The Green Party's work in 2012 has delivered positive and significant results on the issues that matter to New Zealand.
We are making things happen from outside Government
Stopping asset sales
The Green Party is working to stop the sale of our State assets, which will cost New Zealanders more in the long-term in lost dividends and higher power prices.
We've helped organise a petition which will mean a citizens initiated referendum to stop asset sales is held next year. The Green Party has collected more than half of the 309,000 signatures required.
Protecting Kiwi jobs
The Green Party, together with other parties, have launched a Parliamentary inquiry into the manufacturing crisis in New Zealand. We want to support manufacturers and develop a smart green economy which offers employment to the 170,000 Kiwis currently out of work.
Addressing child poverty
We have worked hard to put child poverty on the political agenda. Metiria Turei's bill to extend a child payment to the children of beneficiary and student families was debated and we held a rally where people got the chance to highlight their concerns. We think all children need the chance to have a good life and a fair go for their future.
Loving and protecting our environment
Our focus on the environment hasn't let up and we lifted the lid on what's been happening to water quality.
Our petition and campaign helped force Meridian Energy to abandon its plans to build an 80-metre-high dam on the Mokihinui River. Three hundred hectares of irreplaceable river gorge habitat for kiwi, blue duck, native bats and long finned eels have been saved from being drowned by the dam. This is great news for all New Zealanders who love our rivers and want them to stay wild and free.
The Green Party has become a significant voice on building a smart green economy, providing a good life and fair future to all New Zealanders, and loving and protecting our environment.
We are working with Government on Green Programmes
Making homes warm and dry
Close to 190,000 Kiwi homes are warmer and drier thanks to our Warm Up New Zealand Heat Smart scheme providing clean heating and insulation. The number of houses that can get the grant has been increased by a further 41,000 this year.
Cleaning up toxic sites
We also worked with the Government to better manage toxic sites in New Zealand. As a result $9.9 million is being used to clean up the former Tui Mine site near Te Aroha, one of the most toxic sites in the country.
Championing consumer rights
We continued work on the Natural Health Products Bill fighting hard to get much needed rules to protect consumers and the industry. We are pleased that we have been able to work alongside both National as part of the MOU and within the Select Committee to improve the bill. We will continue to work with National on the natural health regulations to achieve the best solution we can.
Building the cycle way
We continue work with the Government on Ngā Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail. A total of $50 million will be spent to create 18 Great Rides that will take cyclists through some of New Zealand's most iconic and picturesque country. This funding is being matched by co-funding of $30 million from the local communities involved. Almost 800 construction jobs have been created by the project. To date, six Great Rides have been completed while the remaining rides are in various states of completion and will be finished by 2013. A further 2000 kilometres of on-road cycle touring routes are also going to be added to the network by that date.
Holding the Government to account
The Green Party has held the National Government and its departments to account.
Spotlight on murky SkyCity deal
As a result of our actions the Auditor-General is investigating the National Government's controversial deal with SkyCity casinos for a $350m national convention centre and police are investigating the Government Communications Security Bureau's illegal spying on a New Zealand resident.
Changing culture at ACC
We were also instrumental in getting authorities to investigate ACC privacy breaches. The Auditor-General, in response to our request, investigated governance issues after major privacy breaches involving thousands of clients' personal information. The Privacy Commissioner also investigated and called for improvements.
The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment agreed to our call for an inquiry into fracking and when its final report is complete we hope to see better regulations in place.
Metiria worked to bring Child Youth and Families (CYFS) to account for flawed policy that allowed young people in the youth justice system to be placed in the care of aduts without police checks. As a result, this has been reviewed and those youth affected are being identified and supported.
Achievements within Parliament
We raised awareness and reduced barriers for deaf people by getting funding for note takers and other support in Parliament.
Catherine Delahunty's bill to close a loophole that allows polluters to dump waste in our waterways and oceans has passed its first reading and will be considered by a select committee.
Holly Walker has a bill to make lobbying more transparent. We believe the public have the right to know who is influencing Members of Parliament and on which issues, and transparency around lobbying activity will help to level the playing field in terms of influence on decision-making. The bill passed with unanimous support and is being considered by a select committee.
And Kennedy Graham's Register of Pecuniary Interests of Judges Bill passed its first reading with unanimous support. The Law Commission reported on it and judges have testified during the select committee process. If it becomes law judges will have to make public information about interests.
Russel Norman's bills to restrict foreign ownership of land and change investment criteria used by the Super Fund, and Metiria Turei's bill to force casinos to pay back some of the proceeds of crime they receive through gambling were all also debated in Parliament.
The Green Party is proud of its achievements in 2012 and excited about our plans for next year.