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Green Party announcement – Russel Norman to stand down as leader

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, January 30th, 2015 - 237 comments
Categories: greens, Politics, russel norman - Tags: , , ,

Twitter has gone berserk about an announced Green Party press conference for 11 am today.  Initial speculation is that a Green MP may be standing down.

From the Herald:

Green MPs are meeting at Parliament now in an emergency caucus meeting called by the leadership team.

The news media have been told there will be a press conference at 11 am but they have not been told the subject.

Actions like that are reserved for major events such as the resignation of a party leader or a leader taking a long stretch of leave.

This post will be updated as news comes through.



A statement by Russel Norman From the Green Party Website (h/t Ovid):

Good morning and thank you for being here.

I am announcing today that I will not be standing for Co-leader of the Green Party at our AGM in May.

This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change.

This is something I have considered for some time and over the summer break I have had the space to think hard about my future.

I concluded that after nearly a decade, it is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family, and now is also a good time for new leadership for the party.

My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017.

The time is right.

I have always held the view that no organisation should be reliant on any one individual, or indeed two.

I am proud of my contribution to the Green Party and the green movement, but know that others can pick up and build on this work and take our party to even greater success.

One of the hallmarks of the Greens has been our successful leadership renewal.

When I became male Co-leader in 2006, after the tragic death of Rod Donald, many commentators chimed the death knell of the Greens. How wrong they were.

In my nine years as Co-leader we have more than doubled our electoral support to over 10 percent.

I am personally gratified to have been part of a team that led our party to its two most successful election results ever, the only time under MMP that a party other than Labour and National have received more than 10 percent of the vote two elections, in a row.

The Greens are now unquestionably the third party in New Zealand politics and are an important and influential part of our political landscape. I am very proud of that achievement.

Our electoral success has been built on developing policy that is both principled and realistic, a strengthened party organisation, and a highly professional and effective parliamentary structure.

Our membership has never been higher and our branches never more active. That forward momentum will continue.

It has been a pleasure to work alongside a smart and passionate caucus and dedicated staff who are the best in the business.

We have put forward positive smart solutions to the issues facing our country, while leading the opposition and holding the Government to account.

Our policy work in the last election is a blueprint for modern progressive green government and I am proud to have played a key role in shaping that.

In particular, as lead spokesperson on economics and the environment, I have relished the opportunity to develop policy that is both good for the economy and good for the environment. It has been inspirational to see, in spite of a disinterested New Zealand Government, that there are so many great businesses and organisations taking up the opportunities of sustainable economics in New Zealand and around the world.

Those countries and businesses that embrace the opportunities of sustainability will dominate the twenty first century.

The Greens are focused on the future and not simply managing a status quo built on the past.

That is the distinctive role that the Green Party plays in our democracy. We are thought leaders and catalysts, pushing ideas and solutions against the headwinds of fear and inertia.

We operate at the vanguard of change and it has been a pleasure to be at the helm for a time.

But as they say, all good things must come to an end.

I started as a party volunteer in 1997 and later, after my PhD was completed in 2001, I started work in the Green Parliamentary office. I never imagined I would end up as Co-leader.

It has been a most rewarding job.

I want to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues in the Green Party for their unwavering support over my nine years as Co-leader.

In particular I want to thank Metiria. Together we have built a true political force that serves New Zealanders well and offers genuine choice and leadership on the issues that matter. I know that you will carry this work on with a new male Co-leader.

I also want to acknowledge the support of my family and in particular my partner Katya. I know that you have carried alot at home while I have been off at events up and down the country.

Being Co-leader while raising a young family has been an interesting experience, one that I feel has enriched my political work and strengthened my passion for building a better world for the next generation.

One of my political heroes Gough Whitlam once said “a conservative government survives essentially by dampening expectations and subduing hopes. Conservatism is basically pessimistic, reformism is basically optimistic.”

I will leave this role optimistic. Optimistic for our party, our country and our world.

We will continue to reform with optimism.

237 comments on “Green Party announcement – Russel Norman to stand down as leader ”

  1. One News has tweeted Russel Norman is resigning:

  2. Not sure about the new challenge bit but thanks for the effort Russel.

    • Murray Rawshark 3.1

      He’s been the most effective parliamentary opposition to NAct. I wish him well.

  3. Ad 4

    A good straight guy. Would have made a great coalition Minister.
    Can perfectly understand that looking at yet another 3 years of opposition would make you think again.

    I am sorry to hear this. He served New Zealand hard and led the Greens well.

    • weka 4.1

      I wonder how much of this is also about the tensions in the party re direction. Good to see them making these changes smartly.

      This is a good move for the party IMO, and will allow the party to clarify its position.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        Can you elucidate on these tensions in Green Party direction.
        I’m not familiar with their workings.

        • weka

          Allowing for the GP not working within traditional left/right politics, Norman is seen as more right and was the public face of the push to court more conservative voters. His handling of the ‘we will work with National’ before the election was poor, and then after the election he was very critical of IMP. It sounded like his personal opinion rather than party policy. These things need to be sorted out.

          I’m a GP member, but not involved in the party, so that’s just observations from the outside.

          • Chooky

            @ weka interesting thanks ….yes I have perceived these tensions too and my preference would have been for the Green Party to remain staunchly a Left Party with alliances with Mana/Int and Labour and let the Nact conservative Greenie would- be- voters adapt and come to the Greens…not the other way around!.. (…lets face it Green values/issues are primarily values /issues of opposition to the havock that the right wing parties and corporate capitalism has wrought on the environment)

            …that said, as a Green voter, i am VERY sorry Norman is resigning…he has been an effective , articulate and brilliant Opposition leader and the GP has increased in size and stability …it is now mainstream…it is the Party of the future

            ….because it is the Party of the future my preference would be to see James Shaw as the new male co-leader…he has youth, x-factor charisma and is a terrific orator ( this is not to detract from the many other brilliant Green MPs)

            • Clemgeopin

              ….because it is the Party of the future my preference would be to see James Shaw as the new male co-leader…he has youth and is a terrific orator

              Is Shaw more likely or less likely to be inclined to take the Greens towards National in policies or National government in coalition than Russel?

          • Lanthanide

            I think courting the conservative voter and proving they’re not loonies is something they need to focus a lot on. If Russell really was seen as even a minor problem in this regard, then I think the party is making a mis-step.

            My view for the greens has always been once they get into government and prove that they are sensible, sane, and won’t destroy the economy, they’ll gain a lot more electoral support. But if they can’t manage to get into government, or hardly have any power when there, then they won’t achieve wider electoral support in the short term.

            • Tracey

              “prove that they are sensible, sane, and won’t destroy the economy, they’ll gain a lot more electoral support” but, but, but National has done ok by doing the opposite


            • Ad


              For those of us with multiple degrees, I felt like having Russell there said you can be politically activist, brainy, and a professional. He felt like me. That makes me want to bring my chequebook out.

            • weka

              “I think courting the conservative voter and proving they’re not loonies is something they need to focus a lot on. If Russell really was seen as even a minor problem in this regard, then I think the party is making a mis-step.”

              Yes, but that’s not really what I meant. I meant that the party appeared to not have this stuff sorted going into the election. Hence Norman dropping the ball on the work with National stuff in the week before the election, and all the anti-IMP stuff afterwards.

              My memory of the week before the election was that Turei ran round and did damage control. There were heated conversations on ts where people who were going to vote GP said they would switch their vote elsewhere rather than vote GP and have it support National, despite it being explained that this wasn’t the case.

              Sure they were set up, but it wasn’t a good look and I hope they get this stuff sorted. IMO there is still a problem around how to present these things, and tension between the smart business aspect and the core values. It’s not that those things are incompatible or undesirable, just they’re not successfully married yet.

              As I said, this is an outside of the party perspective. I have no idea what’s going on internally.

              And note, I would consider voting for Shaw.

              • Yeah, I attended the northern province exec meeting before xmas & James Shaw was there & spoke well. Immediately obvious why non-greens had been promoting him in the media as future leader. I’ve seen comment that he’s not yet ready. Doesn’t matter if true. Far & away the obvious choice.

                You’re right about the shambles on the left prior to the election. Not that the leftists will emerge from denial & admit it, of course. I remember when I was a student in ’68 there was rioting in the streets all over the western world & the New Left was meant to be hip. When I checked it out I was puzzled that it seemed devoid of content. The left has continued to wimp out on the intellectual front ever since. Failure to provide a positive alternative to Rogernomics was really the kiss of death. Nobody with half a brain has considered them a viable option since. Revulsion with the parasites on the right remains their only source of political leverage.

                Weka, I’m curious to know the best way to communicate online with you & other GP members who are competent to address our future. About the more sensitive dimensions, I mean. How do you do that? I rejoined the GP three months ago after 19 years self-imposed exile. Willing to engage with others in this venue about our common interests as well…

                • rightwing trojan horse alert..!

                  ..watch out kermit..!..

                  denis and weka..sitting in a tree ..

                  ..along came rightie-shaw..

                  ..and that made three..

                • The Al1en

                  Thanks for the post DF.

                  If the greens are serious about getting influence on the treasury benches with the aim of starting the fight against climate change before it’s too little too late, then the reality is, if labour don’t get it’s act together soon and become electable again, then deals will have to be done with the reigning national party.
                  Not the best solution for the old left wingers amongst us, but saving the planet should trump ideology every time, in fact, that’s the very message needing to be pushed to voters worldwide as survival should transcend party politics. I like the green’s social conscience and see no reason they would have to sacrifice those principle of fairness and equality just because they have been forced in to dealing with a right government.

                  With RN going, I think MT should also think about letting go too. Both have done good work in the past, being competent without being overly spectacular and engaging to the masses. I see the best chance for facing new challenges is a fresh start and fresh leadership team for the party.
                  Shaw is by far and away the best candidate to replace Norman, and he and Genter could well be a dream team for the greens.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    The NATs won’t even do the basics like putting serious money into expediting rail transport and shutting down roading projects; the idea that they are a legitimate climate change partner is laughable.

                    • weka


                      CC should trump all ideology, but it won’t. The people in control of NACT now are sociopathic, some future destruction of civilisation and all that entails is not a problem so long as they are ok.

                    • The Al1en

                      So we don’t have to worry about the blue green scare mongering after all CV? Phew. that’s a relief then.

                      But if it ever did come down to it post election, even if the nats aren’t a legitimate climate change partner (which was never suggested by the way), with labour still a shambles full of dinosaurs, I’m not opposed to the greens getting green policy out of national.
                      Not my first choice, but better that than three more years of violin practice in opposition while Rome burns.

                    • weka

                      The GP will never form govt with National and survive.

                      Working on individual policy is a different matter.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      some future destruction of civilisation and all that entails is not a problem so long as they are ok.

                      And that’s the real cognitive dissonance eh? If not most of them, then their kids and grandkids, will be royally screwed by a 4 deg C climate track.

                      None of them are going to be “OK” in the slightest, sitting atop their piles of useless printed bank notes and electronic investment accounts.

                    • The Al1en

                      “The GP will never form govt with National and survive.
                      Working on individual policy is a different matter.”

                      Not sure about the former, outside of obviously not in it’s current guise, but the latter is pretty much what I’ve written.

                      “If the greens are serious about getting influence on the treasury benches – if labour don’t get it’s act together soon and become electable again, then deals will have to be done with the reigning national party. ”

                      “’I’m not opposed to the greens getting green policy out of national.”

                    • weka

                      Yes but I always find it good to clarify the difference between the GP supporting a National govt and the GP working in individual policy. Esp since the mess around this in the week before the election probably cost the GP votes. Ambiguous language is harmful, so phrases like doing deals with the reigning party need to be clarified as to which they mean.

                      “Not sure about the former, outside of obviously not in it’s current guise,”

                      In another guise it wouldn’t be the GP. The membership is predominantly left wing and overwhelmingly there to get a change of govt. The only way that the GP could support a National govt is to either take this to an AGM before the election, where they would lose, or override the membership after an election which would result in an internal civil war.

                    • >The membership is predominantly left wing and overwhelmingly there to get a change of govt. The only way that the GP could support a National govt is to either take this to an AGM before the election, where they would lose, or override the membership after an election which would result in an internal civil war.

                      Hypothetical. Pragmatism will prevail. I’m not advocating the GP support the Nats any way, shape or form. Merely that it restore authenticity by resuming the original political stance of the broader green movement. The point is to maximise poll support by drawing in all those green voters who view the GP with distaste due to its adherence to the leftist alignment 12 years past its use-by date. Remember that we have a representative democracy: the suit-wearers are supposed to represent voters. Our lot seem intelligent, well-meaning people who are so clueless they don’t get that the GP must represent the broader green movement on an authentic basis to be successful. Their sham is offensive to those they are failing to represent.

                    • weka

                      Can you give some NZ examples of the broader green movement who aren’t left wing voters?

                  • I appreciate your response & share your views above. I’ve never been either a right- or left-winger. Too radical. Now I have a gold card. Mellowed somewhat, try to be tolerant of those captivated by the past. However the future can only be secured via lateral thinking. The left and right are useless at this.

                    > saving the planet should trump ideology every time, in fact, that’s the very message needing to be pushed to voters worldwide as survival should transcend party politics.

                    Precisely! And that has been evident for a very long time now. People need to get that the structure of democracy is preventing essential progress. Yet the antique left persists in calling itself progressive. The red sham is worse than the green sham (insert eye-rolling emoticon) – & the blue sham is worst of all (but contributors to this site already know that)..

                    > With RN going, I think MT should also think about letting go too.

                    Inevitable. Later this year.

                    > Both have done good work in the past, being competent without being overly spectacular and engaging to the masses.

                    Yep, that’s the pro & con of it. Neither present the big picture adequately, I suspect because they can’t see it but possibly due to natural timidity or the traditional pathology of the left and right (treating the public like mushrooms).

                    > I see the best chance for facing new challenges is a fresh start and fresh leadership team for the party.

                    You got it.

                    > Shaw is by far and away the best candidate to replace Norman, and he and Genter could well be a dream team for the greens.

                    I’m with you on this, with a reservation about the extent the female american import can engage the deep-level content of vital issues and articulate that in interviews. Sufficiently to reframe the thick heads of journalists, I mean. But happy to endorse this switch on the basis that it would get the GP out of the rut.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      I’ve never been either a right- or left-winger. Too radical. Now I have a gold card. Mellowed somewhat, try to be tolerant of those captivated by the past. However the future can only be secured via lateral thinking. The left and right are useless at this.

                      Your personal philosophy is suss.

                      You claim to never have been a right winger or a left winger. Which tells me that you don’t have a strong personal position for or against neoliberal corporate capitalism.

                      Yet you say being a right or left winger is “too radical.” But somehow you have mellowed as you got older.

                      Which is bullshit since according to you, you were always passionless middle of the road anyways. At least when it came to the question of neoliberal capitalism.

                      And this statement of yours:

                      However the future can only be secured via lateral thinking. The left and right are useless at this.

                      This is a fucking load of shite.

                      Marx couldn’t laterally think? Thatcher couldn’t laterally think? MJ Savage couldn’t laterally think? Cheney couldn’t laterally think? Each of these people revolutionised the world. Each of them was a “radical” in their own right.

                      But more damning, “lateral thinking” isn’t going to secure sweet FA. Only dramatically lower rates of resource and energy use is going to do that.

                      But that is in itself a radical position to take compared to the political economic orthodoxy, and you are not a radical.

                      So sorry mate you may be well educated but this statement on top of you having no strong views on neoliberal capitalism means that your Green credentials are utterly bankrupt to start with.

                    • >You claim to never have been a right winger or a left winger. Which tells me that you don’t have a strong personal position for or against neoliberal corporate capitalism.

                      My current position on this was formed after seeing “The Corporation” at the film festival, think it was 2003. Liked it so much I went online & bought my own video copy a couple of years later. Corporations function as parasites on the body politic. They suck out social wealth. On this basis, leftist paranoia about the TPPA is justifiable. That said, not all corporations are malignant. The trend of some becoming beneficial to society is escalating (but it’s still a minority).

                      My view of capitalism is that it’s a control system – part of the residual antique patriarchy. As is the state. The traditional collusion of left and right in maintaining this status quo is based on the right using business & the left using the state. They agree that people must be controlled via business as usual, which is why leftist governments usually don’t try to change this system. Exceptions like Mossadegh & Allende get taken out pronto..

                      As for the neoliberal tag, cosmetic but mainly refers to empowering market forces relative to state control of the economy, right? Cheerleaders such as Bill Clinton, Tony Blair & Helen Clark. State no longer controls economy, merely guides it. General consensus has emerged that this works. However the left are wrong to agree with the right that unlimited escalating consumption is okay.

                    • > Yet you say being a right or left winger is “too radical.” Yet you have mellowed as you got older. Which is bullshit since according to you, you were always passionless middle of the road anyways.

                      Did I say I was passionless middle of the road? No. So why are you trying to misrepresent my stance? I presume because you are misinterpreting it. I’m passionate enough still to get forceful when necessary. I’ve admitted recently to trying to act my age after continuing to feel like an angry young man too long!

                      Also, don’t forget around a third of voters are centrist like me. You can learn that via poll questions that ask them if they self-identify with the political left or political right. In most western countries the proportions have been roughly the same since the mid- ’80s (I recall Reagan becoming US President on 28% of voters). So of this third non-aligned, most seem apathetic & many don’t even vote, yet the swing voters almost always decide election outcomes. If you talk to them, you find they are passionate about why they don’t like the left and right. They simply vote for the lesser of the two evils at the time…

                    • > your Green credentials are bankrupt

                      Well, the political green meme entered my head in ’68 when I read an article in Cracuum about agribusiness polluting the land with pesticides in the USA. I did the work required to get the GP registered with the Electoral Commission – without which they couldn’t compete in elections & get into parliament. So I’m confident that my green credentials are established regardless of your opinion.

                      If you have some experiential basis for that opinion, that would prove you’re not just some leftist mouthing off from a position of ignorance, then detail it here so readers can judge the merits of your critique for themselves, huh?

                • weka

                  Hi Dennis,

                  I’m curious how you would work with lefties given the pretty disparaging description you’ve just posted of them. What are your thoughts on this?

                  Weka, I’m curious to know the best way to communicate online with you & other GP members who are competent to address our future. About the more sensitive dimensions, I mean. How do you do that? I rejoined the GP three months ago after 19 years self-imposed exile. Willing to engage with others in this venue about our common interests as well…

                  The GP have an online forum. Can’t remember how you register, your email address might be enough. It’s policy focussed from what I remember (I don’t go there very often).

                  You can also hang out here on ts. Quite a few greenies here, members and non-members.

                  Had a quick look at your website. How’s the networking going?

                  What have you been doing for the past 19 years?

                  • >Hi Dennis,
                    >I’m curious how you would work with lefties given the pretty disparaging description you’ve just posted of them. What are your thoughts on this?

                    Good question. Depends on the extent to which they see the big picture. With those who do, you simply address the common interest basis. With those who are mentally self-imprisoned in the old sectarian view, you liberate them via a reframe. Some are impervious to the process due to being inherently incapable of transcendence but I’ve found sincerity of approach maximises success…

                    > The GP have an online forum. Can’t remember how you register, your email address might be enough. It’s policy focussed from what I remember (I don’t go there very often).

                    Yeah, I’ve been examining the official site & contributing somewhat. You can raise issues but few respond. The only actual blog there is restricted to MPs by design. Short-sighted, anti-democratic – the sort of thing one would expect from a bunch of liberal-socialists.

                    > You can also hang out here on ts. Quite a few greenies here, members and non-members.

                    Well okay. The about page describes this site as derived from 1930s working class media with a purpose of perpetuating the values & principles of the labour movement. The authors cleverly refrain from specifying those in order to create the misapprehension that all participants share these. Rather than wander around forever in the habitual leftist fog, why not establish firm common ground? Sure, the New Left ought to have done that half a century ago, but better late than never..

                    > Had a quick look at your website. How’s the networking going? What have you been doing for the past 19 years?

                    Too long a story for here. Happy to reply in more detail if a more private mode of communication can be found. Thanks for your response : )

          • outofbed

            No tensions about direction

      • Tracey 4.1.2

        The Greens are one of the few partys that plan for succession (one reason, amongst many, that they have co-leaders).

        Good on him for the work he has done and for his decision at a time when The Greens can make a decision on a replacement at their AGM.

        • Ad

          What do you mean? Labour plans for succession:
          they pop up to caucus every 3 months and yell down the corridor to see if anyone’s still there. 😉

          • Tracey


            I thought you were going to say every 3 months someone wants a tilt at the leadership so anonymously leaks to the press.

    • Skinny 4.2

      +1 Really warmed to the Aussie battler, sad to hear but happy for him personally.

      He was an absolute star during the last election campaign where I had the pleasure to MC an event where Russell was a number of guest speakers. An American friend who attended was commenting the other day that Norman was by far the best speaker, and in many people’s opinion upstaged Peters. I called it a draw, but he really did surprise me. Enjoyed a beer with him afterwards, real genuine guy with a good sense of humour.

  4. Ovid 5

    Well done, Russel. The Greens have prospered under his stewardship.

    I hope Gareth Hughes will put his hat in the ring for co-leader in May, he’s been an excellent MP so far.

    • Skinny 5.1

      Personally I think Hughes isn’t quite at the level of leader. Casting the net wider outside caucus would be the way to go.

      They may even attract a defector from another party. Someone like Shearer would think they fit the bill, surfs, strums a guitar.

  5. Lanthanide 6

    So who are the male Green MPs and who is in the running for replacement?

    • weka 6.1

      Norman is not stepping down until the AGM next May. I doubt that MPs have had time to put their hands up yet.

      • Lanthanide 6.1.1

        My question is who are the possible candidates. Not who has put their hand up.

      • weka 6.1.2

        Here’s the GP male MP list

        Russel Norman (02)
        Kevin Hague (03)
        Gareth Hughes (05)
        Kennedy Graham (07)
        David Clendon (11)
        James Shaw (12)
        Steffan Browning (14)

        I’d vote for Hughes, maybe Shaw.

        • Saarbo



          • weka

            How come?

          • phillip ure


            ..hughes can’t cut it in parliament..lacks gravitas..

            ..norman had developed into a good performer in parliament..

            ..and hague also has those skills…

            ..it’s him..no contest..

            • Karen

              Kevin Hague is the obvious choice. Intelligent, hard-working, widely respected and a really nice guy.

              James Shaw has only just got into parliament. Far too early for him. I agree with PU about Hughes in parliament. Kennedy Graham performs well but I doubt he’d want the job.

              • alwyn

                Kennedy Graham is also 68 or 69 years old.
                He was born in 1946. I very much doubt that they would appoint a new leader who is as old as that.

                ps. Don’t accuse me of ageism. I am actually a little older than he is so I regard him as just being a young pup.

        • Tracey

          Brent (Brett?) Edwards is leaning toward James Shaw… or says “some” are leaning that way. The Greens are a membership party in the sense they allow their members to choose things like leaders. First step is who wants it, second is membership considering those folks.

          It isn’t complicated but watch the media and others make it complex and uncertain and all about who they want.

          • Macro

            Yes “The Ministry of Truth” will confuse and use this perfectly democratic and consensual process to try and belittle the Greens, whilst at the same time advancing the wonderful government of our “beloved Leader”

            • Te Reo Putake

              Brent Edwards is no Nat fan, Macro. Quite the opposite, in fact. However, unlike his colleagues on the right, he does a great job of presenting balanced news stories and analysis for RNZ.

              • Macro

                I wasn’t referring to Brent, Te Reo. I was referring to Tracey’s last paragraph

                It isn’t complicated but watch the media and others make it complex and uncertain and all about who they want.

    • Twitter seems to favour Hague so far, but the others are: Gareth Hughes, Kennedy Graham, David Clendon, James Shaw and Steffan Browning.

  6. Clemgeopin 7

    Well written great speech. Best wishes for your future, Russel Norman.

  7. weka 8

    Katie Bradford ‏@katieabradford 13 mins13 minutes ago
    Caucus has agreed not to comment on potential successors for Russel until the election at May’s AGM

    • Ad 8.1

      Any idea on the decision-making process that they will use, and whether it will be public?

      • weka 8.1.1

        Public yes, in the sense that the membership is involved and votes. Email from the GP just now.

        6 February: Notice to branches and members – date and location of
        Conference/AGM, an outline of process, and timeline for nominations.
        20 March: Nominations for leadership positions open.
        17 April: Nominations for leadership positions close.
        18 April: Formal candidate campaign period begins
        18 April – 1 May: Provincial ‘meet the candidate’ meetings held (tbc)
        22 May – Closing date for delegate nomination and proxy forms due to Gen

        I don’t remember if individual members vote, or if it has to go via the reps.

        edit, I think it’s individual votes.

        • Ad

          Much obliged

        • Macro

          Its not done simply by majority vote weka – its a matter of consensus
          Not a well understood process for most politically inclined, nor in the general population. So someone who might appear to be the most popular – does’t necessarily end up being chosen – it might be the the most support will end up elsewhere in the long run. A bit like (but not the same as) the recent Labour Party run-off for leader. Little came thru with the most overall support – but not initially the most popular.

          • weka

            Do you know how it works? Delegates to the AGM?

            For a party that is so democratic, their processes aren’t that transparent (and I say that as a member).

            • Macro

              Well I’m also a member and I know how it works.
              You will be invited in due course to consider all of the candidates. They will pitch on the net and elsewhere.
              There will be a Branch meeting in which all members will be invited to attend and to put their views in support of each candidate and from that meeting the Branch delegates will gain an appreciation of how their Branch considers the strengths of each and they will then go to the AGM to lend the support of their Branch to the selection.
              Concensus is not about voting as such – it is more about every one present working towards a solution that is acceptable to all. Unless one has actually worked in such an environment it is a difficult concept to understand. It can take more time, but in the end everyone can go out of the room feeling:
              a. They have been heard, and
              b. that they have a solution that they can work with.
              It sounds idealistic and impractical and occasionally there are times when no consensus can be found. On those occasions the solution is to refer the problem to a select group comprising people from all sides and tasking them to bring a solution back to the whole.

              • weka

                Thanks Macro. I’ve actually worked with consensus a lot in the past, although is smaller groups, nothing the size of the GP membership. I did used to go meetings in the 90s, so understand a bit about the processes used but not the actual formal logistics of how it is done now. I haven’t been to a meeting for a long time, hence the comment about transparency.

                I’ll be interested to see if it works the way you say where I live. The process sounds like it will work best in larger centres, and where people that can get to meetings. Lots of hurdles there.

              • Gidday Macro, I appreciated your explanation here with which I concur. I’d just add that consensus seems to emerge naturally via organic process (group chemistry) provided all enter into it with a collaborative spirit.

                Incidentally you will never spell it wrong again once you recall that the antique root is sense. Been there, done that! I first led a group process designed to produce consensual intellectual/philosophical product in ’87. That was successful after a few years persistence (difficult content), then I led a larger consensual group process to create a constitution in ’91 for an incorporated society, also successful. I also then led the process for the Green Party that created the rules for consensus decision-making for each of the key operational subgroups, plus the constitution, as convenor of the Standing Orders Committee.

                Hey, I feel a wee bit uneasy about pursuing further discussion about the current state & future of the GP here but I’d like to do that with you & Weka – how can we do that? I’m new to the political blogosphere (had to get over my long-standing bias that the chattering classes can’t handle issues of substance) and haven’t discovered a suitable GP members interactive blog yet. Are they really so lacking in enterprise that nobody has created one??

      • Naturesong 8.1.2

        The Green party elect their leadership every year at the AGM.
        It’s just one of the mechanisms in place that ensure that the leadership is accountable to the membership.

        The only difference is that this year Dr Norman is not standing.

        So while we will miss his intellect and industry it’s not like Labour or National where the party lives or dies (electorally) on the performance of the leader.

        I’m not looking forward to seeing the National Party partisans who control the media narrative in NZ embarrass themselves by waxing lyrical about how the Greens will falter without Dr Norman, unaware (or perhaps unashamed) that they are commenting from a place of complete ignorance.

    • North 8.2

      When will we see a ‘leak’ flaunted all over SlaterPorn ? TheGodKey and disciples are all good for the ‘conventional shit’ but it’s SlaterPorn in charge of the ‘double’.

  8. ghostwhowalksnz 9

    I guess hes off to a academic job somewhere

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      He hasn’t said he’s quitting Parliament, only resigning as leader. I’d be surprised if he left Parliament before 2016 anyway.

    • tricledrown 9.2

      He,not resigning from parliament just co leadership.
      It will be hard to replace a very articulate communicator that Norman is!

      • phillip ure 9.2.1

        i noted in om that he is staying on as an mp to qualify for the super-gold pension card/benefits..

        ..which kick in @ nine yrs..

        ..he is not quite there yet..and will likely resign soon after reaching that financial-milestone..

        • SHG

          According to Wikipedia he entered Parliament 27 June 2008, so he’s got two and a half years to go.

          • weka

            Assuming the bit about the MP pension is true, in principle I don’t have a problem with that. He’s more than served his country and his family will have paid a big price. Whether the perks themselves are set fairly or not is another matter.

        • alwyn

          I think you are way out of date Phil.
          The pension where all the benefits cut in after 9 years was scrapped for new members in 1992. The only people now in Parliament that it will apply to are those who were there in 1992 and have remained there ever since.
          Off hand I can only think of English, Smith, McCully and King who qualify. Mallard and Goff don’t because they weren’t there in ’92. There are probably others but not many.
          The current system is simply a very generous subsidy to a member’s own contribution (2.5/1 up to 20%) and there is nothing special about the 9 years.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Did Goff have a term out of Parliament around that time?

            • Tracey

              yup, missed the 43rd parliament. Gilbert Myles won the seat…. ironically and to show he is a slow learner he said the loss was down to poor communication not policy… sound familiar some 22 years later?

              • Colonial Rawshark

                oh gawd.

              • alwyn

                Did Goff really say that?
                I just about spilled my coffee when I read that.
                Actually my list was wrong. I thought a bit further and realised that King, like Goff and Mallard, lost her seat in 1990 too.
                On the other hand I left out Williamson and the “Father of the house” Peter Dunne, so there appear to be five who are covered by the old rules.
                Winston of course isn’t because he left the house in 2008.

                • Tracey

                  According to Wikipedia he did…

                  “In the 1990 elections, Labour was defeated, and Goff lost his own parliamentary seat to Gilbert Myles. While many commentators blamed Douglas’s controversial reforms for Labour’s loss, Goff said that the main problem had been in communication, not policy. Goff was appointed to a position at the Auckland Institute of Technology, and later accepted a scholarship to study for six months at Oxford University, but eventually decided to stand for parliament once again.[citation needed]”

          • Tracey

            That was what I thought until Phil posted his bit. I find it hard to believe that Norman would say he was staying just to see out a pension deadline anyway. It sounds un-green-like. Thanks for the clarification alwyn.

        • Lefty

          The nine year gold plated pension is a myth. It was done away with many years ago and only a few of the very long serving MPs still qualify for it because in was grandfathered. Norman would just get his superannuation paid out if he left parliament. This will be a significant amount but there would be no ongoing pension or privileges.

          • weka

            “his superannuation paid out if he left parliament”

            Which is what?

            • Lanthanide

              Depends on how much he chose to contribute, and how well the fund in which the money was invested performed.

              See here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/latest-edition/34339/New-MP-super-scheme-just-as-generous

              • weka

                That link is written for people who already understand.

                • Lanthanide

                  Not sure what that’s supposed to mean. I didn’t know anything about the pension scheme until I read that link, and now I do.

                  • alwyn

                    That is a very good summary actually. Much better than the full details I referenced in reply to Phil’s question at below.

                    • weka

                      eg “MPs get a 20% employer contribution into their super scheme”

                      I”m assuming you both know what that means. I don’t.

                    • Lanthanide

                      @ weka: well it’s all written there, albeit in a slightly strange order:

                      “MPs get a 20% employer contribution into their super scheme ”

                      “The employer contribution is five times the minimum under the KiwiSaver scheme, where employers will have to make minimum contributions of 4% by 2011.”

                      “MPs can make a maximum contribution of 8% of a backbencher’s pay, and get an employer’s contribution of 20%. For every $1 the MP puts in, their employers put in $2.50.”

                    • weka

                      ffs Lanth. I don’t know what those things mean. Like I said, it was written for people that already do.

                    • alwyn

                      The Crown, the MP’s employer, will contribute to the MP’s registered Super scheme.
                      They will pay up to 20% of the basic member’s salary, which is $147,800/year. They do not pay any more to anyone who gets more than this for being a Minister, a Party leader, a Whip, a Committee chairman etc, etc. Thus they don’t pay any more to John Key who is on $428,000/year. They also don’t count any of the allowances MPs get either.
                      What the article Lanthanide linked to didn’t highlight, although it does say it was that to get the full 20% the MP has to contribute at least 8% of this basic salary to his fund.
                      What it means is that if Norman contributed at least $11,824/year the Crown, his employer will contribute $29,560. If he put in less so would they.
                      The scheme is generous but not completely over the top. I worked for a company in Australia a few years ago who would put 14% into my Super fund if I put in 6% (or 12% if I put in 5%). That was certainly a comparable amount to what the MPs get.
                      There it isn’t that hard is it.

                      ps. Snap. While I was composing this Lanthanide posted his version.

                    • Lanthanide

                      @ weka: I’m not sure how much more simply it can be explained than this:

                      “For every $1 the MP puts in, their employers put in $2.50”

                    • weka

                      Yeah but that’s not all you or the article said.

          • phillip ure

            @ alwyn..lefty..


            ..r the details of their super a secret..?

            ..or public-knowledge..?

  9. fisiani 10

    I hope it’s Hague to take over. He’s a hard worker and a skilled charismatic orator and tough debater.

  10. Chris 11

    It bloody annoys me to hear so-called commentators say Russel is leaving because of ‘frustration at not leading the Greens into government’. That’s rubbish. Labour is to blame for the Greens not being in government. The Greens are performing better than ever. One of the reasons Russel is leaving is because he sees leadership of any organisation requires regular rejuvenation to survive and that political parties can’t necessarily prosper by stacking the decks with screeds of career politicians like Labour has. Labour could learn from Russel and the Greens by ditching dead wood hopeless cases like King, Goff, Dyson et al.

    • saveNZ 11.1

      Agree about Labour too much dead wood who are not interested in social change but more about staying in power even if it is opposition… which costs them votes and their reputation. The Greens have more integrity than Labour.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 11.2

      dead wood hopeless cases like King, Goff, Dyson et al

      Well, there is still the afternoon left on this Friday if Labour wants to hop in with a press release for a third ‘resignation’ announcement 🙂

  11. Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 12

    I hear and read about this “has resigned” thing but actually he is co-leader for another four months and won’t be putting his name forward again as co-leader at the May AGM.

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 12.1.1

        please tells us more about that?
        my understanding is that some of the privileges, eg the post-3 term perks, were removed circa 1999.
        anyway, the announcement today is about not putting forward his name as co-leader at the upcoming AGM this year, and far from any kind of resignation from Parliament. no doubt, that will come some day, as it will for each and everyone of them in there, including Sabin or John Key.

  12. Bill 13

    My only question is whether we’ll see a further step down the path of ‘professionalisation’ – suspect so while hoping not.

    • weka 13.1

      what do you mean by professionalisation?

      • Colonial Rawshark 13.1.1

        Glossy PR, smooth appeal to the comfortable middle class, anaemic political guts

        • weka

          Interesting. How should the GP be functioning if they don’t use those things?

          Do you think Norman has anaemic political guts?

          • Colonial Rawshark

            He raised a bloody brave political idea in terms of NZ issuing its own money, and he backed down just as quickly.

            Overall though, the Green Party is still promising upper middle NZ that their standard of living and lifestyle remains eminently supportable with a few minor tweaks here and there. Not gonna happen.

        • swordfish

          “Glossy PR, smooth appeal to the comfortable middle class, anaemic political guts”

          If that’s what they want then James Shaw is their man.

      • Bill 13.1.2

        Politics has become more and more about people jockeying for position within fairly insipid political machines…a career.

        Party politics used to be more about people, with a passion and knowledge fueled from the gut, calling things for what they were because they gave a fuck – as opposed to the deeply considered and deadening, cerebral circling around of everything on tippy-toe lest some fucker gets upset and/or future prospects are damaged.

        Politics as slick and safe advertising in other words – with 121 salespeople (only a few notable exceptions) exuding faux concern while trying ever so desperately to make out that they are ‘just like you’.

        I guess I’ll be a long time waiting for political parties and politicians to ‘cut the crap’ and just simply ‘tell the fucking truth’ (as they see it).

        • weka

          Ok, thanks, that’s clear.

          IMO Turei and Norman both give a fuck and are there for reasons that aren’t fundamentally careerist.

          However I think that’s a different thing than the politics as slick adverstising thing.

          The GP seem to tread a fine line between the two, between keeping their values and needing to play the game to get attention and votes. I think it’s inevitable that over time and as they become more successful in mainstream terms they will lose the battle on this but I think they are still managing it reasonably well at the moment (am open to examples that this is not true).

          In terms of who comes next, I agree it would be good if they avoid a careerist. It would also be good if they got a co-leader who is Heritage Green, not lite (as someone put it earlier). Also Heritage Green rather than win at all costs. Norman made a great point on RNZ earlier that winning the argument of ideas around sustainability is more important. But I think the real trick is going to be get someone who is Heritage Green who can play the game well enough to get the votes and influence the contest of ideas.

          I have no idea who that will be. Shaw strikes me as more slick, and careerist perhaps, and he’s got the whole business/economic thing going that will go down well in the mainstream, but his maiden speech was very impressive in terms of the actual values and speaking truth to power.

          • Tracey

            I wonder if Turei will now be visited upon by the media for more comment as the “leader”, which they so often called Norman.

        • saveNZ

          +1 Bill.

  13. saveNZ 14

    Sad to see him go. I just hope his replacement is HeritageGreen not LiteGreen. He’s done a good job and leaves with integrity. An activist not an enabler.

  14. Foreign waka 15

    Sad to see him leaving the leadership. An unbroken chain of integrity and focus on the important matters from Jeanette Fitzsimons to Rod Donald and today Russel Norman. Come May we will see whether this can be maintained.
    All the best Russel Norman, respect and luck for the future.

  15. Puckish Rogue 16

    A lesson for Labour on how to handle a coup methinks and if anyones not sure its a bouquet to the Greens and a brickbat to Labour

  16. saveNZ 17

    I would love to see a bit more on the potential candidates for his replacement. You can bet the MSM will not be giving them a fair go, but maybe the standard or other site can do a bit to get more information out there. The Greens need to actually use their website more and maybe get some sort of online presence to gauge ideas of the public.

    Yes lots of trolls probably, but an easy way to get a bit of an idea what issues people care about. I’m not talking about using the internet to do focus research but more to engage with the public in a democratic way. Labour is starting to do this, but the Greens are still the ones with the integrity but for some reason have stalled on their on-line interaction.

    • weka 17.1

      If you join the Green Party, you will get all the information delivered to your inbox 🙂

      Essentially the leadership selection is a members’ issue, not a public one. I agree it would be good to see more in places like the standard though. You could email the party and suggest the candidates submit guest posts (comments will be moderated).

      • saveNZ 17.1.1

        yes I get the Greens emails. Actually they look so boring I don’t read them and last one was 22 December. You have to remember people get a lot of emails. I believe in the Greens but again reinvention is key. Greens are stale. There message is lost. People are worried they are turning into Labour and Labour turning into National.

        I’m talking about the public being able to comment on issues day to day to the Greens and in an open forum so that you can see what others think who are also Green supporters. (I believe Labour should do this too). If only the campaign manager or volunteers are getting info that’s not really working as democracy and judging by results the voters concerns are not making it into policy.

        Like today’s issue Russell going, yesterday State Houses, Day before RMA. I mean our country is being stolen under our noses and actually people want an easy way to get in contact with politicians and vent their anger and ideas. I don’t want the Green’s to thank me for my support but to listen to my ideas to help them make NZ a better place on a day to day level as a voter.

        And another thing I think is what is wrong with government is there are too many lawyers as politicians. God where is the passion for life in policy? Catton is the only one saying what many of us think….

        • greywarshark

          Your point about people being able to talk to Greens day by day directly I agree with, I have suggested they have an open forum like open mike. Haven’t had a reply. What there is now are posts by various MPs which one can comment on.
          It doesn’t reflect Greens’ idea of all being involved and thinking and working together.

          • weka

            They have a blog were people can talk, and FB. Plus the internal member forums.

            It’s tricky though. Imagine daily threads like happen regularly on ts. No political party in their right mind would sign up for that, esp not in an election year. Doubly so for the GP, who spent years doing damage control on how the MSM portrayed them.

            • lprent

              Not to mention the aggravation of moderating, or not moderating, and the nutter conspiracy cover up threads about moderating. Either “GP say docked lambs a health hazard” because a couple of commenters choose think that they are OR “GP covering up docked lambs crisis” if they moderate it..

              We get away with that around here because I don’t get fussed by people talking about crap, I will land like a hammer if I think it is getting too frigging boring, and I have zero interest in what the tossers in the media or blogs or parliament think. I also rather enjoy the short times when I get to be sarcastic and caustic to someone. Such a good way to offload computing frustrations…

              • weka

                Plus you moderate the posts by MPs well, so it doesn’t get out of hand, and thus there is a separation of party and moderation.

                • lprent

                  Oh that one is easy. We just put full moderation on the post. Every comment has to be passed through by a moderator.

                  We don’t mind letting them have the hard questions (we’d like to know the answers ourselves). Just want them to be questions, not rants, and to not have the repetitive re asking of the same damn thing over and over again.

                  These days people know what is acceptable so we don’t have much to do.

                  • weka

                    The lack of subthread on 911 or chemtrails seems important too 😉

                    “These days people know what is acceptable so we don’t have much to do.”

                    Interesting. So theoretically a party could train commenters on its own forums given time and resources.

                    I gave up on the GP ones because they got boring and because they did that thing of popping FB comments in at the top of the comments list.

                    • lprent

                      Yes. Depends how wide open it is. For a party one I’d suggest not being public and requiring a login.

                      An open one like this, especially with it wide open for commenting, takes a lot of arrogant pushing, use of bans for bad behaviour, and other things that politicians and their minions don’t like to do.

                    • weka

                      or premod everyone who isn’t registered or doesn’t have a history of posting on topic and without troling.

        • weka

          saveNZ, are you a member? Members get different emails than the people that have signed onto their email list.

          I’ll just say this again, because while the process will relatively public, it’s not designed for public engagement as such: Essentially the leadership selection is a members’ issue, not a public one.

    • Colonial Rawshark 17.2

      When the time is right I hope the co-leader candidates do a write up and Q&A for The Standard.

      • lprent 17.2.1

        A good point. I will email and ask someone.

        • Tracey

          if nothing else it might trigger a membership drive for them…

          Slater, Lusk, Williams (J), Hooton … all lining up to have a vote, if they become members first

  17. Sable 18

    A shame. Norman contributed much to the Greens and will be missed. We can only hope by 2017 the wider public has finally woken up to the travesty of a government we are currently forced to endure.

  18. Mainlander 19

    Good riddance Russel Norman you wont be missed by me, but best of luck for your future and congrats on the new baby

  19. So Russell Norman Starts Talking About The Fraudulent Money Creation System A Month Ago Resigns Today.

    • Te Reo Putake 20.1

      Shit, good point. Maybe Russel’s been a CIA asset all along and the China flag incident was a black ops job? It all makes sense now. Does he have an alibi for 9/11? I think we should be told.

      • alwyn 20.1.2

        I have a couple of conspiracy theories to contribute.

        1. Norman is lucky he doesn’t live in Argentina. He talked about the “Money Creation System” and rather than arranging an assassination like that prosecutor in Argentina they just arranged that he was forced to resign.

        2. Kim Dotcom, unhappy because his contributions to Norman in the pre-election visits Norman made to Coatsville didn’t bear any fruit has arranged to release secret videos he has made of their discussions and Norman has decided he has to quit. Hey Dotcom made up crap about John Banks. Why not tell on Norman?

        • phillip ure

          w.t.f. r u smoking..?

        • Colonial Rawshark

          1. Norman is lucky he doesn’t live in Argentina. He talked about the “Money Creation System” and rather than arranging an assassination like that prosecutor in Argentina they just arranged that he was forced to resign.

          NZ would be permitted to print money in a controlled and limited way if it wished to.

          One of the benefits of club membership, you understand.

    • Chooky 20.2

      Norman may actually be able to do a lot behind the scenes that is just as valuable as his existing role as a co-leader eg. research , strategy , networking

      …without the distractions and energy required for the fronting of the Greens in parliament all the time and facing all John Key’s Nact Neolib neanderthal male loonies day after day…how fu.king tiring that would be for a man of Norman’s intellect!

      …Norman has intellect in spades and it makes sense he takes a back seat with a new baby …however in this role he may be even more important …similiar to the director behind the star lead actors

      (and he is young enough that one day he could come back as a co-leader)

      …a change may be very beneficial to the Greens with new young blood and someone like James Shaw at the forefront…Shaw’s speech in parliament was truly impressive!

      • Lanthanide 20.2.1

        “Norman may actually be able to do a lot behind the scenes that is just as valuable as his existing role as a co-leader eg. research , strategy , networking”

        Very doubtful. There truly are not that many people who can lead, and lead very well. There are many more people who can do back-office research type jobs.

        Certainly the other male MP talent don’t stack up to Norman in terms of leadership (at least at the moment), so he’ll definitely be a loss that can’t be made-up for with a back-office role.

        Furthermore, politics is very largely about the message and presentation of the message – you can do all the wonderful research in the world but if you can’t sell it, it ain’t worth bumpkis (as Labour’s exhaustive policy platform for 2014 shows).

        • weka

          I’m hoping he’ll stick around for his skills in the House.

        • Chooky

          @Lanthanide ….well you sure are pessimistic( and I am sure the Nacts would agree with you) …but I disagree with your framing

          leadership can involve support roles to the front spokesmen and women…..being on the front line isn’t everything

          …the Greens have always been a Party of renewal and youth ( or at least young at heart) and a fair amount of altruistic finesse for the good of the Party when it comes to leadership change

          …and I see this in positive terms, especially if Shaw takes the co-leadership spokesperson helm for a while

        • Tracey

          Norman wasnt seen as a great prospect by many outside greens when they appointed him co-leader. People can grow into jobs.

          • weka

            “People can grow into jobs.”

            I agree, which is why how this is being handled is good. Enough time to pick someone, and enough time for them to learn the ropes and get the skills they need. This is another good reason for having co-leaders. It’s not like the GP is suddenly without someone competent at the top.

      • alwyn 20.2.2

        “(and he is young enough that one day he could come back as a co-leader)”

        I think you will find that in New Zealand politics they never get the chance to come back. Offhand I cannot think of a single New Zealand politician that has regained the lead of a party after losing it.

        Still, he is an Australian and a couple of them did it in the not to distant past.
        John Howard did in the Liberal Party, and went on to be PM for about 12 years.
        Kevin Rudd then managed it as well although his time wasn’t nearly so happy afterwards.

  20. les 21

    sad to see him resign.Articulate and the best performer in Parliament imo.Never saw him stuck for words and always had the answers.

  21. Tracey 22

    Good, no knee jerk analysis from vernon Small

    “ANALYSIS: Renewal, blah, blah.

    However the Greens look at it, Russel Norman will be missed and his decision to step down from the co-leadership will be a huge loss for the party.”


    In 2010 he wrote

    ” …

    OPINION: I would just like to say I was wrong, but more of that later. Yesterday was like groundhog day for Green co-leader Russel Norman, proudly holding up a flag on Parliament’s forecourt. …

    … by the same token, it was also assumed that the inevitable loss of those strong and strongly-identified characters would wound the party. Only Keith Locke of the old originals has yet to set a date for his exit from the House.

    It was impossible to believe that a clutch of slim men in suits – Kevin Hague, Dave Clendon, Dr Norman, Kennedy Graham and man-boy Gareth Hughes, along with Metiria Turei and Catherine Delahunty, could give the party anything like the same profile.

    None was a household name in the way their predecessors had been. None had been associated strongly in the public mind with a hot button issue before their entry into Parliament.
    Ad Feedback

    I, for one, was sure the party would suffer; that the exodus of experience, and the adoption of many of its core policies by the big parties – climate change, energy efficiency, public transport and peak fuel – risked pushing the party below the 5 per cent political plimsoll lin”…

  22. Murray Rawshark 23

    I hope Kevin Hague gets a go. I knew and respected him back in the HART days.

  23. outofbed 24

    There are three contenders
    Kevin Haque
    James Shaw
    Gareth Hughes

    Gareth Hughes is very ambitious but also has a very young family probably lacks gravitas
    Kevin Haque, Lovely Guy used to run Westcoast DHB has experience, probably more focussed on the social justice side then the environment

    James Shaw out and out environmentalist well liked and good organiser could work with all parties

    Kevin will probably win.
    But I would not be that disappointed if James did.

    The vote, if all three stand is preferential I believe
    Gareth’s 2nd round votes would go to James methinks

    So its all down to if Gareth puts his name forward

    • alwyn 24.1

      Please. Give the man the courtesy of spelling his name properly.
      You twice put Haque. It’s Hague.
      I have to agree with you on one thing though. To say that Hughes lacks “gravitas” is the understatement of the year. He behaves like the people on Top Gear. Seven year olds is how they once described themselves, and it seems to fit young Gareth.

  24. Murray Rawshark 25

    I just saw something that Russel Norman wrote in 2007 after Clint Rickard and two rapist poaka mates of his were acquitted of raping Louise Nicholas. He said Rickards still should have been able to run Auckland poaka because the sex was consensual and a police bation is just a sex toy. I’m amazed he was able to even stay in the Greens after that, let alone become a leader.

    He must have been assuming that Louise Nicholas loved having it off with groups of thuggish poaka and had made everything up. Why the hell did he comment at all?

    The Marxist literature I read in Aotearoa talked about smashing the state. Apparently the literature available in Brisbane must talk about giving the rapist tools of state oppression a bloody rim job. To me, he comes across strongly as a rape apologist. I’m bloody glad he’s no longer leader.


    • marty mars 25.1

      man that article is horrible – I went off russ when he did his russ the mus stuff but if I’d known this – well lets just say I’m pleased he is moving on

    • Clemgeopin 25.2

      I think you have been unfair here and quoted only selectively.

      I think Russel was giving an honest opinion as he saw it.

      In that article he continues, “I agree that the power imbalance between a group of older male police officers and a 16 year old vulnerable young woman is such that what appears to have taken place (without knowing all the detail) was an abuse of a position of power. And while it may not have been illegal, it is not the kind of behaviour that is acceptable from a police officer. Police must meet a higher standard of behaviour because of their positions of power. But the problem isn’t that they engaged in group sex, the problem is that they abused their positions of power to get something they wanted from someone in a vulnerable position. My original comment above about group sex was in response to my perception that a lot of the reaction to the case was of a conservative moralistic nature about group sex rather than about an abuse of power.

      But his comments in defence of Schollum and Shipton are good reason for him to no longer be in a senior position in the police. These men are convicted rapists who used their power as police officers to abduct and pack rape a young woman and then intimidate her into not complaining, and he is defending them to the public. The public expects him to uphold the law and when people are convicted they have done it so far as the law is concerned. Fair enough for him to have personal views to the contrary, we all think at times that the justice system has made a mistake, but when he contests this in public, and hence undermines the law in an extremely grave case, it’s really difficult to see how we can continue to have faith in him to uphold the law as a senior police officer”

      • Murray Rawshark 25.2.1

        I didn’t quote anything, selectively or otherwise. I said what I thought and gave a link.

        I never accused him of lying, but if that’s his honest opinion, I think that makes things worse. If he didn’t know enough about the case or how small town cops behave in Aotearoa, he should have just kept his mouth shut. What he said about a moralistic condemnation of group sex is just rubbish. If that’s what he thought, he’s a fucking moron and I won’t be voting Greens while he’s there. I hope he resigns from parliament altogether.

        • weka

          I’d be more interested in his understanding of rape culture now. I think it’s fair to say that most male MPs in 2007 weren’t getting it. Louise Nicholas and other women really did change the culture in NZ hugely at that time.

          Mostly I see him in that post as being typical of left wing men who haven’t been paying attention or educated themselves on the issues, talking from male privilege of thinking their view is relevant, and he’s talking about a number of things that he doesn’t know much about. I doubt he would be so stupid now.

          “I won’t be voting Greens while he’s there.”

          Am curious who you would vote for instead. Is there a party that does better on rape culture issues?

          • Murray Rawshark

            Fair comment, weka. If he has learned from it, that’s something in his favour. He may have been fairly new to Aotearoa at the time and would not have developed a very enlightened view in Brisbane. He might have swallowed the lies that we have a wonderful police force.

            As to my vote, my party vote goes to Mana, but I was thinking of maybe changing it. I doubt if Hone would say anything so favourable about Rickard, but I also know that’s not what you asked. Labour is possibly better on rape culture, or maybe they’ve retreated since Cunliffe got smacked for apologising.

            • weka

              “He might have swallowed the lies that we have a wonderful police force.”

              That’s a good point. And I expect growing up in Oz, there’s more socialisation to overcome than there.

              Mana have their own set of issues, around the hiring of sex offenders and alleged sex offenders. I haven’t looked too closely at it, because it’s too hard to separate truth from the anti-Mana spin, but for me I’m not sure any party gets this stuff right when it’s so entrenched in the culture, so it’s not really a make or break in terms of voting. Policy on the other hand would make me question voting choices.

  25. Pat O'Dea 26

    There have been a number of questions raised around the stepping down from the Green Party co-leadership by Russel Norman.

    Not least and most obvious, is who is the most likely of the possible contenders to replace him.

    Just to leave personalities aside for a moment;

    It has been my contention for sometime, that as the crisis deepens and becomes more apparent, where political parties and politicians stand on climate change will become a make or break issue.

    This, I contend is true for every political party, but it must be even more critical for an environmental party like the Greens.

    It is interesting to note that the current climate change spokesperson for the Green Party is Russel Norman.

    It seemed odd to me at the time, that Russel had taken this portfolio for himself. And for a number of reasons I was never sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing.

    The question now begs itself: Who in the Green Party will become the spokesperson for climate change issues?

    Will the new Green co-leader keep this important (make or break) issue for himself?

    Will Russel Norman retain this shadow portfolio?


    Will the Green Party spokesperson for climate change be someone else?

    One thing is for sure, whoever takes on this portfolio for the Greens they will need a passion for the issue that has been somewhat lacking in the last two Green Party spokespersons for climate change.

    Getting back to personalities: After hearing him speak on the issue, my favourite pick for both new male co-leader and climate change spokesperson for the Green Party is the same person; Gareth Hughes.

    Disclosure: Pat O’Dea is the Mana spokesperson for climate change issues.

    • disagree with you there pat..

      ..from my observations/commentaries on questiontime..

      ..where i have seen them both in action..

      ..it is clearly kevin hague who is best suited for the job..

      • Pat O'Dea 26.1.1

        Could you expand on that Phil.


        Consider Gareth Hughes on Deep Sea Oil Drilling. Probably the single biggest issue that divides Labour from the Greens. And may be the most problematic in forming a Labour led administration.


        This sort of principled resolute leadership is what is required. In my opinion it is incumbent on Labour to bend their position on deep sea oil not the Greens.

        I think that this is also the majority opinion of the Green Party membership which may be why a pragmatist like Russel Norman is gone burger.

        I well remember in the small Party leaders debate when Russel Norman was asked if he would compromise on deep sea oil drilling to get cabinet posts, (he had to be asked twice) and said that he would agree to deep sea oil drilling to get into cabinet.

        I knew right there and then that it was all over for Norman.

        • phillip ure


          ..that call comes from observing both during the commentaries i do on questiontime..

          ..there is nothing wrong with hughes..per se..

          ..it’s just that hague is as good on his feet in the house..as norman was..

          .. on a good day..

          ..and norman was pretty good..on a good day..

          ..hughes has not yet honed those skills to the required degree..

          ..from my observations..

          ..which is why i plump for hague..

  26. Best thing to happen to the GP since voters put them up to 10% in 2011. The guy from Oz has always presented as lite green. GP members who selected him for the leadership probably didn’t know he was a marxist. Anyone who thinks somebody with their head in the 19th century is a viable political leader in the 21st is clearly a moron.

    That said, his performance in the role has usually ranged from good to competent. I rejoined the GP last November (after 19 years self-imposed exile in disgust at mainstreaming & closet stalinism) & met him at a local climate change meeting – thanked him for his public stand on Tibet, criticised his advocacy for carbon-trading. I try to give credit where it’s due & criticism as constructive feedback.

    James Shaw seems the best bet. Hughes is still a kid. First step toward becoming authoritative is to see the need for it, then giving it a go. Hague could grow into the job if he gets it – but making a homosexual your leader is guaranteed to alienate sufficient voters to ensure that you will not be able to escalate poll support!

    My critique of the relation between the green movement & the GP went online late 2011:

    • “.but making a homosexual your leader is guaranteed to alienate sufficient voters to ensure that you will not be able to escalate poll support!..”


      • Dennis Frank 27.1.1

        Wishing won’t make it so. Hope you didn’t misinterpret this as an anti-gay stance. It’s merely a pragmatic observation based on half a century of observing the relation between kiwi attitudes & behaviour in public life. Which I used to predict the death of the Labour Party if they made that mistake – enough of their members foresaw that prospect to make sure it didn’t happen.

        • phillip ure

          robertson was not elected because he is not very good in parliament..

          ..and do you really think that people who would be inclined to vote green..

          ..would recoil and go:..’ew”..he’s gay..!..i’m not voting for them..!’..

          ..(they aren’t the bloody conservative party..are they..?..)

          ..like i said…


          ..you are just speaking from yr rightwing-green p.o.v..

          ..(i mean..you left because of ‘marxism’..didn’t u say..?

          ..could u give us all a bit of a laff..

          ..and detail some of that ‘marxism’..as u saw it..?..)

          • phillip ure


            “..Anyone who thinks somebody with their head in the 19th century is a viable political leader in the 21st is clearly a moron…”

            anyone who thinks marx has no relevance in the 21st century..

            ..’is clearly a moron’..

            ..he predicted everything that is now going down..as capitalism eats itself..(and the planet..)

            ..once again..yr rightwing-ignorances shining thru…eh..?

          • Dennis Frank

            So how come all the media commentators have been describing him as good in parliament in recent years, huh? You in a minority of one?

            And potential & actual Green voters span the mainstream, thus containing a large number of kiwi males. Plenty of these would vote Green as soon as a GP leader spoke to them in language they understand. They get it whenever I do. You clearly don’t grasp the kiwi male psyche.

            Having been neither left nor right politically since ’71, I naturally see anyone who categorises somebody who has a different view as either left or right as rather juvenile. An intelligent person would find out whether they are – not jump to the wrong conclusion. Try growing up.

            No, I did not leave the GP due to marxism. Closet stalinism is the recycled behaviour Stalin used to defeat his revolutionary opponents. He was so bland they didn’t feel threatened so made him secretary. Clever bugger figured he could defeat his betters in the inner circle of the Bolsheviks simply by not informing them of key meetings: when they failed to show it looked to the others as if they didn’t think the issues on the agenda important enough for them. Nowadays it usually takes the form of subverting the democratic process. In my capacity as Convenor of the Standing Orders Committee I encountered an instance. Mishandling of this by the Co-Convenors of the GP triggered my disgust & alienation. Preaching democracy isn’t enough: to be credible you actually have to practice it.

            • phillip ure

              “..So how come all the media commentators have been describing him as good in parliament in recent years, huh?..”

              ..simply put..they are wrong..

              ..i have been doing commentaries on every questiontime –

              – for longer than i like to think..(the sacrifices i have made for the public-record etc etc..grumble..grumble..)

              ..and in that time i have seen robertson in a variety of shadow ministerial-roles..

              ..and in each of those roles..robertson never gained any traction..

              ..and was always able to be easily swatted-away during q-times by whoever the tory spokesperson was…

              ..and that was the main reason i wrote against him leading labour..

              ..i just know he isn’t up to the job..

              ..he cd well be fine in a ministerial-role..

              ..but in that public arena..i felt he just couldn’t ‘cut it’..

              “.. You in a minority of one?..”

              ..in some areas..more often than i wd like..

              ..and if making malfeasance-allegations about the greens..

              ..how about just spelling it out for us..?

              ..how can you possibly expect us to wade thru such an ill-formatted/hard-to-read link as you presented..?

              ..(and no..i didn’t make it to the money-quotes..re co-convenor malfeasance..)

              ..and hint:..flourescent-green as a highlighter..is so..something..

              “… Try growing up..”

              always had some issues..in others’ eyes..sometimes justified..with that one..

              ..in its’ best light..my failures at ‘growing-up’..

              ..i look upon as a puckish-cheerfulness/laughing/jeering-at-the-madness..

              ..and yes..in my experience..the green party has its’ share of that..

              ..’madness’..deserving of being jeered at..

              ..and f.w.i.w/those interested/backing my words..

              ..here is my grant robertson cache..


              (and i’ve just had a glance..and there is some good-reading to be had there..)

              • Fair enough. You’re right about him, he always struck me as lightweight.

                Yeah, considerable stylistic differences between our online presentations, eh? I see yours as too shallow. But I admire your enterprise & the eclectic selection of topics you assay seems comprehensive. I think the font size on my editorial is too small & will get around to correcting that sometime but your objection to the content seems reasonable enough. I’m only writing to those with time to engage issues in depth. I never bother with anyone with a short attention span. Wrong universe.

                I’m with you on growing up & the minority of one thing. May surprise you on both counts – but been there, done that. Kia kaha!

                • ‘shallow’..?

                  ..the teaser-quotes i present @ whoar..are a lure to get the reader to go read..

                  ..and it is in the ‘go-reads’ where the ‘depth’ is..

                  ..and yes..i also deal with the frivolous/amusing..

                  ..but i wouldn’t mistake that for a lack of ‘depth’..eh..?

                  ..i seek out ‘depth’..

                  (and this made me laugh..)

                  “.. I never bother with anyone with a short attention span. Wrong universe..”

                  classic (green-party-styling) passive-aggression..!

                  ..aahh..!..the memories..!

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