New Green candidates not keen on National coalition

MPs-in-waiting Chlöe Swarbrick and Golriz Ghahraman say they are quite happy with the Green Party's commitment to working with Labour, even if that means sitting in Opposition under a National Government.

Ms Swarbrick and Ms Ghahraman have both been boosted up the party's list, almost guaranteeing them both spots on the bench come the September election.  Ms Ghahraman jumped five places from her previous ranking at number 15 to 10, and Ms Swarbrick has jumped four places from number 13 to nine.

The pair told The AM Show National's priorities are a mismatch for the Greens.

"Our values have to come first, and what this Government has shown is it doesn't have a commitment to combatting climate change in a viable way," Ms Ghahraman said.

"What it has achieved in terms of inequality is just breath-taking to me in terms of the United Nations raising child poverty as a problem in New Zealand."

"Look at the Budget for an example of where their priorities lie," Ms Swarbrick added.

"I mean, if you're looking at our waterways in particular, right now there's $1 million there for cleaning up the waterways [and] $63 million for irrigation schemes."

The Government committed $63 million of new capital funding for irrigation infrastructure in the 2017 Budget. An additional $26.7 million will be set aside for grant funding of irrigation projects. 

"A reliable water supply for growers and farmers has major potential to boost economic growth, creating jobs and exports in the regions.  At the same time these schemes can deliver real environmental benefits by maintaining river flows and recharging groundwater aquifers," Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says.

Ms Swarbrick said despite having never been in power, the Green Party has managed to influence the Government from across the House.

"Look at what we've delivered from Opposition with the warm up our homes scheme - which unfortunately National has now abandoned, but also national cycleways. We've managed to  achieve a lot from Opposition, and now we're ready to be in government - and it is with Labour."

The Warm Up New Zealand scheme provides grants for home insulation and is due to come to an end in June 2018. The scheme has subsidised insulation for up to 300,000 homes so far. 

Research institute Motu Economics says the Warm Up NZ Programme has a 6:1 benefit-to-cost ratio. 

Philippa Lynne Howden-Chapman, Professor of Public Health at the University of Otago, told Newshub keeping houses warm and dry is the foundation of 'social investment'.

"It's clearly cost-effective. It's inexplicable that the Government has turned their backs on the insulation policy," Ms Howden-Chapman said.

It will become compulsory for landlords to retrofit insulation in rental properties from July 2019.

The Labour Party announced mid-May $150 million would go toward funding insulation and home heating with grants of up to $2000 per home. That funding would be generated by closing a tax loophole that allows investors to offset rental losses against other income.

Newshub.

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