Fracking Gareth Hughes

Green MP Gareth Hughes has just published a blog post congratulating Labour for restating their pre-election policy of a demand for an immediate inquiry into the mineral extraction technique known as fracking.There has been fracking in New Zealand since 1993, and given current international concerns, there are calls to ban or limit its use.

The main point of Gareth’s blog post is to call on Labour to change its position to push for an outright ban on fracking…

Considering Labour’s concerns, they should commit to backing the call for an immediate moratorium, the only way we can safeguard our rights to clean water and air and a safe environment.

Which is a logically reasonable position, but not one I’m going to get into today.

My issue with Gareth’s post is that he is essentially calling on Labour to adopt a Green Party policy. The problem for Labour is if we do this, we will inevitably be slammed by the Greens for ‘stealing’ their policy, as has happened all too often recently.

David Shearer has been quite explicate in his desire to see Labour focus on building a greener, more sustainable economy. His appointment of his number two, Grant Robertson, to the environment portfolio shows that Labour are taking the environment just as seriously as the Greens. This is undoubtably going to cause further tensions in the future.

I’m look forward to the day when New Zealand politics can move past petty partisan bickering so that we can really start addressing some of the massive issues that our country faces.

7 thoughts on “Fracking Gareth Hughes”

  1. Hi Patrick

    As the author of the blog post at one of the links you provided as supposedly showing Labour being “slammed by the Greens for ‘stealing’ their policy”, that wasn’t my intention at all.

    I’m all for Labour adopting Green policies – the more policies Labour and the Greens have in common the better they should be able to work together. What I was critical of was Labour claiming Green policies as something Labour have come up with independently, often making no mention of the Greens at all, rather than giving the Greens credit for initiating the policies Labour have adopted.

    1. In saying the Labour Party:
      1. Adopted Green Policies; and
      2. Gave no credit

      You are accusing them of stealing the policy. There is no other way to actual read the implication of the statement regardless of intent. This is harmful statement to Labour politically and will make them less likely to ever adopt anything the Green Party says for fear of not being seen as genuine and will then pursue alternative methods within the environment area.

      The fact is there are almost no policies a party has “come up with independently”. Policies are more likely to develop out of the wider push of the public for a solution to a problem at which point there is a grab bag of policy options around adopted by dozens of parties around the world. The Greens may increase public interest in an area with the result a major party adopts a solution in that regard but this does not mean they are merely taking the Greens policy as opposed to trying to satisfy a community need…

  2. You simply can’t claim a monopoly on these ideas or policies. You either want them in place or you don’t, otherwise policies become a means to get elected rather than something to genuinely improve the country. If the later is the case then Greens need to take a long hard look at why they are in politics

  3. I don’t even mind the criticism of stealing policy so much – but when the sanctimonious Gareth harps on ( about how the last Labour Government allowed some fracking I get annoyed. What’s changed he asks? Well so many, many things actually.

    Labour have had two leadership changes, a hugely renewed caucus, an insistence by Labour members of a need for policy change in this area, a change in the awareness of the issue and the implications of it, so much more research on fracking in the last three years (mostly in the last 12 months), a decision by Labour to really focus on some of the big environmental issues NZ faces and probably much, much more.

    It definitely reeks of political point scoring from Gareth, why he doesn’t try and work constructively with Labour to get the complete ban on fracking is beyond me.

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