“Significant tensions between the Greens and New Zealand First resurfaced”

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Significant tensions between the Greens and New Zealand First resurfaced in the weekend, signalling that a Labour-led government might be less straightforward than the parties would have us believe. At the centre of these tensions, is the Greens major fear of being locked out of government, once again, by Winston Peters.

Can the Greens and New Zealand First work together in a Labour-led government after the election? There were a few signs in the weekend that tensions between the two parties are escalating, and a working relationship is in doubt.

Allegations of racism were thrown by the Greens at their supposed coalition-in-waiting allies. This brought about a sharp response from Winston Peters and his fellow MPs, who strongly hinted that such attacks on New Zealand First could lead to the Greens being locked out of a Labour-NZ First coalition government.

It’s a given.  If Winston goes with Labour at all (and you have my assessment he will not), it will be on the condition that the Greens get the same sweet deal they got from Helen Clark.   And they know it too.   Confidence and Supply in exchange for some green policy win, but nowhere near the seats of power.

The allegations about racism in New Zealand First were made by co-leader Metiria Turei on both TV and at the party’s election campaign launch in Nelson. NZ First MP Tracey Martin responded on Twitter to say, “Six years of trying to work constructively just washed away in around six minutes. What a shame.” And in a tweet directed at Metiria Turei, said: “Tell you what @metiria, keep calling me a racist & you make it very difficult to sit at the table & believe it is mutually respectful”

And Winston Peters put out a statement saying: “My warning to the Greens is don’t call New Zealand First racist – an allegation that is spurious – and think there won’t be consequences.”

Metiria isn’t the sharpest political knife in the drawer, but even she knows the Green party has a snowflake’s chance in hell of being in government.   The only way that can be achieved is if Labour and Green take a majority of the seats in parliament between them.


– Bryce Edwards, NZ Herald

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