Neither Left Nor Right But Out In Front
This statement is an inspirational and visionary ‘green movement’ proposition that the Sustainable New Zealand Party embraces and is founded upon.
It is one that the Green Party have used from time-to-time but failed miserably in delivering. This message of hope and positivity faded into the background over a period in which the NZ Green Party was increasingly dominated by the ‘Red Green’ brigade. Placing themselves to the left of Labour, they have alienated the majority of New Zealanders, limited their partnership options and, as a consequence, become an ineffectual plaything for their coalition partner to exploit and toy with.
Sustainable New Zealand, on the other hand, can genuinely proclaim and embrace the fact that we are ‘neither left, nor right but out in front’. We are a true party of sustainability – environmental, social, cultural and economic – willing and able to be an independent entity with a decisive influence on government policy. The left-right spectrum is only one aspect of political action and if we limit ourselves to only being able to deal with one end of that spectrum, we are far less able to move the focus of politics to genuine sustainability. We believe that the MMP system should be a vehicle to place sustainability at the centre of every government. The coalition negotiations after each election are the best possible opportunity to ensure the sustainability of our environment and the sustainable development of a modern economy.
These changes will only be made with the emergence of a new political force that will use the levers of the MMP system to much better ends.
So what does that mean in practice?
The Greens lean strongly to the left, especially in terms of economic redistribution. To kick off the election season the Greens have announced a guaranteed income to be paid for by steep income tax increases and capital taxes. As is typical for this perspective there is little consideration given to where this wealth will come from.
We are proponents of the ‘Bright Green’ environmental movement, i.e. based on the belief that the convergence of technological change and social innovation provides the most successful path to sustainable development.
Our principal focus is on the idea that through a combination of well-built communities, new technologies and sustainable living practices, quality of life can actually be improved even whileincomes increase and ecological footprints shrink.
Our wish is to see New Zealanders get more value and return from their ingenuity by combining science, innovation and commercialisation.
Our vision is to see New Zealand become a hub of smart, export-focused entrepreneurs, creating more companies like our top-performing tech companies that, in the words of the visionary Sir Paul Callaghan:
“[D]on’t produce greenhouse gases, don’t require much land or use much energy, don’t threaten our streams yet they live in lovely buildings with lovely gardens with lots of people having a good life and enjoying themselves and creating an abundance of wealth for New Zealand.”
This path to a high-quality lifestyle can be achieved through excellence in education and R&D. Science and technology are key to balancing our economic goals with our conservation sensibilities and point the way to our prosperous, sustainable future.
We have translated that vision into our policies, most notably our Innovation Plan.
Our plan is to create a framework for effective collaboration between the government, private sector, academia, innovative entrepreneurs and risk capital. A dynamic and fertile innovation ecosystem can create the conditions under which a prosperous, clean, green economy and its people will flourish.
Our detailed plan is underpinned by the most successful innovation policies and practices from around the world. The result is a tried and proven approach, cost effectively adapted to the economic and social environment of New Zealand. The innovation framework proposed connects and makes more effective and efficient use of currently fragmented resources. The collaboration and cooperation between government the private sector, academia, innovative entrepreneurs and risk capital created is a central theme in innovation because it eliminates wasteful duplication and creates synergy through:
1. Associations – the combining of ideas to create a greater whole
2. Speed – access to collaborative feedback speeds up the development of ideas
3. Networking – the development of collaborative networks provides easier access to the necessary skills and resources necessary to aid execution or commercialisation of the idea
4. Energy – like minds help maintain positivity, enthusiasm and provide encouragement
You can read the full policy here.