Greens consider National

The Green Party is not willing to be defined as either left or right, despite its strongly left-leaning policies, and has not ruled out working with the centre-right National Party, Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said during a visit to Dunedin yesterday.

"It is not a right thing or a left thing. It is a Green thing. It is a different dimension," she said.

Ms Fitzsimons said neither the left nor the right had the same policies on the environment as the Green Party, but with more influence in parliament, the party could change that.

The polls suggested good support for the Greens and she expected that to be translated into a rise in the number of Green MPs in the next parliament.

"We had quite a lot of influence with only six MPs, but we need more. I think that it is just too hard for six people and it meant we didn't have seats on all the select committees."

The Green Party previously stated it would work with Labour and not National after the election, but Ms Fitzsimons said she met John Key and Bill English from "time to time" and they had agreed they could work together in some areas.

When asked what tactical voting meant to the party, she said it would be better if people just voted for the party they wanted rather than trying to be "too clever".

At the last election, people who wanted to see the Green Party in government could have been disappointed by the presence of New Zealand First.

If the party was offered a position in cabinet this time around, she felt it could make "a real contribution".

Whether it would accept that position depended on the policy stands taken by Labour, she said.

Ms Fitzsimons spoke to members of the Waitati Energy Project, at Waitati, on Wednesday night. She was the keynote speaker at a debate about rising energy costs and the community's plans to become energy self-sufficient.

At the Otago Museum last night, she spoke to members of the public about peak oil, climate change, rising food prices and the economic crunch.



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