Limitoo News

Lack of surprises in Green Party manifesto shows 'consistency'

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson speaking at the party's AGM in Auckland on 9 July, 2023.
Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson speaking at the party's AGM in Auckland on 9 July. Photo: RNZ / Giles Dexter

The Green Party has released its election year manifesto, containing the policies it intends to implement if it forms part of the next government.

Much of the 42-page manifesto, which is developed by the wider Green membership, is policy the party has already campaigned on, such as banning new fossil fuel extraction, funding for indigenous forests, and replacing the Working for Families tax credit with a guaranteed minimum income.

It also calls for a standalone Ministry for Climate Change, as well as a Ministry for Rainbow Communities.

Co-leader Marama Davidson said the fact there were no great surprises in the manifesto spoke to the consistency of the Greens' platform.

"We've been clear that the priorities for us are in climate action, are protecting nature, and making sure that people have enough incomes. And those are through the manifesto, those are in our headline policies, we'll continue to highlight those Green solutions," she said.

In a speech to members at the party's AGM in Auckland on Sunday, Davidson said the next three months would be "a fight for the future of Aotearoa".

"I never want to look my mokopuna in the eye and say, 'we did not do everything we could to make your life better because we're worried about losing a few votes'," she said.

Similarly to co-leader James Shaw's speech the day before, Davidson spoke of the gains the Greens had made while in government, while at the same time criticising the government for not going far enough.

"Any party that stops short of promising to do everything it can to support people, is by definition choosing to make life harder for people. They are essentially saying to thousands of people who cannot afford to put food on the table, that's it. That's your lot."

Davidson claimed all of the policies in the manifesto could be able to be delivered in the next term of government.

While the party does not have 'bottom lines', there were policies it would take to the negotiation table that were not in the manifesto.

The party has already announced its tax and housing commitments, and intends to unveil other firm, costed policies in the lead-up to the election.

"It will not be acceptable to the millions of people who are demanding bolder action if the next government fails to show the courage necessary to end poverty; guarantee everyone a decent place to make a home; and take the boldest possible climate action," Davidson said.

Labour has already ruled out even considering one part of the Greens' housing policy, which would introduce rent controls.

The party said its own research had found one in three New Zealanders had looked at the Greens' policies and values and liked what they saw.

"We know that more people are available to vote for us now then we have seen in the past six years. And so it's our opportunity to take that up, and that's what we're doing with the launch of this manifesto," Davidson said.

On the first day of the Greens' AGM, Davidson and Shaw were re-elected as co-leaders by a comfortable margin.