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The Greens’ 5% polling puts them on the precipice of oblivion and with simmering issues within the party, Jason Walls argues a new socially progressive party could spell the end of this coalition govt

The Greens’ 5% polling puts them on the precipice of oblivion and with simmering issues within the party, Jason Walls argues a new socially progressive party could spell the end of this coalition govt
James Shaw cartoon by Jacky Carpenter. (c)

By Jason Walls

The Green Party has a problem and it’s an issue that may well spill out into the wider New Zealand left in two years’ time.  

Ironically, the thing it has fought tooth and nail for and has finally achieved could be its undoing come the 2020 election.

A seat at the table.

Through a supply and confidence agreement with the Coalition Government, the Greens have a say in the running of the country.

Of course, this is good news for its support base – a base divided into two major factions; the environmentalists and social change progressives.

If you side more with the environmentalists, it has been a good first nine months for the Greens.

A ban on future offshore oil and gas exploration, tangible and effective moves towards zero carbon legislation and billions of dollars towards green transport initiatives, are just some of their major policy wins.

Added to that, co-leader James Shaw, the most active Green MP on the environmental side of the party, is the Minister of Climate Change.

From the perspective of the Greens greener supporters, all is well.

But on the other side of the coin, the party is having a few teething issues.

For years, the Greens have been a party where socially progressive leftists can park their votes. In opposition, this was one of the main ways they held the Government to account.

Then co-leader Metiria Turei led much of this charge. It was her rallying cry that drew in the support of many of the social change progressives.

But for that faction of the party, everything has changed. The Greens now have a seat at the table.

Outrage among the members

This issue has already begun to surface.

A few weeks ago, co-leader Marama Davidson made clear her opposition to a Chinese bottling company which was given government approval to purchase a Bay of Plenty spring to export a billion litres of drinking water a year.

Before the election, the party had a policy to ban any new water bottling consents, to impose levies on water exports and more concretely respect Treaty of Waitangi water rights.

Not long after the saga made headlines, Stuff reported Green Party members were furious with the decision.

The Greens have a seat at the table, yet they were having to compromise on an election policy. You can understand why many were upset.

At the moment, there is nowhere for New Zealand’s more socially progressive voters to go apart from the Green Party.

That is, at the moment.

Despite its environmental wins, the latest Colmar Brunton poll shows the Greens at just 5% – right on the precipice of not getting back into Parliament.  

It’s a dangerous position for the Labour/New Zealand First and Greens block.

Sure the 2020 election is a long two and a half years away, but if a socially progressive party were to rise, it could plausibly siphon votes away from disenfranchised former Greens supporters and ultimately lead to the Party’s demise.

This is a similar issue the Alliance Party grappled with in the early 2000s.

With no Greens in the mix, Labour’s prospects at a second term look that much further away – despite what might happen to NZ First.

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.

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 first took interest in the Greens when they said they were for 'an evidence based immigration' policy and then lost interest when they replaced that with 'a values based' policy. It is arrogant and insulting to implly those you disagree with don't have 'values'. Immigration is always an emotional issue made more so because any policy between open borders and zero immigration will produce what appear to be arbitrary decisions. It is a classic issue that desperately needs evidence based policy. And that means evidence collected by people who have not already made their minds up. If the Greens return to evidence based policies they will find voters. For example stopping oil and gas exploration - was that an emotional decision or is there evidence that it will not lead to NZ simply importing fossil carbon? I honestly don't know.


I would suggest evidence might be how many, how many stay, what they earn, how many children they have, criminal prosecutions, health costs, etc. Break down by category - refugees just need to survive in NZ but skilled immigrants should be paid on average more than average and so on. I suspect many would show very well but there may be a higher than average incidence of mental problems and a small subset of deliberate criminals with no income (a recent drugs case nvolved young immigrants who had arrived 'skilled' but never made a tax return in 9 years. Evidence would show success and failure and prompt changes to policy to reduce the failures. Values is waffle - do you mean they atttend a mainstream christian church for example?


Ovber night 2nd thoughts - get the evidence and then apply values - such as NZ's fair go. Values with no evidence is stupid.

Except splitting the party would actually make both 1/2s un-electable. In the last election the Green's dropped from 10% ish to 6% ish, arguably the 4% that had left labour as they were to central ran back. So what is left? from what I can see unfortunately the hard core left who on their own wouldnt get anywhere in the NZ voting system, some hard core (real) green's and a bunch in the middle who like the idea of being green but who dont want to look at the hard yards needed. They are not an evidence based party, try and put evidence and data forward they dont like and they kick you out of discussions.

A popular theory, but I’m sure most environmental right wingers still would have voted national otherwise labour would have more chance of winning. Not many people vote for a one issue party.

Minor parties always tend to poll badly during an election cycle. As to the water bottling plant, of course the Greens and probably near 100% of Green supporters are opposed to water extraction as it is, and for a number of reasons, it going into single use plastic bottles is right up there. I immediately wrote to the Greens to tell them how brassed off I was with that decision, however, I have since come to understand that Sage's position has seen her with her hands tied. A law change is required there, had a suitable law been in place,
she would not have signed it off. It's called being stuck between a rock and a hard place.
The world is changing, it is changing rapidly, there is much more disruption to come, sadly, I strongly believe we will face conflict, yet again, before we start to get our heads around what needs to be done to ensure we have a planet to live on, providing, that is, that we have anything after major conflict.

Outside of Japan and Korea Asians mostly don't have access to drinkable water except from bottles, it is a big health issue for them. The bottling is going to happen either way, here or in Asia. The volume of water is a rounding error to NZ's rainfall. The fuel cost to ship it there is about the same as driving the bottled water in a truck 300km. Your opposition is entirely emotive and irrational, and so so very 'Green'.

In my part of the country -Canterbury, I think the Green Party needs a 'Rod Donald'.

Someone to actively push the government into implementing a plan that will increase the regions dismal 3% public transport mode use. A plan that will unclog the roads and make it safer to cycle again. A plan that will allow affordable housing to be built inside the city so that people have transport and housing choices. A plan that makes practical changes in the built environment that delivers on the governments commitment to climate change.

If the Green Party focus on delivering this sort of 'Green basics' to their core constituency in Canterbury and other regions then I think they can be confident their vote will not fall under 5%.

If the 'basic Green urbanisation project' fails to get going then I have no doubt Gareth Morgan will attempt to start up a progressive, environmental, centrist party. The core of his policy platform will be his comprehensive capital gains tax. Despite their being no evidence this will transform NZ's failing built environments it is easy to see that in a political environment where if nothing else has worked that 5% of voters give their vote to a Gareth Morgan type progressive party.

That would split the Green vote. Resulting in either the Green Party being replaced by the new progressive party or neither party getting over 5% and their being no Green voice in parliament.

Fortunately for the Green Party the seemingly difficult job of turning around 60 years of autocentric urban planning and 20 years of unaffordable housing is not as difficult as it seems.

The major step is to change the transport and housing arrangements in the urban growth corridors of the long term plans.

The key transport provision in Canterbury is to build a combined bus rapid transit and commuter rail transport hub at Moorhouse Ave.

A north-south bus rapid transit line connecting the northern and southern motorways will provide a more spatially efficient transport mode that will provide a congestion relief valve.

The steady stream of north-south buses could be on a bus only Manchester St. That will connect Moorhouse Ave station to the city centre. Solving the problem that trains do not go to city centre.

This would be Canterbury's Britomart and Northern Busway infrastructures.

The Green Party need to get these sort of initiatives off the ground and be given credit for their part of the built environment transformation.

A full description of Canterbury's built environment problem and an analysis of how best to remedy the situation can be read here.

Steven down thread is right. The threat to the Greens is not from a hard left 'communist' splinter group -they have no hope of getting either wealthy institutional backers or creating a groundswell popular movement needed in NZ's MMP environment.

The threat is from some centerist environmental or progressive party i.e something like the TOP party.

To avoid that the Greens need to move past their negative 'opposition' image of being against everything. Now that they are in government they need to be 'for' something tangible. They need to provide 'hope'.

Tacey Watkins wrote today about the 25,000+ people who signed up for KiwiBuild.

The government (which the Greens are part of) has tapped into something. They need to deliver for this 'hopeful' cohort.

If the government is successful and the Greens are seen as an instrumental part of that success then they will have no problem with their polling. If not.....

"The NZ Ipsos Issues Monitor -April 2018. Housing affordability was the highest concern for all incomes, sexes and age groups in New Zealand, except for the retired where healthcare had pushed housing down to second place. This differs from Ipsos Australia’s results where housing affordability was of much lower concern."

Given housing affordability is the issue that concerns most kiwis then the Green Party need to be part of solution that addresses that problem. Which shouldn't be a problem. The sort of environment they promote, walkable, medium density with good public transport links is very desirable to the younger voters/home buyers. The Green party needs to be more active in removing the obstacles that prevent this sort of environment from being built.

I miss Rod Donald.

I miss him too. He left a vacuum in the Canterbury urban environment conversation that has yet to be filled.

If you are worried about the Hard-Left leanings of the 'Greens' today then Rod Donald wasn't the guy for you. He used to live in a commune.

What sort of mongrels take away a persons livelihood on purely ideological grounds? Any muppet who thinks they have the power to change global climate deserves to be in the place of all other witch doctors and snake oil salesmen.

If they spent the oil and gas money on resilience I would support the move - given we live on the shaky isles and bad stuff happens.

No jobs were lost, not a single exploration was stopped, not a planned one canned. It's funny how the free market will fix everything
crowd ignore what will kill oil exploration is lack of demand

Well let the "lack of demand"/free market kill oil exploration then. Don't prematurely destroy peoples jobs on an ideological whim.

And with that, whales would probably be extinct by now.

You never disappoint Pockets. The free market and the petroleum industry saved the whales... “In 1849, Dr. Abraham Gesner, a Canadian geologist, figured out a way to distill kerosene from petroleum. His method allowed for the cheap and easy production of the much desired lamp fuel. Moreover, unlike sperm whale oil, it could be stored for longer periods of time and it didn't produce an offensive odor.”

1849? We were still whaling well after 1949, took a while for the world to get together in a COLLECTIVE fashion to regulate and outlaw. Free market stopped whaling? Pfft.

Except it is not ideological, Trump is the ideological one (actually simple corrupt and sel-centered), trying to save coal jobs while the world moves to renewables. In the short term we might "protect" a few dead end jobs on oil and gas, medium and longer term, no. As meanwhile 000's of jobs get created in the Green sector.

Rubbish. Purely ideological. Gas and coal are are public good. Politicians trying to change the climate is meaningless and achieves nothing other than virtue signal. Take away a persons job so you can virtue signal to your mates. Despicable.

The resulting climate change from using fossil fuels is not a public good.

Meanwhile the clear trend is away from any fossil fired plant,

No, let a person keep their dead end fossil fuel job which they will expect to hand onto for life and then their the son(s) is the instead the irresponsible action. Instead move to renewables which looks a way more like inter-generational jobs prospect.

I have changed careers 3 times now as my old job(s) disappeared. I now enjoy reasonable job security and way better pay and conditions. How did these jobs go? profit, the private company off shored the work or out-sourced didnt go well actually because it was ideological and short term profit driven but not my problem.

No Profile, to be polite, bollocks.

Gas and coal are finite, and burning them has detrimental repercussions. We are well past the denial nonsense, can you just leave it and let the conversation mature the way the tobacco one did?

So kind...

Thanks pdk. Burning carbon does have detrimental consequences but the benefits far outweigh these. Extracting oil, gas and coal from NZ minimises these detrimental effects.

Tobacco? Spare me days - modern medicine has nothing in common with the runaway global warming theory. Medicine is evidence based for starters and subject to double blind testing, falsifiable etc. Though to be fair you didstill get some consensus junk like stomach ulcer theories that wouldn’t die.

Profile should read and learn more.

Money buys bits of the planet. Currently, they are obtained by using other bits of the planet (fossil fuels). Clearly this process ends. Clearly it peaks, round about the commencement of the last doubling-time. Which is about now.

So advocating the amassing of money is stupidity at this point. Jack turning the family cow into magic beans.

Then we have to oxymoron of the month - ' spending oil and gas money on resilience'.

Don't bother calling anyone else a muppet Mr P - until you make comments less stupid (yeah, I know, I know, you spin purposely, but you put it up at face value and I'm knocking t down as such) you can hardly expect to be seen as anything else yourself....

Thanks pdk. I’ve read and learnt enough to know politicians can’t change the climate. If you believe that good for you - but I trust you don’t advocate people losing their livelihoods on the basis of your climate beliefs.

What about the Montreal Protocol?

Another groupthink myth that didn't stand the test of time. "The classic metrics create the impression that the ozone hole has improved as a result of the Montreal protocol. In reality, meteorology was responsible for the increased ozone and resulting smaller hole, as ozone-depleting substances that year were still elevated. The study has been submitted to the journal of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

Separate research led by Strahan tackled the holes of 2006 and 2011 – two of the largest and deepest holes in the past decade. Despite their similar area, however, Strahan shows that they became that way for very different reasons."

Pretty laboured spin there, mr profile.

I urge everyone to read his link, see what it does say, then read what Mr Profile put up. What he carefully selected, and what he had to avoid.

Then weigh anything he spins, ever again, very carefully, I suggest a feather on the other side of the sales should about do it.

He does this every time. He must spend hours looking at such papers and then take them out of context to suit his libertarian agenda.

Long past any hope of any real evidence to back his position up it seems so makes stuff up.

I seem to remember wondering, a long time back, whether he worked for the likes of Straterra.

But maybe not. There are others, obsessed for whatever reason, who plug away at it. I sat behind two such (one dead now) at a McKibben lecture, their body language was a hoot. Both PhD's too, as it happened..Hard to know what drives those ones - retired from a lifetime of CO2 emission and trying to avoid guily re grandkids, perhaps....

Grasping at straws there pdk - there is plenty to leave out. Posting whole papers isn't very practical but thanks for all your other positive tips. Montreal was a successful case study of government changing the climate - apart from that record ozone hole in 2015. Perhaps a bit more background reading before posting is in order pdk?

"Recent research has demonstrated that the concentrations of anthropogenic halocarbons
have decreased in response to the worldwide phaseout of ozone depleting substances. Yet in 2015
the Antarctic ozone hole reached a historical record daily average size in October.

...chemical ozone depletion due to volcanic aerosols played a key role in establishing the record‐sized ozone hole of October 2015. The analysis of an ensemble of interactive simulations with and without volcanic aerosols suggests that the forced response to the eruption of Calbuco was an increase in the size of the ozone hole by 4.5 × 10^6 km2."

Chinese factories are illegally using chloroflourocarbons. "The source of the mysterious ozone-killing emissions is confirmed: China."

That is a side issue Didge. The paper above and your own link show that overall CFC’s have decreased since Montreal - but despite this the Ozone hole was at record size in 2015.

double post

I used to be a Green party member, one of the "If you side more with the environmentalists, it has been a good first nine months for the Greens." I left.

Why? because they are not really very Green. Mostly they have a naive base who thinks buying and EV --edit-- is all that has to happen and for ppl to have 6 kids is perfectly OK.

Yes its the issue of being happy with having lots of children that puts me off the greens. Its a tricky one however because there are those that use having many children as a way of future societal domination. Europe is currently having immense problems with this destructive strategy.

The Green Party is the only one that I can see, dips its toes into the water on the subject of population numbers. No party has any real policy where even talking about optimum numbers or the prospect of population falling, and acknowledging that is actually needs to.
A few people having large families will make no difference in the greater scheme if all women are able to control their own fertility, as many will delay or even completely eschew having kids.


Correct IMHO.

Yes . The most effective green policy would be to select an optimum population number and stick to it. My pick would be two million population in New Zealand.
Before the bleating starts a. Quite achievable without compulsion on families. b. Care of the aged is still achievable.

Yes . The most effective green policy would be to select an optimum population number and stick to it. My pick would be two million population in New Zealand.
Before the bleating starts a. Quite achievable without compulsion on families. b. Care of the aged is still achievable.

Marama Davidson has 6 kids. Hypocrisy is like breathing for the Greens.

Which is one of the reasons I left, and would never vote for her, a) she isnt very green, b) 6 kids in a world that she should have had only 1, the other "Greens" couldnt see it.

I do not see an independent "hard core" left wing party rising. last time the Internet party only did as well as it did due do Dotcom's backing. Besides which this isnt how the hard left operates and have not in decades. They know full well I think they are by themselves un-electable so instead they operate within other parties seeking to gain undue influence over time. This however causes great internal stress and the classic outcome is an eventual un-electable mess. See the UK's Labour party in the 70's~80s for how that played out.

After listening this morning to Tracey Martin and Julie Ann Gender on seperate tv shows methinks this Coalition is in trouble.

They appear unable to have the skills to take the public with them.

Genter not Gender.

Given her subject this morning on incentivising NZX companies to put more woman on boards i thought Gender was more appropriate.

The Green leaning public like myself. Meanwhile selling the socially progressive ideas to the working class is going better its just a Q of promising jam, not hard.

I find it really concerning that social justice extremism is becoming mainstream in New Zealand’s left. Undermining fundamental principles of freedom and fairness is a definite trend. Regressive policies like enforced gender quotas for example (fighting perceived sexism with more sexism).

And I say this as someone who’s voted Labour every single election since I was old enough to vote, except last time when I went for Winnie.

Actually its not extreme, inequality is way higher now than in say the 60s, 70s or 80s so at best its a bit of re-equalisation.

The only "freedom and fairness" being under-mined is that of the middle aged white male who thinks he's being hard done by, its a myth.

Living standards are higher too. A rising tide raises all boats.

The left should focus more on improving the productivity and incomes of the poor to reduce inequality, instead of trying to redistribute wealth away from those terrible “stale, male and pale” folks. Funny how people that use that terminology are so oblivious to how racist, ageist and sexist it is.

Enforcing equality of outcome instead of equality of opportunity is the road to hell paved with good intentions.

A myth? Being told you’re not being promoted to the board of directors due to your gender and/or the colour of your skin is no myth. Did you not listen to Genter’s speech this morning? It’s practically government policy.

By the way, beginning your comments with “actually” doesn’t add anything to your argument. Ive noticed this annoying trait amongst SJW snowflake types. It does nothing but make you come off as pompous. Despite the fact you’ve declared “actually it’s not”, you’ll find that’s not good enough and you do indeed need to present a logical or coherent argument.

"A rising tide raises all boats." That depends on the length of the anchor chain.
In order to raise incomes of the poor some will have to forego some of their higher ones, no matter how you cut it, there is still, basically, only so much to go round.

Why would some have to forego their higher incomes to raise the incomes of the poor?

This is the problem with the far left. They believe that success will be obtained when wealth is redistributed, not created.

I have no objection to a social safety net however.

Because there is only so much to go around. It is better the lower income level be raised via income rather than too much welfare, but for their to be enough to raise the low incomes, the top ones have to come down.

Raising the productivity and incomes of the poor will improve their living standards and overall well-being. I take your point, but this doesn't necessitate others giving up their wealth.

When you say "their is only so much to go around" you imply that there is a fixed amount of wealth in the country to be taken from some and given to others in an effort to reach equality of outcome. The reality is that human and natural capital are constantly creating new wealth. Raising the productivity and incomes of the poor will increase their share of this wealth in an equitable way.

There is a middle ground to be found here - as I said, I believe in a robust social safety net. This is all very oversimplified and philosophical of course.

"the reality is that human and natural capital are constantly creating new wealth".

That is so wrong it's not funny. But it works if you don't want to acknowledge the way your society denies others - including future others - a chance.

Natural Capital is a bank account into which deposits are no longer being paid. Continued withdrawals from such a bank account end in one scenario, and one only: closure. Sad that were still seeing comments like that so late in the game.

Natural capital is essentially finite as we live on a finite planet. So all wealth is really is the end result of a conversion process called capitalism.

The rest of your comment is equally neo-liberal claptrap that has been disproven over the last 30 years.
example, productivity has actually increased but the top few % have actually taken it all and more.

Steven is too far gone to see reason unfortunately.

I am all for reason and data, but you never put any forth.

the use of 'actually" I suspect really does not matter in your case anyway. When your mind is shut as it is, then no rational argument no matter how solid would actually matter. Further the data actually proves my point(s).

Also not only is the "left" concerned about outcome but actually also concerned about opportunity, if you bothered to even read what they say. The problem is the wealthy in effect block out the opportunity to prosper and get ahead.

REPLY TO buylowsell high::Yes I agree, there are a lot of us in NZ and overseas. Perhaps we need a #walkaway movement here as well!
Of course, we would then be labelled "alt right" or "extremist right" - such are the tactics of the globalists and lefties now. And for the most part the media just supports such nonsensical arguments, failing miserably to represent the hoards who are tired of the direction the liberal left are leading us into.

Couldn’t agree more.

As far as I can tell 'alt right' and 'Nazi' now translates as not an avowed Marxist.

If there was a green party that was, kinda, apolitical, then they could swing between Labour and National, and go with the Party that offered the most, in regards to environmental Policy.

I might define green issues as being anything to do with our natural resources.. ( this includes land, fisheries etc..etc )

I think that way, they would make far more inroads into green issues, and would gather a solid voter base.
They would also attract potential candidates from across the whole spectrum on NZ society... ( sandal wearing types as well as Wall Street types , as well as farmer types).. (Within all sectors , I would guess , there are a few people who are high quality , deep thinkers, not driven by ideology, and with concerns for the environment, and the commonsense wealth enhancing , economic use of it, that benefits all ...etc )

The current green/alliance have hamstrung themselves with their policy of only aligning with Labour.

True Green has to be non-left or right, apolitical if you will. There would be a solid voter base, just not enough to get 5% hence the NZ Green party is really an amalgamation of factions who generally share common ground to an extent.

Frankly "wall street types" would mostly never be in a Green party, their makeup is simply not compatible. Farmers? possibly but most of the ones I know are simply too far right as well.

"deep thinkers" mostly I dont come across any right wing deep thinkers in fact I cant recall one.

In terms of hamstrung, yes and no. ie National is so far right wing and anti CC and RMA that they are frankly utterly incompatible with the Green outlook. Could the Green's negotiate a bigger / better outcome by not being locked to labour? I just dont see it.

Steven, I think they are out there.
I think there are always fringe, exceptions to the rule..
eg.. wall street types. I'm a fan of Ray Dalio from bridgewater.
He is an example of a businessman with concerns beyond business.

I've also come across farmers who had a regard for the environment, before environmentalism became fashionable.

In my experience , deep thinkers/original thinkers are not driven by ideology and don't really see things as black/white....right/left....etc...

I agree "deep thinkers" are not driven by ideology. However my experience is for the right (and extreme left) certianly they tend to be very much driven by ideology and hence obviously not "deep thinkers" of course maybe the term "deep thinker" isnt the one we want/mean.

Pretty much the views I expected. While I can’t ever see myself voting anything other than National, I have goals with my personal environment. I keep a rented bee hive in the backyard so use insecticide sparingly. I drop old chemicals, paints etc at the refuse transfer station, recycle as much as I can and use public transport. Don’t buy caged eggs etc etc. I think the Greens need to work out how to bring the 95% of the population that don’t vote for them with them a bit more, otherwise their good message is lost in the general antipathy towards the zealot views e.g. those espoused by Didge.

Me a zealot. That is ludicrous from someone that only votes for one party regardless of the fwits that are running it. John Key allowed NZ to place itself in a truly onerous position, And I am a zealot?

Exactly. The Green Party should be a party that can float between right and left governments seeking to achieve wins on environmental issues. The Green Party as currently constituted represents the green politics of 25 years ago. There are lots of green votes on both the left and the right. The Green Party has ironically been a major failure for green politics as it has excluded itself from a centre right govt and rejected centre right voters. Sooner the Green Party disintegrates the better for green issues. Acceptance of market economics and green issues are not a mutually exclusive thing.

Except from my time with interacting with the Greens is I came across very few who were right wing. Now I have come across some "centrish" Greens and actually they have all become good ppl to know that hence I keep up with even as I walked away from the Green party.

I do not agree on disintegration of the Green party as frankly for all their weaknesses they are far better in parliament than not.

'Where there is no vision, the people perish' - or in this case; Where there is no vision, the political party will perish. A clear vision and competent leadership inspires votes.

TOP is a much better party than the Greens, IMO.

On her valedictory tour, Jeanette Fitzsimmons pointed out that it needs 51% of the voting populace to be unselfish enough to vote for the chances of future generations.. And she pointed out that 10% seemed to be the maximum percentage who had thus-far voted that way.

Which means we're stuffed, as a species, unless we add 41%......

Makes you wonder what goes through the heads of parents, though. Less, on average, one suspects. Those too clueless to see the population/resource-consumption dead-end, are the ones reproducing the most, so we must be getting dumber on average,

Jason is right and wrong - the Greens have certainly become more socialist. Societal equality is probably the only long-term sustainable format (dog-eat-dog consumption collapses every time) but not when it just advocates different people doing the consuming.

We need to become long-term maintainable (which is the real meaning of sustainability) and that doesn't involve 'lower-cost housing' or eliminating ' child poverty'. It simply means no resource draw-down and a capping or lowering of population. When we all understand that, it won't matter who is in power, or what their party is called.

And if we don't get around to understanding and dealing with that dilemma, then it doesn't matter a damn who is at the helm during the sinking.

"Jason is right and wrong - the Greens have certainly become more socialist. Societal equality is probably the only long-term sustainable format (dog-eat-dog consumption collapses every time) but not when it just advocates different people doing the consuming."
That is the thing, when you dig down into how things can work in a world minus growth, it becomes pretty clear that capitalism cannot work in that space, it requires growth to even be itself.

I'm not sure you are right. There are better examples but take NZ over the last 5 years - growth just about equal with population growth and capitalism still provides me with multiple suppliers of fast food, groceries, fuel, luxury goods. No big crisis with capitalism because of lack of growth. In fact I'd suggest the opposite - since capitalism only exists where there are multiple suppliers competing within a framework of agreed regulations it always has winners and losers (don't they say half of new NZ businesses survive only 5 years?) so it has better resilence when the pie is shrinking (unlike for example soviet Russia or current North Korea).
Damn it - defending capitalism and I'm sure it has significant problems - especially the inexorable move towards effective monopolies, the destruction of common owned resources, increasing inequalities in distribution of wealth.

Capitalism is the private ownership of resources in search of profit. It doesn’t inherently rely on growth as it’s just as capable of reallocating resources in a shrinking pie as an expanding one, although markets like growth more than contraction.

A significant number of business start ups do ‘fail’ in the first few years. While some may make losses my experience is more that the owner isn’t making enough and pulls the pin before capital is eroded. It’s this dynamism that I love about capitalism. It seems inherently wasteful to use state funds to prop up industries in trouble/decline. Personally, I think South Canterbury et al depositors should have taken their losses, not the tax payer.

"...resources in search of profit. It doesn’t inherently rely on growth ..."

So system wide you can have profit ... without growth?

Seems that profit wouldnt be worth much.

Oh garbage, businesses are founded, grow and close as they service customers needs better or worse and frequently follow the life arc of a driven and industrious individual, who eventually grows old and dies. Capitalism worked with extremely slow technology improvements and wealth increases throughout Europe and Asia for hundreds of years pre-industiral revolution, it drove the Renaissance and European technological ascendancy (mobile merchant class jurisdiction shopping through Europe to escape despotic aristocracies). It doesn't need endless growth, it simply mediates interpersonal relations and makes markets function with more efficient competition with whatever is being traded, rewarding personal effort in a generally meritocratic manner.

State mediated control of labour and industry always ends up in mega-death calamities, violent oppression and widespread misery. Learn some 20th C history, or just look at news out of Venezuela.

Guys. Gals. Girls. We've had a good run since WWII ended. From all accounts, it was a pretty brutal affair and we don't really want to go back there, right? But a quick (or long) look at human history tells us differently. The global population graph is off the charts. It doesn't matter which one you look at. Never before have so many people had so much for so long. It wont last. It never does. We are human and therefore fallible. We think we are pretty good, but we're not really. We're just lucky enough to have had this time to be so good for so long, that's all. It's crumbling. And we can all see it happening. It's all around us. It's everywhere. Just in a material sense - the planet cannot cope with so many people living at the same time. There are other versions of this but you get my drift. There can only be one result. History can tell you quite a lot if you're brave enough to look.

Addressing environmental issues is good. The brain dead social justice ideology that comes with it is not.

BL - allow me to rephrase your comment.

Keeping out of the freezing water will be important. Only the brain-dead think we can save the children in Steerage too.

Hows that?

I think 2 problems for the greens is lack of male MPS, and rural /alternative Lifestyle type MPS. Through resignations, they have ended up 75 % woman, and all MPs have a big city/university backgrounds. It leaves a fair number of their core supporters possibly feeling unrepresented.
Issues like the bottled water misunderstanding probably don't matter too much .Those outraged make a lot of noise but many of them probably don't end up voting anyway. The core voters will have read the reasons why. I don't think they are in danger of not making 5 % , the danger is not making 10 % or more.

I think that the voting in of the greens was simply an act of ABN or Anything but National by those who supported this refreshingly different coalition of odd bods we call a government. Unfortunately the bulk of the voting population in NZ appear to be extremely naive and needlessly conservative and complacent when holding sitting govts to account for the economic, social and environmental impacts of their policy directions. That is more or less illustrated in frightenly stark terms by three consecutive terms of John Key's National Party which was a very poor performing administration by many measures. Once voters begin to see the rebalancing of things like housing, earnings and health and basic welfare (this is doing wellness not benefits) the Green vote may well improve. What the Greens really ought to do is start campaigning for the re nationalisation of the power companies so that energy could be transitioned to fully sustainable sources and delivered at cost plus a small margin for reinvestment purposes. The votes would flood in!

I think that the voting in of the greens was simply an act of ABN or Anything but National by those who supported this refreshingly different coalition of odd bods we call a government. Unfortunately the bulk of the voting population in NZ appear to be extremely naive and needlessly conservative and complacent when holding sitting govts to account for the economic, social and environmental impacts of their policy directions. That is more or less illustrated in frightenly stark terms by three consecutive terms of John Key's National Party which was a very poor performing administration by many measures. Once voters begin to see the rebalancing of things like housing, earnings and health and basic welfare (this is doing wellness not benefits) the Green vote may well improve. What the Greens really ought to do is start campaigning for the re nationalisation of the power companies so that energy could be transitioned to fully sustainable sources and delivered at cost plus a small margin for reinvestment purposes. The votes would flood in!


Why would they have to use a unionised workforce or run it as a public service. Fairly dogmatic thinking for a Pragmatist.

The relevant minister, Sage, on the water bottling issue had additional means to show she had tried before just saying her hands were tied by the law. I suspect advice from the officials was not given for an option she could pursue, even if in the end she would have to sign it. Perhaps a case of the baubles of office infection. Below are extracts from the OIA. There are other bits in the OIA but less relevant. Key clause between *****
34 Ministerial directive letter.
(1) The Minister may direct the regulator by a Ministerial directive letter, and the regulator must comply with it.
(2) Subsection (1) applies even if the subject matter of the Ministerial directive letter relates
to a power that has been delegated to the regulator.
(3) A Ministerial directive letter may direct the regulator about the following things:
******** (a) the Government’s general policy approach to overseas investment in sensitive New Zealand assets, including the relative importance of different criteria or factors in relation to particular assets: ************
(b) the asset types, value thresholds, and area thresholds over which the regulator has power to make decisions:
(c) the level of monitoring required in relation to conditions of consent:

The Greens are clueless. They think More and Green can coexist.
On the other hand, promising less is impossible...

"Delivered on 18 April 1977, 8:00 p.m. from the Oval Office at the White House while being broadcast live on radio and television.

Good evening.

Tonight I want to have an unpleasant talk with you about a problem unprecedented in our history. With the exception of preventing war, this is the greatest challenge our country will face during our lifetimes. The energy crisis has not yet overwhelmed us, but it will if we do not act quickly....We simply must balance our demand for energy with our rapidly shrinking resources. "...

"We all know what happened next. A deep state cabal, working with the country’s enemies, engineered an October surprise that replaced Carter with a bumbling, affable, senile Hollywood actor who resolutely kept the nation out of that war. It was morning in America. Oil man Dick Cheney ran for Congress.

Bill Clinton opined: “You can’t get elected by promising people less.”...

Not quite sure what you are getting at ???
Do you mean you can't have economic growth without using more resources?

well they are stuck - being Green means promising less ... lower standards of living (ie consumption)
See what happened to Carter when he tried to sell that line ...

Everyone wants to protect the environment - until it starts to impact on their standard of living and livelihoods.

So the Greens sell the nonsense view that we can go green and consume more "Green sustainable"stuff to improve living standards and maintain growth... ignoring population, ignoring industrial footprint, ignoring logic.

Which is why they are rudderless.

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