Deal or no deal?: Labour offers the Greens a confidence and supply arrangement

Labour has offered the Green Party a deal which includes twoMinisterial portfolios – but it’s now up to a select group of key Greens members to accept that deal.

Whether or not the deal is accepted is up to a group of Green Party delegates, who are debating weather or not to accept it right now.

The potential deal would see the Green Party will hold the following portfolios outside of Cabinet:

* Marama Davidson will be appointed to the position of Minister for the Prevention of Family and Sexual Violence and Associate Minister of Housing (Homelessness).

* Hon James Shaw will be appointed to the position of Minister of Climate Change and Associate Minister for the Environment (Biodiversity).

The deal would also means the Leader of the Labour Party and the Green Party Co-leaders will meet every six weeks to monitor progress against the areas of cooperation set out in this agreement.

The Chiefs of Staff will meet regularly.

Ministers from the Green Party will attend Cabinet Committees for items relevant to their portfolios and receive Cabinet Papers relevant to their portfolios, as provided for in the Cabinet Manual, the agreement said.

“The Green Party agrees to support the Labour Government by not opposing votes on matters of confidence and supply for the full term of this Parliament,” the deal, released by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, said.

“In addition, the Green Party will support the Labour Government on procedural motions in the House and at Select Committees on the terms set out in this agreement.

“This will provide New Zealanders with the certainty of a strong, stable Labour Government with support from the Green Party over the next three years.”

She said Shaw and Davidson have been given ministerial positions, outside of cabinet.

“James knows climate change inside out,” Ardern said.

Ardern said never before has one party won a majority under MPP.

She said the agreement “strikes the right balance”.

She said the deal means Labour’s vote is bolstered in the House now.

Ardern said the Government plans to work with the Opposition to increase the length of the Parliamentary term.

She said there can be conciseness on this.

On Monday, she will be outlining the new Cabinet.

Ardern will be doing a speech on the Government’s priority during this term.

She said that a strong mandate for Labour will allow the Government to “accelerate its response”.

Ardern said this arrangement draws on the skills of those within the Green Party. It would also be in the the best interest of the Government, she said.

“I will use the mandate that we have been given.”

She said she never considered a coalition deal and said that was “never in her mind”.

“We have certifiably, and stability,” in the House, she said.

Ardern said both Shaw and Davidson bring strong experience to the table.

On Davidson, she said it makes sense that the Government uses her “passion”.

Ardern said Shaw and Davidson have “very clearly defined” areas that they will be working on if the deal was approved.

She said electoral finance reforms need to be addressed.

The potential deal says the Green Party will determine its own position in relation to any policy or legislative matter not covered by the Ministerial portfolios and areas of cooperation set out in this agreement.

Key members of the Green Party have officially begun debating whether or not to accept the Government-forming deal presented to them by the Labour Party.

Greens co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson have been hammering out a deal with Labour’s leadership for more than a week and it now falls to 138 Green Party delegates to decide if that deal should be accepted.

Both Shaw and Davidson have previously not said what had been discussed behind closed doors.

Ardern said at a press conference this afternoon that in the interest of “transparency” she was releasing it ahead of a final decision.

She said this agreement honors those who voted for a Labour majority.

Ardern said the deal would ensure there was a majority in the house on the most important votes.

She said “we won’t be held back” on the Covid-19 recovery.

Ardern said there was a number of areas of policy agreement in the agreement.

She said the deal means Labour’s vote is bolstered in the House now.

The outcome of the Greens decision will be relayed later today, Ardern said.

The text of the potential agreement released by Ardern states: “The Green Party commits to supporting the Labour Government to provide stable government for the term of the 53rd Parliament. The parties commit to working in the best interests of New Zealand and New Zealanders, working to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and building and maintaining public confidence in the integrity of Parliament and our democracy.

“This agreement builds on the constructive and enduring working relationship between the two parties. It does this by setting out the arrangements between the parliamentary Labour and Green Parties as they relate to the Ministerial portfolios and areas of policy cooperation set out in this agreement.

“The Green Party agrees to support the Labour Government by not opposing votes on matters of confidence and supply for the full term of this Parliament.”

But at the 4.30pm press conference Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed what she and her leadership team offered the Greens, in terms of their involvement in her Government.

While Ardern was preparing for the press conference, the Green Party’s delegates were voting on whether or not to accept what has been offered.

If more than 75 per cent of those on the call approve, the deal will be enacted.

But if not, the Greens won’t go back to the negotiation table and will spend the next three years in opposition.

This will not, however, leave Ardern leading a minority Government as Labour won 64 out of 120 electorate seats in the election.

The outcome of the Green delegates’ votes will most likely be known later tonight.

After the 2017 election, the Green Party adopted the same process when Labour presented it with the Supply and Confidence agreement.

That deal was overwhelmingly backed by the delegates.

But in 2017, Ardern needed both the Greens and New Zealand First to get enough support to form a Government.

This meant both parties had a lot of leverage and were able to ask for certain policies to be put on the Government’s agenda or for some of their MPs to be ministers.

That is not the case this time, so any deal offered to the Greens is unlikely to be as good as they got after the 2017 election.

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