Kevin Hague to leave Parliament

Written By: - Date published: 5:28 pm, September 5th, 2016 - 26 comments
Categories: greens, Politics - Tags:

kevin hague

In breaking news Kevin Hague has announced that he is to leave Parliament to head Forest and Bird.

From the Green Party website:

Kevin has made a huge contribution to the Green Party and the green movement and we are truly sorry he is leaving Parliament,” said Green Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei.

“Kevin has been an excellent advocate for Green policies over many years. He has worked tirelessly and effectively, for the Green Party and with other political parties. We will miss his passion and his wisdom,” said James Shaw.

“Kevin’s achievements in parliament include championing accountability and workplace health and safety in the wake of the Pike River disaster, forcing culture change at ACC, helping establish Nga Haerenga the New Zealand Cycle Trail, and successful campaigns for marriage equality and to save the Mokihinui River.”

“While we are sorry to lose Kevin from Parliament at the same time we are delighted Kevin will continue his contribution to the environment at Forest and Bird. We know he will be a fantastic leader for this New Zealand icon,” said Metiria Turei.

With Kevin’s resignation, Barry Coates will come into Parliament as the next person on the Green Party list.

“Barry brings extensive experience in social justice, climate change and Pacific work, including ten years as Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand. He will be an important new voice in Parliament and we look forward to working with him,” said Metiria Turei.

Barry Coates also brings business and management experience, as well as governance roles with Fairtrade Australia NZ and the Council for International Development. He is currently working on trade issues, and is developing a sustainability programme at the University of Auckland Business School.

26 comments on “Kevin Hague to leave Parliament”

  1. Sacha 1

    Kevin would have made a wonderful Minister of Health. Sad we do not get to see that. Good man.

  2. Ad 2

    Forest and Bird have been more effective against the government and Councils in the last few years than the Green Party.

  3. Paul 3

    Is James Shaw causing people to become disaffected?

    • Anne 3.1

      I doubt it Paul. He feels he can do a better and more interesting job heading Forest and Bird – just like Russel Norman left to become head of Greenpeace NZ.

  4. DoublePlusGood 4

    Well, this is a disaster. Should still be the co-leader, and should be a minister.
    Would that it were Browning leaving instead.

    • weka 4.1

      The great thing about the GP is it is stacked with talent. This may be a good move for Hague and the GP, if Hague was wanting to be elsewhere.

  5. Ad 5

    The list of big hits Forest and Bird have got recently – Kermadec marine Reserve, commitment to nationwide Predator-Free, killing off that West Coast dam, and successfully holding DoC to account over the Hawkes Bay dam – shows that they remain a hotbed of effective activism.

    We can certainly look at this as a loss for the Green Party. And after Russell Norman’s departure a few months ago, and Laila Harre from the engine room a year before that, to be honest the Green Party have been floundering around, doing zero effective politics, and coasting on sentiment. The Greens need to treat this as a good kick up the ass.

    It’s also a win for the activist and NGO community. Forest and Bird have far more members than any political party, have assets and income coming out their eyeballs (despite how they plead), and are a great place for activists to really do productive work with their lives. Rather than sit out another three years in Opposition being miserable and doing little media jaunts for miserable people in parties who are simply miserable to each other.

    Kevin Hague has found a life outside Parliament and I bet he is happier and more effective for it.

    • weka 5.1

      “And after Russell Norman’s departure a few months ago, and Laila Harre from the engine room a year before that, to be honest the Green Party have been floundering around, doing zero effective politics, and coasting on sentiment.”

      And yet Norman leaving brought Marama Davidson into parliament who is now spearheading the Homelessness Inquiry as well as doing good work generally in her Social Housing role. In the same way that in the past they’ve been at the forefront of the child poverty debate or the water quality debate, they’re now pushing the housing one (and consistently over time). Plus they are developing and releasing policy.

      This year the Greens have established a MoU with Labour, which is groundbreaking.

      They’re hardly coasting on sentiment.

      • Ad 5.1.1

        Marama rides the housing thing on Labour’s coat-tails, and is making precisely zero traction in the MSM on housing.

        The MOU was like the great union merger this year: a signal of gradual decline that makes takeovers necessary.

        Go through the Greens list and they are adrift in actual political hits. Don’t give me a list of their media releases – no-one gives a toss. They get consistently 3-4% less party vote than they get in the polling. Seriously they need to wake up if they want to be in government.

        Even New Zealand First has got better hits on this government, and they are run by Parliament’s rest-home drunk.

    • mauī 5.2

      Well that’s probably what a conservation organisation that is outside of parliament should be doing. Fighting legal battles, getting petitions together and winning battles. I’m sure WWF (nz branch) does similar. Comparing what an NGO has done to a political party is more than a little unfair.

      From my personal observations Forest and Bird has a few problems, often the local branches are pretty well disconnected from the national office and end up doing their own thing which may or may not have great conservation goals. A “gardening group” is not conservation. As for activism, I can’t recall them leading protests or making them happen, although I’m sure members do take part in protests.

  6. The Greens are chameleoning on us, shedding their shift, shifting their shape and just in the nick of time. The old garb is patched and tattered and a new skin is glistening underneath. Expecting them to be as you believed they should be, Ad, is your mistake; they’re transmuting and you may not recognise them at all for what they are becoming. Nandor leading the permaculture movement, Russel, Greenpeace, now Kevin, the Twig’n’Tweeters – now we’re getting somewhere!

    • Jenny Kirk 6.1

      Interesting comment, Robert Guyton, I, too , think there are changes going on – not very obvious but enough to think there could well be differences coming to the front.

      And as for F&B Maui, all NGOs have differing opinions from their local branches but the work F & B do in highlighting the shortcomings of this government on environmental matters – making them clear, and easily understood by the general public – and getting them out into the various media (incl social media) is really useful.
      More so, sometimes, than just organising a protest.

      A case in point – major changes likely to happen with the RMA (very nasty changes) – well articulated by F & B in advance of that legislation due to come back into Parliament shortly.

    • weka 6.2

      Nice one Robert.

  7. And of course, Jeanette and the Coal Action group. Heavy hitters taking their places in strategic fields.

  8. The Real Matthew 8

    This is a surprising announcement.

    I feel Hague still has lots to give. He is also one of the more effectual Male MP’s in a party in which the female talent outstrips the male talent. His departure will leave even more of a gender imbalance within the party in terms of ability.

    As an aside when is this site going to have a piece on Nikki Kaye’s cancer diagnosis? Very sad for everyone across the political spectrum and important for all posters to have a chance to express their condolences.

    • Authors post on topics they want to. We’re not a newsroom that feels obliged to cover every political story.

      Personally I wouldn’t run the risk of trolls or extremists getting offensive in the comments.

  9. mary_a 9

    I knew Kevin way back in our Waiheke days. A more sincere, genuine guy would be hard to find.

    Although I am sad Kevin is leaving Parliament, I am happy for him that he will be doing a job he truly believes in. Forest and Bird will be the richer for his presence and management.

    Many thanks to Kevin for the great work he has done on behalf of NZ Greens and NZ in general.

    Go well Kevin.

  10. Paupial 10

    The timing of this interesting from the local government election perspective. The press release proclaims Coates’ credentials as past: ” Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand”. More relevant to me is that he contested the Mount Roskill electorate in 2014 coming a distant third against Goff. This seems to give context to the recent Labour/ Greens announcement of there being a single candidate (Michael Wood) in the event of a byelection.

    Although Goff had an 8000+candidate vote majority, National actually won the party vote (14,275 NP to 12,086 LP). However, if you add the GP (3,279) and LP party vote that gives a majority of 1090; which is still less than NZF (1,805) or the Conservatives (1,240). It’ll be interesting to see how the byelection results turns out with that baseline. The split votes from 2014 show that 3463 votes for Goff were from NP voters, but also more GP, NZF and IMP voters went for Goff over their own party’s candidate.

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