Thanks for your support

So we’re a couple of days on from Saturday night’s results. I’ve had a bit of sleep, which has helped, but I’m still experiencing a roller coaster of emotions.

As the person in our Caucus with overall responsibility for planning and strategy, I am really proud of the job we all – MPs, staff and volunteers – did over the past three years, both in the House and in the community. That performance was solidified in a great campaign. I can’t think of any significant mistakes we made or opportunities we failed to seize. We left everything out on the field, as they say. Our co-leaders did us proud, our candidates represented us really well, our policy announcements were visionary, practical, well delivered and received, and staff and volunteers right around the country delivered a really well-planned and executed campaign.

So first of all, thank you to everyone who was part of this, and everyone who voted for us.

With a week still to run before the election we appeared to be on track to achieve our target of 15%, with a chance of changing the Government. Poll after poll recorded us at historic high levels. So no wonder we all felt such a sense of deflation and disappointment on Saturday night. We expected to have more opportunity to advance sorely-needed good, green change, and instead we will probably have less. The reviews and analyses of how this happened are getting under way now. My own sense is that people who didn’t engage with the substance of the Greenwald/Snowden revelations felt offended that Mr Dotcom was trying to derail National so close to the election. It seemed like a calculated manipulation of democratic process; they didn’t think it was fair and they responded with a sympathy vote for the Government. That’s one theory anyway! There will be plenty of others, and it will be important that we don’t shrink from self-criticism.

But besides pride and disappointment I am also relieved. John Key may have pulled off (pending specials) a first under MMP of being technically able to govern alone. In the same election Labour’s result is their worst in 90 years. Against this tide we have more or less held our ground. At this point it seems we may have lost an MP, but I am hopeful that Steffan will be back once Special votes are counted. Either way, that still places us close to our best ever election performance.

We’ve worked with the Government to get 235,00 houses insulated, ensure there is better management of toxic sites in New Zealand, forced an investigation into the SkyCity deal, as well as playing a key role in getting authorities to investigate ACC privacy breaches. We managed to get NZ Sign Language recognised in the Standing Orders of parliament. Jan Logie’s ‘Everyone needs the right help’ campaign resulted in more funding for the sector and started a select committee inquiry into sexual violence. We lead the opposition in parliament to the GCSB and the Asset Sales. And after years of Green Party pressure, the huge government banking contract will finally be opened up to get better value for money for the New Zealand public instead of sending all the profits to Australian-owned Westpac bank.

We’ll continue to stand up tall on the issues that matter, and work with other parties where we can find common ground. While another term in opposition is not what we wanted we have still delivered the base for us to immediately regroup. We’ll see what gains may be possible with the new government, be the best Opposition we can possibly be, and change the Government in 2017!

Metiria and Russel entering the Green Election Night celebration

About Kevin Hague 163 Articles

Green Party Member of Parliament

3 Comments Posted

  1. I’m not sure I’m with the blue-greens thing, but it isn’t completely mad.

    As centre right parties go, the Nats are actually pretty left, more than that, they are far enough left for the electorate. The electorate don’t feel the need to flirt with the “real” left wing parties, as the portion of the electorate that decides the outcome doesn’t like what they see, as they’ll be personally worse off.

    I’m on record as four terms for National, so the question the greens need to consider is do they ever want to be in a position to influence national policy, and who they need to become to achieve that outcome.

  2. Greens have nothing at all to be ashamed of:

    We were attacked by
    National
    Conservative
    ACT
    Winston First
    Peter Overdone
    United Farmers
    Business Roundtable
    etc
    etc

    and Labour ran away from us. Some Labour MPs even attacked us.

    …and the media facilitated the attackers.

    We still stood our ground. We managed not to lose sight of our principles and policies. We managed to come out of it looking like a party I can be proud of.

    The result of this election was inevitable when Labour determined to run away from us.

    That opened the door for Key and National to run against US.

    We were never participants in the big debates, our views were not reported in depth, and we had no ability to answer the stream of unsupported and unsupportable allegations by all of the above, so in this campaign Key and National ran unopposed, and the media never noticed just how badly they were reporting things.

    “Greens are extreme” wasn’t EVER followed up with the simple question “In what way?” for the media was in it almost as deep as the political parties, with few exceptions. The “Watermelon” charge is clearly untrue, yet clings to us and the result is that no matter that our policies are sane and our principles easily conform and can work with Labour in most every way, a fair few Labour voters are frightened away. Voting either National or Not at All. Cunliffe et.al. let them go rather than sticking up for a partner everyone knew Labour would have to accept to have any chance.

    Which is exactly what Key was counting on. It worked in the last election too. It will continue to work as long as Labour insists that it needs to be National-Lite and runs away from us, because the one thing that everyone in the country knows is that Labour cannot defeat National without us. Their failure to discuss our ACTUAL policies with the yammering idiots doomed them as certainly as their backstabbing of Hone doomed him. Two progressive seats and allies lost to the same brilliant strategists who conceived the idea that Labour should run away from the Greens.

    No… WE have nothing to be ashamed of in this election. We managed to do what nobody else on the left managed.

    The only question is who was the chief strategist for Labour. Whoever THAT was, needs to go… no matter where they stand on the party list.

    BJ

  3. I also heap praise on the Green machine. There was a great group effort and a well contacted focus group. Our leaders spoke well and got a lot of press coverage with their progressive ideas. The Greens will continue to press for sensible policy and in so doing, will lead. Stay the course, the next years will validate the Green logic and programme. Better days of leadership will arrive, but for now, we continue being the bright ideas opposition.

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