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Genter and Davidson

Written By: - Date published: 6:08 am, March 2nd, 2018 - 51 comments
Categories: democratic participation, greens, Politics - Tags: , ,

Last night Stuff’s political reporter Henry Cooke hosted a Q and A session with Green Party female co-leader candidates Marama Davidson and Julie Anne Genter. There is useful insight into what the two women are thinking about the co-leadership and where the party is going, as well as how the Green Party works.

Cooke asked good questions and there were no gotcha politics. It was a million miles from the Goweresque chaos of last year but still elicited the useful things we might want to know.

Genter and Davidson came across as on the same page with most issues but having different approaches (thus Genter and Davidson not Genter vs Davidson). The format was each candidate having a minute to answer questions with a few rapid fire yes/no answer questions nearer the end. The interview video is below (30 mins).

Both women started by talking about the importance of a smaller party like the Greens growing their vote in an MMP environment.


JAG said what we really need is affordable and available rentals. She thinks that with an increase in housing there will probably be a lowering of house prices relative to income, and that it’s unlikely that incomes would catch up with housing on their own.

MD focussed on affordable housing via increasing the supply. Housing should be affordable to those on single incomes. She also thought a lowering of market values was possible and probably necessary to give everyone affordable and secure housing.

Both women commented on the need for tenant rights.

(as an aside the point was made that National and Labour intend for income to increase to make housing affordable with no drop in market rates. I’d not heard that stated so baldly before. This has huge implications for beneficiaries, with neither National or Labour intending to raise benefits).

Budget Responsibility Rules

Ok, this is exciting (at 7:50). Cooke’s question is around the pre-election joint L/G commitment (PDF) to get debt down to 20% of GDP within five years, the criticism of that at the time and whether paying of social deficits was more important. He asks “would you sign up for those budget responsibility rules again in 2020?”

JAG said there are five rules, and three of them are quite good (e.g. agreeing to measure things differently). The GDP ones are not grounded in sound economics. She talks about the case made internationally for governments borrowing for infrastructure for long term benefits e.g. responding to climate change, or the housing crisis.

We need to be going into the 2020 election year a very clear and compelling reason why our economic vision is different and that it actually makes a lot more sense than the type of conservatism that National is often going off.

She confirms that she thinks the Greens shouldn’t sign up to that particular GDP provision again, but that the idea of the Greens and Labour working together on a fiscal position before the election made sense with the MOU.

MD starts by saying,

People are waiting for a better economic narrative that understands the connections to our environmental, our social and economic wellbeing…

The Greens have a responsibility to push beyond the narrow confines of things like the BRR rules… we need better indicators, we need fuller indicators about the whole wellbeing, we cannot simply look at the databooks, the spreadsheets, and ignore everything else that is happening around us.

It’s not just about the GDP issue that is important, NZers are waiting for leadership on the importance of secure housing, clean rivers, employment and the whole labour market, and they want the Greens to front this “transformational economic narrative”. She also had concerns about the BRR agreement at the time.

Growing the Green Vote

MD’s position was about her immersion in diverse communities, including those communities that the Greens have traditionally not had a presence in. She talks about the value of having a non-Minister co-leader who can commit time to growing the vote in the regions, working class communities, small businesses, and culturally diverse communities. She already has experience in this, and those communities need to be reflected in the membership and candidates.

JAG’s position is that the Greens need to be more hard headed about where the votes come from and basically they need to win back the votes they lost, particularly to Labour. She wants to take an evidence based approach to who the potential vote is and how to reach them. The lost vote is probably more of a priority and growing that vote will put the Greens in a better position to make more gains in 2020 and thus do better for those who’ve been neglected by the political establishment. She thinks that people need to see evidence of change in the key areas of housing, transport, better incomes/welfare, or they won’t  believe that politics can help them.

JAG also makes the point that the Greens will be up against Ardern’s media savvy and higher profile, and thus need to prepare for that.

The 2017 Election Campaign

Both women support what Metiria Turei did. JAG acknowledged the need for better communication within caucus and better preparation for risk management. MD named Turei’s story as a politically revolutionary one and that it changed the other parties’ positions on poverty during and after the election, as well as being heard on the street. She also acknowledged the things the Greens had to learn from that time. How do they protect the story going forward?

Yes/No Questions

UBI: both said yes.

New tax rate on high incomes: yes and yes.

Dropping MMP threshold: JAG says to 4%, MD to 3%

Free dental care: yes

Lowering voting age to 16: yes

To 14: no

On working with National

Not going to happen because National are unlikely to change economically, socially or environmentally  (go listen if you want the longer version).

The Kermadecs and the Waka Jumping legislation. Worth listening to to get a grasp of GP position on both, and to learn how the Greens deal with compromise. Also bits about the roles of the membership in that, and how that intersects with negotiation with the coalition government.

Māori Leadership

This is the thorny issue for the party. MD has this covered, JAG talks about her commitment despite being an immigrant to NZ.

My own impressions from having watched the interview is that Davidson would be best for the party because of her commitment and experience with working with Māori, is the best bet for engaging the disenfranchised parts of the electorate and growing the movement that Turei started. Genter is probably a better strategist and engaging with the mainstream for the Greens to do well at the next election in more conventional terms. That’s hard because all of those things are critical. Both women are excellent candidates and it’s worth acknowledging the Greens for having ensured they have such good people coming through.


Green Party female co-leadership election timeline. The new female co-leader will be announced on Sunday April 8th.

Marama Davidson’s candidate website.

Julie Anne Genter’s candidate website.

51 comments on “Genter and Davidson”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    “…JAG said what we really need is affordable and available rentals. She thinks…”

    She thinks??? Why are we STILL debating what is required? I know National actively suppressed the collection, analysis and distribution of data around the housing crisis but really… It beggars belief that as a country we don’t know exactly what sort of housing is required where and by whom.

    • Antoine 1.1

      Nice selective misquote mate

    • savenz 1.2

      I’d like to hear more about how they are getting more affordable rentals.

      Firstly if there are 70,000 new migrants and 180,000 work permits being given out last year under the Natz, and tourism at a peak, then that’s a hell of a lot of houses that the tax payers or business is supposed to pony up. How are the Greens going to control that?

      Then the issue is, that those houses being built seem to do the opposite, bowl cheap housing and put up expensive housing. How is the Greens gonna control that?

      Then if we somehow get the houses, where are the jobs and where is the transport and infrastructure needed? Is there really much point for tax payers to subsidise cheap workers for luxury multinationals like the Hyatt for example or to build luxury apartments with body corporates of above the NZ average wage? Is that the Green message, because more houses are not being built for those who need them by justing letting industry ‘do it’s thing’.

      Also many of the people coming to NZ are on low wages or just property investors or have skills that are questionable as skilled, (truck drivers, restaurant managers, level 5 IT staff, tilers) so that means that the existing Kiwis have to subsidise their accomodation, wages, health (if they qualify for community services card), transport etc etc. It’s a scam. I know a truck driver and he had to quit because he was expected to do 10 hour days at $18 p/h and he said they were hiring people from overseas at $16 p/h so he saw no future in that industry.

      Once their jobs go, and low level jobs are predicted to go quickest then they are on the dole queue. So we have people on dole queue now, and bringing in more people on low wages to help rich multinationals achieve more profits by having Kiwi taxpayers subsidise them does not seem to make sense. Then when corporations are finished with them they are on the dole queue too. So it does not seem very sustainable for social welfare, especially when the taxes from the multinationals goes offshore.

      Have a look around Auckland, the affordable houses that used to be around before all they hysteria about building new houses have gone. They are not being replaced at all! All the activity around central and surrounding Auckland is going in the opposite direction, extensions, bigger houses, 2 car garages (hilarious as often the majority of houses within the much touted cycle ways also are putting in 2 car parking spaces) and spending $800,000 on renovations.

      Clearly someone needs to have a bit of a look at what’s happening before they support ‘more houses’ approach, and the construction boom. Supporting the construction is doing the opposite of what they think the Greens stand for, because they are eliminating affordable housing not building more of it and polluting the cities while they are about it.

      • savenz 1.2.1

        This is what is actually happening in Auckland… where do you start,


        of course the council have consented the activity. It’s just a minor effect!

        Probably the neighbours just lost 20% of their assets, while the multinational profits handsomely from the councils decision , there is the truckloads of materials going form Kaukapakapa to Penrose adding to the daily congestion and pollution ..

        Making NZ a better place for all. (sarcasm).

        but more for James Hardie who seem like outstanding corporate citizens (sarcasm) from wiki…

        “James Hardie was one of a number of companies involved in the mining of asbestos, and by the middle of the twentieth century had become the largest manufacturer and distributor of building products, insulation, pipes and brake linings containing it. In Australia, it ran asbestos plants in New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia. Working with the products containing asbestos – including the building material known as “Fibro” – caused people to develop various pleural abnormalities such as asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma.[3]

        In December 2001, the company shareholders unanimously voted to restructure and relocate the company in the Netherlands as a parent company. This was part of a strategy to separate the company from the stigma of its asbestos liabilities.[8]

        On 19 February 2010, James Hardie moved its corporate domicile from The Netherlands to Ireland, in a transaction designed to transform James Hardie Industries NV into an Irish Societas Europea company, and James Hardie Industries NV became James Hardie Industries SE. The final stage of the move was completed on 17 June 2010.[9]”

      • Janet 1.2.2

        Looks like some of the housing answer is in hand. Identify and kick out the non contributing illegal immigrants – especially in Auckland !

        • savenz

          Even if they get kicked out, they come back with a new identity! Interestingly in the raid they averaged about 5 years in the country working illegally with some being 10 years. About the times the Natz were in power!

          The Natz wring their hands about the importance of surveillance and massive increase in funding for detecting terrorism or what the fuck they call it, but here we have so many illegal workers entering the country under their noses, clearly money NOT well spent as predicted. Time to get rid of those that suggested and benefit financially from it.

      • weka 1.2.3

        “I’d like to hear more about how they are getting more affordable rentals.”

        Do the Greens hold the Housing portfolio? No. Then what makes you think they’re the ones who can get more affordable rentals.

        I’ll keep saying this, it’s important to understand the difference between the Green Party, and the Green MPs in government. There’s an overlap, and the Green MPs can have some influence with the Labour and NZF MPs to the extent that they develop and maintain good relationships with them, and by virtue of just being in government and having access to process. But they don’t get to control portfolios they don’t hold.

        Here’s the list of govt portfolios,


        And the Housing one,


        Green Party housing policy (always best to read their policy in conjunction with other related policy),


        Labour housing policy,


  2. Antoine 2

    Both of them seem like excellent ladies but i can’t help preferring JAG

  3. UncookedSelachimorpha 3

    Both good candidates.

    JAG is probably good for accessing the existing Green support base, while MD might open up completely new parts of the population to voting Green, so that makes MD the more exciting candidate for me

  4. Carolyn_Nth 4

    Thanks, weka.

    Two excellent candidates. the GP definitely need Genter’s strategic, statistical, and economic nouse. However, that is also in the same territory as James Shaw’s strengths. The GP already have Shaw to focus on growing the traditional GP vote.

    The GP is currently perceived as a middle class white party, even when their policies point in a different direction.

    Turei did excellent work in broadening the focus of the party, and in mentoring MPs from more diverse backgrounds. Davidson has the skills to continue that work, and to take forward as a major strength, and with a new focus.

  5. patricia bremner 5

    I’m wanting better for beneficiaries, so Davidson for me.

    Cooke has no time for the left. He asked, “could you work with National ?” Ans. NO!!
    LOL Following Bridges lead?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1


      They’re both very capable, but Davidson is the better person for the particular job that needs doing.

    • weka 5.2

      To be fair to Cooke, he did apologise in advance for the questions 😉 And it was topical because of what the new leader of National has just said. I think it was a good question because of the answers we got from both women. There’s no equivocating from either of them.

      • patricia bremner 5.2.1

        Hi Weka, I was harking back to Cooke’s reporting of Jacinda’s campaign. He could hardly be civil, and left whole parts of the day empty, while his counterpart lauded Bill ‘s activities am and pm.
        So that was where my attitude to him arose. I also looked back over his posts. I’m glad he is trying to be more open.

        • weka

          Fair enough (I don’t know his history). I hope he’s learned something, he got some good feedback on twitter for how it was conducted yesterday.

        • Henry COoke

          Hi Patrica, are you talking about the live blog?

          Ardern held far fewer events than English. This was a deliberate campaign move (it doesn’t really matter who held more events given 99% of the country will never attend one). Happy to be provided with any examples of me being uncivil towards the PM.

          • patricia bremner

            Henry, I followed Jacinda on her Facebook, augmented by Tamati Coffey’s. Stuff promised a follow up during the day using the clock in Jacinda and Bill’s campaign. Fine. I was laid up at the time and looked forward to your reports. Wow . Often one sentence at best. Your attitude showed Henry. Thanks for replying. However, your past efforts did not impress. You also made a mistake with Marama Davidson’s name today. NOT Fox.

  6. cleangreen 6

    How to grow the Greens vote?

    We need to go back to the basics here”””

    Today I wrote on TDB today about our failing climate change principals.

    See here,
    What will crash first? The economy or the environment?
    By Martyn Bradbury / March 2, 2018

    An economic crash seems our only way to force us to reduce our wasteful “consumerism” cult now threatening to “throttle & choke” our delicate environment today with plastic and toxic chemicals as we are witnessing now.

    My Son was in Germany for 11 yrs and is home living with us now and is so saddened to see this country now engaging in very dirty environmental degradation of our environment when Germany is now banning all dirty practices such as keeping diesel vehicles and trucks out of cities by a ticking colour patch system where the only trucks that can travel on roads needs a green sticker which requires a new “filtering exhaust system cost thousands of dollars to all diesel vehicles now making many unusable or un-economic.

    Rail on the other hand is a very clean burning low emission fuel energy system now with only a fraction of carbon emissions so we see that rail is now increasing as a freight mover as is USA with US rail has increasing volumes of freight by 30% last year.

    Pity NZ has Ministers that still talk up roads and more roads when discussing our “infrastructure” as if they have lost their brain, but when the economic crash comes most trucks will be off our roads as fuel cost will be to high and rail will again be saved.

    That is just one window of how we will be forced to adapt to cheaper transport and use less carbon emissions.

    • savenz 6.1

      @ Clean Green – see my comment above about the James Hardie consent. What the F are we doing in this country!!!! Trying to destroy it as fast as possible in every possible way, socially and environmentally.

      Unfortunately if we see the US crash example, crashes don’t help if the government are neoliberals (in fact due to the shock doctrine they want a crash to take more) the ones who caused it, got even richer because the government asks industry before wiping their butts as some sort of sage expert, even if they are constantly failing! It’s a disease.

  7. Venezia 7

    Two excellent candidates. Oh how I wish we had more MPs of this calibre in Parliament.

  8. Stuart Munro 8

    I favour Marama. I think the party has plenty of smarts but without her might be perceived as lacking heart. JAG is fine, and already contributing in her field – she may be feeling squeezed by the rise of Chloe or pressure to maintain parity with Jacinda.

  9. CHCOff 9

    Any sensible UBI (that is in regards to it’s efficacy in not becoming increasingly redundant over time) would need to incorporate societal governing structures in it’s application.

    Theoretically a properly implemented debt free from source issued UBI would remove the inflationary pyramids out of the so called free market economy, thus giving the demand and supply signal chains the efficiency they lack in bridging socially desirable outcomes to material practicalities.
    But that means zquilch in political terms.

    In pragmatic terms then, to reach the above outcome it would need some sort of constitutional change. That would be then, so the govt. issues the UBI as a complimentary currency of tickets. All traders that accept these as payments have to register with the govt. They are then reimbursed by the govt. via a special otherwise out of bounds and privilege that is inalienably only reserved for this one function, of being issued fresh debt free currency, into the economy.

    The businesses and trading organisations that participate in this complimentary UBI economy, which would gradually replace the inflationary sector of the economy, in the free market demand and supply system, are obligated to form or join business and trade associations that comprise the supply side participation related to the UBI. However these are organised, the business and trade associations are then given their share of the parliamentary representation that is guaranteed to the UBI created business associations. They are given approx. 1/3 of additional seats in parliament as of right, to their associations, and are given full voting rights on economics decisions, of which they are free to use in the politics with the standard political actors in the house of the day, however they choose. This is essentially bringing in lobbying to the system in a way that is above board on the table, but of a natural role that isn’t trying to be outlawed but utilised in a way that better serves and actually defends free market demand and supply economics.

    For instance this new parliamentary block would naturally gravitate to increasing the levels of the UBI over time. The parliamentary parties would be more prudent in wanting to curb the blocks undue influence relative to their own – as it is no longer a black market situation in regards to this- along with inflationary effects (although would be a lot less dramatic relatively) while at the same time balancing the voting publics support levels for different approaches to the levels of the UBI. And that basic dynamic would be the give and take of such a situation.

  10. patricia bremner 10

    I read and re-read this and these questions kept coming.
    A UBI for business and associations then? Like the accommodation supplement? Or the student allowance? With regular rises?
    1/3 of parliamentary seats for the participating businesses and associations? Wow!!
    And, best of all, still public money!! No top up of income by businesses and associations? You don’t mention tax. Or did I miss that? Also, why would the UBI increase over time under this system?

    • weka 10.1

      the UBI question was literally “UBI?” and they both said yes. It was the rapid fire round, not an explanation of the potential system.

      • patricia bremner 10.1.1

        Thanks Weka. I was commenting on CHCOFF’s ideas, not the candidates. My bad, should have headed my comment with the link CHCOFF, sorry.

    • CHCOff 10.2

      Patricia, that’s correct i didn’t mention tax as that is a different area to the UBI system as above.

      The question of the UBI increasing (or decreasing) would be a political issue, which i outlined the main driving factors to, so that aspect would ebb and flow somewhat depending on those type of vicissitudes, but the system’s natural gravitation would be towards a reasonably constant and stable level being held once met.

      As to how it is utilised and the forms that would take with all participating citizen recipients, would be for private individuals to determine themselves within the laws of society.

  11. Sparky 11

    in my view the Greens would wise to uncouple from Labour (or any big party) and simply act independently. Lending or withholding support as they deem appropriate in line with their policy.

    The problem with aligning with these older parties, as we are seeing right now, is they use their larger voter base to dominate the dialogue and the views of smaller parties and their voters get side lined.

    That’s in spite of the fact that collectively the smaller parties actually represent a decent number of voters. Yes we have MMP but unless its used strategically by little parties what you end up with is FPP.

    • James 11.1

      “in my view the Greens would wise to uncouple from Labour (or any big party) and simply act independently. Lending or withholding support as they deem appropriate in line with their policy.“

      I would agree with that. It would give them more credibility and strength. They could focus on the areas that mattered to them most.

      • adam 11.1.1

        Economics, is not so reductionist. It is at its core, how we want a society to run. The greens have made many statement to the effect, and both of the leadership candidates talk to the fact that economics and the environment cannot be separated.

    • The Greens only just “coupled” with Labour to any degree this one election, and are very half-in and cautious about what this means for them in government, especially a government also involving NZ First.

      I don’t think the issues the GP is having right now really have anything to do with that strategy.

      • francesca 11.2.1

        Have you any explanation of the whole waka jumping thing.
        I seem to remember Rod Donald way back opposing a similar bill
        Myself, I think I’d be in favour of it, but I may not be understanding all the ramifications

        A mistake during coalition negotiations?

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 11.3

      The Greens have agreed confidence and supply, but are not obliged to vote with Labour in other regards (TPP being one example).

      Had they not made this minimum agreement with Labour, we would have another NAct government (my understanding of how it works).

  12. Siobhan 12

    In a rapid fire question situation there is no chance for any context…but even if there was I always squirm at the UBI question.

    Say we do end up with a UBI…anyone want to take a bet on it being the UBI that Sam Altman, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg etc would like…or a UBI as the Left imagines it.

    If world wide (incl NZ) we can’t get tax systems and welfare states that serve the people properly, thanks to the greed of Corporations and the Super Rich, then how on earth are we going to get the UBI people imagine?

    The question of a UBI needs to be put aside till we can provide a fit for purpose Welfare System to back it up, and a tax system that doesn’t rely so heavily on Personal Income Taxes and GST.

  13. francesca 13

    I’m going for Marama
    She’s got heart as well as smarts and I love her for going on the Gaza peace flotilla
    She connects with people, and we need that balance in the Greens, who can come across overly cerebral

  14. savenz 14

    I think what happened last election with the focus of beneficiaries (no matter how deserving it may have been) should be a warning to the Greens. If under 10% are beneficiaries (if you do not put in super), and only a small percentage bother to vote, then you are alienating other groups who obviously vote Green.

    Therefore I’ll say Genter is probably better because that will be more of the segment (more affluent) Greens lost last time.

    It should not be on popularity of Genter or Davidson, it should be with the aim of getting more Green MP’s back by where their missing 100,000 voters went.

    • savenz 14.1

      Saying that admire Davidson’s courageous stand on Palestine and her direct action.

      Good luck to both of them.

  15. Ad 15


    She brings the base back to 8%.

  16. Not a member, so my opinion counts for shit, but for what it’s worth:

    I think Julie-Ann Genter’s great – in terms of who I’d personally prefer to get the job, she’d win hands down. On an intellectual level, her answers appealed to me more than Davidson’s, probably because I’m a lot closer to her in terms of class and ethnicity.

    Thing is though, I’m already a Green voter, and I suspect a lot of the other people like me who’d prefer Genter are also already Green voters. My worthless reckons are that Davidson is likely to both reach and appeal to a range of people who aren’t currently Green voters but might well be after they’ve listened to what she has to say.

    TL/DR: as mentioned by someone else above, the Greens need someone who’s a contrast with James Shaw, not similar to him, so it has to be Davidson. Much as it grieves me to say it…

    • weka 16.1

      pretty much. Whatever else is going on, having two middle class white people leading the Greens would be a really bad move for the party. Am going to be very interested to see what the membership decides.

      • savenz 16.1.1

        They should have nothing to do with identity politics and ethnicity. The best for the job.

        Don’t forget the Leader and deputy of the National party are Maori, so we are told.

        Ethnicity identity is meaningless, and only excites the media because it’s cheaper and easier than bothering to research policy or do real interviews. Ordinary people can’t be bothered, voter probably are more interested in how much they identify with the person by class.

        Greens are a middle class party. When they try to change that by trying to appeal to working or beneficiary class, they fail.

        They had Metiria as leader for years and it made no difference that she was Maori. People voted for her a middle class Green not as a marginalised Maori. When that image switched, so did the voters.

        The vision of everyone being a beneficiary is not popular. Even the beneficiaries hope for more, let alone everyone else.

        • weka

          The Green Party aren’t doing identity politics in the way you mean.

          I’d prefer it if you didn’t mansplain the Greens in a such a racist way. They actually know who their members are, and who their voters are. They also have a commitment to TeTiriti. I get that some people want the Greens to be stripped of social justice and focus on environmental issues, but they’ve never been that party and never will so give it up.

  17. The Fairy Godmother 17

    Marama Davidson achieved 7.2% party vote for the Greens in Tamaki Makaurau which she stood in. This is certainly nearly a percentage point better than the Green party vote of 6.3pc and better than the Maori seat average for the Greens of 6pc. Turei did better with 8.1pc Green party vote in Te Tai Tonga. In Manurewa the General seat Marama lives in the Greens only got 2.4pc despite a lot of campaigning in Manurewa. I wonder if Marama would be able to gain any more votes for the Greens as leader. Manurewa and the Maori seats are not where the Greens normally get their votes. It could either be argued the party needs to try harder in these seats and Marama as co-leader would help here or it just won’t work. I am not a Green supporter and I don’t vote Green but the Greens would certainly have been my preferred coalition partner for Labour. I hope they pick the leader wwho will work best for them.

  18. Carolyn_Nth 18

    It’s not just about the %age of votes, as commented on by various people.

    At the moment, no party is truly representing beneficiaries, and the precarious working class. All others are chasing the centrist votes of this or that constituency.

    MMP should mean all sections of society are truly represented in parliament. It’s about being humane, democratic (which is more than who gets most votes), and truly catering to and caring about all sections of society – especially those with least wealth and power.

    %age vote chasing is not democracy. When did NZ become so reduced to maths calculations that dismiss the pain, struggle and suffering of some Kiwis?

    • savenz 18.1

      Carolyn_Nth…. no offence but that’s what they did last time and now there is less representation to beneficiaries in parliament.

      They need to be strategic about it!

      • patricia bremner 18.1.1

        I would like a spokesperson for the under privileged. The people affected by the neo-libs are not currently heard, except through the filter of the charities.

        • Carolyn_Nth

          Exactly. And Davidson has been out there in working class, low income, Pacific and Māori communities developing connections and understanding. It takes time building up strong relationships in such communities.

          Parliament desperately needs members who are able to work alongside and with such communities – rather than to tell them from on high what they are going to do.

    • Incognito 18.2

      I was thinking along very similar lines and yours is an excellent comment 😉

      It is a paradox & conundrum of the representative democratic and political system we currently have in place in NZ that political parties must chase, first and foremost, the voters for votes not to mention their financial backers for financial support (i.e. donations). Once elected, the politicians need to represent their parties, their electorates, their voter base, and all of NZ, pretty much in that hierarchical order of priority. Indeed, why would you, as politician, bent over backwards for people who are less likely to vote for you or not (vote) at all?

      All this leads, in my opinion, to entrenching of partisan politics and tribalism; inclusiveness receives less attention and is deemed (of) lower priority (cf. the thread under your comment #1 in OM today 3 March). Another downside is that many citizens and minorities are not adequately or properly represented or not advocated for at all; they are ignored, they are invisible, they don’t count except possibly in the Census …

      The current situation is simply another variation of what happens in a shared-resource system, and this applies to politics in multiple (and ontological) ways, when (majority) groupings act out of self-interest – the tragedy of the commons AKA tyranny of the majority.

      The Green Party seems to be the most inclusive political party in NZ and truly representative of the whole of NZ, which is of course fully consistent with the three pillars of their policy platform. I sincerely hope that the Greens resist the temptation to start pandering to their existing voter base (focus groups anybody?) but keep to their original policies – power does have a corruptive influence on all who wield it but those who let power flow through them and share it will get stronger …

      • Carolyn_Nth 18.2.1


        I think also, the Nats are trying to reduce the GP’s representation of low income and marginalised communities. that is why they are playing dumb (like NoBridges), making out the Greens should be reduced to a party for the environment, without the other planks of green politics.

        I think it will undermine the Nats’ mission to dominate politics for the well off, if parliament becomes more representative of all sections of society.

        • Incognito

          if or when? I’m going for the when and I hope it will be sooner rather than later …

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