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Greens call for action, not rhetoric

20 January 2008

Greens call for action, not rhetoric

The Green Party has kicked off election year with a hard hitting speech by Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons in the annual State of the Planet address.

Speaking on Waiheke Island at the party's annual Picnic for the Planet, Ms Fitzsimons issued a challenge to the leaders of the major parties and the media.

"I challenge Helen Clark and John Key to an election in which political parties compete on something more substantial than an appeal to fear and greed. I challenge them to compete over who can be the most trusted to take urgent action to safeguard the social and environmental future for each and every New Zealander. I challenge the media to make this election about the substance of policy and not just about the horse trading and gaming of politics.

Ms Fitzsimons dismissed conjecture about who the Greens would or wouldn't work with following the election, "It is election year, and there are those who are already starting to assign the Greens to this or that coalition bloc or framework, onto this or that side of the political spectrum. Well, they can say what they like, but let me tell you that the Green Party will not do deals based on rhetoric or spin. We won't barter to get power for power's sake or the baubles that go with it. ... We will, however, be asking a high price of our co-operation. Because this planet is worth a high price. Because a decent future for our children and grandchildren is worth a high price. Our price is real action, not greenwash.

In her wide ranging speech Ms Fitzsimons touched on the destructive effects of the single minded pursuits of growth at all costs, and the dangers of basing all measurements on GDP. Highlighting the licences recently granted to international oil companies to drill in the Great Southern Basin, Ms Fitzsimons said: "Once again we sacrifice our precious wildlife heritage on the altar of commerce.

Ms Fitzsimons also painted a picture of the positive and sustainable future the Greens are working to create.

"Only the Greens have the ideas, the courage, the people, to steer a new direction for the sake of the planet and all our people."

ENDS

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