The Green Party are announcing their new co-leader this morning.
The Greens on Twitter.
Green Party website.
This is how the Green Party do leadership changes. After Metiria Turei’s resignation last year, Marama Davidson was chosen through a process of nomination, campaigning to the party, and then each branch went through a consensus process to arrive at a decision. Branch delegates then met (online), debated and then voted for the candidate their members had chosen.
Now, when Davidson starts her speech she early on thanks co-candidate Julie Anne Genter with genuine aroha and words of acknowledgement, giving mana to Genter that is her due. You can’t fake that stuff, and this speaks strongly to Green Party kaupapa of relationship and working together being a high priority. This doesn’t mean there is no conflict or dissent in the party, it means that how conflict is handled is different than we are used to in parliamentary politics. How decisions are made is core to Green politics and is written into their Charter.
The next thing that stands out in Davidson’s speech is that she speaks about social justice. If anyone still doubts that the Greens have a commitment to the Social Responsibility principle in their Charter, there it is. The new co-leader of the party just put it to the forefront. This affirms what James Shaw and others in the party have been repeatedly saying since the resignation of Metiria Turei last year.
For those that think the focus on social justice casts shade on the environmental issues, listen to the whole of the speech. This is how indigenous people do change. There is no separation of environment and people. They are part of the same dynamics and both need to be addressed as part of the same strategies. To focus on one or the other fails both. The new politics is to integrate both and Marama Davidson with her background in social justice and Te Ao Māori brings huge experience and connection into the party’s solid environmental work.
Davidson is also talking about challenging the dominant economic paradigms. Take notice lefties, because here is someone who is saying the Greens need to go hard on this.
I am very happy with the Green Party’s choice and see Davidson as now picking up the mantle that Metiria Turei handed over during the election campaign. The party was too long without a female co-leader, and there was a real risk of the MSM and too many NZers seeing James Shaw as the business-suited, white dude figurehead of the party and thus reinforcing so many misperceptions of the party. Davidson is a perfect counter-part to Shaw, and the party can now get back to being grounded in its wholeness that includes the flax-roots. Anyone who wants to frame the Greens as middle class and white needs to look at not just Davidson, but the mahi she has been doing. Pay attention, because important things are going on there and they are endorsed by the party as a whole.
Shout out to Julie Anne Genter. I am so proud of the party to have two such outstanding candidates and I am truly excited to have Davidson as co-leader and Genter as Minister. We get the best of both worlds now.
Also massive shout out to Metiria Turei. All our love Metiria, we haven’t forgotten what you did for us.
Transcript of Marama Davidson’s acceptance speech is here.