Russel Norman

Oh the irony: Greens call for cross-party support

To be honest, I didn’t think the Greens knew there was such a thing as working together with people, but it’s nice to see they’ve heard of the concept when trying to score some quick political points. ¬† Especially as it wasn’t the Greens that brought the issue up in the first place.

The Greens say MPs shouldn’t be given pay increases that are out of step with those of most other Kiwis.

“MPs’ salaries are going up by $8200 but the median income rose only $1300 last year,” said co-leader Russel Norman.

“We’re calling for cross-party support to agree on a system of index linking.”

The 5.5 percent increase was announced yesterday by the independent Remuneration Authority.

MPs’ pay has risen to $156,000 a year, the prime minister’s to $452,300 and cabinet ministers’ to $283,400.

The remuneration authority needs a kick up the hoohaa. ¬†With inflation near zero percent, and general market increases in the range of 1.7 (from memory), there is no way to justify a 5.5% increase. ¬† You could say they’ve increased New Zealand’s productivity, but we’re still running deficits, so I’m not sure how you can earn 5.5% and look the tax payer in the eye. ¬† Read more »

Will the Green Taliban ever be part of a coalition government?

thi-dating-dysfunctional-relationship

I don’t think so. ¬†They are petulant and self righteous, and expect way too much in return for their actual support base.

What about Labour and the Greens, eh? Can’t live together, can’t live apart.

Just how the two parties can co-habit on the Left has been one of the longest-running conundrums since MMP was a pup.

How can they turn being allies – or is that just very good friends – into benefits for both? And how can they draw the line between potential co-operation in government and competition for votes?

And then there have been the parties playing gooseberry: once upon a time United Future; ever and always New Zealand First.

As centre parties camped on the fulcrum of power they have been able to force the Greens out of government, when Labour has been in power, leaving them no option but to grimace and bear it.

The real problem for Labour is that it needs to position itself as partnering with Winston instead of the Greens, because not enough voters like the idea of the Green Taliban getting near the levers of power on the back of a Labour vote.

A vote for Labour is a vote for a Labour Green government.  And how much did the voters run away from that?    Last time, they did it in unprecedented numbers.

Instead of learning from this, the Greens are even more self-righteous! Read more »

Party that campaigned on undermining national security upset they are not invited to the national security meeting

Credit: Mark Mitchell

Credit: Mark Mitchell

How precious can you get? ¬† The Green Taliban have spent years saying the likes of the GCSB should be disbanded, our armed forces should not enter theatres of war, and the SIS and the Government can’t be trusted, but they would very much like to be part of the group of people to deal with national security issues.

National and Labour have shut all other parties out of Parliament’s most powerful committee – the committee that will oversee a major review of the country’s intelligence services. Read more »

The problem with ‘ethical investing’

Yet again the Green party is lecturing us on ‘ethical investing’.

Can anyone see a problem with that?

The Green Party has called for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund to quit its investments in companies producing fossil fuel.

The fund’s chief executive, Adrian Orr, said it took the issue of climate change seriously and expected its exposure to fossil fuels to fall over time, and investment in renewables to rise.

“But a simple divestment call? The world is just not that straightforward,” he said.

The fund, set up by the previous Labour Government to partially pre-fund future New Zealand Superannuation payments, had $676 million invested in companies directly involved in fossil fuel production as of last June. That represented about 2 per cent of the fund’s assets.

Greens co-leader Russel Norman, in a paper released yesterday, makes an ethical case for not investing in companies whose activities are literally fuelling potentially catastrophic climate change.

He also points to a financial risk of stranded assets, citing analysis by the International Energy Agency and other bodies that the world’s coal, oil and gas companies already have in their proven reserves at least three times as much carbon as can be burned without exceeding the internationally agreed target of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. ¬† Read more »

Whaleoil Guest Blogger Kevin Hague to run for leader of Green Party

Whaleoil Guest Blogger Kevin Hague is ready to lead the Green Taliban. ¬†Now I like Kevin, but (and the fact this is even possible…) he has less charisma than Russel Noman.

Green MP Kevin Hague is the first person to officially put himself forward as a possible co-leader to take the party’s reins after Russel Norman leaves in May.

Speculation had been rife Mr Hague would contest the role, but he had remained silent on his run.

Well, since Russel Norman got the message to find things to do at home, it has been a pretty open secret Kevin wasn’t entirely a bystander in the downfall of the Great Australian flagbearer for the Green Party.

Dr Norman announced last month he would not stand as co-leader at the party’s annual general meeting in May, after nine years in the job.

Today Mr Hague, who had been the caucus strategist for the past six years, said he, along with Dr Norman and fellow co-leader Metiria Turei, had “improved the capability of our team”.

“Now with Russel stepping down I relish the opportunity and the responsibility of taking the Green Party to the next stage of entering government,” he said.

“To do that we’re going to need to be pretty clear about who we are, what we stand for.”

Mr Hague also spoke about finding “common ground” with other parties, including National.

I have no doubt he will be an efficient leader for the Greens, but the problem will be that he must not make himself the main messenger; instead making sure his media friendly MPs get the air time.

Positioning the Green Party to work with National would be a double edged sword.  For one it would keep National from drifting right, but it would also mean there is space for ACT and the Conservative Party to gain ground.

And, of course, little parties get eaten by their major coalition partners.  The Greens would be forever tainted.  Just look at the likes of the Maori Party and the Alliance Рthey were blamed for everything that the coalition government did.

 

– 3 News, Chris Trotter, Rodney Hide

Gordon Campbell: From loonie Greens to boring Greens

His likely successor ‚Äď Kevin Hague ‚Äď will face the same problems after Norman has stepped down in May. At the moment, Hague is not confirming whether or not he is a contender, but the cupboard is not exactly full of other options. (It would be theoretically possible for the Greens to elevate talented new MP James Shaw, but unlikely.) In the meantime, Norman will continue as Co-Leader and as the Greens‚Äô finance spokesperson.

When the party annual conference in May anoints the new leader however, there is a compelling argument for Norman to relinquish that finance role as well, in favour of Shaw. Not only would that help ensure that Hague is not upstaged by his predecessor, but the finance role would provide a useful platform for Shaw to lift his national profile, and widen his support base within the party. Hague would bring his own skills to the job. He is a solid performer and a good off-the-cuff public speaker, with prior senior management experience in public health. Hopefully, under Hague and Metiria Turei, the Greens might be able to gain some added traction with voters on health issues. Read more »

Kevin Hague plays dumb

Feral and proud.

Feral and proud.

West Coast-based Green Party MP Kevin Hague has not revealed whether he hopes to become his party’s new co-leader.

Russel Norman announced on Friday that he would stand down as co-leader at the party’s annual meeting in May.

Mr Hague, who is number three on the party list after Dr Norman and co-leader Metiria Turei, wouldn’t comment on Friday on whether he hoped to fill the role.

Oh why the subterfuge? ¬†He led a bloodless coup for the very reason that he wants to be co-Leader (or, to be honest, as long as Metiria is there,¬†the leader). ¬† Read more »

Cat killer Morgan wants to run the Green Party

Gareth is all excited at the departure of Russel Norman.  Can he finally have a Green Party made in his own image?

Millionaire philanthropist and political commentator Gareth Morgan says Russel Norman’s resignation as co-leader gives an opportunity for the Green Party to reposition itself as a genuinely environmental movement.

Dr Morgan said he had spoken to Dr Norman several times about what he calls the misuse of the Green Party’s environmental reputation as a front to push a left wing agenda.

Dr Morgan engaged in public debates about this issue, saying the Green Party’s reputation as an environmental guardian was a kind of “Trojan Horse for far left policies”.

Dr Morgan said Dr Norman’s departure created an opportunity for this to change, but he thinks it might be difficult because of what he calls the party’s other co-leader Metria Turei’s “very left wing views”.

I rarely agree with cat-killer-Morgan, except when he wants to kill cats and when he wants to destroy the Green Taliban. ¬† Read more »

Should Turei quit too? Absolutely

Photo Ross Giblin, copyright Dominion Post, Fairfax.

Photo Ross Giblin, copyright Dominion Post, Fairfax.

Fran O’Sullivan writes in the NZ Herald:

If the Greens are intent on becoming a mainstream political party with sufficient cachet to be a credible Government partner they should persuade Metiria Turei to join Russel Norman in resigning. Norman’s resignation – announced with a great deal of dignity yesterday – has switched the focus to Turei.

Norman is by far the stronger of the two co-leaders. He is the one who publicly pulled the Greens back from the brink of being marginalised by running a far Left economic agenda instead of leveraging their valuable green political brand.

Norman led the change away from some of the more disruptive policies that neither the party’s main prospective political partner Labour, nor National would really have a bar of. At the 2014 election the Greens did roll out some interesting policies particularly with innovation: 1000 new tertiary places for students of engineering, mathematics, computer science, and the physical sciences; $1 billion of new funding for R&D. They got it that innovation was “one of the best ways to add value to our exports, raise wages, and better protect the natural world we love”.

And frankly this is an area where New Zealand still needs a great deal more focus and urgency. Unfortunately for Norman – and Turei – the policy changes came too late to build a groundswell of support. The Greens didn’t achieve a strong enough focus on their own brand, instead wandering too much away from the centre line they need to occupy if they want to have an influence on a future government by getting into bed with either of the two main parties.

And there just hasn’t been enough policy consistency in place for long enough for a new image to bed down.

If Turei remains the senior co-captain of the Greens it will be harder to get that image change embedded.

Read more »

Will Winston support the Greens with a new Leader?

Winston-Peters-NZH

Greens? Don’t even eat them for dinner, why would I go into government with them

 

There is almost no way the Greens can get into government without Winston Peters letting them.

This basic fact is ignored by all in the liberal elite media, and no one has bothered to sit down with Winston and ask him whether he will let the Greens into government. ¬† Read more »