others. This is what will continue to happen if you have good policy ideas but no mechanisms to effectively make them happen.

    I noted in “More on the Greens and Business” – ‘Its not enough to be right – you need (and we need you) to make a difference. As BJ noted, ‘We can do better. We can do better without compromising basic principles. We really need to do better.’

    Theres the gauntlet on the deck. I think you need to compromise to achieve your goals, others disagree. You’ve got some time to work out what to do, it could be your last chance saloon…

  40. eredwen…yes and i’m sure they pat and smile at puppies too…

    you are mistaking my anger at their actions (or lack of them) as an ad hominem attack on them….(try to differentiate..)

    and pray tell me..who else should we ask these questions of…except those who did the deed…..its’ called the responsibilities/accountability of leadership ..eredwin..(it’s my turn to be patronising)..

    should we all just adopt fixed smiles eredwen..and pretend it hasn’t happened….
    just think about

    (btw..eredwen given the tone and timbre of your postings….you aren’t a psuedonym being used by rod ..are you..?..)

    and as for your sneer that if i was an electorate rep i would know why the sgm wasn’t called..( ‘..unpleasant, inapropriate and ill informed..’ has many forms eh?..some of them subtler than others..)….

    no ..i wasn’t a rep..but last night i did ask one of those in that group who approved this stinker of a deal why the sgm wasn’t called…
    i was told that the sgm only had to be called if a formal coalition was to be set up….and that this wasn’t a formal coalition….

    my observation to this person was that they were dancing on the head of a pin….and that there is no excuse for them signing us up for this puppy without checking with the party as a whole…

    obviously we need to institutionalise strictures such as this on any green party leadership…. this can’t be allowed to happen again…

    (btw…were there any conflicts of interest in that group around the leaders..who approved this deal….namely the extra funding from kowtowing to these humiliations meaning they would keep their jobs (current/potential/or promised..?)

    if so many..?..if not most..?..and if so..they were voting for their continued employment..(and who wouldn’t..?..)

    imho this possibility/probabilityjust strengthens the case for any deals having to be brought back to the party….


  41. alistair:

    I did wonder if “matronising” would be a better description ?

    … and the respect is mutual!


  42. SPC said:
    ” Unfortunately Labour has felt the need (under such pressure) to choose to pose as listening to the “electorate? by working with the centre.”

    From what Jeanettte said on the News, it seems that if the Greens had got seven seats they would have been there instead of NZF.

    Tariana is talking about time not in government “to build the Maori Party” ..
    I also think it a good opportunity for Maori and Green to build their relationship.


  43. this election has turned into an absolute nightmare.
    nandor on sabatical was bad, but he’ll be back (i hope).
    but having to be nice while everyone pisses all over you is, well, not a good look.
    but as some others have pointed out, there is an upside.
    this govt is a recipe for disaster and it’s sure to blow up in the face of the participants…
    remember what happened last time the largest party went into govt with these pricks.
    and yes, there will be lots of room out on the left flank to grab the ball and run, along with the Maori Party and Labour’s left-wing (do they exist?).

    and yellowperil–if you’re out there–can you tell us if there is any party other than the Greens that thinking immigrants could vote for?

  44. phil u (and others)

    I completely understand how upset you feel!

    I am not at all happy, but as an active Party Member I find all this blaming unpleasant, inapropriate and ill informed.

    Stop, take a deep breath, and think about how it must feel for Jeanette and Rod. They are intelligent, talented and dedicated. They have (and have had for many years) the best interests of the Party (present and future) at heart. They are advised and supported by a dedicated and talented team. (No exaggeration!)

    When “going on” about the Special General Meeting, I wonder if you understand the workings of the Party in this matter ?

    I quote from a “Green Announce” email sent 03-10-2005 to all members (A reminder on a possible SGM to decide on coallition)

    ” In the event that something is offered … The SGM is a meeting of delegates representing the electorates. Delegate forms were sent to electorates on 2nd September … Please meet as soon as possible, ie in the next day or so, to appoint delegates and arrange airfares to Wellington.”

    If you are the chosen delegate from your electorate, surely you would know why one wasn’t called?

    enough deep breaths … I’ve finished for now !


    Maybe someone would like to write and tell me this is “patronising”?

  45. Labour has formed a 51 seat government supported by the 10- seats of NZ First and United.

    Their influence is limited by an alternative support from the 10 seats of Greens and Maori Party. The latter support became problematic because of the flip flopping of MP in their talking to National (a classic case of not breathing through the nose hubris)
    If the MP had talked to and worked with Greens, it may have been different. But that’s between Greens and the MP, who have some talking to do with the Greens after their counter-productive foray into the big league spotlight.

    Greens have the opportunity of being on the cross benches with the MP – there developing an alternative support option for a Labour government. In this, they limit what NZF and United can pressure Labour into. This is also part of the work against right wing agendas. By not voting against Labour on confidence and supply (and remember the United and NZF parties are not in any formal coalition) Greens are able to later join a new support arrangment.

    But the reality is the right campaigned hard against Greens (Herald editorial Sept 16) and associated with it the social policy PC of left wing government and some threat to the economy This testifies to the fact, it’s policies do make a difference. Unfortunately Labour has felt the need (under such pressure) to choose to pose as listening to the “electorate” by working with the centre.

    Well I want interest free tertiary debt and the WFP bedded in and blocking a right wing government again in 2008. So I will take whatever gains can be made between now and then and focus on building up the campaign to achieve more in 2008-2011.

    I choose not to be be wound up by right wing support for grievance by Greens (as they did with the MP) – IT’S JUST AN ATTEMPT TO DIVIDE US and then take advantage of our disunity. If we maintain our solidarity, we can eventually reach critical mass support in the centre for progressive reform.

  46. I can’t believe Helen gave Winston Foreign Affairs. We now have a Foreign Affairs Minister who doesn’t know the difference between being “Islamic” and “Islamist”. The worst thing is that he is meant to represent the New Zealand Government overseas. How can he do that when he claims he is not part of the Government?? Well done Heather Simpson.

  47. opposition being…that rhetoric was contingent on the greens being part of a coalition…part of a centre-left government…

    propping up a centre-right government containing as ministers two of the greens’ avowed enemies is another matter altogether..and makes much of that pre-election rhetoric redundant…

    especially as us in opposition would not put the labour government in any danger of falling..therefor we would still be keeping our pre-election promise…


  48. Phil, don’t you think the pre-election rhetoric about an alliance between L and G made the option of sitting in opposition the more difficult one? As Alistair points out though, announcing the ‘alliance’ with Labour was pretty critical.

    Like you, I would welcome some answers about why there was no meeting last week. But I would wait for those answers before making up my mind fully about Rod and Jeanette’s role here. As most people here have pointed out, there were all sorts of constraints on them, and I think that they held up well on a lot of fronts, all things considered.

  49. @Shiv, sure I can understand that..It really does suck..but thats the price that had to be paid to have Helen back as PM..

  50. alister..what was to decide was to choose to support a centre-right government…

    or sit on the opposition benches…

    that choice should have been made by the party….not dictated to us by this handpicked group around rod and jeanette…(any contentious voices wouldn’t be there in that group in the first place..they’d be well and truely weeded

    us in opposition would not have brought down the labour government..

    and to claim the greens will operate as a functioning opposition party when rod and jeanette are dependent upon the goodwill of clark..peters..and dunne…is naieve in the extreme….


  51. alltux

    Thanks for that information.

    I know that Jeanette, Rod and the “Green Team” have done the best they can in a very nasty situation … with the future of the Party (not just the present) in mind. They have conducted themselves well, as they always do, and it is good that this scene will have been watched by many kneejerk “anti-Green” people throughout Aotearoa NZ.

    I agree entirely with your last paragraph:
    “I would say that if the Greens continue to refrain from ’scaring the horses’ in this fashion,then more general support will grow steadily during the next three years.”


  52. Thanks for the perspective, Scott. But I’m still having a hard time digesting the fact that the man who articulated the most stridently racist arguments (about immigration) is now the foreign minister of the country in a government led by Labour, not National.

  53. I do understand the dissappoitment..But I just needed to put it into perspective..Things could be MUCH worst…:)

  54. Thanks Scott, you give us an opportunity to all stop whining and gang up on the Aussie 🙂

    But you should understand, the disappointment is commensurate with the hopes.

    Yes, things are far worse over your way… hard yakka… kia kaha!

    And I just completely refuse to evoke the position of the French green party, of which I am a member.

  55. Phil
    There was nothing to decide, mate. We didn’t have the numbers, we got shafted. What could a special general meeting have done, apart from screaming IT’S NOT FAIR!!! ??? and been widely ridiculed by the press and public for it?

    Well there is one, symbolic thing : could have decided to vote against confidence and supply, rather than abstaining (but you’re wrong, sue b..metiria..and keith..are NOT supporting a centre-right government)

    Anger is normal, careful not to mis-direct it.

    But absolutely nothing in the agreement stops the Greens and MP working together as a strong left opposition. And it’s important that this happens.

  56. WOW! I’ve never seen so much complaining…
    All you New Zealanders should think you are lucky.
    A Labour lead government is a great outcome.
    NZ First and United Future did not want the Greens in cabinet.
    That’s the way the cookie crumbles. Forming a Stable Government is more important.
    What was Helen suppose to do?
    While it is bit sad the Greens are not in cabinet.

    It could have been WORST.
    Nationals could have WON.
    The Greens in NZ will rebuild and do really well next time around..
    I have confidence.

    Think about us here in Australia.
    We ATM have an Extremist Right Wing government in control of both houses of Parliament. They have a majority of 1 in the senate.

    There is no opposition that can effectively do anything. We have the hope that a Coalition senator (Right wing senator, who crosses the floor once already) might cross the floor on some critical things. That is about the hope us Green people in Australia.
    We have 4 great senators in the senate. All are in opposition and can do NOTHING (They have no legislative power), accept keep on trying..

    Think of having a party WORST than the nationals with a MAJORITY in there own right, with the ability pass what legislation they want….

    Here is a taste of what the Liberal Party is going to do to Australia while it has Senate control:

    1. Implement Voluntary Student Unionism – Students at university here have to pay a fee for each year. They also join the student union. This fee subsidies things such as counseling, food, student community groups etc. The government wants to remove it stating “people should not be forced to join a union? fine, but they also will not agree to a amenities fee either.
    2. Remove people’s rights at work and implement broad workplace individual controls and implementing a “Fair? pay commission, ultimately to reduce REAL wages in Australia, while removing nearly all union power:
    3. Turn Australia into a police state, with a shoot to kill policy and ability for police to lockup “suspected terrorists? for up to 2 weeks without charge.
    4. They have already sold Telstra. Our only telephone network will now be private.
    5. Let’s not forget Australia is nearly the 51st state of America
    6. The government wants to go Nuclear.
    7. They have already moved motions banning same-sex marriage and refuse to even consider civil unions or moves to remove discrimination.

    The list goes on, our universities have not had ANY funding increase from the government, instead they up the students fees by 25%..While sitting on a 13 billion dollar surplus

    So all you Kiwis stop complying about a Labour led government without the Greens. At least you have a Labour government, while not perfect, actually does some GREAT things and is at least left leaning and somewhat progressive…

  57. i believe you craig..i am also in the embarrassing position of having to agree with farrars’ summary of the fluff that is this agreement..

    and you can spin on all you like stuey and eredwen….you can’t deny we got right royally screwed…..

    and the burning questions now are….why was this agreement not brought back to the party..?….this is so un-green be almost gobsmackingly so….why were we not asked….?..could rod and jeanette please answer this question..?..especially when they knew they were signing up to an agreement that goes against so much we are for….and one that would be so contentious to so many in the greens…

    i dare they…?

    the other burning question is why was not just being in opposition not considered and canvassed…

    (once again..something that should have been brought back to the

    how can you pretend to run a democratic organisation when..when push comes to shove..and you should… don’t consult with the party membership..
    that makes all those democracy in the greens platitudes just that …eh..?

    and i just cannot get past the fact that sue b..metiria..and keith..are supporting a centre-right government….

    and are the greens so politically unaware that they don’t realise that by throwing them a couple of slivers of a bone…clark keeps them close and stops the greens/maori grouping working together as a strong opposition on the left…

    therefor she emasculates her possibly troublesome opposition….and the price..? as chips…..


  58. oh yeah, – someone mentioned section 55 So, here’s my thoughts (sorry to go off topic)
    On the news I heard that there are a bunch of lawyers in auckland who want to change s59 rather than remove it altogether. They want to give clearer guidelines as to what kind of physical contact is acceptable, (they mentioned things like. nothing above the shoulders. And Definately no injury). Well as agood greenie and a father, I was fully behind repealing s59. But now I thinik I prefer this idea. – Provided that its an ammendment to ALL assault cases, making it legal for adults to discipling each other by smaking them bellow the shoulders in a non-injurious way.
    Y’know, I find sometimes its really hard to reason with my co-workers, and there’s so much passive agressive BS. in the workplace today a smack back to reality would wake some people up, bringing those lethargic passive – agressive glazed over expressions back into crystal clear focus… hmmm … I like it.

  59. Craig : If that were true, then Clark would have gone with the Greens and left Winston and the MP to abstain.

    Operationally speaking, it doesn’t change anything for Labour to have the Greens abstaining or voting in favour (or voting against) , because they have the numbers anyway (for the time being).

    Morally speaking, there is a world of difference. The Greens do not give their confidence to this government.

  60. There is a mention of Peak Oil in the Agreement.

    Energy Efficiency and Solar Initiative
    The Green Party sees the energy efficiency and solar initiative as part of the Government’s broader programme on sustainable energy and climate change and an important step to reducing New Zealand’s energy use and preparing for the end of cheap oil.

    Main initiatives

    * clarify the mandates, working relationships, gaps and overlaps between EECA, the Commission, the Climate change office and Ministry for the Environment
    * build capacity in the solar water heating manufacturing and installing industry through economies of scale and bring down the price of units with a bulk order mediated by the government
    * significantly raise the fuel efficiency of vehicles coming into NZ with a mandatory market based mechanism
    * increase and extend support for insulating and damp proofing homes
    * urgently upgrade the building standard for new homes to reflect what is efficient at today’s electricity prices
    * change the culture of energy efficiency with a greater sense of urgency and drive and spread the message that it has a whole of government support
    * move beyond research into demonstration and commercial projects in biofuels in co-operation with industry.

    I’ve got a couple of questions…
    what is “the Commission” and what does “urgently upgrade the building standard for new homes to reflect what is efficient at today’s electricity prices” mean?

  61. Alistair:

    Sorry, but I think it’s more than mere semantics to say an abstention is as good as voting in favour.

    I know nobody here is going to believe me, but the Greens got fucked over and you deserved better. Nor do I think any thoughtful citizen on either side of the political spectrum should view Winston’s wish list with anything but profound unease.

  62. Tochigi: because it keeps the relationship alive for everyone. Winston and Dunne may have vetoed Greens in cabinet this time – but there will be a next time, and a next time, and making it clear to everyone that they play well with others isn’t going to hurt at all.

    The really interesting question is who gets to be speaker – have Labour’s “partners” cut a deal with National, or will they appoint Labour’s choice…

  63. And remember, everybody….

    the Greens will NOT be voting confidence and supply! I am relieved about that, because I feared the worst.

    Warm thanks and commiseration to Frogs past and present. It can’t have been easy biting your tongue, and fingers, these past couple of weeks.

  64. The only thing worse than this list of ‘wins’ is having to agree with DPF. Very weak. Polar Bob got it right when he pointed out that the UF thing is a right kick in the nuts.

    Agree with Tony that Peak Oil as an issue should have rated a mention, even if it were some empty promise to “investigate” the “possibility” that “someday” we might be faced with a need to do something.

    Hell, even that report out today from the More Greenhouse Gases Now! lobby at least appeared to make mention of Hybrid Cars and limiting certain imports albeit in the context of GHG emissions:,2106,3445835a13,00.html

    But let’s be positive. Maybe Labour is doing us a favor in their lurch to the Centre Right, they may just well make the space on the left that the Greens need to push past the 5% doldrums and onto “10% glory”. Hmmmm, that might need a plan, quick, let’s get a consensus decision making process in place right away, we only have three years and we’ll need two of those to get agreement on what we are going to do. Whoops, sorry, better resign my membership, I forgot that Greens above all else have to be ‘nice’ (btw, Bollocks to that Rod).

  65. my 5 cents:
    I think its sad that labour has taken a crap all over its own voters plus the green voters and the maori party voters. If Labour doesn’t need the greens, then why didn’t we just go opposition?
    I don’t understand why they continue to tend right. I hope that the voters fight back next election and give more power to greens and maori party. But I gues we have to keep reminding them to do so. Also I thinks we should have had hui so that our people could decide (hmm… mybe I’ll join the maori party)
    – yeah we need to formalise the process too, so that its not a race to form govt. I can’t help wondering if part of the result was due to labours fear of national doing something crazy, by skinning maori cats a different way.
    – Go 123 mmp!!!

  66. Tony,

    I’m not sure what your point is :

    * should we not have announced support for Labour before the election? Maybe… but as events unfolded, that would have resulted in 0 seats in parliament

    * should we now renege on the promise by voting the government down? This would certainly feel good… and would win plaudits from some, condemnation from others.

    From a policy point of view, there’s nothing much to be done because the Centrists have got Helen by the balls.

    Heckling from the sidelines seems like not a bad position, in the meantime. Target the centrists; say out loud what the Labour base are thinking (and the Labour ministers are not allowed to say!)

  67. Usually mildly “anti-Greens” Labour voters with whom I am acquainted seemed impressed and surprised at Jeanette and Rod’s televised comments and reaction to Labours deals with Winston and the dummy-spitter. I would say that if the Greens continue to refrain from ‘scaring the horses’ in this fashion,then more general support will grow steadily during the next three years.I for one certainly hope so.These same people were far more terrified by the suddenly looming possibility of John Key and co. on the Treasury benches than they have ever been of the Greens.

  68. Logix : I’m sure you’re right about Clark being gutted… Cullen even more so, no doubt… Health reasons indeed : sick and tired of the whole thing! Though it looks like he kept the superannuation blow-out down to a minimum.

    In fact, how about some analysis of the “concessions” that the parties of the extreme centre got?

    A few more cops… ho hum… “policy reviews”… ho hum…

    But they get the chauffeur driven cars, and that’s the main thing.

  69. I’m a green party member but on election day I worked really hard with local lab org to help get their vote out, figuring this was the best way to ensure a left gov.
    Fuck I am pissed off and I should imagine most of grass roots labour are pissed off.
    I would have almost have prefered Brash to this fuck up

  70. It’s a very strange beast, this new government, and not at all what I expected. All I can imagine is that Helen hopes that having Peters and Dunne in the tent means their rhetoric will be directed at National rather than Labour, which will for the vital battle in the centre, while the left will flow back to greens. so a stronger L(P)G is a bit more likely next time around. However I think she should have instead pushed through an LPG and shown that it could perform against the trials of the next 3 years.

  71. Phil

    The long view. We chose leaders and they got SOMETHING from what is decidedly a bad hand. Now we, and the Maori party, are sitting it out on the sidelines while Labour tries to push National out of the center entirely. There’s strategy in that too. Labour strategy. Logix nailed it in just one sentence about “Tactical voting”. We had TWO near-death experiences in this election. Couldn’t have done better without a crystal ball.


  72. As a right winger, I don’t think the Greens did too badly. The Green Negotiators were in a difficult situation.

    Remember, compromise is when every-one loses equally. Every-one has just lost here, but that is no reason to be so grim. BJ Chip and Logix are showing good spirit. Remember the positives! At least you know just where you stand with Labour, now that the electioneering is over. You are starting to find out you might have even more in common with Turia. Just wait for three more years. MMP might be united in terms of opposition to the inclusive Labour.

    …but I am seeing the funny side of Phil U having a rant (and I can see his point). Always so polite when visiting SH..who would have thought … whoar!… :-).

    I’m pleased to see no mention of s59…but I’m sure that’s going to be pushed anyway. Nandor might be disappointed that the Cannabis issue seems forgotten, but that seemed to be a UF counter point, so we get a glimpse of what the discussions may have been about.

    Looks like the Greens might get to push the Solar Panel project. I’m interested to see how that plugs into the buy NZ, and at the same time ensures we get the best technology for the money. It’s a good opportunity for the Greens to show how their economic management might dovetail in with business, or not.

    The Buy NZ campaign is a worry for me personally. Will the government eschew our software because it has some Australian content, and buy something less suited but more policy friendly? Will that hurt our local office, and all the local jobs, whilst watching large foreign companies like EDS somehow evade these challenges? How Kiwi is the Kiwi, if the number 8 wire was imported, but the fence is pure kiwi genius?

    The $12/hr in 2008 if economic situation merits? Sorry guys. Two things:
    1. Cullen said the same thing about lowering the company tax rate in 2000/2001 if there was a surplus. Didn’t happen.
    2. By 2008, with inflation the way it’s going to be, you’ll need it to be $13.50 per hour. So, if you get it, it will be a hollow victory. Given that its a shared victory with NZ First, those “right wingers”, I’m not sure it will taste as sweet. At least it also gives businesses time to plan…any slow down in re-hiring shortly before this date, take note.

    Minor point: it pains me to hear NZ First and UF painted as Centre-Right. For goodness sake, every-thing looks “right” to the Greens! From my point of view, they are pure centrist. Centrists circle, and sometimes the circle can move left or right, but they are only on the right briefly because they are circling. Its all to do with which way the eyes point, not where they are standing.

    Well, that’s the perspective from this right wing puss.

  73. I’ve got a hunch that the emptiness of the deal is directly tied to the promise merely to abstain.

    I believe that Clark would have handed over more substantial goodies for a positive vote (though she may have been constrained in this by the twin dorks, Peter and Peters).

    Given the complete lack of substance, being frankly in opposition would have been more honourable. However, it would have been a broken promise…

    But what does the panel think… make up a wish-list of substantial and verifiable “concessions”, that would have been worth a positive vote on confidence and supply?

    I think we have to accept that we got dealt a crappy hand, and there was no decent way of playing it. The three ways of voting on confidence (up, down, sideways) are all wrong in some respect.

  74. DPF, you (and several other commenters above) are of course correct that the list of policy points is a meaningless smokescreen. The real policy gains are to be had from

    These include a Buy Kiwi Made campaign that will provide a huge boost to employment in local businesses and an enhanced energy efficiency programme, including solar panels for New Zealand homes.

    This agreement will result in Ms Fitzsimons becoming a Government spokesperson on energy efficiency and solar programmes and Mr Donald a spokesperson on Buy Kiwi Made.

    Basically the real policy gain is process not policy, the continuation of our close working relationship with Labour, which has previously seen co-operation on Transport and now this is extended…

    The Greens have also negotiated agreements for joint policy and decision-making in areas of environmental education, initiatives to improve nutrition and working with the community and voluntary sector.

    (I’m not saying it’s much, but it is more than that list of policies.)

  75. paurinse:

    We are ALL pissed off !
    To answer some of your points: (which I read with interest)

    Green negotiators did the best they could in a very difficult situation.
    (If we had got 1 235+ extra Party Votes, with seven MPs we we would be in a different outcome.)

    Our MPs work DO very hard and are noticed for it.

    As for being “nice” that is what makes us different (and it works well in the long run). It certainly is noticed by voters!

    I’m surprised at some of the things, that you say Greens don’t do, that they should. For example, as a member I am kept in touch very regularly with by the Party (nationally and locally).

    I agree that “the Greens environmental ideas are absolutely needed”!

    “Greens do very little for NZ social justice/poor people” … I think we do as much as we can within Parliament and in other ways. Whenever there is a chance. (It probably doesn’t make it into the news.)

    I AGREE!! that we need to get through to “working class activists who think we are white and middle class” (actually many of us are, but our ideas, beliefs and behaviour cetainly don’t fit their stereotypes!)

    I am very pleased you are telling people about the Greens. I tell people too: (many of them are “white middle class” and middle aged who think the Greens are scary!) I brought up my kids as an unsupported solo mother … so have some idea of what you are talking about.

    I TOTALLY AGREE that: “in fact anyone who doesn’t ‘fit’ should be excited by the Greens!”

    “The Greens should quit trying to fall into line with the power elite” … They need to be in that area to some extent if we want to get Green poicies through.

    I agree that Greens aren’t “tough”, but I know that they are very strong and determined, which is better.

    … “they better start appealing to different kinds of people – ordinary people, workers, solo parents, poor and ‘different’ people, the provinces and the rural areas.” … YES I totally agree and know that we are trying.
    (I brought up my kids as an unsupported solo mother … so have some idea of what you are talking about.)

    ” This means using language that everyday people understand … AN EXCELLENT POINT!!! (I’ll pass that on!)

    “standing up for themselves publicly instead of always appearing conciliatory” …. Now, that is a problem of how people see the Greens.

    “Nothing wrong with a bit of dope, the Greens should just stop
    making such an issue of it” …
    Peter Dunne and UF will probably disagree with that!

    “Where the Greens should get TOUGH are in things like working conditions, mental health in the work place, wages, attacking corporations”
    … I think Green MPs speak out on all these issues.

    “what else are corporations for other than profit” … and they speak out on these issues

    “The GREENS should be RADICAL – for christs’ sake” … The Greens are actually radical (which means” getting to the root” … of the problem etc) but it is best not to wear that label because it is misunderstood.

    Finally … PLEASE keep on supporting … the Greens need you!


  76. Is it my imagination, but doesn’t HC sound deeply tired and unenthusiastic? I would imagine she is no more pleased with this deal than you guys are, and the most dangerous posssibility that I can forsee is Michael Cullen resigning for “health” reasons. It’s a deal that is going to leave a fair bit of disgruntlment among Labour and NZF parties, not just the Greens. Whose is going to outlast the upcoming circus I wonder?

  77. The Labour rank and file will be spitting mad over this too, of course.

    But, of course, that is of absolutely no consequence to anyone or anything.

  78. Absolutely David, these “concessions” are worth their weight in the paper they are written on.

    And Rod and Jeanette as cheerleaders for the centrist government… what budget, how many civil servants? that is rather sick.

  79. Let’s see these so called wins

    # Build increased capacity for public transport

    Meaningless and Labour would have done it anyway.

    # Increase the number of students eligible for student allowances by increasing parental income thresholds

    United Future claiming credit for this.

    # Further reduce levels of child poverty

    No specifics – will happen automatically with WFF.

    # Increase Overseas Development Assistance in the next three budgets beyond that currently forecast.

    Already promised by Labour in election.

    # Enhance organics advisory services.


    # Increase the minimum wage to $12 an hour by the end of 2008

    NZ First have claimed credit.

    # Firm up the area of GE-free production

    So trivial to be meaningless compared to original stance.

    # Maintain a dialogue around peacemaking


    # Retain the Maori seats for as long as Maori want them.

    Labour’s position anyway.

    # Intensive habitat management to restore populations of endangered species

    Labour’s policy already.

  80. I’m completely gutted of course… but please note, PhilU, Shiv et al, that the Greens have NOT promised confidence and supply to this centrist government.

    They have promised to ABSTAIN on confidence and supply.

    My preference, obviously, would be to vote AGAINST confidence and supply (how could the Greens have confidence in such a government!), and to be formally in opposition… but the distinction is important all the same.

    However, I’d give this government less than 50% chance of seeing out a full term. For their electoral survival, Peters and/or Dunne will pull a dummy-spit at some stage. The Greens and the MP should be talking about arrangements for propping up a minority Labour government in that circonstance. That could be a real winner, looking to 2008.

  81. idiot/savant:

    i more or less agree with you, but why didn’t the Greens just politely say, “thanks, but no thanks”?

    why would they want to have any formal association with a dog’s breakfast like this?

  82. I fully appreciate the need for pragmatism and can deal with Peters getting the rub of the green (no pun intended) due to his undoubted leverage – albeit begrudgingly – but Dunne over the Greens? No matter how you dice it that’s a swift kick in the nads.

    Better to be a viable alternative to the status quo and promote yourself as such. The hand-holding with Labour didn’t work (regardless of minor party difficulties) and whilst I greatly admire perseverance and loyalty as a trait, to expect a Political animal such as Labour to repay that faith in kind is naive at best. Fairly broad, well meaning “concessions” and positions of semi-responsibility notwithstanding, we need to show some teeth over this term.

  83. I’m not sure why anyone is upset over The Greens end of this. The policy deal, FWIW, is a free lunch; the Greens didn’t agree to do anything they weren’t already going to (i.e. not vote for Don), and while the promises are vague, they are at least a sign that Labour knows who their friends are. And I can’t see why any grassroots consultation would be required to approve something so trivial (what next, an SGM to decide the colour of Keith’s g-string?)

    The Greens will now get to spend the next three years doing what they do best: being a conscience of government and reminding everyone of what Labour and NZ should stand for. And I don’t think that will hurt them in the slightest. I also expect they’ll have a great time using leaks from disgruntled Labour MPs to embarass Peters and Dunne over the handling of their portfolios – which isn’t going to make them look bad either. Not supporting this government seems like a winner on the face of it.

    Now, if only they could work with the Maori Party and convince them to support Labour when Winston throws his temper-tantrum…

  84. yes. this Greens deal is non-sensical.
    but this has got to be the beginning of the end for the disgusting Clark.
    caving in to Dunhill!
    with friends like her…

  85. Most Labour voters wanted the Greens as a coalition partner. I hope this bodes well for the next election when they realise that voting for the Greens is the best way to do that. It seems that you certainly cant leave the ball in Labour’s court.

  86. Cripes phil, no-one feels good about it, but how about breathing through your nose for a while and nipping off down to the local for a soothing pint or two.

    Tactical voting…. 0.3% less and not in Parliament, 1.0% more and Donkey in power. We really are not knowing how lucky we are.

  87. The answer’s simple Phil and goes back to the Realos vs. Fundies debate. I think the Green’s leaders knew full well that their members would have preferred the purity of opposition to the incremental achievements of the deal which has been done. I think too that Rod and Jeannette will be under no illusion that a failure to get Labour to deliver properly on the deal will lead to them being rolled from the co-leadership of the party.

  88. i am now steaming even more..rod said on tv they have known this is how it is for a week….!

    there is now no excuse for the special general meeting not to have been called….

    where the fuck do rod and jeanette and whoever get off just signing us up for this stinker..?

    i repeat..why was the sgm not called…we deserve an answer…


  89. OK… so things in the Beehive are going to suck for the next 3 years and we have Winston Peters and Peter Dunne to thank for that.

    But I don’t think Winston Peters is going to be in politics 4 years from now… and I don’t think NZ1 is going to have much presence in parliament without his presence as a leader. Personality cults are like that.

    Peter Dunne could last longer, but his representation is smaller than ever, and likely smaller still if he proves as irrational as his performance in the past 6 months have shown him.

    However, the situation we find ourselves in has a striking relationship to the “the biggest party vote has first right to form government” statement from Peters. He VERY accurately targeted a weakness in the formation of the MMP based government. The choice of who goes first. Now we try to fix THAT, and get it right please, or we can do this sorry dance again at the next election.

    I find it remarkable that all the posts of last week relating to 123MMP have been completely forgotten in the vituperative blame slinging that calls for all manner of revisions of a really pretty decent leadership group and policies and every damned other thing under the sun. Don’t fix blame… fix problem.

    Yeah, I know, I’m one of those who calls for a complete SET of policies, not just the ones that we feel like creating.. and I have some arguments over wording of some others, but nothing is wrong with our fundamental principles and most of the policies are just fine and I see no real problem with the leadership. We mustn’t scare the horses is all.


  90. I’m with you, webweaver. And I’m struggling to understand *why* the Greens are supporting this coalition. Rod said that they were abstaining in order to prevent a National-led government: he just called it the ‘bottom line’ in a conversation with Campbell. But Clark doesn’t need the Greens at all to get to her 61 votes, so even a no-confidence vote on the part of the Greens would not bring the government down. Essentially they got very, very few concessions in exchange for giving up a position in the opposition where they may have been more effective. I can’t help feeling that this odd space that the Greens will occupy in parliament now is a result of the pre-election position that they took, and I hope that this is the last time that the Greens go into this sort of agreement with Labour. Better to wait until after the election.

    At the same time I have to say I’m amazed at Rod and Jeanette’s composure during this entire process. It’s clearly been a tough time for them, and the fact that they seem as composed and reasonable as they do now is testimony to the caliber of their leadership.


  91. Cytochem says: “At the end of the day, the reason the greens didn’t get a better deal was the lack of 1200 more votes.”

    Possibly. It probably also has something to do with Helen Clark’s own political inclinations. Judging from the people I’ve spoken to, those 1246 votes were Green supporters voting Labout to ensure they were the largest party. How likely is it that they’ll do that again in 2008?

  92. It also seems clear from the Labour-NZ First and Labour-UF agreements that the current carbon tax is likely to be axed. Perhaps Hodgson’s performance on the radio this morning was a forerunner of that?

  93. It is also apparent from the Labour-NZ First agreement that the Green’s claim that their deal will deliver a $12/hr minimum wage will only happen “if economic conditions permit”. Given the recent comments by the Reserve Bank governor on inflation, I would not be holding my breath about even this happening.

  94. I’m with you webweaver. And Winston as Minister of Foreign Affairs. I think I would have preferred Don Brash to have tried a National+NZF+UF+MP

    …no I don’t mean that, still feel completely let down and I would have thought that Helen could have done at least a slightly better deal for Greens, hope noone diverts away from Greens for Labour next time.

  95. Well, I’m so pissed off I could spit. Dunne and Winston – the leaders of the two parties who specifically said they weren’t going to decide who to side with until after the election – and they get rewarded for it. They get rewarded for wheeling and dealing and playing each side off against each other, while the Greens – nice, polite and agreeable to the last – get shafted.

  96. I feel sick. Did all that vote splitting really indicate that the voters wanted the Ministers of Snake-Oil and Temper-Tantrums to be rewarded for their behaviour? WHAT IS SHE THINKING?

  97. a total sell-out..$12 hr is peters’ policy…the rest of it is just mealy-mouthed fluff….reducing child poverty ..indeed..! exactly..?..beyond the warm words….

    nine years in fucken parliament..for this..?all that work..for this..?..what a fucken joke…

    and why was the party membership given no say in accepting or rejecting this stinker of a deal…?…where were the much-vaunted fucken democratic practices of the green party..when push came to shove…..non-existant….we were perhaps the least democratic of all the parties…green huis..what green huis?

    did the other mp’s and that executive group sign up for this as well..?

    why didn’t you vote to just sit on the opposition benches..with the maori party..and be a real honest opposition to this centre-right layer-cake..

    i don’t think any of us voted for you to go and do this….

    gimme a fucken break…….

    please..tell me…how could it be worse..?’ve got no power…and you are..yes you are…supporting a centre-right government…with peters and dunne your bosses..after them having screwed you over..

    where is your dignity..?

    where is our dignity..?


  98. As others have noted, without the numbers this “deal” sounds awfully tokenistic.

    So, now that Labour has formed a Centre-Right government, where to from here? It does seem a great chance for the Greens to point out that they are now the only serious left-wing option for voters. I can’t imagine many Labour supporters will be happy to have ended up with Peters & Dunne. Maybe they’ll learn from their mistakes and vote for you next time…?

  99. So that is that – is it? OK as far as it goes but really a bit disappointing.
    Hope select committee chairperson jobs go to Greens. Joy.

  100. There’s only one item here which has a figure next to it. How big an increase in overseas aid? How much more public transport capacity over and above what Labour were going to do anyway? What percentage decrease in child poverty?

    If you have a more specific document on the agreement Frog, it would help if you could post that.

  101. I’m tremendously disappointed that the Greens and the Maori party didn’t talk more. There is so much traction to be obtained between their policies. Perhaps if the Maori party had looked left rather than right, then we’d have a Labour-left instead of a Labour-right government today.

  102. For one, you need to ensure you have a better image among other parties. A large reason probably was NZF and UF hating you, which makes a Govt involving you unable to work. It wasn’t really workable without NZF, and Dunne gives you support for peanuts (look at last time, eight votes for practically nothing). Labour tying themselves with you, so they thought, wouldn’t have been good for you. That and perhaps the other reason others here are thinking, your leaders couldn’t negotiate nearly as well as Peters.

  103. Typical GREENS always generalize and never specific. The $12 an hour by 2008 is a JOKE – and – it probably won’t happen.

    The Greens are not keeping in touch with its members. Im personally sick of the way the Greens are so damn nice – and put up with abuse from the other parties, the media and the dull left. I’ve been a supporter for years because I think the Greens environmental ideas are absolutely needed – and – even though the Greens do very little for NZ social justice/poor people – I think their overall philosophy really gels with the needs of the poor – even though many activists for the ‘working class’ believe the Greens are a middle-class white party – I always jump to the Greens defence, because fundamentally, many of their policies, if realised – could work for those of us who struggle to make ends meet.

    In fact anyone who doesn’t ‘fit’ should be excited by the Greens in my opinion – the Greens should quit trying to fall into line with the power elite – those jerks are just opportunists who’ll do anything for power. I don’t think the Greens are tough enough. If the Greens want to be in parliament next time they better start appealing to different kinds of people – ordinary people, workers, solo parents, poor and ‘different’ people, the provinces and the rural areas. This means using language that everyday people understand, standing up for themselves publicly instead of always appearing conciliatory and wanting to fit in, get rid of the controversial single issue ideas – while still supporting them if necessary – just don’t announce it to the world – e.g. POT. Nothing wrong with a bit of dope, the Greens should just stop making such an issue of it – thankfully, people are cool enough to flout the law anyway – AND, if necessary, approach the pot issue more gently. Where the Greens should get TOUGH are in things like working conditions, mental health in the work place, wages, attacking corporations, viciously attack TELECOM and VODAPHONE — or any companies that are inefficient.

    Keep campaigning against things that make us sick like advertising, NZs ridiculous, narrow education system that kids are forced to take and bad food – I know this is done to some extent – but look at where its done – in the cities – to middle-class white civilized educated people. It may be accepted that what else are corporations for other than profit – but sorry this is no longer tolerable. Business – even here in NZ has too much power. The GREENS should be RADICAL – for christs’ sake – this world is totally saturated by corporate economic dominance everywhere – we actually NEED to fight back in order to get some proportionality back. Those 6 MPs better start working.

    Seann Paurini

  104. Where’s the means to achieve these [laudable] objectives frog? No seat at the table. Not even in the same room. Breadcrumbs after NZF/UF policies are paid for, if we’re lucky. Pathetic. A sellout. And where was the SGM to allow members to comment? Scared of a bit of bloodletting? Where’s democracy gone? We now rebuild a political party with cojones, or let’s all go home and stop wasting time and energy. 5.3% of the popular vote in 1975, 5.3% in 2005, and we now have spokespeople on solar heating and buying peanut slabs. What do I think. We just got screwed.

  105. Although you do have the advantage of having a much larger chance of surviving in 2008. Had you say, gone into coalition, there’s a good chance you’d go the way of the Alliance. Now, you may just make it.

  106. A lot of the deals seem to be simply nominal and not so tangible – what does ‘reducig child poverty’ really mean without some set plan of action?? And NZ First wanted the minimum wage increases anyway.

    I’m super disappointed Labour went with United Future, but maybe its not the worst deal ever. The Greens will be free to fight harder and complain more loudly… and I’m pretty sure next election, our numbers will increase threefold.

  107. And other parties aren’t interested in “further reducing levels of child poverty”?

    It’s left to the Greens? Amazing!

    And at the present and preducted rates of inflation, what will $12 an hour be worth in 2008?

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