Green Party gains momentum as candidates pitch for seats

Venkat Raman – 
venkat@indiannewslink.co.nz

The Green Party of New Zealand always suffers prejudice and biased opinion in the mainstream and has not won a single electoral seat in the past ten or more years but its rise in the country’s polity has been remarkable.

The poll results over the past four general elections prove that fact- the Green Party is increasingly a force to reckon with and an entity that can be a strong contender in the 52nd Parliament, elections for which will be held on Saturday, September 23, 2017.

The following table, compiled with data from the Electoral Commission, would illustrate the point that the Greens as a Party have acquired colour since 2005:

Year Total Votes Percentage Seats List Total
2005 120,521 5.30 6 6
2008 157,613 6.72 9 9
2011 247,372 11.06 14 14
2014 257,359 10.76 14 14

Green Party Co-Leader James Shaw believes that New Zealand has always been known as a fair country giving its dues to people; “a country where everyone can thrive and succeed and where we are, at least in a sense, equal.”

Writing in the Ninth Anniversary Special of Indian Newslink (November 15, 2016), he said that New Zealand was fast losing that fairness.

Fairness lost

“People are telling me that New Zealand no longer feels like the country in which they grew up, or came to, looking for a better future. People are uncomfortable with what they see – with people being locked out of clean, safe, dry homes. At people, not being able to find good jobs that pay decent wages – and also at businesses not being able to find the workers they need. At children going to school hungry and without the basics. And at a government that doesn’t seem prepared to really address our future challenges. I know this is not the New Zealand we want. It grates with who we are and doesn’t sit well with our sense of compassion and fairness, our love of our land, of how we think about ourselves.

Reclaiming New Zealand

The Green Party believes it is entirely possible to reclaim that cleaner, fairer, and smarter New Zealand.

“We can have a New Zealand in which every child has enough to thrive. We can have a smarter, greener economy that benefits every one of us. And we can have a New Zealand where our rivers are clean enough to swim in and our precious beaches are safe from oil spills. With the right leadership and with our communities, our businesses, and our government, we can transform things for the better,” he said.

Raj Pardeep Singh

The Greens appear to be reinforcing its strength on the electoral front, with a number of candidates pledging to work not for themselves but for the Party.

Among them is Raj Pardeep Singh, a Papatoetoe based Barrister and Solicitor, who has thrown his lot with the Green Party, with a long-term perspective of becoming a Member of Parliament either through an electorate or the List.

But his clear futuristic vision, he has launched his campaign as the Party’s candidate in Manukau East- a Labour stronghold with Jenny Salesa as a favoured MP.

Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi of National is also an established Member of the National Party, albeit as a List Candidate since November 2008.

Mr Singh said that his choice of Green Party was based on the strong conviction that it is the only political group that stands for a transparent and sustainable government.

He also believes that the Party needs to promote its policies and programmes with greater strength and louder voice because it is the only Party that has set a target for New Zealand as a country ‘where safe, secure, warm and dry housing would be an affordable reality for every New Zealander.’

“I belong to a profession which gathers facts, analyses issues and defends for deliverance of justice. New Zealanders justly deserve a better life which can be delivered only through futuristic, fair and value-based politics. Such a politics can be delivered only by the Green Party,” he said.

Mr Singh has the support of Ashima, who is his full-time Partner both in Legal Associates and in his life.

“As the Campaign gets ahead, we will reach out to our people and enable them to evaluate our policies and programmes and realise that they are the best for their own future as well as the growing generations,” he said.

Community commitment

As Mr Shaw wrote in this newspaper (Indian Newslink, April 15, 2017), Mr Singh recognises that his chances of making it into Parliament in 2017 are small – but he is deeply committed to building the profile of the Indian community within the Green Party and in Parliament, over the coming years.

“Raj has already demonstrated that he is a good leader, a hard worker and is deeply connected to the community. I have full confidence in Raj and I anticipate that he will run a very strong campaign in Manukau East and make a major contribution in his community and to the Greens this year and in the coming years. I am looking forward to working with him,” Mr Shaw said.

Editor’s Note: Our Electionlink pages will continue to expand in the ensuing issues. Readers are welcome to send their views to editor@indiannewslink.co.nz

Photo:

  1. Raj Pardeep Singh
  2. Green Party Co-Leader James Shaw

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