Tackling challenges head on - James Shaw, Leader of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand
I have a personal belief that government should seek, not just to tinker with but to tackle head on, the big, hard, long-term challenges facing the country: climate change, endemic poverty and restoring our natural world, particularly our rivers.
The Green Party has a track record, built up over 18 years in Parliament, of being the only party that has consistently championed these issues.
No matter who our leaders have been, no matter what our political fortunes have been, and no matter how popular or trendy the issues themselves have been.
Climate change is the number one challenge we have to deal with over the coming two decades. Businesses all over the country are already doing the right thing and taking action - but they need a government that provides leadership and a stable and predictable policy environment for them to make long-term investment decisions.
The Green Party will provide that leadership, setting in law a target of becoming a Net-Zero Carbon Economy by the year 2050. We can lead the world in showing what this looks like; a high value, productive economy, with booming businesses providing well-paying jobs, fuelled by clean energy.
New Zealanders sleeping in warm, energy-efficient and healthy homes, connected by modern public transport.
We have a credible plan to clean up our rivers and guarantee access to clean, safe water. We will charge water bottlers, who make enormous profits from our water, fairly and redistribute the funding back to iwi and local government. The money will be used by them to clean up our polluted rivers and guarantee clean, safe drinking water.
And we have a poverty-busting plan which will ensure that people who need income support get lifted out of the poverty trap and into greater opportunity.
A decent government does not use the threat of poverty as a weapon against its own people, and with the Greens at the heart of a progressive government we will reform our social safety net so that it actually delivers on its promise.
The Green Party stands ready to provide a green heart and a green backbone in the next progressive government. Together we will take real climate action, end poverty in New Zealand and clean up our rivers.”