Greens tout policy areas including on climate change, welfare, cannabis reform, drug and alcohol addiction and mental health

James Shaw

The Green Party has indicated the areas where it will be involved in government policy, in an email sent to its delegates Thursday night.

Policies relating to climate change, welfare, cannabis reform, water quality, mental health, conservation, the gender pay gap, student allowances and drug and addiction services are all set to be included in the Labour-led government’s work programme.

Many - like a net zero carbon emissions target by 2050 - match up with Labour's agenda. However, during the campaign the two parties did reveal some different policy prescriptions for the same goal, including on clean rivers and student allowances. The full agreement between Labour and the Greens is set to be released next week, including on what three Ministerial posts outside Cabinet (and an undersecretary role) the Greens will get.

See an interview with Greens' leader James Shaw before the election here. Interestingly, he said at the time that the Climate Change Minister often doesn't have direct influence on emissions. He referenced Building & Construction, Agriculture, Transport and Waste as areas where the Greens could have a greater impact on climate policy.

See the ten policy areas below - in their own words:

  • Significant climate action, with a shift towards a net zero carbon emissions economy by 2050. The specific focusses will be on transport, energy, primary industries. The establishment of an Independent Climate Commission. Support for a shift in farming to more sustainable land use.
  • Overhaul the welfare system, ensure access to entitlements, remove excessive sanctions and review Working for Families so that everyone has a standard of living and income that enables them to live in dignity
  • Significant increase in the Conservation budget
  • Improve water quality and prioritise achieving healthy rivers, lakes and aquifers with stronger regulatory instruments, funding for freshwater enhancement and winding down Government support for irrigation
  • Free counselling for under-25s and access to mental health services and support for everyone
  • Access to education for children with special needs and learning difficulties
  • Substantial progress in this Parliamentary term to eliminating the gender pay gap in the public service
  • Reduction in the number of students living in hardship
  • Review, and adequately fund and support, the family re-unification scheme for refugees.
  • Increase funding for alcohol and drug addiction services and ensure drug-use is treated as a health issue, and have a referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis at, or by, the 2020 general election.

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?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment or click on the "Register" link below a comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current Comment policy is here.


I consider myself a conservationist, but wish the Greens would piss off with their social policy unless it has a direct impact on the environment.

humans are part of the environment too. Why stop at birds, rivers and lakes?

Social policy is highly contentious and arguable, and there are plenty of other do gooder pollies happy to find ways to spend your money and their favourite fix.

The environment supports us, and all economic activity. If we screw that up we screw ourselves up big time. There is no room for error in that. No sensible debate either, I don't hear many saying it doesn't matter if we screw the environment, they just ignore having the argument.

Bunch of nutters, the greens are.
Arent we meant to have a smoke free environment by 2025 , but it will be ok to smoke canabis
•Increase funding for alcohol and drug addiction services and ensure drug-use is treated as a health issue, and have a referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis at, or by, the 2020 general election this has me stuffed what hippercrits the Greens are

You know you don't have to smoke cannabis right? There are these things called 'vaporizers' that don't cause combustion to occur, thereby eliminating smoke. Alternatively, cannabis can be consumed in the form of edibles (have you never traveled to The Netherlands?!)

What's hypocritical about increasing AOD funding while legalizing cannabis? Legalization has never been shown to cause a substantial increase in use and people who want to use cannabis are using it already. At least if services are available then people with problematic alcohol or drug use can seek appropriate treatment. At least if cannabis is legalized we'll finally be able to tax the profit from recreational cannabis use and use invest this money back into the country rather than the gangs.

Time to get out of the 1930's.

Then there is green brownies, you can get lit and have your munchies fixed in one go.

Cannabis reform is a low priority for me, but wether you are going to legalise it or not, we need reform on health aspects of all drugs , including alcohol.

And their priorities for promoting livelihoods are ....?

These people are a complete waste of space. No wonder Labour wouldn't have them in the Cabinet.

WP wouldn't have them at the table. Labour probably would have if they didn't need WP.

Presuming they wanted to be at the table. I think long term they are better of with confidence and supply.

It would depend on who's livelihood and at what cost?

You know what really gets me? It is us, or more, those of us who seem to bloody think that human beings own the planet, have the god given right to exploit, screw over and abuse it as much as we like, and justify it with a few $$$$. We do not own it, it is not ours to treat any way we like. There is much attitude adjusting if the human race is to survive. This planet is the most precious thing we have, we have nothing else if we buggar it.

..yeah waste of space..who wants clean rivers and a climate plan?

Today has been entertainment plus. The right wing are behaving like a bunch of Trump supporters.
I shifted my vote away form national so as not to reward poor behavior. I'm very happy to see if these guys try and can turn the ship....

National gave us more people, more cows, more debt, dirtier rivers, no climate action plan, higher house prices, higher rents, higher inequality, higher suicide rates, higher road tolls, Auck gridlock, Auck infrastructure blowouts, polluted Auck beaches, health budget blowouts, teacher shortages, ......every indicator seems to be getting worse.

Staggering that so many think this was a sustainable and desired path to go down. Wake up people.


Amazing how the tune has changed....I thought all you Nats said the perfect fit was a Blue / Green together,perfect fit you because they didn't talk to you,they are back to being crazy lefties and nutters.
No green fan boy here...but good on them for sticking to their principles and not even entertaining the Nats...
Think positively,going on some of the vitriol from the Nats in here after the decision,a cup of tea & a joint might do them some good...

Was thinking much the same, myself. Who are the loonies, now?

booze dope not matter what form can cuase mental heath problems, where is all the money coming from?
There are rumours that a real Green party could start up concentrating on the environment

For starters, the tax from legal marijuana sales and reduced Police and Prison spending. People are going to experiment, it's a straight decision between spending money on counselors and addiction support, or on police and punishment. One way supports people to better themselves, the other ruins their lives. One brings money into legitimate business and tax, the other sends money to criminal gangs.

What tax from sales? If I was a stoner I’d just grow it.

Maybe if you were nearly as clever with money as you thought you were, you'd grow it too.

Never touched the stuff. My experience with stoners isn’t positive.

Do you brew all your own beer? It's easier than growing weed but I've still seen a few pubs and off licenses around the place.

Tell us more on the real Green Party

The Greens were pro-immigration pre-election and this has no mention of them following through on that position. Looks like there are going to be some big Winston driven chunks hacked out of the immigration numbers.

Pro-refugee and not anti-immigrant is the Green Party mantra, not quite the same thing as being pro-immigrant really

Their policy online includes:
. Effects of population growth on the environment, economy and infrastructure need to be actively managed and planned for.
. Tighten up the process for the investor visa category
. Closely monitor the labour market impact of skilled migrant workers
. Take an evidence-based approach to regularly reviewing the government’s immigration policy.

Which I found persuasive until James Shaw said he had found something better than 'evidence-based'. However the online policy was never updated.

I think what you are referring to , was James Shaw saying he felt the Greens policy was too , lets say, "economic based", rather than "people based", and he wanted to humanize it more. He also felt it did not recognize the benefits skilled immigration brought to the country. But I think your right, with all the trouble they found themselves in , it was never up dated.

2nd July Headline: ""Green Party apologises for pandering to anti-immigration, drops immigration policy""

""Shaw said his party had now abandoned its immigration policy, and was focused on steering the public debate on migration in New Zealand towards values rather than numbers.""

I'd be happy if they just brought back pseudoephedrine. Pharmacies still have it in Australia, bought some just the other day. Still, looking forward to being able to buy cannabis as an alternative to "soldiering on".