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Labour and Green parties sign first ever Memorandum of Understanding to work together to change Government

Labour and Green parties sign first ever Memorandum of Understanding to work together to change Government
Labour Leader Andrew Little speaks in the legislative chamber of Parliament to announce a Memorandum of Understanding between the Labour and Green Parties. Deputy Labour Leader Annette King (L) and Green Co Leaders Metiria Turei and James Shaw (R) listen.

By Bernard Hickey

The Labour and Green parties have signed what they said was an historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to cooperate to change the Government, including looking to cooperate on some joint policy platforms and work together in some electorates.

Labour Leader Andrew Little, Deputy Leader Annette King, Green Co-Leader Metiria Turei and fellow Co-Leader James Shaw made the announcement in the old Legislative Chamber in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon.

“We are sending a clear signal to New Zealanders who want a new and better government that Labour and the Greens will work together to deliver that,” Little said.

“It is our intent to build on this agreement to offer New Zealanders the basis of a stable, credible and progressive alternative government at the 2017 General Election," he said.

"The MoU is a fresh start and a sign of newfound strength in our relationship and our mutual commitment to changing the Government."

The then Labour Leader David Cunliffe and then Green Co-Leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman could not agree on a similar deal before the 2014 election, which some saw as undermining confidence in the combination as a alternative Government, particularly given the prospect of the inclusion of the (now defunct) Mana-Internet party.

“New Zealanders who want a better future now have crystal clear clarity about what they are getting with their vote. We are a vote for change,” Turei said.

“When Labour and the Greens have actively cooperated and campaigned together, New Zealanders did perceive our parties as a credible alternative to National. New Zealanders want to see politicians working together. This MOU lets people see we are a strong and stable alternative to the current Government," she said.

The MOU includes a 'agree to disagree' protocol that allows them to campaign with different policies in certain areas, albeit after informing each other before public debate.

"We agree to articulate differences in a collegial and respectful manner so as not to detract from the purpose of the agreement," they said.

'We'll work with Winston'

Turei and Little were asked in the news conference after the announcement if Labour would ditch the Greens if New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters refused to work with the Greens, as he has done in the past.

They both said they could work with Peters and Turei said she was comfortable that New Zealand First would be able to work with the Greens after next year's election.

"This is not a monogamous relationship," Little said.

"We have no concerns about working with New Zealand First," Turei said, saying she was also working with the Green Party 10 years ago when Peters locked the Greens out of the Labour Government formed in 2005, and the situation was different this time.

They agreed they would work to form some joint policies, but said there would be some differences.

The Green Party still favours a Capital Gains Tax, while Labour under Little has said Labour would not campaign for such a tax again. They also jointly proposed a re-nationalisation of the wholesale electricity buying system before the last election, but Little has previously signalled Labour would not campaign with that policy again.

Little said Grant Robertson would be Finance Minister in a Labour-Green Government, but would not say beyond that who would get the various portfolios.

Turei said Labour and Green would look at jointly campaigning in certain electorates, including the Ohariu electorate in Wellington, where United Future MP Peter Dunne won last year with a lower vote than the combined total of the Labour and Green candidates. Dunne went on again to support the current National Government.

For his part, Peters was in typically combative form when asked in Parliament about the agreement, saying he would not answer questions on it was "mathematical crap" and a waste of time.

Asked about his relationship with the Greens, he said: "Does anybody out there give a rat’s derriere about that question? No they don’t."

(Updated with reaction from Winston Peters)

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I thought NZ was Trumpless,obviously not.


Positive move together is the only way they can kick out this No ACTION government.

I wish them luck.

You should be careful with what you are wishing for. Labour-Green coalitions around the globe stand for economic mismanagement, turning a blind eye on illegal immigration and collecting brownie points for very costly increases in so-called developing aid (which is counterproductive anyways) as well as ramping up intakes of so-called refugees.

The choice between the plague and cholera is never pleasant.

a lot of WP policies are very simliar to the greens and labour so i dont think it will be that much a problem forhim to work with them

Yes, like investing in rail, especially in Te Tai Tokerau.

looks like the labour, greens just gave winston the baubles of power. Time for andrew to go - how about john tamihere for leader, he dont speak with forked tongue.

All fruity now, Green on the outside and Red inside.. what missing is the mushy bit

I dont see any upside in this for Labour, but plenty of downside. Next poll will be interesting......

They should have stuck with David Shearer as leader since day one. Instead they white anting every single leader they selected.

Yes but Parker was a major liability

They simply do what many other so-called Labor parties in the so-called Western world have been doing in the past decades i.e forming coalitions with the green parties.

Well they'll need Winston for sure, there's no way to topple National without him. I wonder how Winston feels about the man ban?

Desperate measures


Well better than having National who are happy to sell NZ out to the highest bidder.

Surely, Labor/Greens will re-establish national sovereignty and put the interests of New Zealand First :-) ... very funny.

They will clobber us with additional bureaucracy on housing while pursuing their true calling, which is to bring in yet more social dynamite in the shape of mass immigration from backward societies.

Actually, they should simply form a National - Labor - Green coalition, so that everyone gets some govt jobs. In effect there is hardly any difference between Natonal, Labor and the Greens.

NZ First is the only alternative, and when push comes to shove, National - Labor - Green will campaign together to keep out NZ First. We have recently seen analogous behaviour in France and Austria.

Your bias against the greens is becoming a bit tiring, seeing as it isn't based on any facts.
Labour and the greens have stricter immigration policies than national, for a start, and your assertion that NZfirst is the only alternative is laughable.
Have you even had a look at the social policies of the greens, or are you happy to just spout uninformed nonsense?

Maharey is on his way ....


They tried this before and the Greens got screwed over. They must get Winston onboard or forget it. I'm voting WP regardless what these guys come up with.
They MUST get more aggressive and actually start reflecting the public anger I see and feel via seriously targeted DEFINED policies at correcting housing speculation and hoarding, tax imbalances that promote such investment, and dealing hard to immigration for the benefit of actual citizens first.

They MUST NOT just talk about creating or adding more benefits at the expense of the middle class what is left of it.

The Accommodation Supplement must go as it's been totally hi-jacked by landlords. Kiwi Saver MUST stay voluntary. My income after tax is MY business. Stay the hell away.

They MUST talk about dealing to the electricity companies and dairy. Encouraging Solar and cross street/3rd party selling of generation.

They must go target hard Nick Smith, Paula, Bill, Simon, and all the other charlatans who constantly are never pulled up with their spin and deflection.

Go hard, or go home Labour & Greens.

Ohh, and god damn new faces with real intelligent arguments and solutions. Sick of the same pathetic hangers on who have been there forever yet never achieved a thing. Some of them are in that photo!

So in this relationship, who is the minor party and who's on top or dominating one?

In any working relationship you must be on the same page or it fails. Domination is a 'power' thing which will lead to failure. After all these years in opposition I still don't think they get it, that the same old same old will not work! They really BOTH need to look hard in the mirror at themselves. But unfortunately politicians are blinded by faith much like a religious person is to reality. They hope, they pray, but do little else.

Someone has to be dominant though. Who would be PM? The greens have two co-leaders, then you have Little.

Who would be PM? Jezz thats the least of my worries but I would put Winston there because he has one quality over all the others. A very very strong nose for finding corruption

May not be one of your worries, but according to a lot of the surveys last election a lot of people weren't voting on policies, most barely knew of a policy.

So, rightly or wrongly the "face" of the party attracts as many votes as anything else these day. Do they present a united singular face to base the election on?

If people still vote like that then NZ is screwed. You do get the government you deserve in many cases. Not sure what you want me to tell you? I'm not voting L or G or N.

I am far from convinced by Labour. I am not impressed by Little. But at this point in time, I'd vote for them as I far prefer their current policies to National's. And that is coming from a guy who voted for the Nats at the last election! So there you go!

Not after anything form you. Just hazarding a guess that most people on this site are probably a bit more informed than the vast majority of people out there (i.e. they/we are technically a minority)

Hawking can't understand why People vote Trump ( It's simple really he appeals to the masses. Hawking just happens to be in a very select minority.

Sometimes it pays to bring a bit of reality to the academics, economists, and journalists that seem so out of touch with reality (not implying any of this applies to you - I just happened to reply to your comment.).

Your first sentence is spot on. We didn't get to this point because the masses understand intricate policy decisions.

Good points.
So the key is obviously to sell your key policies in an easy to understand manner. This obviously involves dumbing down the info and how it is conveyed (but not dumbing down the policy!)
Then have the more sophisticated info behind it for the likes of this blog's readers to pore over!!

Apathy in that regard is terrible. How hard must living get before people take the hint? A forth term of National will have me and my partner heading abroad for a long time cause at that point I would have no faith in a large portion of my fellow citizens

John Key will be PM!

As a Te Tai Tokerau geriatric ill be voting winston, though im not sure he would vote for me.

Well yeah good points about Winston. He might be an option I'd consider

Clueless. The best way for Labour to beat National is to flank them. Labour need to regain the appeal that made them popular with the working class.

Yes I think they need to go further to the left. There is a whole lot of latent discontent with National, if Labour do 'Nat lite' then they are not going to win. They need to draw a line in the sand and differentiate.
It would be nice to see them come up with policy that differs from the Nats on immigration. Perhaps say a 50% pull back. I don't know if they will though. The embedded PC-ness of the Labour Party probably opposes anything that they fear could be considered xenophobic ( even though it isn't xenophobic at all - clearly it is a matter of NZ's housing and infrastructure simply being unable to sustain high population growth) .
The other thing is, they need to come up clearly with how they will fund things. Don't be cute. If they need to raises taxes on higher incomes, for example, then just come out and say it. It's not like they will lose many votes from that.

Yeap, they must differentiate and be solid and consistent about it. I've heard AL on the RNZ and he just gets very light on detail when Guyon starts to ask a few hard questions. Like......Key does

I heard him on National Radio yesterday, and it was a bit embarrassing. He talked about the Nats wanting to abolish the RUB....oooops

NZ - the Venezuela of the Pacific if this crew actually get there?

Excellent. The quality of the women will improve!

Quite right Caleb. I call myself a traditional center left voter but certainly not in its current state. They aren't a credible opposition and they certainly aren't a credible govt. After the shambles cunliffe and his wife showed, I've been disgusted ever since. They need a charismatic leader for a start. And a young one. Stuart Nash will be one to watch.

stuart nash is too right wing to ever make it to the top of labour, he would never secure the union vote.
in saying that he is leadership material and would be more suited in NZ first.

Winston would never work with the greens so looks like another National government.

This is an obvious move. Labour and the Greens clearly need each other to have any chance of forming a government. Why deny that reality? This gives them the ability to strategically coalesce around a single candidate in certain seats as per the Ohariu example. Eventually they will end up as one party in any event.

I do agree with the comments about the desperate need to refresh, especially within Labour. One of Key's strengths is he will ruthlessly cut dead wood, Little needs to learn that lesson.

That said, nothing has really changed. All roads still lead to Winston.

I really think they will be in for a rude awakening when the polls come out after this. I just don't see any real willingness to change their ways or the people at the core of these parties who have not got them over the line. They constantly preach to the converted it seems. You must grasp the swing voter and the previous non voter who is looking for real substance and accountability.

And one thing Labour have failed to grasp is they happily made many of their own people out there prior to 2008 wealthy via massive record capital gains + landlords under the LAQC. This is why they failed to get support around things like CGT etc in later elections. They actually had some of their base either not vote or change to National because they knew their property portfolios would be better off staying with National.

Now we're down the road alittle further in that regard as to consequences ofcourse. Times have changed...but has Labour or the Greens?

Shorten is showing them the way in Aussie. He has no charisma but he's been brave on policy, like banning negative gearing, and seems to be taking the people with him. Turnbull, like his hero Key, has looked fake and out of touch. Little has no charisma but has the rare political virtue of honesty. If he can bring forward a genuine and differentiated suite of policies he has a chance.

labour can get away with not pushing CGT and leave that to the greens who can make it a part of their agreement to govern.

Are the Greens still the party which supports drug taking?

Like tobacco, alcohol and caffeine?

Good. The vote being split between Labour and Greens lost them Auckland Central last election. Even one seat would have made a difference. From what I've seen of parliamentary speeches and questions I think James Shaw seems alright.

Winston detests the current government with a vengeance. Much more than whatever his issues with the greens.

What a bunch of losers. Greens would ruin this country!


Maybe. National already are so what is there to lose?

Politicians ruin this country regardless of Party.

How does this happen in nz

First 18months living on the street. Perhaps the face for the next national election campaign this what we want for NZ?

For a brighter future.

Yes it's sad, and no one wants this.. But ask yourself, would another party in Power really have changed this?

If the policies from their election manifestos in 2014 been implemented, most likely yes it would have changed this.

It may have helped them, but someone else would have fallen through the cracks.

No government policy on earth will help everyone.

They have 6 months to find some real talent; which they can't, otherwise its opposition time again?
Unelectable,even if there are a smattering of good policies,the voting public want Operatives, not wannabees

These guys should form a band....."The Looney Left and the Tree Huggers"

The LabGreenz need a Battle Hymn, so in true Greenish fashion, I've Recycled an old one.....

To the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, here's one. That first line is filched from Tom Waits' 'Whistling past the Graveyard', in case y'all was a' wonderin'....

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the draining of the ditch
Which some aver we dug ourselves And filled with Carp and Bitch
But excavation's over it's a Brave New World of which
We're LabGreenz, Marching On.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Tory! Tory! Sock it to ya,
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Hard Left is marching on!

The housing bubble rattles on, All FHB's aghast
Their Kiwisaver pot falls short of Land Inflation's Blast
The workers suffer at their desks, Poor dears, their lot is Cast
With LabGreenz fate. March on!

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
LabGreenz here to listen to ya
If you're Boss-class, gonna screw ya
O-ver you, we'll March On!

The cleaners and the rest-home workers slave away each day
Their toothless unions cry aloud 'We can't live off their pay'
The power bills are swingeing, and the rents have shot away,
The Destitute March On!

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
LabGreenz here to dish out Moo-lah
Where it comes from, well, Petunia,
Trust Us, March blindly On!

he needs to keep this line of questioning up, its on the button makes me wonder if he reads this site it echos what many have commented
Andrew Little: Has blaming the councils, blaming Labour, blaming the Greens, blaming New Zealand First, and generally saying the buck stops anywhere but with him done anything to boost homeownership in New Zealand?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I am not quite sure we have blamed all of those people
Andrew Little: After 8 long years and $440,000 of house-price increases in Auckland, is it not time to stop the excuses, stop coming up with half-baked, half-hearted measures, and just adopt Labour’s plan to implement a national policy statement on affordable housing, abolish the Auckland urban growth boundary, stop foreign speculators, and build thousands of affordable homes for Kiwis?

As I said elsewhere I'm not a huge Little fan but he nailed that one very well!

What was JK reply to the last question?

A smart aleck childish reply by our Prime Minister - no doubt.

he didn't answer it he waffled slammed labour and said nothing as per usual. pretty much normal JK deflect

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: The Labour Party does not have a plan; it has a pipe dream. In fact, the last time I looked the Labour Party was rapidly adopting the National plan. I think, over time, we will find it will get there on all of these wonderful things that we are doing. Since Phil cannot come up with his own ideas, he may as well just have ours

440k and how much did average wages go up over that 8 year period 20k ? 30k? Tops.

Watched the Greens and Labour this morning answering questions.
Confusion was the winner.

Remember this is MMP. The Nat's only got 47.3% last time and needed Maori Party, United to pass legislation. Lab & Greens latest poll with Roy Morgan (the only co. that knows the diff between a poll and a survey) is 42.5%. The middle-class swing voters account for about 4% - 7% of Nationals vote. The Lab/Green's are able to tap into the non vote. The Nat's are maxed growth in their vote ....Winston's already been written off by Key a number of times. The difference between the Nat's and LGNZF is, Matt McCarten/Maximillian who can negotiate a deal for the Lab/Green/NZF on a confidence & supply arrangement.

they just need to keep hammering away on housing for the next year, its the one BIG failure of this national government which they have no answer for. It is also the area their paid bloggers keep away from
even when they roll out their tax cuts for the next election the catch cry should be how will an extra 10 per week help me buy a house

The words "We will not campaign on that" (CGT and nationalising wholesale electricity) are significant !!

Looks to me like Labour is pushing the Greens to campaign on these issues and will fully support the introduction if they managed to get it past the is kind of like saying we know our voters are stupid and won't see the real agenda in the MoU which will be relabelled the MoO short for Memorandum of Overlook...... Cows, Carrots and CGT!!!

WP also wants nationalising wholesale electricity, so they can agree to help the greens pass CGT and WP buy back the power companies and like JK they have not broken their promise, the joys of MMP

MMP is an absolute sod of a system it has encouraged career politicians. MMP undermines democracy and our constitutional rights have been completely abnegated........ MMP also encourages voters to vote for their own priority list of policies and this has led to a complete lack of morals and ethics......more and more the lines between right and wrong have become blurred as people push their personal agendas. MMP relies on obtaining a group consensus without any feedback loop to the constitutional rights of an individual.......Take the Universal Declaration of Human was written so that no State, Sovereign etc could ever undermine the individual by removing the rights listed....the State must always allow any individual the right to do freely all the things listed.........but the dirty States decided that they would interfere and supply the listed items in the articles rather than allow the individuals the freedom to do them themselves........when people are working for 50% plus of a year to fund that dirty State which undermines a persons very being then I see no joy in that system.

Traditional WP supporters will be left with a conundrum and end up voting will come down to changes in universal super vs power.......and why would anyone cut off the hand that pays the latter?

the worst part about MMP is the lack of being able to vote for those to make up the list, there should be two ways of voting we should vote for who is on the parties list so they get ranked by the public not by the party
then we vote for the party. do away with constituent MP's altogether, they are a joke now anyway most of the MPS dont live in them or have grown up in them, they are parachuted in so have no idea of the local problems.
last national one we had lived up north and grew up there so how the hell did he know what was going on in our area

I'm boycotting labour. Protest vote to nzf