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Breaking News – Russell Norman resigning from Parliament

Written By: - Date published: 10:13 am, September 11th, 2015 - 85 comments
Categories: greens, Politics, russel norman - Tags:

Greenpeace’s gain is Parliament’s loss.  Russell will be replaced by Marama Davidson when he stands down next month.

85 comments on “Breaking News – Russell Norman resigning from Parliament ”

  1. Bob 1

    Well that should help squash public perception of a link between Greeenpeace and the Green Party.
    Russell Norman was obviously picked because of his experience running charities because remember, Greenpeace aren’t a political organisation at all ‘sarc’

  2. save NZ 2

    Sad news that Russell is leaving parliament.

    Although great for Greenpeace.

    Wish Russell Norman the best, but with him out of parliament and John Campbell out of TV – more and more dirty dealings are not going to be uncovered and communicated to the public.

    And that is the tragedy.

  3. Gerald 3

    A great loss which will enable the Green Party to distance itself farther from its roots and become more watered down in its principles. Best wishes to Russell and Greenpeace

    • weka 4.1

      Marama Davidson, 41

      Ngāti Porou, Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi

      Marama Davidson lives in Manurewa, Auckland and has six children. She comes to Parliament after a ten year career at the Human Rights Commission.

      Recently Marama worked part-time as the Chief Panelist for the Glenn Inquiry into Domestic Violence and Child Abuse.

      Her involvement in the inquiry has placed violence at the forefront of her political radar.

      Marama stood for the Green Party in the 2013 Ikaroa Rāwhiti by-election and then in Tāmaki Makaurau for the 2014 General Election.

      She also has a powerful presence on social media where she blogs and writes about social justice, Māori politics and women’s rights.

  4. Pasupial 5

    This is not entirely unexpected, as exleaders tend to move on fairly rapidly. I would say that this was also parliament’s gain, as an eager Davidson will be a greater asset than a distracted Norman (what with family commitments). Certainly a boost for the GP in their process of renewal; hopefully it won’t be the only retirement this term, there have been rumors about a couple of other GP MPs (but as they may be just that, I won’t name them).

    [edit] This TDB post just after the election is one of the last Davidson did there, and gives a good window into her priorities:

    I am not leaving this fight. Striving for a fairer society is too important. It feels quite liberating knowing that my family and I are in this for the long haul – both in our support for the visions of the Green Party and community actions, and to contribute with my voice however appropriate. I have always said that we need decent people everywhere and at all levels. It is essential to have more decent people in Parliament and the Green Party has loads of them.

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/09/23/hang-tight-everyone-marama-davidson-campaign-reflection/

    • weka 5.1

      I agree about Davidson coming in and parliament’s gain. Norman has done his dash and I’m glad for him that he’s going on to do something else that will allow him to use his skills without the brutality and frustration of parliament.

      • dukeofurl 5.1.1

        You mean the Green party vote wasnt increased over last time. They are stuck around 11%.

        I guess kevin Hague is heading for the door too!

        • weka 5.1.1.1

          If you look at the party vote over the time that Norman has been in the party, it’s pretty good. He looks burnt out to me, or he did at the last election, and some of that’s to do with the internal party priorities, but I think it’s also to do with the fact that the GP and Norman want humanistic politics and it’s just not possible at the moment. Many of the good ones end up leaving because of that.

          The Greens want change not power, so if you want to assess their success you have to look at what they’ve achieved in terms of change not power. In those terms, they’re still doing very well, but I can appreciate that for individual MPs there comes a time when they’re spent and need to move on.

        • maui 5.1.1.2

          Any party that can increase their voting numbers by 64% in 6 years should be looked on as fairly successful… maybe not in your book.

          • dukeofurl 5.1.1.2.1

            Successful ?

            2011 11.06%
            2014 10.7%

            Its normally called going backwards, as MMP is all about the %

            • maui 5.1.1.2.1.1

              Really? That’s not what the voters are saying.

              2005 120,521
              2008 157,613
              2011 247,372
              2014 257,356

              • Lanthanide

                But it’s not raw votes that matter, it’s the proportion of people who back you, your ideas and policies compared to backing other parties.

                GP have gone backwards on that basis.

                • maui

                  Hmm, if I look out the window and see thousands of protestors and realise a few people have walked off in the last 5 minutes, whereas numbers had more than doubled in the last couple of hours I’m not going to say the protest has failed. DOU seems to be looking at the few people walking off and saying look the protest is a failure.

                  • Lanthanide

                    That’s nice, but that has nothing to do with the rules of how Parliament allocates seats and how the government is formed, which is ultimately the goal if you are a political party.

            • weka 5.1.1.2.1.2

              “Its normally called going backwards, as MMP is all about the %”

              No, it’s not, as I’ve already explained. But keep spinning your donut there duke.

              • dukeofurl

                so the electorate is getting bigger and the numbers who went out to vote increased last time.

                The % of the party vote which is used to calculate the numbers of MPs has decreased for the GP

                it went from 11.06% of voters to 10.7%, which is going backwards.

                Curious maui that you missed out the numbers for 2002 ? It was 142,250 and 7.0% and it took till 2011 for that to be exceeded.

                The % of the voters going to the poll and who voted Green has dropped in the last election. All the bullshit doesnt change that Greens SHARE is falling

                • weka

                  “Curious maui that you missed out the numbers for 2002 ?”

                  Whereas you left out all the numbers except the last two elections. As if those two elections are definitive of GP success.

                  You don’t have any evidence that the GP vote is dropping in general. Yes it dropped slightly in that election, but that’s not indicative of them going backwards, as much as you would like to spin it that way.

                  Pretty much every comment you have made in this thread is an attempt to cast the GP in a negative light. It’s getting boring.

                  • Lanthanide

                    “but that’s not indicative of them going backwards, as much as you would like to spin it that way.”

                    So down is up and black is white?

                    They dropped their share of the vote. They went backwards. It’s pretty basic english.

                    Whether they are still in the process of ‘going backwards’ is a different question.

                    • weka

                      Duke is arguing that a .36% drop between two single elections means the GP aren’t successful. There is more being discussed here than selected numbers.

                    • maui

                      National dropped 0.3% in vote share last election so going backwards too I’m guessing.. You just have to block out they got an increase of 70,000 votes last election and have increased their vote numbers consecutively for the past four elections.

                    • weka

                      lolz, so National are unsuccessful too then.

                    • Tracey

                      and we darent mention what that makes labour party.

                      if the answer is “diss” the greens, i shudder at what the question must have been.

                    • dukeofurl

                      Tracey , this is about Greens failure to get a ‘larger share of the vote’, which some cant see. Emphasis on “share”. This is the real reason Russell is going

                      Labour party has accepted they did badly.

                    • Sacha

                      Russel Norman has been clear about why he is going – and he leaves with dignity most of us struggle to muster, let lone politicians.

                    • Lanthanide

                      “lolz, so National are unsuccessful too then.”

                      Yes, National were unsuccessful at increasing their share of the vote.

                      It’s a pretty basic factual statement, not sure why you have trouble with it.

                    • weka

                      Fuck off Lanth. I’ve already said I think this conversation is about more than just select numbers and their interpretation. If you want to talk about the abstract out of context, by all means do so, but don’t put me down when I’m already having a different conversation by the time you arrive.

                    • Lanthanide

                      “but don’t put me down when I’m already having a different conversation by the time you arrive.”

                      You should be more careful with your language, then. Here’s what you said:

                      “Its normally called going backwards, as MMP is all about the %”

                      No, it’s not, as I’ve already explained.

                      You’re denying that reducing the share of the vote is going backwards. Strange thing to deny.

                      If what you really meant is “Yes, over the very short term, their share of the vote went down. But over the longer term, their vote has gone up substantially, and that is why they’re successful”.

                      It’s a pity that if that is what you meant to say, you didn’t actually say it. Would have resulted in much less confusion for the people who can only read what you actually write (such as myself), and not what you meant to write.

                • swordfish

                  dukeofurl

                  Norman elected co-leader of Greens in June 2006

                  Greens % Party Vote

                  2005 5.3%
                  2008 6.7%
                  ………+ 1.4
                  2011 11.1
                  ………+ 4.4
                  2014 10.7
                  ……..- 0.4
                  (2005-2011 = + 5.8)
                  (2005-2014 = + 5.4)
                  Yep, a very slight decline at the last election, and no doubt very disappointing for them given the high (dare I say it, somewhat exaggerated) expectations, but pretty successful leadership overall, I’d say.

                  The Greens have more than doubled their % since Norman took the co-leadership, moving from just another minor party to something approaching middling status. And he’s been one of the most impressive performers both in and out of Parliament, almost the proxy Leader of the Opposition at times.

                  weka’s trying to point out your relentless focus on the last election to the total exclusion of the wider electoral context. Only by pursuing this decidedly dodgy strategy can you plausibly maintain your argument.

    • DoublePlusGood 5.2

      The family commitments thing is a bit nebulous, seeing as Davidson also has a family. I agree though that Norman has a different focus at this time.
      I’m not entirely convinced by Davidson yet, as I’ve seen a few unusual comments or strange press releases. However, she has huge experience and commitment in social justice, and if she focusses on this area she will be of huge benefit to New Zealand as an MP. Here’s hoping she gets to shred a few of the incompetent ministers in her area of expertise.

      • dukeofurl 5.2.1

        If only she she could got those most impacted by social justice issues to vote for the Greens, because they sure as hell dont see the Greens as the answer.

        • weka 5.2.1.1

          I do. I know other people impacted by social justice issues that vote Green.

          • dukeofurl 5.2.1.1.1

            Really ?
            ‘Other people’ doesnt show up when you look at Greens votes in poorer areas of South Auckland or marginalised rural areas?

            Green party vote in Auckland central was a bit higher than labour party vote
            6204 to 6101
            Manukau East, GP 971 to labours 16,925
            mangere , GP 1084 to labours 18,470

            In general the GP vote in areas that are socially disadvantaged is down below 5% while it is commonly over 20% in richer, whiter areas.

            Social justice issues

            • weka 5.2.1.1.1.1

              I thought you were saying that none of the people who vote Green are impacted by social justice issues. I’m just pointing out that’s not true.

              I don’t have a problem with the GP demographics at this stage. I think it’s the middle classes that are preventing social justices issues from being resolved, so it’s good that more of them are voting Green.

              I suspect that many people impacted by social justice issues aren’t voting.

              • dukeofurl

                The numbers show the Green party support is very high in the wealthier areas where social disadvantage is very low.

                As for Green policies, well they have about 150 of them , so maybe those disadvantaged voters dont see any high priority from Greens on things that matter to them. In fact national gets more party votes from theses areas.

                • swordfish

                  “The numbers show the Green party support is very high in the wealthier areas where social disadvantage is very low.”

                  No that’s bollocks. The sort of bollocks I regularly read from commentators interviewing their own keyboards in the MSM over the last 10 years (I’d point in particular to Guyon Espiner and Jane Clifton as well as one or two others).

                  In reality, the Green constituency is considerably more diverse.
                  It does poorly in Pasifika enclaves but not low income suburbs/areas as a whole. It does well in some affluent areas (particularly inner-city and, above all, in Wellington and Dunedin) but decidedly not in others.

                  The Greens core demographics are:
                  Young (under 45, and especially under 30)
                  Wellington City and suburbs
                  Central Dunedin (but not suburbs)
                  social liberals and postmaterialists
                  Athiests and people with non-Christian religions
                  Arts community

                  Their support is pretty evenly divided among the various socioeconomic groups.

                  (Their strongholds in the Greater Wellington region, for example, are the relatively low-income but politically-progressive communities of Aro Valley, Paekakariki and Houghtons Bay)

                  In fact, I’d say the archetypal Green enclave would be a socially-diverse, inner-city suburb with above-average proportions of young voters, public sector workers and ethnic-minority migrants.

            • Karen 5.2.1.1.1.2

              In Auckland the Green Party definitely has a white, middle-class image, which is one of the reasons I am really excited at having Marama Davidson becoming an MP. She is really feisty so she will make a difference.

              The Green Party social policies were good last election but most voters do not actually read policies unfortunately.

              • Tracey

                its like turei doesnt exist.. she and davidson together can be strong voices that need to be heard on behalf of the vulnerable.

                • Karen

                  You missed my point about Auckland.

                  I am a huge fan of Turei but she lives in Dunedin while Marama lives in South Auckland. The Greens have done well in Auckland with white, middle class, liberals but they have not been very effective at getting more widespread support in a city that has a third of NZ’s population.

                  • Tracey

                    Nope didnt miss that, but have you noticed the tendancy of MSM to go to the male co leaders?

                    Last night it was a short mention on the Prime news. Third major party has an MP change… barely a mention

    • Ron 5.3

      I would have thought that Davidson with six children would be more distracted than Norman would over family commitments. I would also predict that Metiria will step down now that Davidson is finally in the house.
      Interesting times

  5. maui 6

    its also going to be a big hit on the business perception of the Greens, something Russel was central in. Marama Davidson has a strong background in social justice, so they won’t make up for it there.

  6. weka 7

    John Palethorpe ‏@MrDuttonPeabody 7 mins7 minutes ago

    Bloody smug liberal Wellingtonista greens having a Maori wahine who lives in South Auckland as their newest caucus member.

    https://twitter.com/MrDuttonPeabody/status/642104243009228800

  7. Ad 8

    That is a good person, determined to do more good rather than rot in Parliament.

    Shows courage to leave, and boldness to start a different career.

  8. Karen 10

    I am sorry to see Russel go in some ways in that he was a very effective co-leader and has a great intellect. Also, I still am not totally convinced by James Shaw.

    On the other hand, Russel was beginning to look a bit jaded in the lead up to the last election and IMO made a very poor tactical decision in the final week when he talked about working with National.

    Hearing he is to be replaced by Marama Davidson has boosted my morale hugely. A māori woman, based in Auckland and concerned about justice and social issues, is just what the Green Party needs.

  9. NZJester 11

    The current National government has made the current NZ parliament a very toxic environment to work in. He as an elected member of parliament should have had more power as a politician to hold the government to task and help protect the environment. But thanks to Nationals gaming of the system to avoid answering question asked of them in parliament and to strip away a lot of environment protections he will actually have far more power to seek the answers to his questions and help protect NZ in his new role with Greenpeace.

  10. Tom Barker 12

    Good luck with the new career, Russell. Greenpeace is lucky to have you, and I hope you find enormous satisfaction in working for them.

  11. fisiani 14

    Metiria should go as well and Julie-Anne Genter take up the co-leader spot. That would be an intelligent articulate leadership that could gather votes….from Labour.

    • Tracey 14.1

      your success with predictions on this site is sad. this one is up there with your psychological tsunami that never happened.

      • fisiani 14.1.1

        My tsunami prediction was 99.8% correct and within minutes of being true. I do not resile from that comment.

        • Tracey 14.1.1.1

          But you did relise from it, even when it seemed it might be minutes from coming true, you back-tracked like a whippet in reverse and changed it to a month later, by which time it was even further from being true. Didn’t have the courage of your convictions, although from your comment above it appears you have already re-written what actually happened in your own mind.

          “fisiani 19.2.1
          7 April 2015 at 3:52 pm
          Correct the live science crap has been discredited yet the left still believe it despite all the evidence to the contrary.
          The Tsunami will hit NZ 41 minutes at 4.31pm today.

          The public feel good factor will be the equivalent of winning 5 World Cups and the impact will not recede till will well after the election 2017.
          You read it here first.

          Draco T Bastard 19.2.1.1
          7 April 2015 at 4:34 pm
          Correct the live science crap

          I take it that means that you believe that your either dead or a machine.

          fisiani 19.2.1.2
          7 April 2015 at 4:58 pm
          Make that a month from now.”

  12. Sans Cle 15

    I am glad that Russell Norman will continue to contribute so selflessly to NZ society and to our planet. I have huge respect for him, how he doggedly questioned the prime minister, and relentlessly tried to hold him to account. How he rattled John Key is a testimony to his skills and utter commitment.

  13. Observer (Tokoroa) 16

    Thankyou Russell Norman for your great contribution to Parliament.

    You stood out as the real leader of a Democracy. Way ahead.

  14. Many people would probably be surprised to see a post on TrueblueNZ that praises Russel Norman, but I actually did respect him for at least one thing he did while an MP.

    http://truebluenz.com/2015/09/12/russel-norman-one-small-moment-of-glory/

  15. The Chairman 18

    Disappointed to see him stand down, all the best on his new endeavor.

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