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Marama Davidson – Honouring Influential Women

Written By: - Date published: 6:15 am, December 2nd, 2017 - 22 comments
Categories: feminism, Maori Issues - Tags:

Marama Davidson in parliament this week gave a speech about the central role that women play in their communities.

Our role in Government is to protect and support the work that these grassroots influential women are doing. Our role is not to continue to create and place barriers in their way.


Video and transcript from the Green Party website:

Marama Davidson MP on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 – 10:23

Tēnā tātou katoa. Mr Speaker, in my speech, I want to honour influential women.

MARAMA DAVIDSON (Green): Thank you. E Te Māngai o Te Whare, tēnā koe. Tēnā tātou katoa. Mr Speaker, in my speech, I want to honour influential women. I want to appreciate the work of women in our grassroots communities, pushing for the progressive change that we all need—that Aotearoa has long deserved—and who are trying to fix up the mess and deal with the fallout that has been put upon our communities from years of the previous Government’s neglect and abuse, in actual fact.

So I will start and join my whanaunga, Mr Jackson, in honouring Heni Tawhiwhirangi of Ngāti Porou, who was a staunch advocate for the well-being and development of Ngāti Porou whānau, iwi, and hapū—the very agency that our Government should be working to support in our rohe. I am also going to ask this House to honour Shelley the bus driver here in Wellington, who, I was given word, passed away yesterday. Shelley would greet her customers in Te Reo. Shelley would greet her customers and passengers with a smiley face and Te Reo, as part of something that all New Zealanders should feel comfortable and learned and able to be able to do. Shelley is another example of the influential women that this House should be backing, for us to do our part in backing up the incredible work that is happening on the ground.

I want to honour Debbie Munroe in my Manurewa community for the work she does and has done for years, feeding people who are living rough on the streets, looking for the solutions to take them off the streets. I want to honour the women of Parihaka and I announced a couple of weeks ago that I would insert a member’s bill into our biscuit tin to create a commemoration day for Parihaka. I want to acknowledge the women and children who this Crown apologised to for the rape and abuse by the violent aggressive act of the Crown in invading a settlement and peaceful community.

I want to honour Paora Crawford Moyle and all of the women who were abused by the State, and that the Greens are proud to call for an inquiry into the Crown State abuse that absolutely included our young sons and our young daughters. I want to honour Waimarie, Qiane, Bobbi-Jo, Pania, and Moana for protecting Ihumātao on the frontline against the development that was again forced and opened up by the previous National Government. They have not given up, and nor should we.

I want to honour the ongoing kaitiaki protection work that mana whenua, wāhine and tāne and all genders have always done, including the Ruanui mammal sanctuary that is wanting to be created by the East Coast and Ngāti Ruanui and other iwi, and that I am proud to be with the Green Party who will support the kaitiaki work that has always led at the grassroots.

I want to honour the women of the Mongrel Mob in Waikato, who I have been keeping an eye on, who are working in their own whānau to prioritise the safety and well-being of their mokopuna and are taking up their own agency to do better from within their own powers and dreams and resources and connecting to community to make sure that their mokopuna will be kept safe, and to look for new pathways to their best community.

Our role in Government is to protect and support the work that these grassroots influential women are doing. Our role is not to continue to create and place barriers in their way. Our role is not to sell off State houses so that they have to pick up the pieces of our people on the street. Our role is to not—and the Greens will stay firm on this—continue to give permits to seismic surveys that damage both the potential of our climate safety and our marine mammal life.

Our role is to support the very women who are at the frontline of these causes. I am proud to be part of six women of our eight member caucus in the Green Party, who understands that the leadership and future of our country absolutely depends on the hands of our women being healthy and strong and supported. Kia ora.

22 comments on “Marama Davidson – Honouring Influential Women ”

  1. Carolyn_Nth 1

    Excellent speech and values.

    I am also going to ask this House to honour Shelley the bus driver here in Wellington, who, I was given word, passed away yesterday. Shelley would greet her customers in Te Reo. Shelley would greet her customers and passengers with a smiley face and Te Reo, as part of something that all New Zealanders should feel comfortable and learned and able to be able to do. Shelley is another example of the influential women that this House should be backing, for us to do our part in backing up the incredible work that is happening on the ground.

    This is where it all begins – at the flax roots. Working against all the prejudices for a more inclusive and egalitarian world.

    The end result of all the small prejudices, iscrimination and inequalities is the catalogue of abuses and violence of which Davidson speaks.

  2. savenz 2

    Another example of being right in principal by the Greens, but seriously Greens have been hijacked by all this identity politics talk. If they are always talking about women and Maori for example they then are not talking to men and non Maori.

    I’m all for positive discrimination in the right contexts. Places for Maori on courses, The treaty, womens rights in real terms…. by proper policy and change not speeches.

    If the number 1 priority for a Green MP is Maori rights, they should be joining the Maori party and helping that grow as that is the main charter for that party. Otherwise there is a hijacking of the Green brand into the Maori brand or the Women’s brand and once that happens then it takes away representation of the original party brand and lowers the voters. This is already happening to the Greens, has been part of the problem with Labour and will be eagerly celebrated by the right wingers who want the Greens to die.

    If you look at some of the greatest change makers they never divided they always included such as Martin Luther King and Mandela and that is how they made the changes to society. And they were not sitting on a $150k+ salary with budget for paid workers and massive perks while calling out for donations to the party every month and wondering why the people they claim to represent are voting less and less.

    Represent and speak to everyone equally should be the Green mantra and less speeches, dinners, meetings and more on the ground work for the environment in particular should be the priority.

    • solkta 2.1

      The Greens have not been hijacked, you are just talking shit. I have explained to you in an earlier post that the Green Party has always been about people as well as planet, and I have provided for you a link to the Party Charter. The four pillars of this Charter have never changed and it has been nearly 20 years since the preamble was added:

      “The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand accepts Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand; recognises Maori as Tangata Whenua in Aotearoa New Zealand; and commits to the following four Principles:”


      These are more than just words, they provide an obligation for the Party to act in a certain way.

      Maori and women are people. The Green Party stands up for people. If you don’t like what the Party is then fine – go start your own party. But please STOP TELLING LIES about the “original party brand” of the Green Party.

      Oh, and Green MPs tithe 10% of their income and inevitably contribute more on top of that. They work fucking hard for their salaries and incur great personal costs like time lost with their children.

      • tracey 2.1.1

        Hear hear!!!!!

      • savenz 2.1.2

        Green Party in 2008 got 157,613 votes 6.72%
        Green Party in 2011 got 247,372 votes 11.06%
        Green Party in 2014 got 257,359 votes 10.70%
        Green Party in 2017 got 62,443 votes 6.3%

        Not only is there a massive decline of people prepared to vote Green in times of massive publicity for the movement, but there is increased population growth in NZ which is also decreasing the party share.

        If Greens don’t get their shit together, lose the cheerleaders group think and keep with their current strategy of alienating previous voters and telling everyone how right they are on everything, (who knows if the cheerleaders are paid to do it or volunteers), making bizarre selections on candidates, not only could they get below 5% but they could also take out Labour when their votes are redistributed. Greens MP’s have a responsibility past their own personal careers, agenda’s and beliefs.

        Replacing people and having them higher on the party list than people like Kennedy Graham is part of the problem and thinking that Green voters are going to be happy with the changes should have been thought of before the party list came out.

        From Wiki

        “As a New Zealand diplomat, Graham was involved in the negotiation of the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone in the mid-1980s, and represented New Zealand’s nuclear-free policy in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva in the late 1980s. He worked as Secretary-General of Parliamentarians for Global Action in New York (1989–1994) where he developed the concept of the “planetary interest” for promotion in parliaments around the world. From 1996 to 1998, Graham worked in Stockholm at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, holding the position of Director of Planning and Coordination. Graham was also a United Nations official working as a director at the UN University Leadership Academy (Amman, Jordan) from 1999 to 2002, and later as Senior Consultant in the Department of Political Affairs (2005–2006). He was also a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges/Belgium, teaching International Relations at MA level.[citation needed]

        In 2007, after returning to New Zealand, he became Adjunct Senior Fellow at the University of Canterbury School of Law, and was a Senior Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington.[citation needed]

        Graham is founding director and trustee for the New Zealand Center for Global Studies, which commenced in 2013.[4]”

        Golriz on Wiki

        Ghahraman has a Masters degree in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford. She has worked as a lawyer for the United Nations as part of both the defence and prosecution teams with the tribunals in Rwanda, Cambodia and The Hague.[5] She had worked on tribunals such as the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, volunteering as an intern; while she claimed that she was assigned to the defence team, some, such as former New Zealand Labour Party staffer Phil Quin, has claimed that she did so voluntarily, for “work experience”.[6] Her work on the defence teams of accused and convicted war criminals such as Radovan Karadžić and Simon Bikindi, has caused her controversy, although she has claimed transparency throughout.[7][6]

        She returned to New Zealand in 2012 and worked as a barrister, specialising in human rights law and criminal defence. Ghahraman appeared before the Supreme Court of New Zealand in a case which ultimately led to the police overhauling their rules about undercover operations.[8]

        In 2012, Swarbrick opened her first business, a New Zealand-made fashion label called The Lucid Collective, with her partner Alex Bartley Catt.[6] Around the same time, she began working in the newsroom at the student radio station 95bFM, where she worked as a news writer and news reader, before becoming a producer and eventually host of The Wire. In April 2016, she officially resigned from her position as a regular host.

        Or Chloe on Wiki

        In 2014, Swarbrick began writing for What’s Good magazine. She would eventually become Editor and Chief, and an owner.[7] Later that year, The Lucid Collective held a New Zealand Fashion Week side-show at the Gow Langsford Gallery and participated in the “Youthquake” exhibition at the New Zealand Fashion Museum.[8] The label went on to be stocked across Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch,[9] before Swarbrick and Bartley Catt decided to close the business in order to focus on other projects.

        Swarbrick began The Goods, an offshoot of What’s Good, in late 2015. The project opened a pop-up store in St Kevin’s Arcade on Karangahape Road.[10] Swarbrick was consequently recognised for contribution to the local community with a New Zealander of the Year Local Hero Award.[11]

        In 2016, Swarbrick once again collaborated with Bartley Catt to start a Digital Consultancy and Artist Management Agency, TIPS. The pair also opened a cafe and gallery space, Olly, adjacent to the Crystal Palace theatre in Mount Eden.[12]

        Swarbrick ran in the 2016 Auckland mayoral election, coming in third place, with 29,098 votes—almost 160,000 votes behind the winner, Phil Goff.[13] Swarbrick gained significant media attention in New Zealand largely due to her age. After losing the mayoral race, she chose to join the Green Party.[14]

        Swarbrick gave a speech at a human blockade (organised by Auckland Peace Action) that briefly interrupted a weapons expo.[15][16][17][18][19]

        Soon after joining the Green Party, Swarbrick announced she would challenge sitting Green MP Denise Roche as the party’s candidate in the Auckland Central electorate for the 2017 general election. Her challenge was unsuccessful, as the local branch selected Denise Roche to stand in the seat again.[20] Swarbrick was selected instead to stand for the Maungakiekie electorate, and placed 7th on the party list.[21] She is the youngest politician to enter Parliament since Marilyn Waring in 1975.[22][23]

    • tracey 2.2

      Identity politics, virtue signally and PC are all from the same box. Poor excuses for a valid argument designed to silence debate. I note I hear the terms used mostly by men… and mostly but not exclusively, white men.

    • tracey 2.3

      ” I’m all for positive discrimination in the right contexts. Places for Maori on courses, The treaty, womens rights in real terms…. by proper policy and change not speeches. ”
      You forgot to tell us that some of your best friends are Maori.

      • savenz 2.3.1

        @Tracy and you don’t seem to have any other rebuttal to my point of view apart from attack politics. Funny enough the party that is supposed to represent freedom of speech seems to have some supporters most enraged by anyone expressing an opinion that has any criticism of what has gone on within the Green Party and how that can be remedied to gain them more support. This approach appears to have shaved off nearly 100,000 supporters in 3 years.

        In addition the term of racism or the implication is most howled by The National party to stifle any widening of debate on a whole range of issues which has allowed them to virtually control discourse in this country and sadly echoed by many of the left inadvertantly helping the Natz. Even worse the lefties fighting so much over the Maori vote for example (in my view) took out one of the most authentic Maori anti neoliberalism activists there is, Hone and further split the left voters.

        If you have to resort to unwarranted attack, (you have no idea if I’m a white male and even if I was, you are proving my own argument that the Greens are too reliant on identity politics in discourse rather than real debate) within the Green Party, then the party is in trouble.

        • eco maori

          Everything you said is illogical savenz

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Common sense tells me that there’s something wrong with your numbers @2.1.2.

          Green Party in 2008 got 157,613 votes 6.72%
          Green Party in 2011 got 247,372 votes 11.06%
          Green Party in 2014 got 257,359 votes 10.70%
          Green Party in 2017 got 62,443 votes 6.3%

          The last line should read “162,443 votes 6.3%”

          • savenz

            Sorry you are right, Drowsy M. Kram. But it’s still nearly 100,000 less votes in 3 years for the Greens, which is my point, that the current Green approach is shaving off massive voter support and some supporters getting enraged by someone pointing it out and suggesting why that might be, isn’t helping their cause, (if their aim is to try and get greater Green representation in parliament in the future).

            Futhermore supporters subtly or less subtly dismissing any critics as white men (not even true in my case) which is why they should not be listened to and are always wrong (maybe that was why Kennedy Graham, Russell Norman and Kevin Hague have left the Greens, who knows?) is probably part of that problem.

            The initial charter of the Greens was equal representation which is why they are mandated to have co leaders, male and female. If now Green men are subtly hinted as being less worthy (white colonial oppresser’s) or what ever the hell is going on in that tribe’s media messaging and actions (Shaw has done a great job managing all the screw ups of others and apologises a lot but the Green messaging seems extremely proud of having more women MP’s rather than their actual achievements which are coming under scrutiny) it’s not going to be a message increasing mainstream support and easily creating a house of cards.

            I’m putting forward that identity politics talks and speeches (age, gender and ethnicity) decreases mainstream support, it seems to have influenced the list order rather than actual skills and experience, some Green member’s seem more obsessed with themselves, networking and their own experiences rather than working tirelessly as MP’s for any age, gender and ethnicity of their constituents and identity politics undermines other talent and ideas and promotion within the Greens themselves.

            • savenz

              I’d also like to point out that the most successful radical political socialists at present are white old men – Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn and they get huge support from youth and have activated them – this is based on years and years of tireless work and merit and not their age, ethnicity and gender being the topic of every MSM announcement and speech they make.

            • tracey

              You are confused in your analysis. The growth of Green voters directly correlates to the collapse of labours votes.

              A less self obsessed group than the green MPs you will never meet. Perhaps it is you who needs to get out more.

        • tracey

          You made no argument related to your identity politics statement(unwarranted/unsubstabtiated attack). None. Nada.

          Hence the depth of my reply.

          You conveniently in your stat analysis leave out the correlation between high green vote and low labour and vice versa. The Green base vote has been basically stable for 20 years.

          Your world view is 1 world view. No more no less. I am not sure why you are so angry at the Greens. It seems you object to them caring about people, especially the vulnerable.

          • savenz

            you state…
            “I note I hear the terms used mostly by men… and mostly but not exclusively, white men.:

            “You forgot to tell us that some of your best friends are Maori.”

            using identity as a reason to attack is not acceptable – especially when you seem to be representing the Greens.

            • savenz

              But you are right about one thing, I am angry about the Greens – and fearful for their future especially when apparently losing nearly 100,000 votes even if they are to Labour is considered ok.

              The way the Labour and NZ First is acting on TPPA – Labour will be losing next election and if the Greens and NZ First don’t get it together and with a National attack campaign against them next election they may fall below 5%. Leaving Labour marooned and nobody trusting them for another 9 years.

              Greens and Labour are different. Greens in the past are consistently less interested in warfare, economic agreements that don’t make sense and the environment as well as people’s rights.

              The new Greens may be caring but they seem to be becoming more complacent, naive and without strategy deeper than ‘trains for shore’ and ‘Te Reo’ in schools and avocado recipes.

              Most of these are irrelevant if Natz get back in because they will reverse it all.

              And that is a huge worry because the Greens have always been the deeper thinkers in NZ politics and the most interested in democracy – which is why suggesting not supporting the Waka jumping leglislation was so bizarre.

              Instead of pretty speeches, I’d suggest the Greens actually make sure they get results that many people benefit from – aka – stopping TPPA etc. They got their poll boost back as soon as Labour starting gravitating towards supporting TPPA – voters are not stupid and PR is hollow if there is nothing meaningful behind it.

  3. greywarshark 3

    It doe seem that in all the places I go to where people are working for change of a progressive nature, that women are the majority. And they are often doing the slob jobs not the snob jobs, which I referred to yesterday. Treasure each other you women and try to do the practical thing along with the visionary one, you are achieving more than you know. And try to ensure you are not taken for granted.

    • tracey 3.1

      Kia ora greywarshark. More important than women honouring one another is when more men honour and acknowledge the non paid and low paid work they do in far greater numbers than men.

      Thank you costs nothing

      • greywarshark 3.1.1

        Thank yous and grateful grants with a decent income to go with it would be a really good mix.

  4. eco Maori 4

    I tou toko equality for all our ladys around our world for I can see how hard our ladys have in our unequal society . I say ladys because I believe that ladys need to be Identified as being unique beings and ladys deserve to be honoured for there great contribution they give to OUR technically advanced society ladys need to go and get there equal rights so we become a advanced humane cultured society . This is why i dont say WOMAN WOMEN FEMALE .I no that when we get to a equal society together we will solve a lot of the wrongs in OUR WORLD society Kia Kaha LADYS .

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