Answers about David Hay’s leadership challenge of Russel Norman are starting to emerge.
Oddly, despite Patrick Gower leading the revelations yesterday about Hay’s motives 3 News seems to have hidden any reports on it on their website, but can be found via search.
David Hay says the party’s Candidate Selection and Electoral Process Committee (CSPEC) has recommended to the party’s executive committee that he shouldn’t be in the candidate pool next year.
“I don’t know exactly why the CSEPC made its negative recommendation, but if the party executive accepts it, that would prevent me from being ranked on the party list and therefore from becoming a Green MP next year.”
Mr Hay has been refused a copy of the committee’s report to the executive.
I have asked executive to make a final decision tomorrow, by simple majority if necessary. I do not intend to appeal it.”
That’s odd – if they vote to exclude him as a candidate today he won’t appeal it – which means his leadership bid will fail?
He is concerned about the lack of Green Party candidates from Auckland that are likely to make the list next year and therefore the lack of the party’s presence in Auckland after next year’s election.
Perhaps Hay is just making a noise about his concerns before he is excluded from contention, although according to Metiria Turei he can challenge for leadership regardless.
NZ Herald also reports:
The Green Party says a leadership challenge by low-ranking candidate David Hay was “a case of sour grapes” after the party decided he should not run in the next election.
He is ranked 16th on Greens’ list and ran as a candidate in the 2008 and 2011 elections.
A Greens spokesman said this afternoon [FRI] that Mr Hay had not made it through a vetting process to become a candidate in the 2014 election.
Mr Hay’s decision to challenge for the leadership was “a case of sour grapes,” the spokesman said.
More questions may be answered today. A Green Party press release says:
Mr Hay’s candidacy is on the agenda for 1:30 pm tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon. The agenda item is titled: Next steps on recommendation to decline entry to the candidate pool: David Hay
Party executive meetings are open for all members to attend, and Mr Hay has invited party members to attend the meeting early tomorrow afternoon.
Hay has said that he will not make any further media or social media comment until approximately 2:30 tomorrow afternoon, outside the Green Party office in Mercury Lane.
More from the press release:
Green Party Leadership FEC (frequently expressed concerns)
David Hay, who challenged Russel Norman for the Green party co-leadership this week, today responded to concerns that have been expressed by Green Party members on Facebook and elsewhere after he announced his leadership bid.
He has revealed that the party’s powerful and secretive Candidate Selection and Electoral Process Committee (CSEPC) has recommended to the party’s executive committee that he should not be accepted into the candidate pool in 2014.
Mr Hay says “I don’t know exactly why the CSEPC made its negative recommendation, but if the party executive accepts it, that would prevent me from being ranked on the party list and therefore from becoming a Green MP next year. I have asked for a copy of the CSEPC report to executive under the Privacy Act, and that request has been refused.”
“I know that the executive met by telephone call on 22 October and could not make a decision on my candidacy. The vote was split 3-6 with some abstentions. Under party rules a 75% majority is required for a decision. I have asked executive to make a final decision tomorrow, by simple majority if necessary. I do not intend to appeal it.”
Mr Hay has defended his abilities as a candidate on his blog, saying “In my view, for the party to reject my application for the candidate pool would be nothing less than an act of collective self-mutilation.”
Mr Hay has also revealed how few Green Party candidates from Auckland are likely to make it into the list rankings in 2014, reinforcing his concern about the lack of Green Party presence in Auckland after the next election.
The Green Party is the most democratic decision-making Political Party in New Zealand – our Party List is decided by a vote of all members.
But an executive vote can exclude someone from contention for the list.
It’s not clear whether party leaders are on the executive but it would appear that they are not. Holly Walker is the MP representative on the executive.
Co-leader Metiria Turei is reported as saying Greens not happy with leadership challenge:
“So far that I’ve seen the majority of people who’ve made any comment on it, or who have made contact with me or others, is that they’re very upset with the way that he’s gone about it.
“And that will matter.”
And Turei from an interview on Newstalk ZB (audio):
The response by members that I’ve seen to David’s challenge is really about process. The Greens are very firm about the way things are done as much as what is done, and there’s lots of people who are unhappy with the way he’s gone about this.
Any member can challenge for leadership at our AGM, and we are elected every year, so there is a very clear process for how that’s done. David’s gone a bit earlier than usual but that’s up to him to decide.
He relies on the membership to vote for him. I suspect that he may have annoyed more people than will support with this move.
Like everybody we heard this from the media, and again I think that will be an issue for the membership who prefer members to behave in a more process focussed way, and would have preferred to have been told themselves before they heard it in the papers, but again David has to make an assessment of what he’s doing. I’m not clear entirely about his reasons why he’s doing this now.
As I say, he’s entitled to contest, he doesn’t have to be a candidate, he doesn’t have to be an MP to contest the leadership. Any member can contest at the AGM.
It’s hard to say how in touch party leadership is with membership in Auckland, but it’s apparent they have been surprised by this challenge.
It’s funny to hear the leader of a party with a dissenter background complaining about proper processes not being followed.
There have been many criticisms of the Green Party abuse of normal political process in their misuse of the Citizen Initiated Referenda as covered by NZ Herald in Editorial: Referendum on asset sales misuses system – on that the Greens have departed from behaving in a process focused way.
Turei: “The Greens are very firm about the way things are done as much as what is done, and there’s lots of people who are unhappy with the way he’s gone about this.“
People are unhappy with how Greens have abused CIR and parliamentary processes.
And obviously at least one person is unhappy with candidate selection processes within the Green Party so has chosen to rock the Green boat that creates it’s own waves very carefully these days.
Protest has been carefully managed via process – when it suits. David Hay has played Green leadership at their own game of dissent.
An important question will be whether Greens manage to damp down this flare up quickly or if it lingers on halfway into election year.