National and the Greens have policy fit in some areas, including Climate Change, National’s Paula Bennett says; Would like to talk, but says the Greens don’t look up for it

There are “definitely some” areas of policy National reckons it agrees on with the Green Party, including on Climate Change, according to National deputy leader Paula Bennett.

Speaking on three’s AM Show Friday morning, Bennett said National would like to talk to the Greens, in that it would be good to have conversations with “everybody” about government formation at some level.

Bennett had been talking about the situation with New Zealand First, mentioning she had a great relationship with its education spokesperson Tracey Martin after working on foster parent legislation with her.

“But then I’ve got a great relationship with the Greens on Climate Change and cross-party work there as well,” she added.

Asked, “what about the Greens and National,” she replied: “You’ve got to say that there are definitely some areas that we could work on, and areas that they could make gains on, actually. That’s the reality of it.”

Bennett was then interrupted by AM’s Mark Richardson to discuss sporting metaphors, before host Duncan Garner got back on topic – was National talking to the Greens?

“Not at this stage, no,” Bennett said. Did she think they will? Garner asked. “I don’t know. I mean, we’d quite like to talk to them in some respects,” she said. “Well, why not? You always sort of want to talk to everybody and sort of have a conversation at some level."

“But I don’t think that they [the Greens] are up for it. They certainly say that their membership’s not – that’s not what they stood on,” Bennett said.

She wouldn’t say which of NZ First or the Greens would be her preference for forming a government with. “That’s a discussion that goes on behind closed doors.”

“All I just say is, I do see that there is certainly work that you could see that you’ve got similarities in. So, it’s always worth a conversation,” Bennett said.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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87 Comments

The Greens would be mad not to consider this.

and the Nats as well . Not going to happen.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I do not think the times are desperate. If a decent deal can be had with NZF Nats should take it ; if not let Lab/Green/NZF government come in and implode , paving the way for winning the power back next time.

National could implement the Green's CGT policy. I would like to see Bill English sell that, would be like watching someone chew wasps.

A better analogy would be watching the billshitter explain the Barclay, Glenys, billshitter threesome down in little Clutha as that has already happened and was great theater.

I would have put it in the classification of a "crime comedy"

They (Labour, NZF, Greens) certainly will not do worse than the last 9 years of National.

Didge - in that assessment, are you anticipating the largest global financial distaster (GFC) since the Great Depression, and two devasting NZ earthquakes that took down 80% of the buildings in thr CBD of the country’ second largest city ?

Greens aren't THAT desperate

I thought the Greens were desperate to "save" the environment. Guess not. Politics must be much more important to them. The Greens true colours on display..

Well, no, it's National's intention to continue the exploitation and degradation of the environment that would prevent such a coalition from forming. Think mineral extraction (land and sea), damming rivers for irrigation, continued exclusion of their farming voter base from addressing climate change, under funding of DoC, desire to mine conservation land, keenness to facilitate more aquaculture in the Sounds, opposition to user and polluter pays (i.e., road user charges, carbon taxes) mechanisms, uncapped low-skilled, low-paid importation of workers...

It is National's firm commitment to economy at the expense of the environmental that prevents any kind of meaningful coalition with the Greens.

Paula Bennett's talk is simply a ploy to imply to NZ First that the neoliberal camp has other friends and options. Pure and simply, it doesn't.

Wow, so very well stated.

Typical watermelon hypocrisy.
-Anti mining but types from a keyboard. Please. Prefers minerals from slave labour in the third world rather than environmental managed operations in NZ? The old ban rimu heli-logging and replace it with clear felled tropical hardwoods scenario. Good one Greens.
-The provinces with the highest rates of irrigation have the cleanest rivers. Far cleaner than urban rivers.
-Sending NZ back to the stone age won’t make a jot of difference to “climate change”.
-We have the largest area of protected land in the OECD and some of the world’s biggest marine reserves. But like all eco zealots this is never enough.

If big Green really wanted to expand their virtue signalling they would stop pontificating and get into governement ASAP.

Absolutely, it's too good an opportunity to let pass by.

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They would be mad to consider it. Remember what happened to the Maori party just one week ago?
The greens only got 6%, if they get into bed with National they can count on being less than 5% next election...

This is just further proof that none of the voters (or politicians) understand MMP.

Just like the Maori party, the Greens will eventually sink because they only stick with Labour.

The minor parties and their voters need to be more flexible. The key to MMP is to be able to form a coalition with anybody. The only ones that understand this seem to be Peters and NZF - hence why they hold all the power.

If Greens came out and openly said they would deal with National. They would hold the same power as Winston.

This shows that you don't understand MMP. The Greens give left voters more options for how to influence policy. More nuance.

National cannbalising all their allies shows that the right wing doesn't understand MMP.

Multiple parties coming to agreements to form government means that no party has the ability to do anything too extreme like opening immigration floodgates unhindered. MMP is likely to keep us more stable.

"This shows that you don't understand MMP. The Greens give left voters more options for how to influence policy. More nuance.

National cannbalising all their allies shows that the right wing doesn't understand MMP."

You think I don't understand? Yet I agree with you.

MMPs power is in its ability to have groups of minor parties co-operating on issues, while tempering out the extreme policies of each.

MMP is also meant to allow more accurate representation.

However both points are lost if you only ever stick with one side, as eventually you just end up consolidating back into one Block (a la Nats)

People think it terms of a national or labour led government. If I want a national led government I can vote for National or Act. if I want a labour led government I vote labour or greens. A vote for NZ First is a completely unknown quantity. You have no idea of what you are going to get. Winston doesn't know the game either. Basically you want the minor parties saying what they would seek to do with either side beforehand. That way you get a sense of what you are voting for. THe major parties are too big and there isn't enough minor parties in the centre.

Thats exactly it. If I want National I can vote for them.

To me WP is the immigration man with some other good policies. But mainly immigration.

Could you see ACT going with Labour?

Are the Greens the opposite of ACT?

This is the problem here. The comments talk about the Greens as being a second option on the left. Wasnt that Alliance?

If the Greens are just a further left version of Labour, then yes, it makes no sense to go with National.

If the Greens are an environmental issues party, then they should look to put themselves in a position to influence with whichever party is able to lead a government, Labour or National.

The greens are further left than Labour, left is where most green movements have started. Green ideas are becoming more mainstream as it becomes clearer and clearer that we are screwing this planet over, big time. Thing is fixing it will require much governmental involvement, the free market will never do it even if ACT are convinced it will (because it will have, or not even screwed it in the first place), we will need to work in a far more collective manner to even begin to put things to rights. That naturally takes us left.

If Maori desire group focussed political influence they have just thrown away the platform for achieving that, probably permanently, by switching their vote to Labour.

You can dress it up as Maori deciding that the Maori party in coalition was ineffectual anyway but that means they decided their interests would not be even more diluted within the Labour agenda and that Kelvin Davis will advance the interests of their bloc, despite not having the effective veto power they ought to have known was a possibility given polls were showing the left and right party votes would be close.

They would presumably also have worked out Labours bottom line of no support for a referendum on the Maori seats means Peters will likely be compelled to go with the Nats, thus further weakening their political power.

So is this a statement that support for seperate seats within Maoridom is declining and that the same socio economic and environmental concerns of the general community now resonate more strongly than traditional tribal affiliative political influences?

So true.

Many think the Maori party didn't achieve much. But do those same people look at what they saved, or how much worse it could have been without them.

One example is the Maori electorates. National would never have even considered dumping them with the Maori party in coalition, now with NZF...

This may be true.

But you see how hard on here it is to break ties with a government you have voted for all your lives. You have your swing voters and you have your entrenched voters. Some that will vote for their party no matter how FUBAR NZ becomes. They all have crystal balls for the future if there party doesnt get in.

They would be mad to consider it. Look at the Maori party, its like a disease to their voters.

Similar to Lib Dems and Conservatives nearly destroyed Lib Dems..

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The blue-green proposal indicates National's fast deepening structural difficulty. The problem for National is how to get back into government in any form. And the problem is going to become much more difficult than its leaders and backers appear to imagine.

As long as the party is set on protecting the tax privileges of property owners and investors versus other earnings or investments, its appeal is to a declining elector base. This is the single issue made compellingly obvious by the election. No argument about being the largest single party touches the problem. The locked-out, the renters and the unhoused are now the largest and the enlarging voter base. National and the property wealthy may congratulate themselves on their golden eggs. But they have cooked their goose.

Although if NZ first didn't exist (which is what will happen if Winnie ever retires), National would have won outright, so I don't think their immediate future is that bleak.

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My friends who vote NZF, would never vote National

AndewJ. Who would they then vote for if NZF folds their tent when Winnie goes ?

A Corbyn style Labour government?

Jeremy Corbyn's inspirational speech at this week's Labour Party conference, in which he pledged to develop "a new model of economic management to replace the failed dogmas of neo-liberalism," was arguably the best address by a Labour leader to the party faithful since Harold Wilson's in 1975. Read more

It is going to happen, best we start to look at things, which I take my hat off to Gareth Morgan for trying to start that conversation.

If most folded they’d go to labour. It hard to unstand some comments. Maybe they just don’t understand MMP

Labour for me if WP wasnt around. Mainly for immigration, education rorts and foreign buyers.

TOP would be good if they had greater then 5% but not if I felt they were going with National.

Another National "if only". National have alienated all the other parties so this mess is of their own making.

Their elector base has been parallel imported in large numbers since 2011. So no decline in Auckland. Another 3 years of open immigration and any left-centre coalition will be permanently stuck in Opposition.

If I had moved to a country and had all my family I would be selfish and vote to have less people populating my back yard and making it harder to find a job. Does that make perfect sense

No, Macadder. The dominant majority of our immigrants are neither rich nor in highly-paying work. They are not property owners and, at present prices, far from being property buyers.

Yes workingman. Most national voters are voting for high house prices. Not necessarily high immigration. It’s just at the moment they seem to think high immigration helps high house prices which is wrong it was high overseas investors. Two completely different things. The bulk of the people moving to nz don’t have that much money and probably add to FHBERS and renters. This is why house prices are dropping and why’ll immigration in lifting. Rising house prices were a result of overseas investors and local investors climbing on board to they were stopped or maxed out dept. Very high dept that focks will take many years to bring down. Dropping house prices will kill national because they started it and high immigration won’t help either at the same time . Why are there so many comments on here as if the housing market is still in a boom. It’s already declining with very few buys left. Even dropping LVR wouldn’t do any. The government could do 2 things to reverse this. 1. Pay of the bulk of everyone’s mortgages. And 2 jump on a plane to china and ask nicely if there people can go back to investing in nz. But not Canada etc because we are nicer. Haha. This election was the one chance national had but housing has already dipped over and there views are over with peters. The end of national. Who’s would vote for national in 2020 with there house worth less. Mortgage few the roof , high unemployment because of to much immigration and all because of nationals stupid high house high immigration plan

Macadder. Yikes, that's a worry ! I wasn't aware immigrants were screened for their political leanings.

Your sarcasm is misplaced middleman.
From the Herald "Poll: National will be back in Government if Chinese voters had their way"
The WTV-Trace Research Chinese Poll found 71.1 per cent of ethnic Chinese will vote for National if the election was held tomorrow, a 2.4 percentage point drop from its previous poll. But bear in mind this doesn't distinguish NZ born from recent visitors.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11919332

You only have to live in NZ for 1 year to be eligible to vote, but need to spend 5 years here before you are eligible for citizenship (Peter Thiel excluded). Why so? As NZ is an outlier internationally in this regard.
https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2017/07/nz_unusual_in_allowing_non_citizens_t...

There is some suggestion Labours immigration restriction policies cost them votes in Auckland.
Two reviews of details supporting this view in the links below:
Whether recent arrivals voted for the "winning" party or the party that facilitated their arrival here is a matter of speculation and it has to be said that they perhaps are no more likely to be single issue voters than anyone else
https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/29-09-2017/how-did-labours-immigration...
https://www.libertas.digital/blog/2017/9/24/you-wont-believe-what-happen...

A study published ( I think on Int.co) some months ago indicated the overwhelmingly dominant predictor of those who DON'T vote, is being a recent immigrant. So bringing in a horde of immigrants will not get any party elected. But the the same study did reveal a moderate preference towards the Nats among recent immigrants though - immaterial of course if they don't make the trek to the ballot box.

Don't believe you, given the extensive evidence elsewhere on this. But post the link if you can find it, otherwise your inferences are just your own and unsubstantiated.

"So bringing in a horde of immigrants will not get any party elected. "

I think the voting behaviour of immigrants is an interesting but (at this point) minor factor. National's dependence on high immigration is not to inflate their voting bloc, it is to inflate GDP which gives a favourable illusion without having any actual improvement in productivity.

Didn’t Helen Clarke import a whole bunch of island votes by promising them a benefit for life here in NZ? From memory Helen’s Labour govt also gave foreign criminals ( such as those overstaying in NZ in violation of the terms of their visa ) the right to vote in NZ, via granting them all residency.

Workingman - 46% of NZers are privileged property owners and investors? I think you'll find that theres a hell of a lot of other segments of the NZ population who rate the National Govt as either good for them or the country, in fact many many more in numbers than those that think the same about Labour and the Greens.

Very few Govts internationally get 50% of the vote but what National is missing is a true Green Party in the political offering that could work with both sides to implement true green policies - I would so love to see a new Green party emerge which would give the existing one some competition, and perhaps some focus upon whether theyre green or red - I suspect that with the current lot, the red would win out in which case there's room for the two of them, a green party, and a heavily left wing party, one of the two never to be in Govt. If the Greens don't get into Govt again this time, the true Greens must surely becoming hugely frustrated and a possibility to move to any new Green Party if someone dared to start it ?

Workingman. Inherent in your proposition is that the state confiscating wealth from those who have it and distributing it to those who do not, will increase prosperity for all. Regrettably, in a capitalist system it doesn't quite work out that way - in the end. Increasing taxes on the owners of capital and transferring that expropriated capital to waged labour will over time reduce capital investment and thus job creating enterprise.

middleman, I don't recognise any part of my comments in your characterisation of them.

correction accepted on re-read, thanks. I agree with you about the mismatch between taxation treatment of different investment classes and support Labours bright line extension for property.

Poor old Paula a . Worried she’ll lose her job. Despite

She is just teasing Labs and NZF .. nothing wrong with that.

In politics teasing can be very dangerous. Be careful Paula it wouldn’t take much to tip someone over

The kinky teaser Paula

This has just sealed peters going with labour greens now.

Paula's got nuttin'. She'll do nuttin.

1. It does smell of desperation in Nationals camp for a plan B. Winston's mind games seem to be having an effect.
2. I suppose it keeps Paula Bennett away from Winston Peters given the allegations of who was responsible for the "Super" leak.
3. A death embrace with National would likely push the Greens under 5% at the next election, to the benefit of National. A snap election sooner on a rigged failure of a confidence & supply agreement with the Greens (or with Winston I suppose) might even work nicely for them, given National's followers nostalgia for first past the post. Joyce has the skills for it.

Peters said that Joyce's 2017 budget would be his first and last. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18-jmEqeTCY&feature=youtu.be

Ocelot - I’m sure your’e right, WP has eyes on the National Finance rolemright ?

Macadder. Yes, a fine irony that whichever way Peters goes, the long term outcome is likely to be a strengthened centre right government for the foreseeable future. Think of the fun we will have on this site though if the three headed hydra gets to rule the country - until they implode.

Perhaps National's four headed hydra, that included three numerically weak parties was doomed to implode on election day.
In contrast a Labour led government with two relatively strong minor parties looks a very stable proposition.

So Peters will be National Finance Minister then?

PM, Lab/Green/NZF coalition is my pick.

PM? no way
I know someone who knows him quite well, he doesn't think at this stage in life Winnie can be bothered with too much responsibility.
What he DOES want is to genuinely try and rectify some of the damage that has been done by the Gnats

You are very strange Kate. Not long ago you seemed besotted with Gareth Morgan and now your heart is all aflutter with Winston.

And Jacinda too.

The problem with Jacinda is that she just doesn’t get people like me who were born in the 90s :( .

Greens and National is mindless rubbish - for a multitude of ideological and pragmatic reasons. (Both parties would shatter their own credibility.)

Interesting what the media comes up with to fill in time......

Any moment now, some knuckle-head is going to suggest that ACT will merge with the NZ Communist Party.

Well that's a first, I've just liked and am agreeing with a TTP post.

Me to . Hope it never happens again . National are just trying to show peters they might have other options. Utterly stupid. Piss him off more with national is all they’ll be doing. Peters hates stupid

Everyone seems to think that just because you are in a coalition with a minority party you have to implement all their policies. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Greens could be influential in pushing green and clean policies but their views on other things like refugee quotas and capital gains taxes for example, which they shouldn't be particularly interested in anyhow, can be ignored. The minority party will be the one making the most compromises.

Thank you for explaining why smaller parties will align with a larger one that shares much of their policy, no brainer really, eh?

If they cannot compromise to achieve some influence in government then they are a useless waste of space. Do they want to share in the glory of governing or not?

Has Federated Farmers had anything to say about the possibility of National getting into bed with the Greens yet? I just can't see how that National constituency and the Greens can co-exist under the same umbrella.

Exactly Gareth it is all very well having some vague idea about Greens talking to National. But what exactly does National want to talk about?

Farmers paying for their nitrogen and phosphate pollution of waterways? Bringing agriculture into the emissions trading scheme? Moving faster on climate change in general? Replacing the Brightline tax with a proper capital gains tax? Replacing Steven Joyce's $10 billion roads of national significance programme with a roads, trains, cycleways of national significance programme?

A genuine coalition between Greens and National would be horrifying for supporters of both parties. Possibly a charismatic politician like Key -at the peak of his popularity could manage it (but even then it is likely to be spin and bulldust). To suggest that English could somehow manage a rapprochement with the Green Party is frankly impossible to understand.

I don't know why a Greens/Nats coalition is getting any air time whatsoever. It's totally unpalatable to the Green party member base. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

because national have no parties they can partner with to form a governing party, and i include NZF in this who see themselves as the opposite of national

Having listened to some of the garbage spouted on this website and in other forums since the election, I've decided there needs to be a mass public education campaign on what MMP is.
Ridiculous how poorly so many people seem to understand MMP, 20-odd years on.

Most people have figured out that when MMP works, it's ok.

But when it doesn't work, it's a pig.

How has it not worked?
Most people are forgetting the title , Mixed Member Proportional . A mix of electoral seats and list seats , made proportional to each parties share of the total vote. MMP is not responsible for the current situation , you could get exactly the same result under FPP.( Except NZF and the greens would not be there because they won no seats) But is perfectly possible to have the same result under FPP, with smaller parties winning Electoral seats. Granted it would be less likely, but just look at Dunne and Seymour.

The Born to Rule

What happens when the privileged and the elites see their grip on power slipping - they get their puppets and marionettes and hangers-on to start a crusade of bad-mouthing the other side, ridiculing them, and claiming the system is wrong - they don't dirty their hands themselves - they get their pimps to do it for them

They didn't mind MMP while it served them well and they were happy when 3 small parties with 10% of the votes supported them, yessiree that works fine, until it doesn't

Now the crusade is on

Fran O'Sullivan

Traitor Treachery
Hail Caesar - calling the tune with just 7½%
Tyrant, Tyranny, Tyrannised
It is not treachery to hanker for the certainty of FPP

Mr 7½%
English and Ardern should not sit around waiting for more than a fortnight for Mr 7½ per cent to decide when he is ready to play ball

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=1192...

Duncan Garner

The megalomaniac reigns all over National's parade
You need to read this to get the full flavour of the vitriol
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/97391717

And then they (the mainstream media) turn around and wonder why WP treats them with disdain.

They are blowing out of their rear ends. They are p'ed off because they have to wait. We could all talk about something else for a week or so.

I’m sure I heard Garner tell us before the election that he doesn’t vote. That little white lie aside, as a National supporter I have my fingers crossed that the poison chalice that is the old goat sides with Labour/Greens. I can’t believe at one stage I was thinking of voting for him.

It sounds like NZIER senior economist Christina Leung is expecting no change in government policy on immigration. I expected the numbers to drop to 30.000 in January
"Annual net migration would remain at about 70,000 into early next year, and gradually fall to about 44,000 in early 2021, and the strong labour market relative to other developed economies would continue to attract immigrants, she said."
http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/business/338323/migration-tourism-to-drive...

that the greens campaigned on ending poverty, and increasing benefits saved labour having to go there, and allowed them to pitch more to the centre, i would expect the greens to want concessions from labour, and if they are pushed out of a nz first / labour coalition, look at going with national rather than yielding to the cross benches,