When I saw this headline I thought it was relevant to a post I wanted to do: How PR ‘completely transformed’ New Zealand politics: Metiria Turei, Green Party co-leader
But it was another sort of PR – proportional representation. The post was by the UK Electoral Reform Society.
What I wanted to write about was this ‘Public Relations’ exercise by the Greens:
That image is very young female dominant.
Remember Jeannette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald? The current crop of Greens seem to have forgotten about the past.
The Greens are obviously trying to repackage themselves and attract more voters.
The target of this PR is not the hippy greens, nor the impoverished people the Greens say the represent, nor the Maori that Metiria Turei had seemed keen on targeting not long ago.
This is certainly a new Green image, without much green showing at all, in colour and in character.
It’s a curious combination of personal. The only ones on the North & South cover who are current MPs are co-leaders Turei and James Shaw, neither of whom look like they would be at home in a garden.
The others are all candidates for this year’s election.
Only one of them, John Hart, has stood for the Greens before. He was 18 on their list last election, and has climbed to 12 on their ‘initial list’ announced last week. If he remains around that position on their final list (after members vote on it) he stands a very good chance of becoming an MP. It doesn’t look it in the cover photo but he’s a farmer.
Next is Chloe Swarbrick, placed at 13 on the initial list so a god chance of success. She is young (22) and was given a lot of publicity by media in the Auckland mayoral contest last year, and more since then. She chose Greens to advance her political career, but she’s a young urban whose green credentials aren’t clear.
Then there’s Golriz Ghahraman, at 15 on the initial list in the maybe zone. They currently have 14 MPs and will either have to increase their vote or Ghahraman will have to improve her position on the final list. She has impressive credentials – Barrister, United Nations Consultant (International Human Rights Law, Justice), United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime – but is far from a typical Green.
And there is Hayley Holt, she has pretty much no show from 29 on the initial list (the Greens only show the Top 20 Green Party Candidates on their candidate photo page. She is “snowboarder and ballroom dancer notable for her appearances on several reality television series”. gain not a very typical greenie.
I presume the Greens have done their research and are targeting the trendy urban celebrity (mainly Auckland) voter types.
But they risk losing traditional green support.
Possibly more importantly, they may find that the fluid Green support, those who like a strong environmental voice in Parliament (I’ve voted Green on that basis in the days of Donald and Fitzsimons), may not like what they see in the New Green look.
…is barely green.
I barely recognised James Shaw on the cover, and didn’t recognise John Hart. This is his Green candidate photo:
Maybe the typical North & South readers don’t like the typical Green look. (I think Hart would be a good MP).
Remember how Greens used to look?