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Marama Davidson’s campaign launch – Boots Theory

Written By: - Date published: 6:21 am, February 5th, 2018 - 111 comments
Categories: greens, vision - Tags: , , , , , ,

Post by Stephanie Rodgers, cross-posted from bootstheory.nz

6-7 minutes
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I was beyond excited to see Marama Davidson stand up to announce her bid for the co-leadership of the Greens.

I’ve been a Marama fan for an age, so I was very biased in her favour. But reading her speech from today’s launch in Ōtara just reinforced it.

Together, we can build a country that ensures everyone has what they need to live good lives, and that recognises that a healthy environment is crucial to that.

Together, we can change politics forever.

Together, we are many.

New Zealanders want their Government to reflect our values of care and compassion for communities and the environment.

Because progressive values, Green values, are New Zealand values.

It’s not just powerful, it’s incredibly effective.

There are three fundamentals for modern progressive communications (which I’ve shamelessly stolen from Anat Shenker-Osorio’s website):

  • Don’t take the temperature, change it
  • Stop feeding the opposition; show what you stand for
  • Engage the base to persuade the middle

As to the first: we aren’t thermometers. We can’t be content to reflect where people are. We have to be thermostats, pushing the political temperature in the right direction. And Marama Davidson is doing that just by being who she is: a Māori woman, a mother of six, launching a political campaign at the leisure centre in Ōtara where she learned to swim as a kid.

(Jacinda Ardern has also been doing this, by taking a drastically different approach to Waitangi and defying the standard frame of “one day of tension and shouting which doesn’t ~bring the country together~”.)

But it’s further reinforced in a speech which does not make a single mention of economic growth (she does cite the “steady economic development” of her grandparents’ day) or business but uses the word “communities” 20 times. This will be decried by the Kiwiblogs and Whaleoils of the world as demonstrating her inability to be part of a proper government.

Good.

The second point: we can’t just be a resistance. A resistance is defined by what it resists. There has to be more to progressive politics than hating everything National did for the past nine years. I really hate the word vision (thanks, David Shearer), but it kind of applies: you need something to aim for. To build a better world, you’ve got to know what that better world looks like, otherwise how do you know you’re going in the right direction?

This is Marama Davidson’s vision:

Aotearoa can again be a country of care and compassion and a world leader through the greatest challenges of our time.

A country where all children grow up in healthy, liveable cities, are able to play in their local stream and forest, and have the support and opportunities to realise their full potential.

And a country that recognises that upholding Te Tiriti o Waitangi as our founding document is essential in achieving this.

The third point is something both Labour and the Greens have been … not brilliant at over recent years. Instead of getting the hardcore fans excited, appreciating their role as communicators and agitators in their own communities, parties have taken them for granted. They’ve assumed the way to bring in people from outside was, variously, “say what the mainstream media wants to hear”, “try to look like National”, “tell people who hate us that we’re not that scary” and per point 2: “reinforce the right’s framing and priorities”.

The result … well, 44% of the country still voted National last election.

While it’s easy to write off Davidson’s approach as pandering to the fans (which wouldn’t exactly be a bad idea since they’re the ones voting for her) it’s important to understand how staunchly declaring Green Party values and the need for a fundamental shift in New Zealand politics and society will energise those fans, and make them feel there’s a real result from donating, volunteering, spreading the Green message.

Besides those three key points – and getting those right would have been entirely sufficient for me – there’s a few other things. Stuff you may have noticed me go on and on and on about, which progressive politicians just have to stop doing if they really want to achieve change.

  • Parrotting “my values are New Zealand values” without explaining what those values are
  • Using passive language instead of naming the villains
  • Using language that reinforces rightwing ideology.

Marama Davidson nails every single one of these. Her values are “care and compassion for communities and the environment”, working together (a prominent theme). The villains are “our elected representatives” who “tore apart the social safety net”.

That last point, that’s where I turn into the eyes-for-hearts emoji. One of my most-read posts last year was about how we (should) talk about child poverty: not as a passive force, but a created injustice. Well:

We could have chosen to pull communities in to our growing financial prosperity. But instead we further alienated struggling families and pushed them to the margins of our society.

Instead our elected representatives tore apart the social safety net we had built up over generations, pushing hundreds of thousands of children and families into hardship and deprivation.

Not “young people from vulnerable communities fell through the cracks”: “we built barriers for youth who simply were not born in to wealth”. Not “families ended up on the streets”: “we took families out of State houses that we sold to rich developers.”

We did this. We can fix it. Political messaging doesn’t get much clearer or paradigm-shifting than that.

Tinkering and half-measures will not be enough. Now is the time to be bold and brave for those who need us most.

 
________________________________________________________________________________________
Marama Davidson’s speech can be watched on Facebook here, or read on her campaign website here.

111 comments on “Marama Davidson’s campaign launch – Boots Theory”

  1. Ed 1

    Marama would persuade me to campaign and work for change.

  2. patricia bremner 2

    Framing and naming problems with an action plan. Yes Yes!!

  3. wayne 3

    Interesting theory, Marama Davidson boosting the Green vote by her call to militant action. That vote has to come from somewhere.

    I presume a key source will be from current non-voters. But Jacinda did not have a huge impact in that regard. Around 2%. Which was enough. But Marama will have to dig deeper into the non-voter cohort.

    I guess also from Labour, on the basis that they are sellouts (TPP, etc).

    Won’t be from National or NZF. She has a fundamentally different world view. It would be like a National voter being persuaded by John Minto.

    Getting vote out of Labour hardly helps. Not unless Labour is also picking up vote from National. I would say that is quite likely. The last poll results seemed to show that.

    However, Marama could scare National voters. If they think she is a future power broker in a Labour Green coalition with a more radical policy mix post 2020, that might actually galvanise and energise National voters.

    I reckon Jacinda will see her best bet for 2020 is to look like she is a safe pair of hands. “Yes” to doing stuff, but “no” to ushering in a revolution. Her experience of 2017 will be telling her that is a path to opposition.

    • Doogs 3.1

      Oh FFS Wayne. To you everything is down to numbers, and power and influence. Know that there is a shift in the political landscape, something which has been missing for a long time. There is now beginning a sea change in how people think of government. The move is away from money, economics, trade, profit and business to a recognition that people are the most important thing – he tangata, he tangata, he tangata. You can only use and abuse people and their labour for so long. This movement is utterly epitomised by how Jacinda is treating Waitangi this year. The respect she shows to everyone is reciprocated, and it is dawning on the poor and the underprivileged (under-respected) that they have value and power – power to change their situation.

      That’s what you’re missing Wayne. You are blind to what’s happening around you. Wake up and smell the difference. It is an odour to savour and uplift you out of your pedestrian and outdated view of the world.

    • tracey 3.2

      “militant” in the first line Wayne?

      Did you

      a) read Stephanie’s post to the end?; and
      b) understand it?

      Do you really think that lifting people out of poverty, ensuring all NZers share the prosperity you promised as a cabinet Minister but failed to deliver but to a proportion of kiwis is radical?

      Hw about you address the points Stephanie raised and analyse them, then counter them, not use the post as a jumping off point to throw in your tired memes about radical, safe hands, boats rocking, militant action, revolution

      You understand that John Key talked about some of the same things, especially in campaign 2008, did you think he was a revolutionary, militant, or did you just know he was bullshitting to get into power and extend the status quo which uses the vulnerable o shore up the support to continue down a road proven for decades to NOT result in all kiwis prospering?

      In some ways you are more militant, in using rhetoric to mobilise the masses to scorn the vulnerable and change nothing, to make the many serve the few. Like Lenin promising that the any will thrive, while sitting in luxury having less and too with those people.

      I actually have more faith in some nat voters than you. Eventually, there is a band of them who will see through and past the lies. And they are lies Wayne. Joyce lied to everyone (in fact the hole was 21b and it was his, withheld from PREFU) and English supported the lie.

      Remember when Key said there is no housing crisis?
      Remember when he claimed poverty was his biggest regret?
      Remember when he was going to increase reading and writing skills amongst children?

      “We are facing a severe home affordability and ownership crisis. The crisis has reached dangerous levels in recent years and looks set to get worse.” He used the word crisis 14 times. In 2007!
      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0708/S00336.htm

      “…found he’d mentioned ‘poverty’ in his official speech notes only 15 times between 2007 and early 2015. On several of those occasions, he was claiming an absence of poverty in New Zealand.”
      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/76278017/john-keys-state-of-the-nation-speeches–the-words-hes-never-said

      “The 2016 study, which assessed 5646 year 5 children from 188 New Zealand schools, deemed more than a quarter had low, or less than low, literacy. ”
      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/99534189/international-report-shows-childrens-literacy-suffered-under-national-standards

      I am not sure why the media cannot google, but you were there Wayne.

      • Wayne 3.2.1

        No apologies for saying Marama is militant. All her actions and speeches both before and after becoming an MP indicate that she is. And Stephanie’s article confirms that.

        • tracey 3.2.1.1

          Remember when Key said there is no housing crisis?
          Remember when he claimed poverty was his biggest regret?
          Remember when he was going to increase reading and writing skills amongst children?

          “We are facing a severe home affordability and ownership crisis. The crisis has reached dangerous levels in recent years and looks set to get worse.” He used the word crisis 14 times. In 2007!
          http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0708/S00336.htm

          “…found he’d mentioned ‘poverty’ in his official speech notes only 15 times between 2007 and early 2015. On several of those occasions, he was claiming an absence of poverty in New Zealand.”
          https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/76278017/john-keys-state-of-the-nation-speeches–the-words-hes-never-said

          “The 2016 study, which assessed 5646 year 5 children from 188 New Zealand schools, deemed more than a quarter had low, or less than low, literacy. ”
          https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/99534189/international-report-shows-childrens-literacy-suffered-under-national-standards

          I am not sure why the media cannot google, but you were there Wayne.

          Give me an honest militant over a lying reactionary.

          • greywarshark 3.2.1.1.1

            The meaning of militant: from google
            a militant person.
            “militants became increasingly impatient of parliamentary manoeuvres”
            synonyms: activist, extremist, radical, enthusiast, supporter, follower, devotee, Young Turk, zealot, fanatic, sectarian, partisan
            “the demands of the militants”

            Interesting that Muldoon and Young Turk got talked about in the same breath.

            It seems to me that Marama Davidson is definite, names her concerns directly rather than making a statement of general dissatisfaction. Within the meanings above are – enthusiast, devotee and fanatic, zealot so there seems to be widely separated descriptions relating to intent that makes ‘militant’ a very loose, imprecise word to use Wayne. I think you should be more careful in your choice of language.

            Stephanie quotes:
            New Zealanders want their Government to reflect our values of care and compassion for communities and the environment.
            and:
            … “we built barriers for youth who simply were not born in to wealth”,,,“we took families out of State houses that we sold to rich developers.”
            and:
            And a country that recognises that upholding Te Tiriti o Waitangi as our founding document is essential in achieving this.
            and:

            Tinkering and half-measures will not be enough. Now is the time to be bold and brave for those who need us most.

            That doesn’t sound bad to me, just a stating of ideals but also past failures and bad policies that should be changed, put right.

            Don’t be such a scared wimp Wayne that many NZs are Going for Gold in the Decent-living Games instead of stumbling along in the rear, being abused and screamed at from the sidelines by the exploitative National-led state.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1.2

          favouring confrontational or violent methods in support of a political or social cause.

          In which case, confrontational Wayne is a militant too. A militant who thinks name-calling equals rebuttal. He has no answer to the things Marama Davidson or Tracey says, so he talks about what or who they are instead.

          Is Marama Davidson “confrontational”, or “violent”? After all, Wayne Mapp is the one lashing out with ad hominem “arguments”.

          • tracey 3.2.1.2.1

            She did go on a Women’s Boat of Piece to Israel with a Nobel Peace Laureat so I guess she IS militant. Wayne would have been in a penthouse suite in a five-star hotel in Tel Aviv, nodding for the sake of Trade and Defence.

        • adam 3.2.1.3

          Please don’t take this the wrong way Wayne, but you been so far up the backside of Hard right Tory politics, anyone outside your strict ideological purity – looks militant to you.

          Seriously dude, myself and a hand full (yes it’s a small number) of others here are militant, hardline anti capitalists, see the whole structure fall – types.

          Davidson, is like Mickey Savage and a whole lot of others here. People who act with a whole lot of heart and want positive change. But they want the system to roll on. Or the “pinky” range as I call them.

          You been a sucker to so much Tory propaganda, you actually believe the ideological twaddle they have feed you.

          Oh well let’s see how that hard edge is going to suit you, when you have real radicals like me getting more people motivated.

          • Chuck 3.2.1.3.1

            It would be great if Marama Davidson becomes the female co-leader of the Green Party.

            She is the most credible from the selection that will be put up.

            “Oh well let’s see how that hard edge is going to suit, you when you have real radicals like me getting more people motivated.”

            You see yourself as a “real radical” with “that hard edge” just keep it peaceful and within the law adam. You never know you could fill a bus one day with your motivated disciples.

            • Incognito 3.2.1.3.1.1

              What’s considered radical one day can be main stream the next …

              Your choice of words shows a profound misunderstanding of political activism and I think you’re a tad disingenuous. You also seem to have forgotten, or glossed over, that Marama Davidson is a Member of New Zealand Parliament and represents you as well, unless you’re here on a VISA …

            • adam 3.2.1.3.1.2

              Peaceful is the only way, as for breaking the law. I have no problems with that, especially when the law is an ass, but you’d know all about being an ass ah chunky.

        • AB 3.2.1.4

          Agree with Tracey. Wayne is the bland apologist for a militant status quo.

      • Rosemary McDonald 3.2.2

        Observing Wayne’s participation in discussions on TS over time it appears there is a correlation between his involvement and the perceived threat to the Right from the message from the Left/Progressives being highlighted in a particular post.

        He is obviously deployed as a Big Gun, with his oh so reasoned and reasonable comments, as opposed to the irritating but harmless sniping from the usual trolls from the right.

        I was wondering yesterday when Wayne would pop up…

        Marama Davidson is clearly perceived as a credible contender.

        • tracey 3.2.2.1

          cue Wayne disclaiming he posts n behalf of anyone but himself which is not quite the same a not posting for the benefit of anyone else.

          I wonder if this is why he thinks Marama is “militant”

          “Ms Davidson set sail for Gaza back in September as part as a “peace flotilla” with the Women’s Boat to Gaza.

          The crew on board included Mairead Maguire, the 1976 Nobel peace laureate from Northern Ireland, Fauziah Hasan, a doctor from Malaysia, and retired US army colonel Ann Wright. ”

          I prefer the company she keeps to be honest. It is open and in International waters, Wayne and the Government he was part of was less transparent about who visited them and influenced them.

        • Wayne 3.2.2.2

          Rosemary
          I just do my own thing. I am sure my former colleagues think I am crazy for even participating on The Standard. I just simply provide an alternative view though I appreciate it is not necessarily wanted.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.2.2.1

            The only views you ever provide are your opinions on the personality and character of your betters. You can’t muster a substantive argument to save your life.

          • tracey 3.2.2.2.2

            Yes, you say that Wayne, even that is a mantra. BUT you didn’t actually address the substance of Stephanie’s post. At all. You picked a piece of it to run your own agenda. IF you would actually provide a counter view tot he substance, with support, even if we didn’t want it, it would be strong and hard to refute. But you do not do that. As OAB says you go personal. Which is your right. Interesting that you think your former colleagues read what you write here though.

            But, as we are all repeating ourselves, one more time…

            Remember when Key said there is no housing crisis?
            Remember when he claimed poverty was his biggest regret?
            Remember when he was going to increase reading and writing skills amongst children?

            “We are facing a severe home affordability and ownership crisis. The crisis has reached dangerous levels in recent years and looks set to get worse.” He used the word crisis 14 times. In 2007!
            http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0708/S00336.htm

            “…found he’d mentioned ‘poverty’ in his official speech notes only 15 times between 2007 and early 2015. On several of those occasions, he was claiming an absence of poverty in New Zealand.”
            https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/76278017/john-keys-state-of-the-nation-speeches–the-words-hes-never-said

            “The 2016 study, which assessed 5646 year 5 children from 188 New Zealand schools, deemed more than a quarter had low, or less than low, literacy. ”
            https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/99534189/international-report-shows-childrens-literacy-suffered-under-national-standards

            I am not sure why the media cannot google, but you were there Wayne.

            Give me an honest militant over a lying reactionary.

          • Doogs 3.2.2.2.3

            Or warranted for that matter Wayne! I read what you say to remind me how much I dislike the faux reasoned neolib rubbish that you and other RWNJs promote.

          • Bill 3.2.2.2.4

            I enjoy reading your comments here Wayne. I don’t think I ever agree with them (at least, not in full). But I do find many of them informative and useful when subjected to a “reading between the lines” approach.

          • Incognito 3.2.2.2.5

            Rosemary is right about you, Wayne. You gave us another Master Class in dog-whistling, virtue signalling, and distraction. Your choice of the label “militant” was sheer brilliance! You may be doing this on your own account; the learned habit comes across as instinctive & reflexive. In other words, certain posts act as a trigger for you … Whether people here on TS enjoy your comments is a side issue IMO because you’re taking up valuable ‘bandwidth’ (so far counting 20 comments in this sub-thread). Unfortunately, you’re not the only one 🙁

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 3.3

      Jeremy Corbyn’s “militant” views have won wide support in Britain. What was considered mainstream and decent 40 years ago (e.g. everyone benefiting from the wealth of society and looking after people) is now considered ‘militant’ by some.

      Looking forward to the pendulum swinging back the other way. Marama might be part of making that happen!

      • tracey 3.3.1

        Well said. Compassion and empathy and justice for the vulnerable is hardly the stuff to put the army on alert.

        It is always intriguing to me that when a Labour govt gets elected they make early concessions to business…. but when nats get elected they move quickly to make working conditions harder. We have had paternity leave, removal of 90 trial to name but 2 which is great. Now, what concrete measures to raise wages?

    • reason 3.4

      Fighting for tax justice and against ‘legal’ corruption…. would overturn John Keys legacy ….. and be a vote winner.
      http://www.sarawakreport.org/2017/07/australia-and-new-zealand-slide-from-their-responsibilities-over-mass-corruption-and-malaysia/

      Nationals blind eye to corruption has left some juicy forfeiture targets … http://www.sarawakreport.org/2014/06/the-sarawak-timber-mafias-global-menace/

      Proceeds of crime …..

  4. esoteric pineapples 4

    While I like Marama, my concern is that the people her message is for, simply don’t vote, or if they do, don’t vote Green. And in the past few elections there has been no indication that they are about to.

    • tracey 4.1

      Pandering gets you elected but it doesn’t achieve what you claim you want. Even John Key pretended to care in 2007/2008 to get elected, then did more of the same, deeper and harder. See my links above. in 2008 in a speech he referred to crisis 14 times in a speech about housing affordability. 14 times. And yet he denied a crisis so many times and not a single person in media quoted this back to him. They have been clever. In the olden days we would have said that they were great propagandists.

      “information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view.”

      Apparently that is better than being passionately honest about wanting to change the status quo which harms vulnerable people.

    • Wairua 4.2

      It might be more relevant to note that she is standing up for her principles which resonate in her electorate, but might not do so in others.

  5. Ad 5

    Brave to align herself with the extremely damaging legacy of Metiria Turei. It sounds like she wants to inspire the poor of South Auckland to rise up and become part of the Green Party – also brave because few Green votes have ever come from there. The speech reminded me of Labour leaders in the late 1920s, except that it had no policy.

    However, agreed, I like the use of the inclusive “we”. A reasonable device for her purpose of getting elected.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      🙄

      Tiresome projection of self-serving opinion onto others. Is tiresome and clearly struggling for some new smears.

      • tracey 5.1.1

        Bravery in politics tends to come from women. The men they prefer the baubles, steady pay and titles. Certainly since the late 1980’s.

    • tracey 5.2

      Ad meet Wayne. Wayne this is Ad. Enjoy.

      • greywarshark 5.2.1

        tracey
        To be fair I think Ad is up to rethinking and new ideas where he sees them justified. Wayne – well he knows that he is right and for ever will be.

        • tracey 5.2.1.1

          I see them as the same side of the coin but for a different Major party. They both see politics as about winning, as a game, and that you do and say what it takes to get the power to make the change. Then when you get there you make the changes you “can” to stay in power, which can mean others don’t happen or happen slowly but perpetuate the system and the problems. This appears to me to be the premise for Ad’s justification of rethinking and new ideas. Anything that won’t, in his mind, clinch the win or hold the power is not to be rethought or brainsstormed

          Very Machievelian both of them imo.

          • greywarshark 5.2.1.1.1

            Yes probably you are right tracey. It’s balance we need, hard-headedas to politics and reasonable and practical but also with concern for fellow human beings needs and fragility, and sometimes I think Ad has found it and then….

    • David Mac 5.3

      The people Marama wishes to represent, her target audience, they don’t see the Metiria thing unfavourably. They were chanting ‘Go Met, Speak Up’. ‘Martyr’ is stretching it a bit but they see what happened in that light.

      I think it’s a strategy with a few hurdles to consider. How to become a loud and effective voice for battlers without white-anting Labour’s efforts? And the Nats are sharpening up their Enviro talk. There will be urban Greens that didn’t see the Met thing quite so favourably.

      • Ad 5.3.1

        Yes I see she was speaking to a safe base.

        Labour have left a small space: it’s between the Working for Families exclusions and the rise in minimum wage and collective bargaining legislation.

        Not a big space, granted, but a space. Maybe 1% of voters.

        However total beneficiary numbers she might appeal to – not just unemployed – have been lowering for quite some time.

        https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/statistics/benefit/latest-quarterly-results/all-main-benefits.html

        The crowd looked like the right base for her pitch; hard left activists. But from their base of 6% the Greens already have those covered.

        Labour won’t be worried when Jacinda is locking up most of the Maori vote at Waitangi.

        Whereas the Greens desperately need leaders who can expand their profile and their voter base.

        • tracey 5.3.1.1

          The Greens seem to be beyond your comprehension Ad as you remain stuck in the machiavellian paradigm.

          We have already seen labour pandering to some business “concerns” in a way National never pander to worker concerns. The TPP is a back down no matter how they frame it, or you frame it. They were at best mischevious in their opposition to it and at worst outright deceptive. Theirs is a softly softly catchee monkey approach. For many that approach, decades in process, is failing them. The very rich will be fine, the vulnerable, the disabled are in dire straits.

          The Greens have significantly changed the political landscape of NZ since their inception and MMP. You seem wholly unable to consider their achievements and place in our political spectrum in anything other than win the game and FPP terms.

          • Ad 5.3.1.1.1

            Just as soon as the Greens get over 6% I’ll agree with you. That’s a place to seek to expand your vote, not just pander to the usual suspects.

            I’m happy to critique the Labour-led government, but on every metric I can think of they are doing fine.

            It’s cruel the way the electorate forgets your successes, but then, as Helen Clark said at the Labour Party conference in 2006 after winning three elections in a row:

            “Our mission has always been to enable all our peoples to live in dignity, to participate in society, to be respected, to enjoy decent living standards, to access good services, and to enjoy security.

            Our job is never done – because we can always do better.

            The more our country develops and prospers, the more we raise the bar on what can be delivered and what can be achieved.”

            I think you will see a similar nation-setting speech from Prime Minister Ardern this afternoon at Waitangi. That is real national-scale politics.

            • tracey 5.3.1.1.1.1

              I don’t need your agreement Ad. Getting over 6% in parliament does not alter the change they have influenced since at least 1999. It is seen in every party, especially National and Labour. That you meausre their hisotrical influence in terms of a 6% parliamentary threshold rather proves my point.

              I’ve already heard her speak at Waitangi today.

              “I’m happy to critique the Labour-led government, but on every metric I can think of they are doing fine.” – I trust you can see the contradiction in here that I can.

              Enjoy Waitangi celebrations.

            • patricia bremner 5.3.1.1.1.2

              However AD, some actions of the Clark government regarding beneficiaries and the disabled infringed their human rights. That needs repairing.

        • greywarshark 5.3.1.2

          Oh Ad –
          quoting lowering beneficiary numbers when we hear and read that they are being forced off the ledgers by a number of methods and not going to better hopeful futures is not a relevant comment as to whom Marama is appealing. The people in need are still there whether they are beneficiaries from the government or relying on charity.

          There are probably figures to be linked to but I haven’t time to find them as to the drop in numbers. Anyone with an interest in this who could show facts as to dropping beneficiary numbers and why and how and what effect would be good if you have time!

          • tracey 5.3.1.2.1

            I am also suspicious of the alleged lowering of numbers on benefits, particularly during a time of surge in migration.

            It remains to be seen if this Government will be transparent and honest about how it tallies the figures.

    • DoublePlusGood 5.4

      Just wait. There’s plenty of people in South Auckland with a lot of reasons to vote Green. If she were to flip even a third of voters to Green in South Auckland, that would make a huge difference to the Greens.

  6. Sparky 6

    Until the Greens stand up to the likes of Labour and the Nats and take a much stronger position on corporate orientated policies that see mining, oil exploration, poorly managed forestry and dodgy trade deals continue I think they are going to see their support base stagnate.

    If that means walking away from poisonous partnerships I’m all for that.

  7. Bill 7

    I agree Marama’s speech was more direct and connected than many others I’ve heard and critisised from NZ politicians. Politicians who fall into that relentlessly cold and detached thing- where their position is different from that of the electorate – where “we” is the government and the electorate is “you” or “kiwis” or whatever else.

    The particular bit of her speech that jumped out at me and that I’m curious about (in the context of being bold and brave) is :-

    …but we need to continue to talk about why we’ll never fix climate change if we don’t change our economic system that is based on the exploitation of our people and our planet.

    My curiosity is on the use of that word “change”. Does she merely mean “improve”, or does she mean “replace”?

    • Carolyn_Nth 7.1

      I take that to mean change to an economic system that isn’t based on the exploitation of our people and our planet.

      So, “replace” it.

      • tracey 7.1.1

        Me too.

        It aligns with Green policy since inception that the economy sits at best alongside people and the environment but never above it.

      • Bill 7.1.2

        Well, if you’re correct, she’s positioning herself as anti-capitalist as opposed to social democratic. And that’s a huge step for a parliamentarian to take.

        • tracey 7.1.2.1

          You are not surprised to hear that from a Green party member surely? I think she is positioning herself as pro people and the environment.

          • Bill 7.1.2.1.1

            I wonder if she’s fully aware of the possible or theoretical ramifications of her words?

            Individual Green Party members/politicians have been very good at throwing out what I’d term as “good” or “correct” rhetoric. But haven’t been so up to mark on grasping what their words imply or entail.

            Metiria Turei’s speech at the Green Party election launch was a good example. From conversation I had with her, she didn’t appreciate that her speech had placed a stick of dynamite right at the very heart of the economic order. And as such, she was unprepared for the depth and breadth of the reaction that speech occasioned. She didn’t see it coming.

            And I marry that kind of (not being cruel) naivety alongside the likes of Shaw getting somewhat upbeat and excited over essentially conservative and reformist economic ideas like Kate Raworth’s “doughnut economics”.

          • Enough is Enough 7.1.2.1.2

            We all hope and pray that NZ First is wiped out at the next election.

            On the assumption that dream comes true, then we will have the opportunity of a lifetime to drag Labour to a place their name suggests they should be.

            At the moment the Greens actual power is blunted by the corrosive influence of Winston Peters in Government. With him gone then we can lead.

            On that basis Marama’s words fill me with excitement.

            • tracey 7.1.2.1.2.1

              I do not think NZF will be gone. Shane Jones is very much a Winston Peters.

              • Enough is Enough

                If that is the case then we will never get the change we need. Nz first is a conservative racist party

        • weka 7.1.2.2

          Or maybe she uses a different political analysis than the traditional left one of e.g. anti-capitalist vs social democratic.

          (I have no idea what she meant by that phrase, someone should ask her).

          • Bill 7.1.2.2.1

            Weka, whatever the basis of her analysis, an economy not based on exploitation is not a capitalist one. There is no logical, meaningful or sensible analysis that could suggest capitalism without exploitation as a possibility.

            If the idea is to “improve” capitalism (eg- lessen degrees of exploitation), then a different set of political and economic priorities come to the fore. In history, a re-alignment of political and economic priorities that subdue market forces has been labeled “social democracy”.

            Giving it another label doesn’t change what we’re talking about.

            • tracey 7.1.2.2.1.1

              The only person talking about improving the current system, with respect, is you Bill. Davidson specifically used the word change. I get what you are saying but none of us here can answer your concern. Email Davidson, she may well tell you.

              • Bill

                C’mon Tracy. “Change” has two very obvious meanings. And in terms of political and economic consequences, the difference between those two meanings is vast.

                If Marama Davidson is deliberately using “change” in a revolutionary context, that is huge…and I’m heartened that people here take it as read that’s what she means and are comfortable with it.

                But I have a sense of disquiet that people also appear to believe a politician can say and mean such a thing, and for it to have no more import or likely consequences/reaction than if the politician had said they were off to buy an ice-cream. (The “crucifixion” of Metiria Turei being a case in point.)

            • weka 7.1.2.2.1.2

              What I’m saying is that rather than putting Davidson’s words into your political framework, it might be useful to *also look at them within hers as a Māori woman and Green MP.

              You appear to be the one putting labels on (e.g. is her statement fitting with anti-capitalist, social democratic etc). The only way to know what Davidson believes would be to learn from her and her politics.

              • Bill

                As I said below, where Marama Davidson is coming from is less important than what she’s coming up against.

                To throw away well grounded and widely accepted understandings about the nature of what that is “just because” would be incredibly stupid.

                By way of analogy.

                Does it matter at all, when approaching tigers, where a person is coming from? No. What matters is the tiger, its fundamental nature and sound, accumulated knowledge about tigers.

                • weka

                  “As I said below, where Marama Davidson is coming from is less important than what she’s coming up against.”

                  Maybe consider that in order to understand her politics one needs to understand that where she comes from is equally important.

                  “To throw away well grounded and widely accepted understandings about the nature of what that is “just because” would be incredibly stupid.”

                  Just as well no-one is doing that.

                  “Does it matter at all, when approaching tigers, where a person is coming from? No. What matters is the tiger, its fundamental nature and sound, accumulated knowledge about tigers.”

                  I’m sure it matters if the person is a tiger-tamer or a scared child. So yes, I would say where the person comes from is incredibly important. Which doesn’t mean that the fundamental nature of tigers isn’t also important.

                  The accumulated knowledge about tiger is both where we come from and what we are up against. But knowledge alone isn’t sufficient.

                  • weka

                    let me put it another way. What MD meant in terms of trad left politics, is a useful question. However if the answer doesn’t fit into trad left politics and there is an insistence that it has to, then that limited understanding.

                    • Bill

                      I haven’t so much as suggested that what she said about AGW and economics doesn’t fit a left wing analysis or indeed, isn’t a left wing analysis. (No “fitting” required)

                      What I’ve pointed to is her use of the word “change” with regards the economy, and how that can be read in a reformist light or a revolutionary light.

                    • weka

                      I really think you are misunderstanding my point here (your first paragraph is an utter non-sequitur to what I said).

                      “What I’ve pointed to is her use of the word “change” with regards the economy, and how that can be read in a reformist light or a revolutionary light.”

                      And it’s a good question especially if we can understand the answers in broad terms.

            • Incognito 7.1.2.2.1.3

              Hah! We humans are notoriously inconsistent and illogical, irrational even, often without realising it! Big shifts in conceptual framework (AKA paradigm shifts) and one’s thinking can be a long, slow, and tortuous process for some (…) and does not always culminate in the proverbial Eureka!, light-bulb moment, or Aha-Erlebnis. A lot goes on under the surface of our consciousness, which is just the tip of the metaphorical iceberg.

              Few people are brave enough to undertake the journey and I envy and admire those who do …

        • Carolyn_Nth 7.1.2.3

          Not necessarily. I think you’re projecting your own per-occupation.

          Davidson is saying that the economic system is a main part of the cause of human induced climate change.

          She is saying change, not improve. The only thing she’s saying about the needed change is that it shouldn’t be based on the exploitation of our people and our planet.

          However, she does look likely to be positioned within the Green Left of Green politics, which tends to be anti-capitalist.

          Not sure why this blog has an nz url. It looks to be the Green left blog as a section of the UK Green Party. And it is explicitly anti-capitalist.

          Individuals from a variety of Green and/or Left political organisations and traditions in the UK are now engaged in launching an Ecosocialist Network, intended to include Ecosocialsts, from various political parties or none. Green Left, a left tendency within the Green Party of England and Wales decided to support this step in a recent poll of its members and some initial responses suggest that others also share the perception that there is a political opening for Ecosocialists to get organised, and indeed an urgent need to make this happen.

          • tracey 7.1.2.3.1

            I agree that Bill seems to be over complicating what seems a pretty straight forward declaration.

            • Carolyn_Nth 7.1.2.3.1.1

              She most certainly, throughout her speech, is positioning herself on the left of the Green party.

              Like Labour, there seems to be a continuum of positions within the party. I tend to see myself as green left or eco-socialist, so would be happy to see a GP co-leader from that position, outside of government.

              It seems to me that in the current Labour caucus, the centrists, or Labour’s left flank are dominant – particularly with respect to Grant Robertson and David Parker. Ardern is currently aligned with them, but I’ll be interested to see where she positions herself in the medium to long term.

              The GP ministers, in their designated portfolios, are currently not likely to rock the boat economically. I suspect Team Ardern didn’t want any of the left flank of the GP as ministers in charge of economic decisions or social security, poverty, etc – but, it also could have been a Shaw-led decision, or a negotiated position.

              • tracey

                Interesting analysis. I admire Marama’s speech precisely because of the impact of Turei’s long needed honesty and confrontation of those who enable or perpetuate the status quo. For those who still believe that suffering is over stated I urge you to acquaint yourself with how the average disabled person in NZ lives. hand to mouth at the behest of the state. Those unable to work are living below an acceptable level for any human being. That they are not living in India is not a good enough counter argument. Why, by virtue of a birth defect must they wait til they are 65 to get Super which itself is no longer enough for many people to live off? Prior to this they are on benefits, which have been consistently cut since Richardson (in real terms). Even if you believe the unemployed are so because they are lazy or solo parents shouldn’t have children, what is your justifications for keeping the disable below a level to thrive?

                Wayne and his ilk, of which there are still too many would have us say “grow the economy”,. The economy has been consistently growing since the 1980’s and yet, and YET the disabled are still subjugated.

                If Marama sounds “militant” or “revolutionary” in that speech it is because we have come so far away from a society that considers compassion and empathy hallmarks of civilisation.

                I am NOT disabled. I can see this. Why do people like Wayne not want people to know the truth, that when they vote for a perpetuation of this system they relegate these people to desperation, and mental health issues and, yes, suicide.

            • Bill 7.1.2.3.1.2

              Hmm. My comments aren’t intended to complicate.

              If “change” is to be taken as meaning “alter”, then we’re looking at some form of social democracy.

              If “change” is to be taken as meaning “replace” then we’re looking at something that isn’t capitalist.

              Both of those options offer up something better than what we have. But the sticking point is that social democracy can’t “fix” climate change.

              And it’s not clear from what Marama Davidson has said whether she believes altering “our economic system that is based on the exploitation of our people and our planet” is sufficient – ie, if she believes a different set of priorities will suffice.

          • Bill 7.1.2.3.2

            I agree she’s to the left. My question is whether shes (say) Corbyn/Sanders left – ie – social democratic, or socialist left – ie, revolutionary.

            • Carolyn_Nth 7.1.2.3.2.1

              She’s implicitly aligning herself with Corbyn.

              If you go to her campaign website – linked in the above post – it’s title is “wearemany”.

              She ended her campaign speech with “we are the many”.

              Corbyn quoted Shelley’s original “Ye are many, they are few”, but the UK LP slogan was a slight twist on it “For the many, not the few”.

              Davidson has her own twist – she shifts to an inclusive “we” – echoing the sound of “ye”.

              But, also, If you look at Marama’s story on the website, she is not coming from an economic perspective, but one of community and indigenous/Māori values.

              So you are looking for a label within European political frameworks. Davidson’s position, as urban Māori, is a mix of Māori/Pacific and European concepts.

              • Bill

                I’m not looking for any label. And it matters far less where she is coming from than what it is she is coming up against. (That iseconomic in nature and doesn’t change just because of a given approach.)

                My question was and remains, whether she intended to signal a need for reform or a need for revolution.

                You previously commented it was clear enough that she meant something revolutionary (ie – replacing capitalism). But that doesn’t square with aligning to Corbyn.

                Aligning with Corbyn is a good thing in my mind. But again – social democratic settings (whatever the detail) will not and can not “fix” global warming…because social democracy leaves fundamental bases of capitalist economics in place and, as Marama Davidson might have acknowledged, we will “never fix climate change” while that’s the case.

                • weka

                  “My question was and remains, whether she intended to signal a need for reform or a need for revolution.”

                  Maybe she was intending to signal something else entirely, and her speech was aimed at people who don’t think in the political frame work you are using. What you are saying is interesting, I just think it’s a cul de sac unless we consider MD’s political framework, then it will make more sense.

                  This from Carolyn is getting closer I think. I would add green politics as being distinct from traditional left (although Carolyn and I disagree on this),

                  “So you are looking for a label within European political frameworks. Davidson’s position, as urban Māori, is a mix of Māori/Pacific and European concepts.”

                  • Bill

                    Maybe she was intending to signal something else entirely..

                    Such as?

                    And if she was talking to some specific audience who don’t ” think in the political frame work you are using”, then why mention our economic system that is based on the exploitation of our people and our planet.?

                    That’s quintessential left rhetoric/understanding of capitalism after all.

                    Or are you suggesting it’s something else entirely that just happens to sound like a bog standard left analysis of capitalism?

                    • weka

                      “Such as?”

                      Such as something you and I aren’t aware of.

                      And if she was talking to some specific audience who don’t ” think in the political frame work you are using”, then why mention our economic system that is based on the exploitation of our people and our planet.?

                      That’s quintessential left rhetoric/understanding of capitalism after all.

                      I’m speculating about MD (I don’t know what she meant). But she and many people are multilingual when it comes to cultural and political frameworks. Likewise her audience. There are Māori politics going on all the time that Pākehā are oblivious to, don’t even know exist.

                      “Or are you suggesting it’s something else entirely that just happens to sound like a bog standard left analysis of capitalism?”

                      You listen to that sentence and hear bog standard left analysis. I listen and a green one. /shrug.

                    • Carolyn_Nth

                      Green economics is not just about the means of production and the way resources and finances are monitored and responded to.

                      Greens strongly focus on the whole community (like Davidson), including unpaid labour, and informal uses of resources. It’s as much about sharing resources, and caring for the ways they are used in the community: all areas from work, to family and leisure. It’s also about how we relate to each other.

                      Socialism traditionally, focuses on industry and workplace relations – and that is the traditional anti-capitalist stance.

                      There are gradations between reformism and revolution. I doubt any leader of a medium sized political party in NZ is going for and out and out revolution in terms of replacing the ownership classes, or total state ownership of the means of commercial and industrial production.

                      I see Davidson as being more for change in fundamental values, the way we view resources, and the way communities live within their environments and with each lother.

                      The 1980s saw a revolution of sorts. It was a break with the post WWII welfare state consensus. It was a revolution by stealth, changing underlying values that ultimately resulted in changes to the system.

                      Davidson already concerns people like Wayne because they don’t want that neoliberal consensus changed.

                    • Bill

                      Green economics is not just about the means of production and the way resources and finances are monitored and responded to.

                      And beyond some very restricted adherence to a reductionist Marxist economic view, so is socialist economics. Kinship (community), environment and (obviously) unpaid forms of work and more all come into it. (oikonomia)

                      But since we were talking about an analysis of capitalist economics that very much are reductionist and narrow (chrematistic) , then all of that’s kind of by the by.

                      Reform that’s continually questioning and pushing at the structural bases that support power might be regarded as, or become, revolutionary. So sure, there is gradient and grey.

                      And if Davidson is signalling a shift in values away from individualism and towards a form of collectivism (given that she may be somewhat aligned with Corbyn as you suggested before), then what she’s signalling is some altering of how things are, rather than fundamental change in economic arrangements that would eradicate systemic exploitation.

                      So, not a revolutionary position, but a social democratic one.

                      And yes, that’s a huge threat to entrenched interests (just look at what Corbyn has been subjected to).

                    • Carolyn_Nth

                      Look at Davidson’s speech on Sunday.

                      She talks a lot about the devastation from the 1980s demolition of the welfare state. The change she wants is a shift away from the devastation of the neoliberal revolution – towards caring and compassion, with a strong community base.

                      But from the 1970s to the 1990s many communities right across Aotearoa, including here in South Auckland suffered devastating economic collapse, and saw their quality of lives steadily diminish.

                      This is also true for the rural communities my whānau were from in the Hokianga and on the East Coast.

                      This was driven by deindustrialisation and a lack of investment in the regions, and more and more profits moving offshore.

                      Factories that sustained entire communities were shut down. Farmers and rural industries had their Government lifelines cut off. What followed was devastating poverty and the tragic, direct legacy of suffering and suicide in our regions and urban centres. We are still feeling that impact, here, now.

                      There will always be the need for change, for transitions to new and better ways of organising our society. But we have a choice.

                      We took families out of State houses that we sold to rich developers, and we put tamariki in cars. In tents. In flea-ridden boarding houses. We put them on the street.

                      It is the role of the Green Party to continue to be a loud and active voice on behalf of our communities, to push for this to be a fundamentally transformative Government.

                      Our Confidence and Supply Agreement gives us the right to agree to both work with and disagree with the Government, and we have already shown that we will use that when we need to. The Greens are now the only party in Parliament that remains in opposition to the TPPA.

                      I am proud to have a role outside the Executive that balances my responsibility to you, our membership with my position as a member of this coalition Government.

                      Tinkering and half-measures will not be enough. Now is the time to be bold and brave for those who need us most.

                      New Zealanders have been waiting far too long for a fundamental shift in our politics, for the return of care and compassion, and a departure from the shadows of the last several decades.

                      We need to turn our faces to the streets, and understand the hardship and struggle that so many of our people are facing.

                    • Bill

                      I’m aware of all that and of course, I applaud it. 🙂

          • Bill 7.1.2.3.3

            Not sure why this blog has an nz url.

            Was somebody listening or eavesdropping? They have a new home page at .co .uk 🙂

        • greywarshark 7.1.2.4

          I think she is talking about change of some kind, and it doesn’t have to mean a total reversal of everything we do. Change can mean many things Bill I think you are inflating one little word, to a load more radical than she would be considering or wanting.

          At least I hope I am right – any small change that moves in a sensible future thinking direction would be a worthy step, followed by others which are part of a staged withdrawal from dependency on fossil fuels and present transport. We already have started on using electric cars, so what’s next. Keep up the momentum – that’s what I hope she means.
          (The quietness of electric cars is a danger to unwary pedestrians – I was completely unnerved when one moved off near me – seemingly as if on a magic carpet!)

        • Macro 7.1.2.5

          Bill when Marama uses the word “change” to refer to our current economic structure, she is referring to the vision of a sustainable, and equitable economic system that has been a fundamental platform of Green Party politics for over a decade. A sustainable and equitable economy is not necessarily a market based, or a socialist driven economy. Certainly it turns the tables on the current consumption driven economic growth paradigm beloved by Labour and National. I think the most succinct explanation of this is an economy that delivers the greatest good to the greatest number over the longest time. What would such an economy look like? It could have many variations, but one formulation is perhaps best explained by Tim Jackson in his book “Prosperity without Growth – Economics for a finite planet”.
          Here is Kennedy Graham’s paper on a Sustainable Economy for NZ
          https://home.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/A_Sustainable_Economy_for_New_Zealand.pdf

          • Bill 7.1.2.5.1

            So some from or other of social democracy, where government changes the sets of priorities it applies to economic activity in order to subdue the market; where exploitation is accepted but its effects ameliorated.

            That’s essentially what’s proposed in the executive summary of Kennedy Graham’s paper.

            The ecological economic model, in contrast, stresses ‘throughput’ of matter and energy in the productive process. It sees the economy as a sub-set of the environment whose limits cannot be breached. Rather than optimal efficiency, it postulates optimal scale as the criterion of economic success. Rather than indefinite growth, it proposes a steady-state global economy, within which sustainable development of a qualitative kind can occur, broadening the measure of economic success from Gross Domestic Product to Quality of Life. ‘Prosperity without growth’ is an option, and may become an imperative. And it advocates broader instruments for measuring economic success than simply using GDP, such as the Genuine Progress Indicator and the Ecological Footprint.

            I’ll read the entire paper – though I suspect it will be a suite of ideas posited in a wooly vacuum – that the systemic nature of exploitation inherent to capitalism will neither be acknowledged, addressed nor challenged, and as such, the real world basis for the successful introduction of his “ecological economic model” will be seen to rest on nothing beyond so much “kumbaya!”

            And on page 9 (my emphasis)

            The central concept of ecological economics is throughput – the metabolic flow of energy and matter that goes into the economic activity that produces the GDP. That metabolic flow draws energy-matter from environmental sources, passes it through the ‘recognised’ economic system, and returns it back to environmental sinks as waste (though not necessarily at the same quantitative level, being subject to the law of entropy).

            (He referenced that to the further quote I’m putting in below)

            So the economic system is neutral or incidental. That’s deeply wrongheaded and, well…kinda liberal.

            ‘Growth’ is a quantitative increase in size, or an increase in throughput. ‘Throughput’ is the flow of raw materials and energy from the global ecosystem, through the economy, and back to the global ecosystem as waste. ‘Development’ is the increase in quality of goods and services, as defined by their ability to increase human well-being, provided by a given throughput. See Daly & Farley 2004,

    • tracey 7.2

      I do not take her as saying fix per se, which suggest some of it is ok. I take it as it’s time has gone. It has had decades to prove it can delivery the promised prosperity for all…. it has demonstrably failed. My 2 cents on her use of words

      • Bill 7.2.1

        That’s different to what Carolyn_Nth above has written. If you’re positioning her words only in the context of past decades, then she’s possibly signalling a desire to pursue a social democratic route – which is still politics presiding over an economic system predicated on exploitation.

        • tracey 7.2.1.1

          “which is still politics presiding over an economic system predicated on exploitation.” she seemed to be to be saying the exact opposite of that. I said she is saying its time has come, the current system must be killed because it exploits people and the environment.

  8. Wairua 8

    It was once fashionable to advocate slavery of coloured people to fix economic and trading deficits between southern US plantion-based economies and industrialised europe by breeding them.

    https://scholar.google.co.nz/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=slavery+breeding&btnG=

    I don’t know if Wayne’s crowd is into that these days.

  9. outofbed 9

    Essentially party politics is about being in Government
    The Green party membership are a different beast to to Green Voters
    Whilst I am sure Marama will appeal to the membership.
    I am not sure she is a likely to increase our share of the vote.
    Going to Gaza and being arrested by the Israelis might seem like a good idea for an activist. But is it good for increasing GP vote ?

    We (the GP) have to show some pragmatism, every thing we do must be geared to increasing our party vote whilst we adhering to the Green Kuapapa.

    So which person would be the best Female co leader to achieve that end?
    It is not necessarily the person appeals to the activist base.
    We have many amazing women in our party Marama is one such. Is she the best person to grow our vote? I think probably not.

    Who then? Eugenie Julie Anne or Marama?
    All are very impressive
    Which one will increase the GP vote?
    Not sure its Marama.

    I will be happy to be wrong

    • tracey 9.1

      Green politics is about achieving and influencing change. Ad disagrees with me but I consider the Green Party under MMP had changed NZ and its politics. For the better. They do not have to be on Treasury benches to do this.

      You dont have to agree but I remain staggered at how this is so hard for some to grasp.

      The party politics you subscribe to is how it is being done. It doesnt mean it must always be done that way or can only be done that way.

      Do you think neoliberalism can be changed? I mean its been this way for many decades…

      • Carolyn_Nth 9.1.1

        Davidson is aiming to increase the vote among Maori and Pacific people, and others not usually catered to by other parties.

        In her co-leader campaign speech she said:

        To deliver on all of those visions and policies that our people and our environment so desperately need, we must return to Parliament in 2020 with much greater numbers and as an even stronger and more significant part of the next Government.

        Our message needs to be taken into these communities, places where we haven’t had a strong presence before, and in some places where we haven’t been present at all.

        We need to be engaging with all of the diverse communities that make us the vibrant and successful country that we are.

        That is why she has been spending a lot of time in Sth Auckland, at WINZ with Auckland Action Against Poverty, and on Māori TV. And that is why she opened her co-leader campaign in Otara.

        After the 2014 election, before Davidson came off the list to replace Russel Norman, she wrote a blog post at Daily Blog:

        She wrote:

        Already the Green Party is seeing some positive opportunities. By Sunday after the Saturday election the Green Party had a flurry of new memberships.

        Thanks to our ground focussed campaign we have built up a promising core of Auckland based Māori and Pacific young women support in particular. This is very exciting and is something I want more than anything to help grow. Whatever profile I am slowly building will also be used to support the Green Party in my strive for recognition of indigenous rights and social justice

        That is my perception as well: that Turei and Davidson have attracted many urban Maori and Pacific women. I talked to one woman in 2014, who said she couldn’t relate to the Mana Party after talking to many Mana members, but the Greens were a better fit for her. Maybe because traditional left politics does have quite a masculine legacy, with the focus on labour relations, rather than community relations.

        I saw this at a rally in Otara before the latest election, when Turei and Davidson spoke.

        Also, Mojo Mather spoke at Davidson’s co-leader campaign launch – an indication of trying to reach out to people with disabilities who feel other parties don’t represent their interests.

    • weka 9.2

      I think MD is best placed to increase the vote amongst the missing million and to help break the Greens out of the perception of being a middle class party.

      Julie Anne Genter is an awesome MP too, but I think the timing is wrong and she will reinforce the middle class perception.

      I don’t see Eugenie Sage being a co-leader. That’s not a slight on her, I think her skills are better used doing other things.

      We really need someone Māori in one of the co-leader positions. The challenge there is to be bringing more Māori and PI up through the ranks so the top ten doesn’t end up being so Pākehā.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 9.2.1

        I think a very good analysis, Weka.

        Could be exciting (and hopeful) times!

      • Chuck 9.2.2

        “I think MD is best placed to increase the vote amongst the missing million and to help break the Greens out of the perception of being a middle class party.”

        That does make sense weka, but…if the Greens want to grow their vote and not at the expense of churning the current left vote, should not the Greens try to appeal to “middle NZ” convince people who could vote either way vote for the Green Party?

        Or is it impossible to appeal to both segments at the same time?

        • weka 9.2.2.1

          One of the points of the post (as I see it) was to encourage political parties to work from their values to increase votes rather than to change their values to reach a specific set of voters perceived as necessary. .

          If a party goes for the centrist vote (I assume that is what you mean by middle NZ), then that is what it might get, but as you say, this will disengage other voters (there is an obvious gulf between middle class NZ for instance and poor NZ). In the case of the Greens it will also loose them activists, which for an activist party would be very bad.

          What can be done is for a party to stay true to its values and then work to convince more people that those values are worth having in parliament. In the case of the Greens, that means reminding more NZers that it’s good to care. It’s not too far from where we are culturally anyway.

          The Greens want change not power. Chasing National voters by espousing National values would kill the party and I doubt it would get them much more power anyway. Most of their lost vote has probably gone to Labour. Rebuilding that vote at the same time as working with poorer communities makes more sense, because both things things require the Greens to maintain their values not compromise them (and to do the kinds of things Stephanie is talking about in the post).

  10. patricia bremner 10

    However AD, some actions of the Clark government regarding beneficiaries and the disabled infringed their human rights. That needs repairing. Made worse by National of course.

  11. outofbed 11

    I hope you are right.
    But look what happened to Metira.
    The Greens are a middle class party though
    I would like them not to be but they are.
    You try to get people to put up billboards who can swing a hammer.

    The missing millions are probably no more likely to vote Green then National.
    The great unwashed are so political naive, it’s so frustrating. But that is the truth
    People vote generally due to self interest Marama is not going to change that.

    She is not the pragmatic choice I know pragmatism is a swear word in the GP

    • Carolyn_Nth 11.1

      The missing millions are probably no more likely to vote Green then National.

      Yes they are more likely to vote Green.

      Green voters are more likely to be students, work part time, be in a household where someone is a member of a trade union, be Maori, identify as working class, have a relatively low income, and less likely to own their own home ….. than National voters.

      Labour voters are more likely to be in a household with trade union members, be Maori, have a low income, identify as working class, and have a lower income, and slightly more likely to own their own house or flat than Green voters.

      But such things can also change.

      I do think women from low income backgrounds are more likely to vote Green than men from such backgrounds.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 11.1.1

        That is a great link!

      • outofbed 11.1.2

        Most of the non voters are between 18 and 29
        Your link shows that age group are more likely to vote National then Green
        I think 🙂

        • Carolyn_Nth 11.1.2.1

          Yes. And more likely to vote NZ First. But NZ First and Nats have a much higher 56yrs+ vote.

          One of the major differences for the GP from the other 3 parties is that GP voters are less likely to be Christian.

          But, the student vote is more likely to go to the GP.

          NZ First has a very high proportion of voters who identify as working class.

          That may also be impacted by younger people being less class conscious – so may have come from a working class background, but not identify as such.

        • Carolyn_Nth 11.1.3.1

          The GP is not looking for an extra million votes. It dropped by about 10,000 votes from 2014-2017.

          They would probably just like to get that 10,000 more plus some more.

          • weka 11.1.3.1.1

            +1.

            And building a movement that is inclusive of people that have been disenfranchised from the political process.

  12. Xanthe 12

    Nope I dont trust her or the green party election process, The greens need a leader who will advocate for ecological wisdom.
    The last thing they need is continuance of the devisive treaty revisionism that has held them back for decades.
    For once how about they try actually having an open selection process where more than just the annoited ones are able to meaningfully participate.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      I suggest you leave the party and take up with Hobson’s Pledge.

    • weka 12.2

      “For once how about they try actually having an open selection process where more than just the annoited ones are able to meaningfully participate.”

      Afaik, any Green Party member (over 6 months?) can stand for co-leader simply by having people nominate them. Then there will be a period of time for each candidate to put forth their case about why they should be chosen. Then each area meets and discusses the candidates and makes a choice about who they support, and they send a delegate to a meeting to put that vote.

      Hard to see how that could be any more open and meaningful, unless you are suggesting 1 member/1 vote. But that’s not necessarily more open.

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