Honeymoon over?

The new government’s honeymoon could be over already.

NewstalkZB reports:

The first ripples of discontent have emerged in the new Government, as Labour and New Zealand First criticise the Greens for “cheap” horse-trading for considering a deal in exchange for supporting a waka-jumping bill.

An internal email reveals that the Green Party is considering negotiating for a National Day marking the invasion of Parihaka in exchange for its support on waka-jumping, which was part of the Labour-NZ First coalition deal.

The Greens have opposed waka-jumping in the past.  

No one does hypocrisy like the Greens. It also shows how little they respect democracy in that they are prepared to trade away our electoral laws for a holiday.

But Labour’s Justice Minister Andrew Little has described the idea as “cheap horse-trading”, while New Zealand First MP Shane Jones suggested the Greens could benefit from some expert advice from Helen Clark’s number two, Heather Simpson, who is currently working in Jacinda Ardern’s office.

“The sooner that Heather Simpson goes to visit the Greens, the better. The waka-jumping bill is an important bill. It played a key feature in the development of the Government.”

That is a threat. Heather Simpson will crack heads. Word is she is vetoing staff faster than Labour ministers can put their name forward.

A waka-jumping bill is a new addition to the Government’s 100-day plan and would ensure a party’s proportional representation in Parliament, if an MP left a party.

The Green Party’s justice spokeswoman Golriz Ghahraman, in an internal email accidentally sent to Fairfax, floated the idea of trying to garner support for a National Parihaka Day – the subject of a Green private member’s bill.

“The Government won’t have the numbers to pass the [waka-jumping] legislation without us, and if we decided to oppose it then they would need to consider other options such as approaching the National Party, who opposed the 2005 bill,” the email says.

“Opposing the bill would cause political tensions, given the inclusion of the bill in the Labour-NZ First coalition agreement.

“Our Confidence and Supply Agreement gives us the independence to choose to vote against it. Supporting the bill would be seen as changing and weakening a long-standing and public party position. It would risk criticism from our core supporters.”

During the parallel coalition negotiations, Green’s co-leader James Shaw put his faith in Jacinda Ardern to ensure that there was nothing in the Labour-NZF deal that the Greens would object to – though he conceded there might be policies that he might not be comfortable with.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters poured scorn on horse-trading tactics.

“We don’t horse trade. We don’t trade principles … We’re not going to do deals. This is a matter of principle.

“And the principles are, if waka-hopping destroys proportionality, it has to be dealt with. If Parihaka is a meritorious [idea], then it should be dealt with separately. But we should not, surely, you would think in 2017, be trading these matters.”

Peters said he was not aware of any discussions to do with the waka-jumping bill and Parihaka.

“Maybe they’re having discussions with somebody else, but not with New Zealand First.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said doing a deal with the Greens over waka-jumping had not come up “in direct conversation”.

I’d say that the Greens are either going to cave in and support the bill or the proposed bill will fail. Right now it is covering all parties in government with a stench of anti-democratic gerrymandering.

 

 

-NewstalkZB

 


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