Thousands sign petition urging National to push for coalition with Greens

The petition calls for Bill English and James Shaw to join forces.
The petition calls for Bill English and James Shaw to join forces. Photo credit:

More than 2000 people have signed a petition urging National and the Green Party to put aside their differences and join forces as the next Government.

Media coverage post-election has centred heavily around Winston Peters, whose New Zealand First is widely recognised as being the party both major powers are pinning their hopes on in their quest to form a Government.

Mr Peters is currently considering whether to opt for a coalition with National or the Labour-Greens - but some voters are feeling disgruntled at the prospect of a Government that involves him, and have been dreaming up alternatives.

Clive Antony - the National supporter behind the petition - admits that while a National-Greens coalition isn't the most likely prospect, he wants the parties' respective leaders to at least discuss the prospect.

"By signing this petition, you are sending a message to Bill English and James Shaw that there is a community of voters out there that believe in the possibility of a Blue-Green government," he writes.

"We are asking them to have a genuine conversation and explore the idea before it's too late!"

Mr Antony explained that the potential for a National-Greens Government is not really considered because of the widespread notion that the two parties have nothing in common - but he says that belief is not entirely correct.

He says a number of Green voters he's spoken to are keen on the idea, and believes a large block of National voters would rather be in coalition with the Greens than New Zealand First.

Greens leader James Shaw on Tuesday all but ruled out a coalition with National, saying he would pick up the phone if National leader Bill English called, but offering a reminder that his party "campaigned on a change of Government".

Bill English was similarly coy after the election, saying the Greens "would have to indicate that position is changing" because of its "clearly articulated public position ruling National out".

But that's not dampened Mr Antony's spirits too much.

"I genuinely think there is common ground between the National Party and The Green Party, which could result is practical policy wins for New Zealand," he said.

"Environmental issues such as carbon neutrality and social issues like child poverty come to mind.

"A National-Green coalition Government for the next three years can ensure than New Zealand will have a strong, clean and green economy. The same can't be said for any government with New Zealand First!"

The petition currently has just over 2100 expressions of support - leaving it about 400 votes shy of its goal of 2500 signatures.

You can view the petition here.