The real issue post-election is results, not dance partners

Opinion

Lance Wiggs

Wairarapa sheep and beef farmer and Green list candidate John Hart thinks a Green deal with National is a fantasy

Lance Wiggs on where he sees common ground between the Greens and National

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Should National circumvent Peters and do a deal with the Greens?

Yes
59%
No
41%
Total votes: 658

(Lance Wiggs says he voted for National's Nikki Kaye with his electorate vote and the Green Party with his list vote. He told NBR Radio that National should look to adopt Green policies that make financial sense. He also thinks there would need to be a change at the top as many Greens don't like the current PM, though he adds, "I disagree, "I think Bill English is a good guy. He's been a very good finance minister for us." He elaborates on his theory of a possible blue-green coalition below — CK)

Farmer and Green list MP contender John Hart has written a series of tweets about why a Blue Green coalition would not work.

That saddens me. It’s the politics of can’t, or lack of hope. A smart party would be working all sides of a deal to find the best path forward for their policies.

At stake is the rapid pace of climate crisis and of the adoption of electric vehicles, distributed power, batteries and so on. The Green party have been thinking about these issues for a long time and have a series of policies and people that will set our economy and society up to succeed in the times of turmoil ahead. It’s not the time to hunker down for another three years but rather the time to cut a deal, a good deal, with whatever party is going to be leading the new government.

At the moment the Greens have zero negotiating power – they have ceded it all to Labour by refusing to treat with National, and their members are not helping their own cause by reiterating the same. By painting themselves into this corner they will either end up in opposition again, with limited action on the causes that matter, or they will get what they are given in a red black and green coalition. Labour knows the Green Party will join them in coalition no matter what, and can afford to offer a far better deal to NZ First.

But what if NZ Greens treated with National? They might be offered a better deal than from Labour and NZ First. That deal would change the brokers of this election from NZ First to NZ Greens, and then the negotiating could really get going.

Imagine a Greens deal for National that required:

1: Climate change as part of every cost-benefit analysis/policy document, and a significantly boosted part of the Business Growth Agenda, with carbon emissions costed at $50 per tonne rising to $100 per tonne over 10 years. (This will drive transport and mining decisions)

2: $500 million a year allocated to cleaning up rivers, funded by a tax on farmers who are not abiding by a Sustainable Farming Code of Conduct. Fund decreases as farmers move into more compliance.

3: A falling cap on the amount of land used for cattle farming. Farmers will like it as their land will become more valuable.

4: $200 million a year into a series of linked habitats for native birds, and creation of 10km wide marine sanctuaries every 50 km of coast.

5: Julie-Ann Genter as minister of transport, James Shaw for climate change etc

6: Local bodies required to prepare for 1.9m sea rise from climate change, as per the hidden report

7: Moratorium on any new mining or drilling operations, and increase of royalties by four times.

8: Agreement to settle water rights with iwi and to allow each iwi/region to set a price for their water. Minimum price to apply.

9: Introduce a carbon tax at $5 a tonne, rising by $5 in the second year then $10 a tonne per year for nine years. Charge it like GST with cascading carbon tax applying. No exceptions, including farming.

10: Use the proceeds of the carbon tax to invest in carbon-reducing systems (public transport, lower methane emissions from belching cattle) and to subsidise entities who spend more money to lower carbon emissions.

11: Take 100,000 children out of poverty in three years, where poverty is defined as <definition> and annual targets are met or coalition fails.

I can imagine National negotiating and then agreeing to some, most or close to all of this. Some of it would be tough, no doubt, but they have already agreed to 11, understand how to do 8 in a way that doesn’t destroy businesses and farms and are excellent at implementing big projects – this time public transport instead of roads. Some of the others are relatively cheap, and the biggest issue (and something worth fighting for) is the carbon tax but, if done well, can be used to lower business and personal income tax – long a National goal.

That’s a Blue-Green Coalition. It aims to achieve goals for both parties. And a coalition like that would leave both parties stronger.

Why would Green Party members not support this? The answer is perhaps “because we don’t like National because of past behaviour” or “We don’t want to be crushed by being a coalition partner to National.

These are selfish motivations, and quite unlike the entire ethos that Green Party lives by. I’ve always seen the Green Party as a movement that is endeavouring to achieve certain environmental and societal goals, and they have welcomed it when other parties have adopted their policies. A coalition agreement like the above is one where they would achieve genuine lasting change could be put to members, and members strongly encouraged to vote.

Ideally, another agreement with Labour and NZ First would also be presented, and a genuine dilemma could emerge. What if they can achieve more with National than with Winston and Labour?

Real change happens when you move the normal – and there is no better way to change society to be Green than by moving National towards the solidity of long-term green economics.

Punakaiki Fund co-founder Lance Wiggs posts at LanceWiggs.com.


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Wishful thinking Lance Wiggs. Are National that desperate for the fourth term, that they are willing to do deal with anyone, now that a deal with Winston Peters seems a distant dream,

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Totally agree

National are that desperate but hopefully the Greens stick to their principles and stay well clear of this morally corrupt National party

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You seem to think "changing the New Zealand society Green" is a default desire for this country. But I'd suggest 6% of the total vote is proof that you're wrong on that.

Besides, I don't think I'm the only one who spotted the weird post-Calvinist mysticism behind your global warming fears. In case you missed it, try this little thought-experiment.

Imagine that, instead of Scientists predicting the earth is warming due to us all driving SUVs, they predicted exactly the same level of warming, due to natural oscillations in the sun.

Imagine that the solution the Scientists proposed was not a global programme of eco-Puritanism, but of pumping sulphur particles into the stratosphere.

How much attention do you think this problem, and this solution, would get? For that matter, how much attention has the sulphur solution (which is independent of the cause of the warming, and could be implemented at a fraction of the cost of reducing CO2 emissions) received?

Yet the effects on humanity are exactly the same. Conclusion: whatever it is that makes the AGW movement so successful, it is not its (undoubtedly sincere) concern for humanity. The Greens shouldn't get anywhere near the levers of power.

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I don't give time to climate change deniers.

"It's the Sun" is only at "Naive" on this list of climate change denier tactics, just better than the minimum of "Silly" and not quite as sophisticated as "Specious" .
http://grist.org/climate-energy/its-the-sun-stupid/
http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
At least you have moved on from "it's not warming" - hard to defend with the record series of highest ever temperatures globally.

Dealing with climate change now will create a better future for all of us. Much of that change is coming on board regardless of the climate change deniers, but we can do a lot better..

As for the sulphur red herring - there is some homework for you here:
http://essea.strategies.org/module.php?module_id=168

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Just so we're clear, it was a thought experiment. At no time did I say climate change isn't happening. I absolutely agree that human carbon emissions are contributing to the increasing temperature of the planet. 

I'm just not a catastrophist. I think normal people like you love to imagine this world collapsing. You can't wait for it. It excites that part of your brain with the guilt and pleasure receptors close by. All the talk is about preparation for that moment. The world is ending and, best of all, it's all our fault! The only thing that matters to religious folk, such as yourself, is that humans are the most important organism on the planet, even if it means we're "destroying" it. Like I say, it's just Puritanism. You should read more old books, Lance, preferably anything published before 1920. We've been here before.

And since you're so keen to cast hocus-pocus spells predicting the future, pop into your local palm-reader on the way home. Or don't you believe in that nonsense?

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Well played Sir.

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Excellent comment Nathan. You beat me to something similar, but you wrote it far better than I could.

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Climate deniers can exit over here: https://skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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I think Nathan put his argument very clearly . As to Maori getting paid for the water will the airwaves be next?

(Edited)

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I believe that as human produced carbon emissions are only 3 percent of total carbon emissions how is taxing the life out of us going to change climate when history shows us that climate changes with or without or contribution

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If by Green , we mean as sustainable as we can be, then Lance could be right.
So your second sentence might better read -"6% of the total vote is not proof that you (Lance) are right about that".

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I really hope Lance doesn't show such naivety in his business dealings.

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Me too. But I'd also hope that I don't throw away negotiating positions before starting.

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Imaginary valuations to imaginary politics

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It's what I do for imaginary readers.

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There is no possibility of the Greens and National doing a deal and forming a Blue Green alliance because neither parties members would support such a deal or the consequences of the terms of any acceptable pact. however it is always possible that given commentator Mr Hootons view on RNZ that the Greens and no more real or substantial than Act, ( in fact I would argue that both parties were introduced in their parliamentary form as left wing diversions to erode the thrust of the Rogernomics and Treasury ideas and the likes of Roger Douglas, Ruth Richardson, Kennedy Graham etc) and the obvious fact that Labour has moved far from being the Liberal feminist party in was by the 1980s and that National is clearly no longer market oriented or neo liberal that a whole new political coaliton could form if NZ First split after say Mr Peters suffering bad health problems or age wear.
I would imagine the green party would want completion of NIMT eelctrification and extension to say Wanganui and Tauranga and possibly a number of new rail lines and light rail lines , inparticular a new faster route fo rthe NIMT and a reduction in dairying a change of some of Nationals new morality policies

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I observe that after 20+ years in Parliament, the greens only achievement of note was the housing insulation programme in conjunction with the national party. Labour have always abused and ignored the green - at best treated like the dog poop you accidently tread on. I also observe that Gareth Morgan some years ago talked about scope and room for a blue/green party - shame his TOP couldnt pull that off. As Hone found out, being in the tent/at the table means you are accountable and he preferred to be outside throwing stones and protesting. I fear the greens are in that camp, and the weight of accountability would cripple them in Government....which is the conclusion that Helen Clark reached. If the tooth fairy is smart, she will be taking wise advice from Helen in the next day or two.

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Not sure I agree with all of your list... (certainly cant see no. 8 happening)... but I think if the Greens can put personalities and social agendas aside it isn't impossible.

If the Greens form a view that some of the steps above need to happen now... and cant wait another three years.... then why not have the conversation.

Moreover, from a strategic perspective... it is quite possible post the 2020 election we have just three parties (assuming this is Winston's last dance). Why not position the Greens as a pragmatic party that can focus on wins for the environment with the ability to work with both major parties.

I can see in 2020 the Greens in the position of kingmaker... its not unbelievable... but there needs to be a mindset change in the party and they need to get back to the original purpose... the environment.

Instead of spending the time on the opposition benches they could actually hold both parties to their environment ideals for years to come.

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Greens could be kingmaker now if they have the gumption.

The list was pretty rapidly created - the Greens are far better at forming policy than I and would have their own version. There campaigned on only three things - so start with them.

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Its always been fairly obvious that the Greens were mainly some sort of socialist party, but one with more middle class and fringe roots than the mainstream old union and class based Labour Party and the Greens were mainly anti establishment hippie, back to the country in the non materialist, 1970-79 sense and essentially anti american, anti car, anti the redneck provincial attitude, anti government. The real political demands then and now are not in the stated fact actually not that much, because the basic fact is the greens are not materialist industrialists or financiers- unlike captains of industry and big union leaders they do not want to live in walled mansions- and that is part of the political trouble.
The Green Transport agenda and demands are actually modest and somewhat better costed ( if with not much real knowledge of the the historical, social, industrial and geological factors that would actually determine the cost of real NZ rail and light rail development- Ms Genter being a US blue stocking policy wonk- whose real mind space is not necessarily yet entirely or even half in kiwiland). Broadly the Greens want maintenance of the current NIMT electrification with its extension and inclusion of the Papakura - Tauranga as electrified rail line offering a build up of passenger trains Auckland - Hamilton and to say Cambridge and possibly a few passenger electric units to Tauranga. The line to Whangarei would be upgraded and extended to Marsden Point. The airport light rail would be done immediately. Some railcar services would be introduced for suburban services close to Chrisitchurch to Rolleston and Rangiora ( like everything else this is a very modest proposal, by Ms Genter) as electrified commutter services Christchurch to Ashburton, Lincoln,Lyttleton, Darfield and Rangiora would not be very radical. Also trams would be back in Wellington, Ms Genter claims with Mr Blakley ( old wellington and NZR electrical engineer) that a conservative cost of $700 million for tram syste from the rail station to wellington airport. My own view is that the tram system in Wellington and Auckland on the old Mt Eden, Dominion Rd, Mt Albert , Remuera and Royal Oak - Greenlane routes terminating in a cut and cover underground parallel to Britomart and running in on the surface on Symonds st and later out under Vic Park but not in Q st would not be half as expensive as thought as in NZ costs are more Detroit and Minneapolis and only half that because IN NZ the streets could be closed while track is installed and one way loops used but in the case of mainline NIMT costs are much higher than the greens think because a new route is needed

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It amazes me that intelligent people think that they can do anything about climate change! Go down to the beach and see if you can stop the tide coming in or going out, you can't do anything about it. Just one volcano blowing up throws all their emissions targets to nonsense! Carbon tax is just a ponzi scheme dreamed up by a clever operator.
We can do something about our polluted waterways, restrict dairy farming in the pristine areas of the South Island. Makes sense.
Giving Iwi rights to fresh water is racist
And completely unacceptable.
If National and Greens could get agreement on the these items there is no reason that they could not work together.

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We are now trapping as much extra energy (heat) in the atmosphere every day as 400,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs.

Our own exhaling of CO2 is part of a closed loop, but we have extracted and burned insane amounts of oil and gas. By lowering that back close to zero we will reverse the trend.

Search for volcano on this page: https://skepticalscience.com/argument.php

According to the law of our land (The Treaty of Waitangi and all the case law that followed) the water is owned by Maori. There is a standard path to negotiate a settlement, but water has never been part of the settlements to date. It seems time to make it happen.

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Maori do not own the water! The next thing you will be saying they own the air that we breath. How could you perpetuate this nonsense!

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Above all else, it is the principle.

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it is entertaining to see someone rooting for a Right wing Green government. The principal of genuinely caring for something other than yourself and being able to become disproportionately wealthy really are polar opposites. This article seems to exists in some mythical post truth world where large tax dodging corporations really care for the wellbeing of there staff and the environment.

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Couldn't disagree more. There is a role of government to ensure the companies pay for the 'externalities' of their production.. be that carbon, waster water , rubbish etc. Green's obviously feel businesses could be doing a better job in limiting or paying for those externalities. Why can't National and Greens work on that.

I actually find your perception that all things National or pro-business are evil and self-serving as quite offensive.

You may be quite surprised there are many very large firms who take their environmental responsibilities seriously whilst considering the well being of their staff. They want to be seen as good corporate citizens and have a positive brand as a prospective employer.

Its going to be a tough bitter life to go through with the mindset of "all business is bad".

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Plenty of businesses do good in this world. Plenty of politicians genuinely believe in looking out for all parts of society. National and their cronies fall into neither of those camps.

Just look at their track record (not their campaign trail promises); housing crisis, mental health crisis, immigration crisis, water quality crisis, some of the highest rates of homelessness in the OECD.

This is a party that cares about the paper wealth of its supporters. Not the environment, not climate change, and certainly not the wellbeing of all New Zealanders.

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For the first time since the vote somebody is finally talking real sense. You words Lance totally resonate with me. I voted Green always have done but the Green party will be short-changing themselves and the environment if they do not see that working with National would be better for all the issues that really concern us. Stronger together.

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It's about time we had a true Green Party that put Green ideals above social reform. That way they would have support amongst all voters not just left wingers! And a possibility to get reforms in before it is too late!

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Great note Lance. Negatives highlight the failings of MMP. Why not negotiate to promote the policy you stood for? Nothing ventured nothing gained. The electors didn't colour code their votes - its certain politicians/commentators and party members who speak of so called loyalty who do this - yet still pander to the whim of Winston

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About time Greens got off the bench and started gaining some concessions for their supporters. National and Greens are going to fundamentally disagree about plenty of things but they also have common ground. What an opportunity!!! I believe Green supporters can appreciate differences in ideaolgy don't prevent the two parties forming good balanced policy together. Jacinda Adern wouldn't even endorse the Greens during the campaign... when the Greens decide to stop being the Labour B team and decide to get into the game and score some policy wins we'll all be better off.

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The only way that the Greens could be comfortable with this alliance, would be to agree to restrict their environmental initiatives to the N.Z. environment.
That is , after all , the only physical environment that all NZers care about, regardless of AGW etc.
And we all know , and agree, that it is the only physical environment that we , as a nation ,can have an influence on.
Lance seems interested only in highlighting the major division, which is the understanding of how science works.

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Don't ask Winnie what he wants,tell him what he is going to get,take it or leave it.
Which ever party goes into a coalition with NZF will pay the price in 3 years or sooner.
His days of holding NZ to ransom are over.Let him fade into the dwindling light.

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National is now a back country morals conservative and suburban party. The reasons for the lack of real environmental focus by the Greens are essentially, a city party, particularly Auckland and Wellington. the electric trains don't take you even 50 miles of Auckland or Wellington where the cows start, I suppose. The fact the Greens are mainly sited in Wellington and Auckland Central means they aren't really focused on the main provincial areas of cow and farmer overpopulation in Southland, SC, Taranaki,etc.
Secondly the Greens are a party of protest, like the British Liberal or Liberal Democratic party they are a party of opposition and it was inevitably a disaster for the Liberals when Clegg put them into coalition with Cameron and Osborne and Theresa. So your suggesting Shaw, Genter and Davidson share the Cabinet spots with English, Colman, Collins and Bennett who arent exactly pin ups or rather posters on the Aro Valley cafe noticeboards or even in Mt Eden village. After after old green Joachim Fischer signed up in support of the government supporting the US Bush/ Blair unified coaliton to war with Iraq- the Germans Greens were never mentioned again by CNN, BBC again. The idea of the need for National Unity to keep Winston out fails to recognise that the interests of Business and free society, ie bar and supermarkets open 24/7 or even past midnight or even after 7pm 5 days a week outside Wellington have all gone with the Burtons under the country conservatives English and Smith. Theyve already hugely delivered to NZF with much more police and conservative social policing and restrictive licensing. If you think Blinglish is for business take a look at he poor conditions and lack of restoration in most Gt South Rd and Central City hotel many of them little updated for 20 years and very worn.
Chris Trotter believes irreconcillable parties can sometimes allign in terms of higher interest, ie the Nazi - Soviet pact but was there any actual difference between the Russian and Nazi armies in 1943 by the battle of kursk they look indistingisable and they both were essentially the same type of National socialism. And they did share a common interest as Prussian and White Russian military aristocrats always had, they both smashed up the polish peasanty and proles every time they went thru, just like 1914 and 1918. So I would think the common interest of both the Nazi and Soviet military and political leadership would have been to smash in the Nat type voters as well as the Union leaders and Doctors of course.

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A Labour, Green, NZ First (Peters ego) Govt would ignore at their peril that almost half the population voted for National.
The policy trade offs between L.G.NZF will result in many flaky distortions where only the wishes of minorities will be reflected in Govt policy and a fair amount of Lets punish those nasty polluting employers (no mater what it costs their employees) will come to the fore.
The sky will indeed fall on the average already over taxed working Kiwi as their jobs disappear and the cost of living goes through the roof. The fluffy bunny voters will find that most things cant be fixed with a tax - remember Rob Muldoon tried.
1970's style Unions belong in the 1970's (but that's who controls Labour policy, just read the parties constiutution).
We will all have to pay Maori for our water and Air because its such a great idea for hand wringing appologists even though it is patently unfair to most.
But fear not, our LGNZF Govt politicians each on $200k P.A will have plenty of Chardonnay and free overseas travel to green junkets to the UN so they wont feel a thing..... but the average tax payer will .... and they will be a lot more careful with their vote next time.
MMP should be called DPR - Disproportional Representation the smaller parties get more representation then the larger and far too generously so. something that has never been adequately explained to the public.
We will all pay dearly for such a Govt for many elections to come.
Greens lost all my respect when they said they would not work with National. Much more can be achieved working in then outside of Govt.

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#7 is an Interesting idea. A "moratorium on any new mining or drilling operations" so rather than produce from our own backyard we can import materials from thousands of kms away and not have to deal with strict NZ mining regulations or moral burden of impacting mother earth.

Followed by an "increase of royalties by four times" from 20 % of accounting profit for oil and gas to 80 %, plus company tax (28 %) = 108 %. Have you thought any of this through?

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I dont give time to climate change scaremongers. Those who want to use this as a excuse to redistribute incomes so all are 'equal" under the guise of saving the planet.
The planet doesnt need saving its doing very nicely. Climate has always changes think Greenland in c900AD. Where was the manmade contributors to that?
This is akin to the flat earthers of an earlier time when to deny the earth was flat was to be caste out or worth.

One is minded of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale.

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It makes sense to me Lance, but difficult to see how under James Shaw's leadership they can extract themselves from under the red flag.

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