National and Greens a longshot coalition

Opinion

As the dust settles on one of the most contentious elections, “Kingmaker” Winston Peters is likely to determine the next government.

The question remains: what are New Zealand’s other options?

A third, albeit unlikely, possibility exists in the turbulent political scene.

A National/Green coalition was floated on TVNZ’s Q + A.

“If there is a National Green coalition, my inner voice is going to be busy apologising to a lot of people for calling them clueless idiots,” one Twitter user said. “Looks like a National/Green/ACT coalition is the least awful, ay?” another said.

“A National/green coalition is perfectly reasonable, if unlikely. A National/Greens one isn’t, especially in the current context.” observed one Twitter user.

 

The move would leave Green voters feeling betrayed, but would stand to provide a majority for a possible coalition.

The prospect of a coalition left Greens leader James Shaw resolutely uninterested. “Why would I do that?” Shaw stuck to the campaign he had been running following the election. “I’ve been campaigning for the past 18 months to change the government.”

Steven Joyce, Financial Minister for National and spokesperson, was more open to discussion. Speaking on Q + A, Joyce acknowledged the possibility for an alliance and a “lefter leaning” government.

“You listen to the public and you say, oh they weren’t that convinced on this particular item or that particular item,” said Joyce.

National’s environmental policies have long come under attack from environmental groups, the left and members of the public.

A coalition with Green could ensure they work towards a more environmentally focused New Zealand.

National would need to pledge their full support, financially and politically into improving the cleanliness of waterways, reining in farmers and irrigation, and full investment in a fleet of electric powered government vehicles; however it may be an equation that would improve New Zealand’s environment and fast-track them onto the world stage for environmental initiatives.

Conversely, the Green Party has often been criticised for having a weak fiscal policy. A possible coalition with National could mean sacrifices on some things, but compromises on others.

This would enable the best of both parties, and could create a more centrist government for the future. It would make or break support for both parties, however would be a combination likely to culminate in an ambitious future for New Zealand.