By David Hargreaves and Alex Tarrant
While the Labour and NZ First Parties were signing and sealing the terms of the coalition Government, the Greens were also signing on the dotted line with their confidence and supply agreement.
It outlines 20 policy goals that the new Government will pursue across Green priority areas. The confidence and supply agreement document can be viewed here.
As previously outlined, the Greens will get three Ministers outside of Cabinet and one under secretary.
Green Party Members of Parliament will hold the following Ministerial positions: Climate Change, Associate Finance, Conservation, Women, Land Information New Zealand, Associate Environment, Statistics, Associate Transport, Associate Health and an Undersecretary to the Minister of Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence). A Minister from the Green Party will be represented on the Cabinet Appointments and Honours Committee (APH) and the Cabinet Legislation Committee. Ministers from the Green Party will also be represented on other Cabinet Committees as agreed between the Party Leaders.
One interesting idea among the 20 goals outlined by the Greens is a Rent to Own scheme "or similar progressive ownership models" that will be developed as part of Labour’s Kiwibuild programme.
Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said the Green Party during negotiations indicated they had campaigned hard on alternative methods to help people into home ownership. “Rent-to-own was a strong policy platform for the Green Party, and we agreed it was something we should incorporate into KiwiBuild,” she said. As part of KiwiBuild, there will be a set allocation of rent-to-own or similar mechanisms.
Asked whether these would replace the current deposit subsidies, Ardern said Labour would look at in the context of KiwiBuild and include scopes of rent-to-own and shared equity schemes, among other options.
“For us it’s about using a range of mechanisms to make sure people get into home ownership. Some of the subsidy schemes the government have introduced don’t necessarily help home owners, because the proportion of a deposit they’re expected to accrue is still just too high.”
Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said the Greens didn’t have a specific model in mind, but he referenced different rent-to-own schemes that he came across when living in London. “You don’t necessarily want to settle on any one scheme.”
The Greens had deliberately set out their policy to work alongside KiwiBuild. “What we’ve said is, there is a commitment to a rent-to-own scheme of some description, and we’ll work through that with the Labour Party as the KiwiBuild programme unfolds,” he said.
This is the statement that Shaw put out:
The Green Party has today formally signed an agreement to support a Labour-led Government that will achieve environmental, economic, and social progress on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
The agreement lays out the ministerial and undersecretary roles the Green Party will hold, and 20 policy goals that the new Government will pursue across our priority areas.
“The Green Party’s agreement with Labour is built on shared values and principles,” Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said.
“The agreement we signed today is a commitment to work together as a stable government in the best interests of New Zealanders, while leaving scope for Labour and the Greens to maintain our unique identities.
“The new Government signed two agreements today that set out an ambitious policy agenda for real positive progress, with lots of specific commitments from the Green Party’s manifesto.
“It’s clear to me that this will be a truly transformational Government for Aotearoa New Zealand.
“The way this Government chooses to measure success will define what its priorities are. By writing a commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals into our agreement with Labour, we’re committing to an ambitious approach to economic development, social wellbeing, and ecological sustainability.
“We aspire to an Aotearoa New Zealand where no child goes hungry, our birds and forests thrive, and the rest of the world looks to us as a leader in the fight against climate change.
“The Green Party shares many goals and values with Labour and NZ First. I look forward to working with Jacinda Ardern, Winston Peters, and their parties in a genuine MMP Government,” Mr Shaw said.