With a much narrower timeline thanks to the Rugby World Cup, election campaigns need to pack a punch this year and the Green Party is pinning its hopes on a plan to create a new economy based on the establishment of 100,000 new green jobs. Under the overarching campaign slogan ‘For a richer New Zealand’, the green job initiative ties in with the party's other goals of clean rivers and bringing children out of poverty.
“We will create 100,000 new jobs through direct government investment in housing, by ensuring our state-owned energy companies capture the massive export opportunities in renewable energy, and, most importantly, by shifting the drivers for green jobs in the private sector,” said party co-leader Russel Norman.
Norman said the initiative will not only stimulate the economy through the creation of more job opportunities, it will also protect the environment.
The Green Party’s economic priorities include plans for direct government investment, building sustainable infrastructure, supporting the greening of our small and medium-sized enterprises, driving clean technology innovation, introducing smarter regulation, getting the prices of resources and pollution right, protecting our ‘100% Pure’ brand, reforming capital markets, making our workplaces fairer, and measuring progress differently.
“The current National Government’s economic approach has been to risk our clean green brand for the sake of a quick buck,” said Norman.
“The majority of our lowland rivers are now polluted due to the unregulated expansion of the dairy industry. The three lignite plants under consideration will escalate our contribution to climate change. Spending $20 billion on highways over the next ten years is unbelievable when our train services are an embarrassment internationally and in great need of further investment.
Act leader Don Brash has been quick to communicate is disdain for the campaign, saying it pushes for a poorer New Zealand.
“On the face of it, it’s full of feel-good bromides that could be uttered by anyone,” says Brash in this Act press release.
Taking a more positive spin on the plan, Labour Party Finance spokesperson David Cunliffe said the economic package reflects much of Labour’s thinking, and makes a welcome and useful contribution to the debate on New Zealand’s economic future.
“Labour will work constructively with the Greens in government to achieve the best outcomes for all New Zealanders, while ensuring that economic policy is responsible and fiscally sustainable,” he said.
The Green Jobs Initiative complements plans already announced to address child poverty in New Zealand and clean up our rivers and lakes.
More information about the campaign is available here.