'Think ahead, act now': Greens launch election campaign

Green Party co-leaders James Shaw (left) and Marama Davidson have launched their party manifesto. Photo: NZ Herald
Green Party co-leaders James Shaw (left) and Marama Davidson have launched their party manifesto. Photo: NZ Herald
The Green Party is urging New Zealanders to "think ahead, act now" as it launches the bedrock of its election-year policies.

The party today kicked off its campaign with a two new election videos and a 52-page manifesto which would serve as the basis of coalition negotiations if it were re-elected.

The "Think Ahead, Act Now" platform amalgamates its various promises, including its a hardline stance on animal welfare, introducing a $325-a-week guaranteed income and its commitments to green energy.

There are no new commitments in the document but co-leader James Shaw said it meant the Green Party was going into the election with a much more detailed set of policy priorities.

"It's a reference document that will guide our caucus and our ministers as we navigate the everyday choices that our Government will have to make."

Co-leader Marama Davidson said the document served as a comprehensive outline "of the Aotearoa we all deserve" and underpinned the Greens' key policy areas.

"Successive governments have created a system which favours a few at the expense of the rest, while allowing nature to be degraded," Davison said.

"Covid-19 has shone a light on the glaring holes in our system, but has also provided a rare opportunity to renew our communities and our relationship with nature."

Davidson said the country was "at a crossroads" and the policy platform showed the Green Party's commitment to transforming Aotearoa by making smart decisions.

The party has already announced two major policies, including its Poverty Action Plan which would see students and people out of work get a $325-a-week guaranteed income which would be paid for by wealth taxes.

It has also unveiled its Clean Energy Plan which would immediately ban new industrial coal boilers and bring forward the Government's 100 percent renewable energy target by five years to 2030.

It's likely to release about half a dozen fully costed policies in total before the September 19 election.

The document is broken into three key areas: healthy nature, fairer communities and a clean economy.

Under each pillar are Greens' various pledges.

Healthy nature

• Ban or phase out activities like live animal exports, animal rodeos, greyhound racing, factory farming, farrowing crates and inhumane breeding of pets.

• Establish a Minister for Animals and a Parliamentary Commissioner for Animal Welfare.

• Create a fairer system for water allocation by introducing fees for commercial users like bottling plants. Iwi and hapū would be involved in designing the framework.

• Protect kauri from dieback.

• Ban set netting and phase out the most destructive forms of commercial fishing.

• Make kerbside recycling more consistent and phase out low-grade plastics.

Fairer communities

• Create a single "Family Support Credit" of $190 a week for the first child and $120 for each younger child.

• Entrench Māori seats in Parliament.

• Reform ACC into an Agency for Comprehensive Care bringing all health and disability support payments into a single system.

• Support drug reform in ways that reduce harm.

• Roll out Te Reo Māori as a core school subject through to Year 10.

• Recognise unpaid care and household labour by creating a Universal Child Benefit for children under 3.

• Close the gender pay gap.

• Oppose Aotearoa's participation in the Five Eyes spy network.

• Build more solar-powered and energy efficient state homes.

• Progressively increase the refugee quota to 5000.

• Expand free counselling to everyone under 25 and work towards extending that towards all adults.

• Ensure a $325-per-week Guaranteed Minimum Income for students and people out of work.

Clean economy

• Support regenerative agriculture.

• Bring forward the 100 per cent renewable electricity target by five years to 2025.

• Equip all suitable houses with solar panels.

• Ban new boilers.

• Establish a Public Interest Journalism Fund.

• Make electric cars more affordable and invest in better cycle lanes, buses and trains.

• Create thousands of jobs in green energy.

• Connect towns with fast, modern passenger rail.

• Make public transport more affordable.

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