Shaw: Strong and responsible government that will go the distance is top priority for Greens

That Labour leads a strong and responsible government is at the top of Green Party leader James Shaw's priority list.

Again, it's a state-the-obvious, but it could indicate that Shaw is readying to accept whatever policy platform Labour agrees to with New Zealand First. He appears to be trusting that Labour will secure a platform with enough policy to keep the Green Party grassroots happy enough to support such a set-up.

Shaw on Wednesday morning met with Ardern, while Peters was in a meeting with National.

Labour is set to meet NZ First this afternoon. Shaw said he trusted Ardern would conduct those talks with fairness in mind when it came to the Greens.

"I trust her and she seems to be doing a good job of it."

"It's got to be a stable and responsible government that's going to go the whole distance in the national interest," he said. Labour were working very hard to ensure that would happen.

Shaw was asked whether 'strong and stable' therefore ranked higher than policy when it came to priorities.

"It has to be a stable and responsible government that will go the full distance," he replied. "So that means that presumably all of the partners have got to be pretty comfortable with this direction. That's the same as any other coalition government."

Shaw was also asked whether he was worried that Green Party members could vote against the party entering into an arrangement with Labour and NZ First if they didn't like the policy prescription agreed to by Labour.

"We campaigned so hard to change the government, right? That is what we campaigned on, we've thrown everything at it, that's what we're working on."

However he maintained that: "It's got to be worth it for everybody."

Meanwhile, Shaw said he was not worried if the timeframe slipped a day or two from Thursday.

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37 Comments

Solidarity is what is needed during coalition talks between the Greens and Labour. That sends a signal to Winston that the coalition with NZF will work and hold the Labour responsible for keeping the Greens on an even keel!

Someone very high up at NZF told me today "the Greens are not very smart, they have the same number of seats as us, yet we get to negotiate our policies and decide who WE will govern with and they have no say whatsoever"

Isn't obvious why they aren't in a position to negotiate? If Labour + Greens were enough to get over the 50% then they would have got more policies through. But they didn't, now their best interests are served if NZF choose Labour over National, that means they need to take a back seat.

There's no way they're going to toy with National to improve Nationals bargaining power with NZF, otherwise they're more likely to end up outside government if they piss off Peters, when in reality there is very little common ground between the Greens and National.

They are playing their cards as best they can. All the National supporters who suggest the Greens play their hand more aggressively are either fools, or they want to see the carnage it would cause.

What would you recommend they do, so we can analyse your folly?

If 2 parties get roughly the same support from NZ voters and one gets to decide who will govern and the other party has no say at all, I have to agree with person who told me that the 1st party is playing their hand much better than the 2nd party

Well then you have an overly simplistic view of the situation. Greens can't go with National, and they're sitting back to not strengthen Nationals hand.

The situation is simple but the Greens make it complicated and thus knock themselves out of the game.

The situation is not simple, it only looks simple to you & Yvil. National pulled Bolger out of mothballs to push the ridiculous and desperate story that the Greens would have more political influence by negotiating with National. It was never realistic, the only reason for that approach was to minimise any leverage Winston may have had with Bill English.

You seem very worried by this possibility...hmmm.

"National pulled Bolger out of mothballs to push the ridiculous and desperate story that the Greens would have more political influence by negotiating with National. It was never realistic, the only reason for that approach was to minimise any leverage Winston may have had with Bill English."

Wait, National posited a ridiculous story to convince Bill that Winston didn't have leverage? My head hurts.

We must give these specuvestors some points for trying. They do persist when it is very evident that the true thinkers on these pages do not support their parochial opinions.

It's a great quality to be able to see a situation in simple terms.
Where has your "Greens can't go with..." mentality taken them? They've only ever been in opposition, in order to make a difference they have to find a way to be in government.

The Greens need to quickly read Machiavelli's The Prince.

The Greens have integrity. They can leave Machiavellianism to National. We'll see whether integrity or Machiavellianism wins this election.

Reminds me of an interview I read where an anarchist stated they still wouldn't vote even if they knew that their vote was the deciding one where a famous tyrant gained power ....because "integrity".

Funny to watch you patting yourself on the back for not understanding the moves on a chess board. You think the game is Checkers when they're actually playing Chess.

Come on, National and Labour are hardly different from each other at all. Practically the same party! It's such a big con, like Republicans and Democrats with George Bush and Bill Clinton best buddies. National and Labour MPs aren't enemies they're mates. So Greens should understand this and act accordingly. Go with Labour or National? What difference does it make really?

You haven't been paying attention have you.

that's just garbage.
Whilst they may have been closer in the past, Labour and National right now have very different policy positions, on a number of issues.
If 1 equals extreme left, and 10 equals extreme right, I'd have the parties as follows:

Greens:2.5
Labour: 4.5
NZ first: 5.0
Nats: 6.5
Act: 8.5

On that scale, Green are 2 points adrift of Labour, and 4 adrift of the Nats
Put it in reverse - could you see Act and Labour as bed mates?

The trouble with Green politics is that there is so much that is contradictory and thus not practical. A Green party generally supports ecology, conservation, environmentalism, feminism, peace movements, civil liberties, social justice, nonviolence and localism. They are likely to have a conflict when it comes to animal rights and exotic cultural practices for example or human rights and religious rights. They need to be one thing or the other. A Green party that focused on ecology, conservation, environmentalism and localism would be much more effective and could actually work with another party like National. As they are now no one really wants to work with them.

"They are likely to have a conflict when it comes to animal rights and exotic cultural practices for example or human rights and religious rights. They need to be one thing or the other"
Ah, the difficult balance between integrity and hypocrisy, spoken like a true property speculator mistaking greed for virtue.
Your comment looks and reads like claptrap: there is no contradiction in respecting human rights and animal rights. When is taking a stand on caged chickens and pig farrowing crates an exotic cultural practice?

"As they are now no one really wants to work with them." This really refers to National given their track record of destroying any minor party silly enough to partner with them.

You didn't read my comment very well Macadder, the conflict could be between animal rights and certain cultural practices, human rights and religious rights. Examples would be Halal slaughter for the first one and circumcision for the second one.
But never mind that, the gist of what I am saying is that the Greens are just a bunch of confused hippies not really interested in preserving NZ's people, animals, environment /ecosystem as a first priority. The vast majority of people think they can't be trusted to make sensible decisions and are a bit of a joke. If they avoided most of the SJW stuff they would fare better.

Better than being a ROAPD. (Roll over and play dead)

Greens would could cause havoc in any coalition arrangement.

Best avoided in any circumstances.

Peters won't have a bar of the Greens, so the country's pretty safe - thank mercy.

That you selfish specuvestors are so very afaid of the Greens tells me that i should give them more support.

I'm trying hard to think of any policy that Labour and NZ first will agree on, that the Greens would find unacceptable.
We can assume the water tax is a goner as proposed, but the Greens were not that keen on it , preferring to tax pollution instead. All 3 agree on taxing bottled water exported.
The only possible thing I can think of is refugees , or if a immigration policy looks racist. Assuming Labour will not give way on the Maori seats.

By having a MOU with Labour the Greens forfeit their ability to be kingmaker. NZ first earn the right by distancing themselves from the other parties,

Some may say the Greens are dumb for doing that but in reality their policy and the way the campaign doesnt really fit with that strategy.

So we have what we have and NZF deserve the position they find themselves in

Green are a Block with Labour, I think Greens would be lucky to get 5% unless they sided with Labour. I think labour should not be part of greens if they want as many votes as National in their own right. But both parties are stuck with each other, because of their commitment to each other.

I think its fruitless to think of Labour and Green seperately.

The more I think about it and after having slept on it I have come to the conclusion that the Greens are doing a great disservice to democracy in NZ and to the people of NZ by not even trying to be a junior coalition partner with National. And that is what such a partner like NZF or the Greens, if they were remotely sensible, should be, a "junior" partner. By refusing to negotiate with National they are giving NZF way more power than they deserve. It's not as if National hold extremely opposite views to the Greens. The people of NZ won't forget this. There will always be this feeling that the Greens are not really a serious political party but a silly party full of silly people.

Left to right. Mana, Greens, Labour, United Future, NZF, National, Conservatives, ACT. Maybe to gain a bit of traction Mana and ACT should hook up. What do you think?

Left and Right is pretty meaningless in the current year. Mana and Act would gain nothing from hooking up while Greens would become part of government by hooking up with National. Typical Green supporter logic....losers.

Here's an example. i'd be willing to bet that most greens would be "pro choice" when it comes to abortion. They're happy to see ... whatever you want to call it.
Yet I'd be also willing to bet that they are against aborting cows, which in fact often means life or death for that cow.
Hypocrisy? Stupidity? Integrity?

They would probably be against letting someone else choose if you have an abortion. There is a big difference in what you do to your own body versus what you force on someone/something else.

That's not an example it's an opinion.

I won't get drawn into the abortion debate.
But only as far as it appeares the cow and calf have more rights than the unborn human? (woops I just did exactly what i said i wouldn't!)

Back to politics. Unfortunately while there are plenty of "green" people in the nat supporters ranks who would like to see rivers cleaned up etc etc there are not so many who condone benefit fraud.
I guess there's green and then there's the greens

Being green actually involves a high level of sacrifice, self discipline, hard work, righteousness and frugality, not wearing a kaftan and protesting about insensitive use of gender pronouns.

If there was enough support, a blue-green or centrist-green party could be formed and work alongside National