Climate change, environmental degradation and social inequality are "deliberately perpetuated to benefit a few at the expense of the many, and at the cost of our planet," Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson said, delivering the party's annual State of the Planet speech in Auckland.
"By driving the theft of Maori land, encouraging the exploitation of Pasifika neighbours, and entrenching the inequality of women and the exclusion of people with disabilities, we, politicians, have supported the wealthiest few to get wealthier at everyone else's expense, to build walls of poverty and disenfranchisement and call them opportunities," Davidson said in the party's annual State of the Planet speech in Auckland.
Climate change and species extinctions had "accelerated due to an unfounded belief that the very market which benefits from this will fix it."
The result was that "we have been divided against each other and told to think of ourselves as free-floating individuals, cut loose and competing against one another instead of working together. We can choose something different, and we must," said Davidson, who confirmed that she would stand again as the Green Party's candidate in the Auckland Maori electorate of Tamaki-Makaurau.
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The seat was won in the 2017 election by Labour's Peeni Henare, with a majority of 3,809 over the Maori Party's Shane Taurima, who took 5,587 votes. Davidson was third with 4,268 votes.
The Green Party's system of shared party leadership allows it to play to both a moderate constituency through its more conciliatory and business-friendly co-leader, James Shaw, while Davidson typically appeals to a more radical part of its support base.
She voiced support for the long-standing protest movement occupying land at Ihumatao, near Auckland International Airport, and applauded the growth of support for indigenous peoples' land claims from non-indigenous people.
"The solidarity that is shown to first peoples' movements is a power that has unlimited potential and I am excited to see more and more of it happening around the world."
Those comments come on a day when the Cabinet is expected to debate a proposal to repurchase the Ihumatao land from Fletcher Construction. The company had permission to build a residential subdivision on a site that the occupiers and heritage experts agree is historically significant as one of Auckland's first areas of cultivation following Maori settlement. Fletcher's plans had excluded and protected land of particular significance to Maori.
While Labour Party ministers are understood to support such a deal, the party's formal coalition partner, New Zealand First, is opposed. The Greens, as a support partner rather than part of the formal governing coalition, are effectively excluded from those discussions.