Sustainability is based on the principle that everything we need for our survival and well-being depends on our natural environment. It means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Our focus on sustainability means that we would be able to work with political parties on the left or right of politics to ensure that the environment is always a top political priority regardless of who makes up the government.
Our primary focus is on environmental matters such as clean water, sustainable oceans, protection of our native species, dealing with climate change; but these all have economic, social and cultural dimensions. A society with dramatic inequality is not sustainable. We need to move our economy away from polluting and environmentally destructive ways of doing things; by embracing technological and scientific innovation we can become wealthier, creating higher paying jobs for New Zealanders, all while treading more lightly on the earth.
What Outcomes Does MMP Deliver?
The Mixed-Member Proportional (MMP) system means that minor parties can have a major influence on a government as part of a coalition. The coalition arrangements of the current government allocated billions of dollars to political trophies and slush funds – the price of NZ First support for a Labour-led Government. We have also seen the scrapping of important environmental initiatives like the mandatory installation of cameras on fishing boats because the fishing industry are key NZ First donors and supporters. MMP should deliver better outcomes than this.
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.
But What About the Greens?
The Green Party has made a deliberate decision not to use the leverage that comes with the number of MPs they have in Parliament. Instead of negotiating with both major parties, they have made a decision to always support the formation of a Labour Government, meaning that Labour can take them for granted. This is no way to get the best deal for the environment.
Having given away their negotiating advantage, they are in a weak position to demand funding for cleaner beaches and rivers, for modern sewage infrastructure in major cities, for sustainable management of our fisheries, a major upgrade in predator control, nor for the significant increases in science and research funding that will underwrite a modern, sustainable economy.
The Greens also have a historic tendency to be suspicious of scientific innovation – particularly in biotechnology – and hostile to business. New Zealand deserves a political party that will work together with the innovators in business and science who will lead the way through the complex and interconnected sustainability challenges of the coming century.
So What Are We Doing?
We are building a new political party based upon the principles of sustainability – one prepared to deal with either the National Party or the Labour Party in coalition negotiations – to leverage policies that will underpin a more Sustainable New Zealand. We are inviting you to be part of this. Our future is too important to only have a voice in government some of the time. Help us change this: join us today!