The Green Party intend to tell the public which party they could work with after the election.
Speaking after the party’s election campaign launch today, Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said the party would set out a list of policy criteria by the end of the week against which it would compare other parties’ policies and programmes.
“We will tell you before the election which parties we could work with and under what kind of arrangements,” Fitzsimons told reporters.
After the last election, the Greens were devastated to be shut out of government as Labour made deals with United Future and New Zealand First.
Fitzsimons admits there is the potential to be taken for granted by stating their position.
“I think you have to do what is honest and you have to act with some integrity, and if people take you for granted well, there’s nothing really you can do about that.”
However, she said the party acted independently and Labour had not got an easy ride. The Greens committed themselves to Labour before the 2005 election regardless of whether or not it had more seats than National.
She said the public could trust the Greens to do what they said they would.
“I trust Labour and National to do whatever they need to do to get into power. My job is to make as much policy on social justice and environmental sustainability in that process. They’ll work with whoever they’ve got to work with.”
Fellow co-leader Russel Norman said the Greens did want to be in Cabinet, but the focus was on policy gains.
“I think that it’s fair to say that the Greens always wanted to be there to have as much power as possible to change things for the better.”
Norman said it would be “extremely difficult” for the Greens to go into government with New Zealand First unless inquiries cleared the party which is currently being looked at over donations.
The MPs talked about achievements over the last term in office ranging from securing home insulation funding to waste minimisation legislation.
Fitzsimons said the party needed 10-12 MPs to do the Green work load and wanted about 10 percent party vote support. On NZPA’s average of published polls, the Greens ranked 5.8 percent.
“I’m picking out in the community there’s a lot of support for the Greens this time. I’ve always been fairly sceptical about polls they go up, they go down. They never seem to reflect anything real that’s happening out there.”