Over the weekend, Jeanette Fitzsimons of the Greens gave a "state of the planet" address on Waiheke Island. Media coverage has focused on the sensational aspect - the (rapidly approaching) demise of cheap oil and consequent need for change - and in the process missed something important: there is no mention whatsoever of the issue that divided the Greens and Labour last election, genetic modification. Instead, the Greens are signalling, both to Labour voters and their own, that they want there to be a left coalition (rather than a right one) after the next election:
we have to work with Labour. We have to encourage them in their infant steps to sustainability, convince them of the urgency of the energy issue, oppose them strongly when they panic and slip back to authoritarian and unsustainable ways. We will lose some of the battles. But we are asking you to give us the numbers and the power this year to give New Zealand, and the planet, a future.
And their silence on GE shows that they are willing to give up something significant to do it.
This can only be good news for the left. The Greens and Labour should be natural allies, not enemies.