INDEPENDENT NEWS

Old parties' policies go under Green microscope

Published: Thu 9 Oct 2008 10:23 AM
9 October 2008
Old parties' policies go under Green microscope
The policies of the two old parties will come under the scrutiny of the Green Party over the next few weeks as it decides which of them has the best interests of New Zealanders at heart.
The Green Party is today publishing the criteria by which it will determine which party it would prefer to work with after the election.
"Our decision will not be based on personalities. The Greens will examine 12 key policy areas and make a judgment based on which party we believe has the best policies for New Zealanders now and in the future," Co-Leader Russel Norman says.
"It is increasingly looking like there may be tough economic times for some New Zealand families over the next few years and we want to ensure that the next Government will be there for those who need help. The Greens believe that every New Zealander deserves a fair deal.
"No matter what the economic situation, New Zealand families must have an income they can live on. They must have access to affordable healthy food, a health system that not only treats them when they become sick, but strives to keep them well in the first place, and an education system that is free and accessible to all."
Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says, "the Greens want to ensure that New Zealand's air water and soil are safeguarded for the future, that our rivers are cleaned up and endangered species are given a chance to recover. We also want to ensure that our democracy is protected, that the Treaty partnership with Maori is given real effect and that New Zealand doesn't find itself thrust into foreign wars.
"Too often, New Zealanders have suffered because past Governments have planned only for the short term. The Greens believe that if we want our children, grandchildren and future generations to live happy and healthy lives we must act now to combat climate change and prepare for a world where cheap oil is no longer available."
"We will be seeing how the policies of National and Labour measure up to these principles and make a decision about future working relationships based on those," Ms Fitzsimons says.
"We expect to be able to make an announcement in the upcoming weeks."
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We will assess other parties against our four charter principles - environmental sustainability, social justice, peace and democracy; and in accordance with the following:
* Will they reduce NZ's oil dependence and climate change emissions?
* How much will they improve public transport and the rail system?
* How will they clean up our waterways?
* How will they increase protection of threatened species and ecosystems, including marine?
* Will they improve local food security, keep NZ farming and environment GE free and support organic growing?
* How will they reduce child poverty and reduce violence against children?
* What will they do to form a genuine partnership with Maori under the Treaty?
* To what extent will they make education free and accessible?
* How will they protect our national sovereignty from overseas ownership of land and strategic assets; and, will they keep us out of foreign wars?
* Will they protect public healthcare, and invest in preventative health measures to keep us healthy and well?
* Will they protect workers' rights and raise the minimum wage?
* How will they protect democracy and civil rights?
ENDS

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