Template:Infobox New Zealand Political Party Template:Green politics sidebar The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand is a political party in the New Zealand parliament. It focuses firstly on environmentalism, arguing that all other aspects of humanity will cease to be of concern if there is no environment to sustain it. Left-wing economics, progressive social policies, participatory democracy, and non-violence make up the balance of its platform.
The party is currently co-led by MP Jeanette Fitzsimons and Russel Norman. The party has both a male and female co-leader. The male co-leader position was vacant following the November 2005 death of Rod Donald until the 2006 annual general meeting when Norman was elected using the alternative vote system by party delegates from electorates around the country.
The Greens generally focus primarily on environmental issues. In recent times, they have expressed particular concerns about climate change, peak oil and the release of genetically engineered organisms. They have also spoken out in support of human rights, and against the military operations conducted by the United States of America and other countries in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In its economic policies, the Green Party stresses factors such as sustainability, taxing the indirect costs of pollution, and fair trade. It also states that measuring economic success should concentrate on measuring well-being rather than analysing economic indicators.
The following forms the English-language section of the charter (the founding document) of The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand:
- The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand accepts Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand; recognises Māori as Tāngata Whenua in Aotearoa New Zealand; and commits to the following four Principles:
- Ecological Wisdom:
- The basis of ecological wisdom is that human beings are part of the natural world. This world is finite, therefore unlimited material growth is impossible. Ecological sustainability is paramount.
- Social Responsibility:
- Unlimited material growth is impossible. Therefore the key to social responsibility is the just distribution of social and natural resources, both locally and globally.
- Appropriate Decision-making:
- For the implementation of ecological wisdom and social responsibility, decisions will be made directly at the appropriate level by those affected.
- Non-violent conflict resolution is the process by which ecological wisdom, social responsibility and appropriate decision making will be implemented. This principle applies at all levels.
The Green Party traces its origins to the Values Party, considered the world's first national-level environmentalist party. The Values Party originated in 1972 at Victoria University of Wellington. While it gained a measure of public support in several elections, the then First-past-the-post electoral system meant that it failed to win any seats in parliament. Some of the foundation members of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, notably Jeanette Fitzsimons, Rod Donald and Mike Ward, had been active members of the Values Party during the spawning of the New Zealand and international Green movement in 1970s.
In May 1990, remnants of the Values Party merged with a number of other environmentalist organizations to form the modern Green Party. This sparked a resurgence of support, with the new group winning 6.85% of the vote (but no seats) in the 1990 election.
The Alliance yearsEdit
The following year, the Greens became co-founder members of the Alliance, a group of left-wing parties that gathered together around Jim Anderton's NewLabour Party. The Greens contested the 1993 and 1996 elections as part of the Alliance. With the adoption of the MMP electoral system in 1996, the Alliance gained entry to parliament, bringing three Green MPs with them: Jeanette Fitzsimons, Rod Donald and Phillida Bunkle.
In 1997, feeling that membership of the Alliance had subsumed their identity, the Greens took the decision to stand candidates independently of the Alliance at the next election. While most of the Green party members left the Alliance, some decided instead to leave the Green Party and stay in the Alliance (notably MP Phillida Bunkle). Conversely, some of the Alliance party members who joined the Alliance via other parties decided to leave the Alliance and join the Green Party, notably Sue Bradford and Keith Locke, who both joined the Alliance via NewLabour.
Green Party in ParliamentEdit
In the 1999 election, the Greens gained 5.16% of the vote and seven seats in Parliament. The party's co-leader, Jeanette Fitzsimons, also won the electorate seat of Coromandel, believed to be a world-first in a First-past-the-post election system. However, the final result only became clear after the counting of special votes, so the Greens had a 10-day wait before officials could confirm their election to Parliament. During this time, Labour concluded a coalition agreement with the Alliance which excluded the Greens. However, the party supported the government on confidence and supply in return for some input into the budget and legislation. This led to the Greens gaining a $15 million energy efficiency and environmental package in the new government's first budget. Over the term, the Greens developed a good working relationship with the government and also had some input into policy, notably Sue Bradford's amendments to the ERC legislation.Template:Fact
In the 2002 election, the Greens managed to increase their strength in parliament to nine seats, although they lost the Coromandel electorate. The electoral campaign featured strong tensions between the Greens and Labour. The Greens sharply criticised Labour for its plans to allow a moratorium on genetic engineering to expire, and believing that Labour would require their support to form a government, intended to make the extension of this moratorium a non-negotiable part of any deal. After the election, however, Labour and their coalition partner, the Jim Anderton-led Progressive Coalition, opted to rely on support from United Future, a party with strong Christian overtones, shutting the Greens out of power.
Although the Greens no longer had any input into the budget, they maintained a close working relationship with the government, and the Greens remained involved in the legislation process. Often the government needed to rely on Green votes in the House to pass legislation not approved by United Future, a conservative family-values party. The government won praise from political commentators for juggling the two diametrically-opposed parties.
While the moratorium on genetic modification has now expired, the Greens remain heavily involved in attempts to prevent any GM releases under the new regulatory framework, and genetic engineering remains a major topic for the party.
In 2005, the Greens polled 5.30%, returning six of their MPs to Parliament. Despite expressing clear support for a Labour-led government during the campaign, they were excluded from the resulting coalition, due to a refusal by United Future and NZ First to work with the Greens in cabinet.Template:Fact They were however able to negotiate a cooperation agreement which saw limited input into the budget and broad consultation on policy. Both co-leaders were appointed as government spokespeople outside cabinet, with Fitzsimons responsible for Energy Efficiency, and Donald responsible for the Buy Kiwi Made campaign. Template:Wikinews
After Donald's death the day before Parliament was due to sit, Nandor Tanczos took up the vacant list position. The position of government spokesperson on Buy Kiwi Made was filled by Sue Bradford. The co-leader position remained vacant until a new co-leader, Russel Norman was elected at their 2006 annual general meeting. The other contenders for the position were Nandor Tanczos, David Clendon and former MP Mike Ward.
Electoral results (1990-2008)Edit
|Election||# of candidates nominated (electorate/list)||# of seats won||# of party votes||% of popular vote|
|1990|| ||<center> 0||<center> 124,915||<center> 6.85%|
|1993 - 1996||<center> Part of the Alliance|
|1999||<center> 50 / 54||<center> 7||<center> 106,560||<center> 5.16%|
|2002||<center> 57 / 65||<center> 9||<center> 142,250||<center> 7.00%|
|2005||<center> 52 / 57||<center> 6||<center> 120,521||<center> 5.07%|
|2008||<center> 60 / 67||<center>||<center>||<center>|
Template:Wikinews The Green Party engenders strong opinions from different sections of society.
In June 2006, the Green Party was the target of Paul Holmes' breakfast show, where he said that the Green Party was the party of "the hippies, the Morris dancers, the square dancers, the anti-Americans, the nuclear ships fanatics, the fascists of greenness, the far-left, the remnants of the alliance, anti-free traders, apologists for Mao, communist sympathisers, the enemies of science and the rabid, irrational anti-GM movement". Mike Seville, a square dancer, put a complaint forward to the Broadcasting Standards Authority stating that Holmes' statement was untrue because in the 30 years of square dancing he had not met a square dancer who had supported the Green Party. The broadcaster, TRN, said the comment was "delivered in a humorous, sometimes satirical, fashion". The BSA agreed in their ruling, they said the comment did not breach good taste and decency and was not degrading.
The Child Discipline Bill (introduced by Green's member Sue Bradford) to outlaw the legal defence of "reasonable force" when disciplining children, has led to widespread debate as to appropriate parenting techniques. The bill, which sets out to eliminate an often abused defence against charges of assault against children, has been the subject of much debate and it has been named by the media as the "anti-smacking bill". The effect of this has been polarizing, but the divisions do not follow the usual political fault lines.
Equivalent to the organisational president of other parties. The Green Party constitution prohibits the co-convenors from standing for parliament.
- Moea Armstrong (? - present)
- Roland Sapsford (2006-present)
- Karen Davies (2005-?)
- Paul de Spa (2004-2006)
- Catherine Delahunty (2003-2005)
- David Clendon (2001-2004)
- Christine Dann (June 1998 - April 2000)
Members of ParliamentEdit
- Jeanette Fitzsimons (1996-present)
- Rod Donald (1996-2005)
- Phillida Bunkle (1996-1997, stayed with the Alliance when the Greens left)
- Sue Bradford (1999-present)
- Nandor Tanczos (1999-2008)
- Sue Kedgley (1999-present)
- Keith Locke (1999-present)
- Ian Ewen-Street (1999-2005)
- Metiria Turei (2002-present)
- Mike Ward (2002-2005)
- Russel Norman (2008-present)
- Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand official website
- Green Party Charter official website
- Green Party Policy official website
- Green Party Parliamentary Achievements and Budget Initiatives official website
- Green Party History official website
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