Green Party

Could this party herald a radical realignment on the left of New Zealand politics? And are we seeing echoes of the 2002 election?

Last week I asked, somewhat facetiously, whether this would be New Zealand's first policy-free election. Now obviously parties will release policies and they will provoke some debate, but it does seem that the personalities and the general perception of each party is going to matter more in this election than is traditionally so.

I'm picking that Laila Harre's appointment as leader of the Internet Party will be good for Internet-Mana, but the impact on this year's election will be determined by the relationship with Labour. If Internet-Mana do well this year, though, there might be an important shake-up that will strengthen the broad left in the longer term.

Laila's selection is shrewd of the Internet Party and good for Mana. Few people to the left of Labour have as much credibility. She won't be dismissed as a puppet of Kim Dotcom. She has a deep understanding of the way party-alliances work, which will probably make her more patient with the complexities of a merger.

Some nameless person at the New Zealand Herald thinks either Labour or the Greens may have to support National after the 2014 election. And that person gets a salary to write this sort of stuff!

I don't normally read anonymous postings on the internet, but yesterday's NZ Herald editorial about the prospect of a "coalition of the losers" government forming post 2014 has been brought to my attention.

Now that we're in the business of guaranteeing winners by making public policy in their favour, the sky is the limit.

The Labour-Green Government today announced it had reached agreement with five "green-tech" start-up companies to create a "New Futures" industrial hub in Wellington. Under the terms of this agreement, the companies have committed to build plant, conduct R&D activities and produce goods for the next 35 years.

Last year, over 6000 of us took the time and effort to engage in debating the future of our MMP system. Would it be too much trouble for the Government to let us know whether there was any point to us doing so?

Following the majority decision to keep MMP at the 2011 referendum, the Electoral Commission last year reviewed the MMP voting system in a process that involved a couple of rounds of public consultation.