In an historic move, Labour’s Jacinda Ardern has rejected calls to go it alone and has forged a Cooperation Agreement with the Greens.
The agreement will see the Green Party Co-leaders — James Shaw and Marama Davidson — hold ministerial portfolios outside Cabinet.
Co-opertion the key
And Labour and the Greens will cooperate on climate, the environment and child and community wellbeing issues.
The Green Party will support the Labour Government on procedural motions in the House and at Select Committees, and will not oppose it on matters of confidence and supply for the full term of the upcoming Parliament, providing the Labour Government with extra stability in the House.
Working on democracy
The agreement sets out other specific areas the Labour Government will cooperate on with the Green Party, and the Government’s intention to work with all political parties on issues affecting our democracy including the Electoral Commission’s 2012 recommended changes to MMP, electoral finance law and the length of the Parliamentary term.
Green Party Co-leader James Shaw will continue as Minister of Climate Change and be appointed Associate Minister for the Environment (Biodiversity).
Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson will be appointed to the new position of Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence, continuing the work previously led by Green MP Jan Logie, and will also take on the role of Associate Minister of Housing (Homelessness).
“Labour won a clear mandate to form a majority Government on our own to accelerate our recovery from Covid-19. This agreement respects the mandate voters provided Labour while continuing our cooperative work with the Green Party in areas where they add expertise to build as strong a consensus as possible,” Jacinda Ardern says.
“On election night I said Labour would govern for all of New Zealand and continue to build as much consensus as possible – this agreement achieves that objective.
“We showed in the last Government we can work well with the Green Party. On environmental and wellbeing issues there is much we agree on that is good for New Zealand and I want to draw on our shared goals and expertise to keep moving forward with that work.
‘A capable Minister for Climate Change’
“James Shaw has been a capable Minister for Climate Change. He led the work on the Zero Carbon Act and the establishment of the Climate Change Commission, as well as building important relationships with stakeholders and it’s my view continuity and predictability on climate policy is important.
“Marama Davidson will pick up the work led by Jan Logie in the last term of parliament to address New Zealand’s shameful record on family and sexual violence. Again this work is at a critical stage of implementation and continuity will be critical to its success.
The positive Red/Green alliance
“This Cooperation Agreement reflects the positive working relationship between our two parties and our areas of shared interest, while respecting the mandate voters gave Labour to form a Government,” Ms Ardern says.
It will deliver stability and cooperation in key policy areas while allowing the Greens to take an independent position from the Government on all other matters.”
“The Green Party is thrilled to enter into this governing arrangement with Labour, after three years of a constructive Confidence and Supply relationship”, says Marama Davidson.
“We entered into this negotiation hoping to achieve the best outcomes for New Zealand and our planet. This was after a strong campaign where we committed to action on the climate crisis, the biodiversity crisis, and the poverty crisis.
“New Zealanders voted us in to be a productive partner to Labour to ensure we go further and faster on the issues that matter. We will make sure that happens this term.”
“We are very happy to have secured areas of cooperation in achieving the goals of the Zero Carbon Act, protecting our nature, and improving child wellbeing”, says James Shaw.
“We have a larger caucus this term who are ready to play a constructive role achieving bold action in these areas.
“In the areas of climate change, looking after our natural environment and addressing inequality, there’s no time to waste. Marama will do incredible work rapidly addressing the issues of homelessness and family violence.
“We are proud to have achieved a first in New Zealand political history, where a major party with a clear majority under MMP has agreed to Ministerial positions for another party, as well as big areas of cooperation.”
The key aspects of the agreement are:
o Two ministerial positions outside Cabinet
o James Shaw will be appointed to the position of Minister of Climate Change and Associate Minister for the Environment (Biodiversity).
o Marama Davidson will be appointed as Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence and Associate Minister of Housing (Homelessness).
Agreed areas of cooperation
o Achieving the purpose and goals of the Zero Carbon Act through decarbonising public transport, decarbonising the public sector, increasing the uptake of zero-emission vehicles, introducing clean car standards, and supporting the use of renewable energy for industrial heat.
o Protecting our environment and biodiversity through working to achieve the outcomes of Te Mana o te Taiao, the Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy 2020, protecting Kauri, building on pest management programmes, and taking action to minimise waste and problem plastics.
o Improving child wellbeing and marginalised communities through action on homelessness, warmer homes, and child and youth mental health.
Nature of agreement
o Supporting the Labour Government including not opposing matters of confidence and supply for the full term of this Parliament.
o The Green Party will support the Labour Government on procedural motions in the House and at Select Committees.
o The Green Party will determine its own position in relation to any policy or legislative matter not covered by the ministerial portfolios and areas of cooperation set out in this agreement.