State of the Parties: Green party report card

OPINION: Newshub's politics team has taken a good hard look at New Zealand's political parties and ranked them in key areas - here’s Jenna Lynch’s take on the Green Party.

Leadership: B+

They're an odd couple, but the two vital organs of the Green Party: Metiria Turei - the heart, and James Shaw - the brain. Metiria leads social policy like their "Budget for all mothers" while James has pull with the business crowd - a demographic the Greens have struggled to connect with. But they also represent the dilemma facing the Greens. The old guard versus the new guard.

Metiria Turei is there for the old guard - the base. She is like the Greens favourite teddy bear. Whenever they get a little scared of the new direction they're heading in she's there as a warm reminder of home.

Then there's James Shaw - the new guard and a huge drawcard. He's always been a marketable politician. Considering he's still a first term MP he's come a hell of a long way.

James Shaw, "the brain".
James Shaw, "the brain". Photo credit: Newshub/ Simon Wong
Metiria Turei, "the heart".
Metiria Turei, "the heart". Photo credit: Newshub/ Simon Wong

Policies: F

The Greens have released bugger all policy this year. One of its most significant moves was the "Budget responsibility rules" with Labour - that it tore to pieces by voting for National's Budget centrepiece - this was the mare of the year.

There's a raging debate over our conservation estate - where are the Greens? 

And don't get me started on water. Kiwis love water. We love rivers, we love beaches, we love streams. And they're all filthy. And foreigners are making off with our water... for free! The latest Newshub-Reid Research poll says 87 percent of New Zealanders think that's dumb. The Greens have the opportunity to gain huge political capital from it. But are they taking it? Well no. Water is an issue for the leaders to front - not Catherine Delahunty. 

James Shaw needs to think about getting out of the boardroom, ride a bike down to a dirty river and show New Zealand what he's going to do to clean it up  

The Greens used to dominate when it came to policy - but no more: F. 

Algae in the Selwyn River.
Algae in the Selwyn River. Photo credit: Newshub.

Fresh Face Factor: A+

The Greens have done some serious pruning. They've been making way for some new sprouts, those sprouts are absolute superstars - and they're all young. Golriz Ghahraman - a refugee turned UN human rights lawyer. Jack McDonald - he's young, male, Māori. Hayley Holt - the star factor. Chloe Swarbrick - a political phenomenon with proven power to mobilise young Aucklanders. John Hart - a farmer, yes you read that right, a farmer in the Greens! And to make way they've ditched the likes of "Homeopathy can cure Ebola" Steffan Browning. Good move.

The Greens have hands down recruited the most impressive talent this year.

State of the Parties: Green party report card
Photo credit: Newshub

Vibe: A  

The Greens have undergone an extreme makeover transforming from huckery hippies into sexy suits. Remember their glam photoshoot for North and South? Plus, they've been going steady with Labour for a year now with the Memorandum of Understanding, providing a platform for "positive politics". It shows the party has grown up, and it's brought the Greens from the fringe to the fore.

Outlook for Election: B

This is a party that has done its time on the bench, ready and waiting for the call up. Here's the catch. The Greens are shackled to Labour. Even though they pulled 12.5 percent in our poll, their success means nothing if Labour don't come to the party.

So that means the Greens get a B overall.

Jenna Lynch is a Newshub political reporter.