Greens getting a great deal in the sixth Labour government

James Shaw

Despite much conjecture that the Greens were going to get shafted by Labour and New Zealand First, the Greens are getting a great deal.

What we know so far is that the Greens are getting:

  • 3 ministers outside of cabinet
  • 1 parliamentary under-secretary
  • Zero Carbon Act, + independent climate commission
  • Overhaul of the welfare system
    • Ensuring access to entitlements
    • Removing excessive sanctions
    • A review of Working for Families so that everyone has a standard of living that allows them to live in dignity
  • Significant increases to the conservation budget
  • Better water quality standards
    • Greater water regulatory instruments
    • Funding for freshwater enhancement
    • Winding down of government funding for irrigation
  • Access to mental health services and support for everyone
    • Free counselling for anyone under 25 years old
  • Access to education for children with special needs and learning difficulties
  • Progress in eliminating the gender pay gap in the public service
  • Review, and properly fund & support the family re-unification scheme for refugees
  • Ensuring drug use is treated as a health issue

These are significant gains, and the Greens get to maintain their independence by staying outside of cabinet, which will be great for the party next election.

This is the first time ever that the Green Party gets to hold ministerial positions, and it means that the Greens will finally be unequivocally recognised as fit to govern, not a fringe hippy movement like they’ve been characterised.

I expect the ministerial positions will be:

  1. Environment
  2. Climate Change
  3. Transport

It seems unlikely the Greens will get Minister for Social Housing or Social Development, but it sounds like there’s already been large gains made in this area. Though, it would be nice for Marama Davidson to have a ministerial role, especially as she’s likely to become the next co-leader. Maybe that under-secretary role will go to her or Jan Logie (another potential co-leader) for Social Development.

It’s good that the Greens’ve secured a referendum on cannabis, allowing Julie Anne Genter to sacrifice her members bill and to become the Minister of Transport.

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