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Jeanette Fitzsimons Says Greens Will Give The Change Voters Want

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

By Maggie Tait of NZPA

Auckland, Nov 5 NZPA - A relaxed Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons told an Auckland audience today that the party is looking good for Saturday's general election.

More in doubt is whether the Greens will return as part of a government or remain in opposition.

Ms Fitzsimons was at a cafe meeting with Australian Greens leader Bob Brown who is visiting to lend his support for the final push.

"We've got three days left to go and it's looking pretty good for the Greens," she said.

"It is going to be quite finely balanced as to whether National can form a government with ACT and Peter Dunne (United Future leader) or whether Labour can form a government with us and the Maori Party.

"I still think that's a strong possibility and we've got to keep going for the last two days to make sure we get every vote that we can."

Ms Fitzsimons said she would be pushing the message that while Labour may seem tired after nine years in power the Greens would provide the change people wanted.

"They need fresh faces and new ideas to reinvigorate them, that is what the Greens can bring to make a Labour government better in the next term."

Questions today ranged across alternative medicine, illegal logging and abortion. The most common theme was what the Greens would do if National won.

"National is not telling us much about what it's going to do. It's campaigning on change but change to what?

"The change you need is Green because a bigger group of Greens will change any government even if we're not part of it."

Ms Fitzsimons said the party would not agree to a confidence and supply arrangement with National no matter what was offered. She said more Green MPs would mean more influence.

"And we will do it. We will go absolutely gung-ho to be Greens in Parliament."

She said where the party could work with National on areas of common interest it would.

Sen Brown talked about the recent increase in the number of Green MPs in Australia and growing influence world wide.

He said voters had lost confidence with old parties.

"They feel very insecure with the old parties who subscribe to the neo conservative economics which has got us in the current mess ... the ethos is greed got us into this crisis Green will get us out of it."

Australian research showed Green economics would create 3 million "green collar jobs" by the mid 2020s, he said.

"People out there know and that's why at the moment the support for the Green alternative world wide is growing and not least in the countries where it originated, New Zealand and Australia.

"I'm feeling very optimistic about this."

Sen Brown is spending two days in New Zealand to support the Greens in the final days of the campaign which he also did in 2005.

Ms Fitzsimons said the Senator, who has lain in front of bulldozers to save trees, had been a big supporter during the stressful 10-day period between election night 1999 and special votes coming in.

"On election night we didn't have a single seat, 10 days later we had seven... Bob rang me, sent flowers and he said `don't you worry, you are going to make it because the ferals will have come down from the bush and cast special votes'. Ferals or not he was right."

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