The Green Party confirmed its post-election political position today, stating it was an independent party that could support a Labour-led Government in the right circumstances but support for National was 'highly unlikely.'
"We're more likely to support Labour on confidence and supply, and think it is highly unlikely that we could support a National Government on confidence and supply, but it is on the table," said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.
"It's more likely we could work project-by-project with National like we do now on home insulation, tourism infrastructure and toxic site management."
Party delegates confirmed the Greens' position at their AGM today.
Stressing that the Party had negotiated more than $400 million worth of Green programs with the current Government, Mrs Turei said: "We are an independent political party in Parliament with a good track record of policy wins and we will continue to make gains from inside or outside Government.
"We can get stuff done and I can promise more wins with either National or Labour."
The Party Co-leader also noted that the Greens would need serious gains from any confidence and supply agreement and that there was a good deal of policy difference between the Green Party and both National and Labour.
"Our goal is to be in Government, but we might prefer to stay out of confidence and supply agreements in November, based on circumstances at the time. Government has gone badly for a lot of support parties," said Mrs Turei. "We are principled, we are patient and we have built a powerful political voice as an independent party."
Alongside that principled independence sat ambition and a sense of urgency, she said: "The economic, environmental and social challenges facing New Zealand need urgent action."
The Party's political position for the 2011 election was developed by members over several months and involved regional consultations and feedback from branches.
Mrs Turei's speech also covered social policy initiatives championed by the Green Party and called for initiatives that would cut child poverty in New Zealand. In addition to raising the minimum wage, the Green Party Co-leader argued for extending the In-Work Tax Credit and the Training Incentive Allowance to help some of the country's most vulnerable families.
Full Text of the Green Party AGM remit:
A: REMIT WORDING "That this AGM:
1. Overall political positioning
Agrees that, until such time as we are in a position to lead a government, the Green Party will campaign on the basis of the following political position:
(i) The Green Party is an independent and distinct party, which in order to urgently advance Green Party policy goals, will attempt to work constructively with, and challenge, whichever party leads the government after an election;
(ii) To enable any party or parties to form a government, we would need significant progress on Green Party environmental, economic and social policies and initiatives that would give effect to the Green Party Charter.
2. 2011 election positioning
Agrees that for the 2011 general election, the Green Party, as an independent party, will campaign on the following political position:
(i) Based on current Labour and National Party policy positions, the Green Party has a preference to consider supporting a Labour-led government in the right circumstances, ahead of a National-led government;
(ii) The Green Party could work with a National-led government to progress particular Green Party policies as we have over the last three years; but based on current National Party policy positions and track record it is highly unlikely that we could support a National-led government on confidence and supply.
3. Post-election process
Agrees that the following process will apply to post-election negotiations by the Green Party after a general election:
(i) a Negotiating Team, jointly chosen by the Parliamentary Caucus and the National Executive, may enter into post-election negotiations with a view to reaching an agreement on policies and processes that will advance the Green agenda;
(ii) in addition to the negotiating team there will be a Negotiating Consultation Group consisting of five members nominated by Caucus and five members nominated by National Executive. The Negotiation Consultation Group does not directly participate in the negotiations but is to receive daily briefings from the Negotiating Team during the course of the negotiations;
(iii) all decisions concerning the negotiations (including what agreement, if any, would potentially be taken to a Special General Meeting (SGM)) are taken by the combined Negotiating Team and Negotiation Consultation Group;
(iv) any agreement with one or more political parties that includes confidence and supply votes will be referred to an SGM, unless the National Executive agree that an alternative method of consultation is sufficient ;
(v) the National Executive will start the process of forming the Negotiating Team and Negotiating Consultation group following the AGM in election year and will tentatively schedule an SGM once the election date is known.