As would be expected, the Green Party has relationships with a number of ‘third party’ environmental groups such as the Royal New Zealand Forest and Bird Society, and Greenpeace. [Read more below]
These relationships are due to a shared political agenda and the small community of activists involved in environmental politics. For example, in 2002, the chairman of Greenpeace New Zealand, Gordon Jackman, joined the party’s post-election coalition negotiation committee. Jackman also stepped down from his position with Greenpeace, saying, ‘This role is not tenable in the role of chair and trustee of Greenpeace New Zealand’, and that he wanted ‘to protect the integrity of Greenpeace and its ability to operate independently of any political party’ (quoted in NZPA, 2002g).
The Greens also have a number of links with marijuana law reform organisations. Two Green MPs – Nandor Tanczos and Metiria Turei – are former members and electoral candidates of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party. The pro-marijuana lobby group NORML has also endorsed a vote for the Greens. In the past NORML has even discouraged support for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, arguing that a vote for them was a wasted vote, but said that a vote for Act was also acceptable (Orsman, 2002).
The Greens also have strong connections to the Electoral Reform Coalition and anti-GM groups. Within the Green Party, Te Roopu Pounamu is a Maori network organisation. Established in 2000, the membership of Te Roopu Pounamu consists of Maori members of the Green Party and the partners of Maori members (Green Party, 2002).
While the older parties still retain some interest group relationships, the new parties have very few such relationships and certainly no significant formal relationships with societal organisations. The Green Party is very typical in this regard, standing virtually alone and formally unconnected with the institutions of civil society.
[To be updated: please make any suggestions of other Green third party linkages in the comments section below]