The Greens have started to use Russell Norman as their primary spokesperson, instead of Jeanette Fitzsimons. Fitzsimons has never been great with the media, particularly in confrontational interviews and on TV. So far, Norman, while he still has much to work on, is a vast improvement. Take a look at how he handled an aggressive and unprofessional Paul Henry on Breakfast on Wednesday (minutes before, Henry had given John Key another sweetheart interview where he held his hand through the hard parts and offered him lines).
Norman is calm, rational, and unflustered by Henry’s attempts to bully him into submission. He confidently explains his position and makes a good argument.
There must be a realisation in the Greens that Fitzsimons doesn’t indeed to stay in Parliament forever and that Norman will be the senior co-leader in the future. It’s also said that Norman wasn’t terribly successful being the ‘behind the scenes’ co-leader, looking after the Party’s organisational structure and activists. That has always been one of Fitzsimons’ strong points.
If the two have indeed swapped roles- Fitzsimons doing the organisational stuff and Norman doing the media – that is a change for the good and sets the Greens up for a much better campaign this year.