Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Trans Tasman's Political Pulse - August 07, 2017

Trans Tasman's Political Pulse - August 07, 2017

07 August, 2017

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei's confession about welfare fraud has dominated coverage of the party.

State Of The Parties: Turei’s Welfare Focus Makes Greens A Single-Issue Party

INSIGHTS ABOUT THE NEWS - Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei domination of the headlines for several weeks has proven to be a double-edged sword for her and the wider party. The confession of decades-old fraud to maximise her welfare benefits ran alongside a policy of increasing benefits and ending the “punitive culture” of the system.

According to the editors of the Trans Tasman Political Alert, this dominated the political narrative for weeks and most of the energy of the political pundits was focused on little else until Jacinda Ardern took over the Labour Party leadership. This change created new political noise bordering on hysteria, which failed to note the perilous circumstances that caused her accession.

Green Party supporters hoped Turei’s move would energise their base. Labour feared the move would merely cannibalise their votes and polling since then indicates their fears were correct. It has also polarised opinions and led to a succession of headlines about the details of Turei’s past, including potential electoral fraud. As a result Turei “volunteered” to rule herself out as a Minister in any future Govt.

Ardern distanced herself from Turei, saying she would not be happy to have Turei in a Labour-Greens Cabinet. A message was conveyed to the Greens co-leader, saying if Turei did not rule herself out of Cabinet, Labour would do so. As a result, Turei on Friday “volunteered” to rule herself out as a Minister in any future Govt.

Ardern denied she had forced Turei to act, saying the decision was Turei’s and her choice should be respected.

The Greens will be hoping their play for the social justice vote will bring out non-voters and increase the overall share of the centre-left vote. This may be possible, especially with Labour distancing itself from Turei in an attempt to hold on to more conservative voters.

The Greens’ play for the “missing” voters will depend on good organisation and early voting mobilisation, but experience shows the unengaged tend to stay that way and the Greens usually get fewer votes on election day than the polls promise them. The Greens will also be hoping the “Jacinda effect” will take voters from National and not simply reduce their support.

The flipside of all this is the Green’s other policy areas such as a cleaner environment have been drowned out by the welfare debate and they have become a “single-issue” party. This would mean those who like the Greens policy on the environment and other issues, but do not agree with Turei’s statements on welfare will be lost to the party.

Turei’s fellow co-leader James Shaw has backed Turei, saying on Monday he is confident she's told the full story and she should be a Cabinet Minister.

Turei’s decision not to seek a Cabinet role leaves open the issue of what role she might play within a Labour-Green coalition.

It could mean keen competition for a Cabinet role from others in the Green Party, after James Shaw, Julie-Ann Genter and Marama Davidson, with energy spokesman Gareth Hughes competing with Eugenie Sage.

Turei’s gambit was bold but polarising. National will no doubt exploit this by repeating a campaign line from 2014 – that vote for Labour is a vote for the Greens and vice versa.

Despite both parties’ attempts to draw a line under the furore, there is a feeling the issue has not run its full course yet.

For analysis and further updates see this week’s edition of the Trans Tasman Political Alert


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Another Leader Exiting: Statement From Peter Dunne

I have concluded, based on recent polling, and other soundings I have been taking over the last few weeks, that, the volatility and uncertainty notwithstanding, there is now a mood amongst Ōhāriu voters for a change of MP, which is unlikely to alter...

“I have therefore decided that it is time for me to stand aside, so the people of Ōhāriu can elect a new electorate MP. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>


Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>


Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>


Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election