Greens relaunch with new slogan, avoiding a painful irony
No longer "Great Together", the Greens want voters to know they "love New Zealand".
The party has unveiled its new campaign material since former co-leader Metiria Turei's shock resignation last week. Leader James Shaw and party hierarchy went into urgent strategy meetings to overhaul a pricey campaign in four days, just six weeks out from the General election.
Gone are the billboards that had both Shaw and Turei smiling from them. They will now be fronted by Shaw and the slogan, which he admitted harked back to the one they used for the 2014 campaign.
"But you know, we like recycling," Shaw said in an unveiling at the party's media company.
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Shaw also apologised to voters who may have felt "let down" by the party's in-house turmoil of the past few weeks. He acknowledged why "Great Together" was no longer appropriate.
"To be frank, over the last couple of weeks we haven't been all that together, and it hasn't been all that great."
But Shaw promised he would get the party's message back on track, and the focus would be on the environment, clean rivers and ridding New Zealand of poverty.
"I came to Parliament to get New Zealand moving on climate change, to restore our precious natural world and to end poverty and to change the way that we do politics.
"I didn't come to Parliament to act like other political parties, but over the past week that's where we've ended up," he said.
"It is my personal commitment to New Zealanders that this will be a positive campaign. We will focus on the very real challenges that our country faces, and we will focus on solutions that no one else is promising, with the best MPs and the best candidates to get the job done."
Shaw also unveiled a new-look senior leadership team, giving more responsibility to the top-ranked MPs including the party's chief whip Eugenie Sage and Marama Davidson.
Shaw was flanked by the party's top 20 candidates, some of whom had moved up two spots since Turei had quit, and MPs Kennedy Graham and David Clendon had resigned in protest at Turei earlier.
That meant Auckland firebrand Chloe Swarbrick and Golriz Ghahraman moved up to seven and eight on the party's list respectively - guaranteed positions Parliament so long as the Greens' vote didn't collapse to any less than the eight per cent it was now on. Celebrity Hayley Holt had also moved up two spots, and would be in an electable position on the party's old polling.
Previous campaign material included the slogan "Great Together" which, in the wake of Turei's resignation over her deepening benefit fraud scandal, had threatened to become a painfully ironic reminder that Shaw was now leading the party on his own.
But the "Great Greens" video campaign material, that included the backing of Kiwi Hollywood stars like Taika Waititi and Rachel House had no reason to be changed.
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