Green Screen the Budget
27 May 2009
Green Screen the Budget
New Zealanders can now compare the National Government's economic stimulus plans to a Green New Deal-style package thanks to a nationwide tour by Green Party MPs, a newsletter to more than 300,000 homes and a dedicated website.
"The Green Stimulus Package has got New Zealanders thinking about an approach that creates a sustainable economy and looks after our natural environment at the same time," Green Party Co-Leader Russel Norman said today.
"We've proposed a $3.3 billion investment in New Zealand over 3 years, to create at least 43,000 jobs and stimulate helpful parts of the economy while making a positive contribution to the environment and to climate change. It is possible to do all that, and many governments around the world are doing so. But our National-led Government has not grasped the possibilities, and tomorrow's Budget will represent a lot of missed opportunity."
The Green Party recently proposed a stimulus package with initiatives in energy efficiency, transport, housing, waterways protection and community economic development. Its 9 MPs have taken the proposal to a series of community meetings in 15 towns and cities around New Zealand.
"Kiwis are excited to see that it's possible to do positive things for the economy and the environment at the same time, which is the reverse of what they've been told by Bill English," Dr Norman said. "We've asked them to contrast his budget with the measures we talk about."
The Green Party's package was prepared on the basis of what a Green Party Government would do in the circumstances currently facing New Zealand, according to Dr Norman: "All of our proposals are properly costed and would be ready to start right now."
Green Party volunteers have delivered newsletters introducing the Green New Deal to more than 300,000 homes around the country in an effort to engage ordinary New Zealanders in the economic conversation. The Green New Deal website also outlines the stimulus package and asks for comments from members of the public.
In its next phase, the Green Party will propose projects in the forestry industry, and regulatory reform for the banking and finance sector.
The measures in the Green Party's package were in stark contrast to ongoing controversy around the National-led Government's determination to siphon money away from sustainable transport initiatives "to fuel the Government's blinkered obsession with roads", Dr Norman said.
The Campaign for Better Public Transport revealed today that National had pressed ahead with plans for its 'roads of significance' without any evidence of an economic benefit from the projects.
The Green New Deal website
The Campaign for Better Public Transport