12 Sep 2014

Labour 'not hurt' by Greens positioning

6:07 pm on 12 September 2014

Labour Party leader David Cunliffe has rejected suggestions that last-minute repositioning by the Greens could damage his party.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said today that his party had little in common with National, but if it was returned to government, the Greens would work with it where it could to get Green policies implemented.

However this afternoon, National leader John Key said he would not consider any sort of deal with the Greens. He said though a Memorandum of Understanding deal worked well in the past, it is not going to happen after this year's election on 20 September

David Cunliffe at Peterhead School in Flaxmere.

David Cunliffe in Flaxmere today. Photo: RNZ / Jane Patterson

David Cunliffe said he does not see Dr Norman's comments as a signal the Green Party is distancing itself from Labour.

Speaking to reporters in Flaxmere this morning, Mr Cunliffe said he had not spoken to Dr Norman about the two parties' relationship, as he saw no need, and did not agree that the Greens co-leader's remarks could hurt Labour.

"What I think New Zealanders can now see is that they've got a very, very clear choice. If they want more of the same - growing gaps and a slowing economy - you just stick with the current government.

"If you want a change, if you want a better New Zealand with a more positive future then the answer's really, really clear - party vote Labour is the way you can be certain to change the government."

Dr Norman told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme earlier today he remained hopeful that Labour and the Greens could form the core of a new government.

"We've said that that's our preference. We've said it's highly unlikely we could support National because of the policy differences.

"We're a principled party, we lay out a bunch of policies, and they're clearly very different to National. They want a pollution economy - we want a smart green economy. There's a big gap between the two of us because we have a different vision."

Asked if the Green Party was distancing itself from Labour, Dr Norman said it was an independent party campaigning to maximise its party vote. The party was highly unlikely to support National on confidence and supply, he said.

Green Party co-leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman.

Green Party co-leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

Cycleway pledge

Meanwhile, the Green Party has pledged it would spend three times as much on safe, separated cycleways than National over the next three years, if elected.

It promises $300 million over three years compared to National's $100 million.

Speaking in Wellington this morning, co-leader Russel Norman said people in the region were discouraged from cycling to work because of a lack of safe routes.

For example, he said, a cycling route between Wellington and Lower Hutt had languished for years, because of a lack of funding.

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