Values Party

Last updated

Values Party
Founder Tony Brunt
Founded30 May 1972 [1]
Succeeded by Green Party
Ideology Environmentalism
Colours     Green
Another Values Party logo. Values Party logo.png
Another Values Party logo.

The Values Party was a New Zealand political party. It is considered the world's first national-level environmentalist party, [1] [2] pre-dating the use of "Green" as a political label. It was established in May 1972 at Victoria University of Wellington. Its first leader was Tony Brunt, and Geoff Neill, the party's candidate in the Dunedin North electorate, became the Deputy Leader. [3]

New Zealand Country in Oceania

New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

Green politics is a political ideology that aims to create an ecologically sustainable society rooted in environmentalism, nonviolence, social justice and grassroots democracy. It began taking shape in the western world in the 1970s and since then Green parties have developed and established themselves in many countries around the globe and have achieved some electoral success.

Victoria University of Wellington public university in New Zealand

Victoria University of Wellington is a university in Wellington, New Zealand. It was established in 1897 by Act of Parliament, and was a constituent college of the University of New Zealand.


Policies and beliefs

Several party manifestos sketched a progressive, semi-utopian blueprint for New Zealand's future as an egalitarian, ecologically sustainable society. The party appealed especially to those elements of the New Left who felt alienated by the small Marxist-Leninist parties of the day, and by the centre-left politics of the New Zealand Labour Party. The party is widely regarded[ by whom? ] as the first national political party promoting social renewal that incorporated restoring a respectful relationship to nature. From its beginning, the Values Party emphasised proposing alternative policies, rather than taking only an oppositionist stance to the ruling parties. [4]

New Left political ideology

The New Left was a broad political movement mainly in the 1960s and 1970s consisting of activists in the Western world who campaigned for a broad range of social issues such as civil and political rights, feminism, gay rights, abortion rights, gender roles and drug policy reforms. Some saw the New Left as an oppositional reaction to earlier Marxist and labor union movements for social justice that focused on dialectical materialism and social class, while others who used the term saw the movement as a continuation and revitalization of traditional leftist goals.

The New Zealand Labour Party, or simply Labour, is a centre-left political party in New Zealand. The party's platform programme describes its founding principle as democratic socialism, while observers describe Labour as social-democratic and pragmatic in practice. It is a participant of the international Progressive Alliance.

Values Party policies included campaigns against nuclear power and armaments, advocating zero-population and -economic growth, abortion, drug and homosexual law-reform. Although the Values Party never sat in parliament, it drew considerable attention to these topics. Many political scientists[ which? ] credit the Values Party with making the environment a political issue, and with prompting other parties to formulate their own environmental policies.[ citation needed ]

Values Party at the 1979 and 1981 Nambassa alternatives festival. Values Party canvassing at Nambassa 1979 & 1981, New Zealand.jpg
Values Party at the 1979 and 1981 Nambassa alternatives festival.

Values Party contestation of elections

The Values Party contested five elections (1972, 1975, 1978, 1981 and 1984). Despite strong showings in 1975 and 1978 it did not gain seats under the first-past-the-post electoral system in use at that time. It did however manage to get some candidates elected to local government. The first, Helen Smith of Titahi Bay, joined the Porirua City Council in 1973. [5] The following year party leader Tony Brunt was elected as a Wellington City Councillor and was re-elected in 1977. [6] Mike Ward was a Nelson City Councillor from 1983 to 1989 under a Values banner. [7]

Titahi Bay human settlement in New Zealand

Titahi Bay, a suburb of Porirua in the North Island of New Zealand, lies at the foot of a short peninsula on the west coast of the Porirua Harbour, to the north of Porirua city centre. As of 2006 the suburb had a population of 7,524.

Anthony John "Tony" Brunt is a New Zealand journalist, activist and politician. He was the founder and leader of the environmentalist Values Party in the 1970s.

Wellington City Council territorial authority in the Wellington urban area of New Zealand

Wellington City Council is a territorial authority in New Zealand, governing the country's third-largest city by population, behind Auckland and Christchurch. Wellington City consists of the central historic town and certain additional areas within the Wellington metropolitan area, extending as far north as Linden and covering rural areas such as Makara and Ohariu. The city adjoins Porirua in the north and Hutt City in the north-east. It is one of nine territorial authorities in the Wellington Region.

Under the leadership of polytechnic economics lecturer Tony Kunowski and deputy leader Margaret Crozier, the Values Party contested the 1978 general election with a considerable following, but again failed to win seats in parliament. Most probably this was mainly because voters at that time were more concerned about rapidly rising unemployment than anything else. The idea of an ecological "zero growth" society envisaged by Values Party members had met with the economic reality of near-zero GDP growth, high price-inflation, and an investment strike by business. Although gaining fewer votes than the New Zealand Labour Party, Rob Muldoon's National Party of New Zealand, which promised to create many more jobs by borrowing foreign funds to build large infrastructural projects (the so-called "Think Big" strategy, developing oil, gas, coal and electricity resources), was returned to government.<>

Capital strike refers to the practice of businesses withholding any form of new investment in an economy, in order to attain some form of favorable policy. Capital strikes may arise from the determination that return on investment may be low or nonexistent or from the belief that by withholding investment certain political or economic changes may be achieved - or from a combination of the two. Capital strikes can be economy-wide, or take place in a specific industry.

Think Big

Think Big was an interventionist state economic strategy of the Third National Government of New Zealand, promoted by the Prime Minister Robert Muldoon (1975–1984) and his National government in the early 1980s. The Think Big schemes saw the government borrow heavily overseas, running up a large external deficit, and using the funds for large-scale industrial projects. Petrochemical- and energy-related projects figured prominently, designed to utilize New Zealand's abundant natural gas to produce ammonia, urea fertilizer, methanol and petrol.

Electoral results (1972–1987)

Electioncandidatesseats wonvotespercentage
1972 42027,4671.96
1975 87083,2415.19
1978 92041,2202.41
1981 170 3,4600.19
1984 290 3,8260.20
1987 90 1,6240.08

Decline of the party

Subsequent to the demoralising election result, the Values Party faced internal conflict between the "red" greens and the "fundamentalist" Greens, and it fragmented amidst quarrels about organisational principles. Kunowski resigned as party leader following the 1978 election to pursue a career as a banker. In 1979 Margaret Crozier became the leader with Cathy Wilson as deputy leader; it was the first time women had led a political party in New Zealand. [3] [8]

In May 1990, however, remnants of the Values Party merged with a number of other environmentalist organisations to form the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, which eventually did gain parliamentary seats. Many former members of the Values Party became active in the Green Party – notably Jeanette Fitzsimons, Rod Donald and Mike Ward.

Related Research Articles

Green party type of political party

A Green party is a formally organized political party based on the principles of green politics, such as social justice, environmentalism and nonviolence. Greens believe that these issues are inherently related to one another as a foundation for world peace. Green party platforms typically embrace social-democratic economic policies and forming coalitions with other left-wing parties. Green parties exist in nearly 90 countries around the world; many are members of Global Greens.

The Greens (France) political party in France

The Greens was a green-ecologist political party in France. The Greens had been in existence since 1984, but their spiritual roots could be traced as far back as René Dumont's candidacy for the presidency in 1974. On 13 November 2010, The Greens merged with Europe Ecology to become Europe Ecology – The Greens.

Green Party of England and Wales Political party in England and Wales

The Green Party of England and Wales is a green, left-wing political party in England and Wales. Headquartered in London, since September 2018, its co-leaders are Siân Berry and Jonathan Bartley. The Green Party has one representative in the House of Commons, one in the House of Lords, and three in the European Parliament. In addition, it has various councillors in UK local government and two members of the London Assembly.

Australian Greens Australian political party

The Australian Greens, commonly known as The Greens, are a green political party in Australia.

The Global Greens Charter is a document that 800 delegates from the Green parties of 72 countries decided upon a first gathering of the Global Greens in Canberra, Australia in April 2001. The first part contains six guiding principles, whereas the second part specifies what political action should be taken. The second part of the charter was modified in Dakar, Senegal in 2012 at the third Global Greens Congress.

The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand is a left-wing political party in New Zealand. Like many Green parties around the world it has four organisational pillars: ecology, social responsibility, grassroots democracy, and nonviolence.

Jeanette Fitzsimons New Zealand politician

Jeanette Mary Fitzsimons is a New Zealand politician and environmentalist. She was the co-leader of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand from 1995 to 2009, and was a Member of Parliament from 1996 to 2010.

Metiria Turei New Zealand politician

Metiria Leanne Agnes Stanton Turei is a former New Zealand politician. She was a Member of Parliament from 2002 to 2017 and the female co-leader of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand from 2009 to 2017. Turei resigned from the co-leader position on 9 August 2017 amid a political controversy arising from her admission to lying to the Ministry of Social Development to receive higher payments when she was on the Domestic Purposes Benefit and later, to being enrolled to vote in an electorate where she was not eligible when she was 23.

Progressive Green Party (New Zealand)

The Progressive Green Party was an environmentalist political party in New Zealand in the 1990s. It was a "blue-green" party – that is, one that is economically right-wing ("blue"), rather than left-wing ("red"), as well as environmentalist ("green").

Green Party (UK) political party in the United Kingdom

The Green Party, also known as the Green Party UK, was a Green political party in the United Kingdom.

The Greens (Poland) political party in Poland

The Greens is Poland's Green Party. It was founded in September 2003 under the name "Greens 2004" and formally registered in February 2004. The party was represented in the Sejm between 2014-2015 by Anna Grodzka, but had no Senators. As of 2010, it has three councillors and two members of regional parliaments.

Christine Milne Australian politician

Christine Anne Milne is a former Australian Senator and was leader of the parliamentary caucus of the Australian Greens from 2012 to 2015. Milne stepped down as leader on 6 May 2015, replaced by Richard Di Natale.

Derek Wall British environmentalist

Derek Norman Wall is a British politician and former member of the Green Party of England and Wales. He was the joint International Coordinator for the Green Party and stood against Prime Minister Theresa May as the Maidenhead Green candidate in the 2017 General Election. Formerly the party's Principal Speaker, he is known as a prominent ecosocialist, campaigning both for environmentalism and socialism. Alongside his political role, Wall is an academic and a writer, having published on the subject of ecosocialism and the wider Green politics movement. He is a contributor to the Morning Star newspaper and a blogger.

1992 Wellington Central by-election New Zealand by-election

The Wellington Central by-election 1992 was a by-election held in the Wellington Central electorate during the 43rd New Zealand Parliament, on 12 December 1992. It was caused by the resignation of incumbent MP Fran Wilde after her election as mayor of Wellington and was won by Chris Laidlaw with a majority of 855.

2017 New Zealand general election Election on 23 September 2017

The 2017 New Zealand general election took place on Saturday 23 September 2017 to determine the membership of the 52nd New Zealand Parliament. The previous parliament was elected on 20 September 2014 and was officially dissolved on 22 August 2017. Voters elected 120 members to the House of Representatives under New Zealand's mixed-member proportional (MMP) voting system, a proportional representation system in which 71 members were elected from single-member electorates and 49 members were elected from closed party lists. Around 3.57 million people were registered to vote in the election, with 2.63 million (79.8%) turning out. Advance voting proved popular, with 1.24 million votes cast before election day, more than the previous two elections combined.

James Shaw (New Zealand politician) New Zealand politician, born 1973

James Peter Edward Shaw is a New Zealand politician and a leader of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand. Voters elected Shaw to the New Zealand parliament at the 2014 general election as a list representative of the Green Party. The party selected Shaw as its male co-leader in May 2015. Following Metiria Turei's resignation in August 2017, Shaw became the party's sole leader for the duration of the 2017 general election.

Paul Eagle politician

Tahere Paul Eagle is a New Zealand politician and member of the New Zealand House of Representatives for the Rongotai electorate. He was previously a Wellington City Councillor and Deputy Mayor, and was the first person of Māori descent to enter the office of Deputy Mayor of Wellington City.

1974 Wellington City mayoral election

The 1974 Wellington City mayoral election was part of the New Zealand local elections held that same year. In 1974, elections were held for the Mayor of Wellington City plus other local government positions including eighteen city councillors. The polling was conducted using the standard first-past-the-post electoral method.

Dr Stephen Laurence Rainbow is a New Zealand politician and activist.


  1. 1 2 Barry, John; Frankland, E. Gene (2014). International Encyclopedia of Environmental Politics. Routledge. p. 461. ISBN   978-1-13555-396-8.
  2. "History | Green Party of Canada". The first national green party in the world, the Values Party, was started in the early 1970s in New Zealand.
  3. 1 2 Dann, Christine (1999). "From Earth's last islands: The development of the first two Green parties in Tasmania and New Zealand". Global Greens. Lincoln University. Retrieved 23 February 2014. In June 1972 Geoff Neill, a PhD student and an assistant lecturer in economics and industrial relations, wrote to introduce himself. He had read an article about Values in the Otago University student paper, critic, and thought he could get support for Values in Dunedin from disillusioned Labourites and younger people. Before too long he had been made Deputy Leader and was writing to advise on the content of the manifesto.
  4. Rosalie Steward. Politics in New Zealand from Beginning to Breakthrough, Synthesis/Regeneration 13 (Spring 1997).
  5. New Zealand election results
  6. "New Councillor". The Evening Post . 16 October 1974.
  7. Neal, Tracy (9 September 2010). "Because they asked: a fourth bid to be mayor". The Nelson Mail. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
  8. Carlyon, Jenny; Morrow, Diana (2013). Changing times : New Zealand since 1945. Auckland: Auckland University Press. p. 221. ISBN   978-1-86940-782-7.

Further reading