Greens, National find common ground

BY TRACY WATKINS
Last updated 12:35 08/04/2009

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National and the Greens are promising to work together to implement a nationwide home insulation programme and update New Zealand's energy efficiency strategy.

The parties will also work together on a New Zealand based regulatory system for natural health products - an issue which has divided Parliament in the past and been a thorn in the side of trans-Tasman relations.

The decision by the two parties to form a working relationship was announced today by Prime Minister John Key and Green Party  co-leaders Russel Norman and Jeanette Fitzsimons and marks a turning point for both.

The Green Party headed into the 2008 election saying it could not support a National government.

Mr Norman said the shared policy initiatives were the first to result from a new working relationship between National and the Greens.

The two parties signed a memorandum of understanding today to formalise the relationship.

Dr Norman said it maintained the Green Party's independence while allowing both parties to work together on areas of common interest.

He said the details of today's agreement included:  

* Ms Fitzsimons will work with minister of Energy Gerry Brownlee on a home insulation fund to take effect by July this year. The programme will target private homes, either owned or rented.

*Green MP sue Kedgley will work with the Minister of Health Tony Ryall and Associate Minister Jonathan Coleman to develop a regulatory system specific to new Zealand, rather than the trans-Trasman model proposed by Labour.


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