Green Party out of the loop and impotent inside new government

The Kermadec Trench and archipelago were set to become New Zealand’s largest marine sanctuary.

When NZ First came up with policies that Labour and the Greens liked they simply stole them and made them their own. This was obvious during the election when I wrote articles comparing their policies.

The National Party when led by John Key had a stunning policy that was great for the environment but our new government instead of embracing it, making it their own and taking the credit for it have stopped it much to the surprise of the impotent Green party.

New Zealand’s biggest ocean sanctuary is dead in the water, in a Winston Peters deal that has blindsided the Greens.

The 620,000 sq km Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, announced by John Key at the United Nations in 2015, was hailed around the world and passed its first reading in Parliament unopposed.

But fishing companies and iwi bodies filed legal action opposing it, saying the sanctuary would deny them fishing rights agreed in Treaty settlements.

NZ First, whose senior MPs are close to the fishing industry and whose campaign was partly bankrolled by players in the fishing industry, demanded Labour stop the sanctuary.

And it is understood Jacinda Ardern agreed a Labour-NZ First government would not progress legislation to establish the sanctuary in this three-year Parliamentary term. That will disappoint some of her MPs and supporters, but will win favour among her Maori MPs who argued it undermined iwi commercial fishing rights.

[…] Labour’s agreement that it will not progress the ocean sanctuary has created the first real friction between the three parties as they try to form a government.

[…] Green Party minister Eugenie Sage said she knew nothing of the deal to stop the Kermadecs sanctuary, which she described as a “simply incredible” area and deserving protection.

The Green party are going to need to get used to being ignored. Even their leader James Shaw has admitted that Winston Peters still hasn’t spoken to him.

She told Stuff she was not aware of the Kermadec sanctuary being killed off.

[…]  The sanctuary was initially championed by Green MP Gareth Hughes.  His private member’s bill would have created a no-take, fully protected zone preventing all fishing and mining in the area, adding to protections already in place.

In 2015, to much fanfare at the United Nations, John Key promised it would “be one of the world’s largest and most significant fully-protected areas, preserving important habitats for seabirds, whales and dolphins, endangered marine turtles and thousands of species of fish and other marine life” before the UN General Assembly in New York […]

[…] NIWA underseas footage shows the Kermadecs archipelago is “simply incredible”, Sage said. It’s well recognised the Kermadecs deserve protection.”

The Kermadecs sanctuary is understood to have been a deal-breaker for NZ First.[…]

– Sunday Star Times


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