Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary RIP

Nice one Green Party!

During the talks for the new government, Green Party leader James Shaw was content with his exclusion from the smoke-filled room. “Jacinda made fairness one of her principle [sic] values in the campaign. I trust her…” he said, explaining why he was comfortable with Labour negotiating on his party’s behalf.

Remember during the talks, when *someone* leaked that the Greens had scored a massive policy win by securing the creation of a massive ocean sanctuary around the Kermadec islands? It was always a bit of a strange thing to brag about since this was already the policy of the existing government. It was, in fact, the subject of an existing government bill which had already unanimously passed its first reading in Parliament.

Well, it turns out that even this was a bit premature. It looks like scuttling the Kermadecs sanctuary was one of those unadvertised bottom lines for New Zealand First that was evidently more important than its advertised bottom lines.

When all the “Teal Deal” stuff was going on, critics rightly pointed out that any such arrangement would violate the Greens’ core philosophy of supporting the Labour Party. But this being so, perhaps there really is room for a new party in politics — an“Environment Party” — that will have an exclusive focus on ensuring good stewardship of the natural world becomes embedded in the New Zealand way of government.

The Greens adopted a stance of pre-emptive surrender towards Labour and New Zealand First. They own all of this. Their defenders among the press can spin as hard as they want — it doesn’t change the facts.

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