A culture of Green zealotry and intolerance

Stuff has revealed a remarkable example of a culture of zealotry and intolerance in the Green parliamentary bubble.

It is common to encounter Green supporters and activists in social media who promote their ideals with zeal, and are intolerant of any alternative to their policies, and also intolerant of any criticism – sometimes to a bizarre degree.

It is not so common to see this close to the decision makers in Parliament, but Green staffer and candidate Jack McDonald has revealed on Twitter that this intolerant zealotry appears to be a part of Green culture, especially in the younger and pro-Turei faction.

Stuff: Green staffer on ex-MP Kennedy Graham speaking at National event: ‘No wonder he sabotaged us and Metiria’

A Green Party staffer says Kennedy Graham’s presence at a National Party event proves the former Green MP was never a good fit for the party.

Two time green candidate and staffer Jack McDonald

A remarkable statement at odds with reality. Graham’s history as a Green MP:

  • 2008-2011 (9th on list)
  • 2011-2014 (5th on list)
  • 2014-2017 (7th on list

Green members play a major role in ranking their candidates on their list so Graham was obviously seen as a good fit for the party. In 2014 he was ranked a long away ahead of McDonald (who was 21st). And in April last year Graham was ranked 8th on the party list for the 2017 election, and McDonald 13th.

Graham and fellow MP David Clendon resigned from the party’s list at the 2017 election over the rest of the Greens caucus’ continued support for Metiria Turei, who was under fire over her admission of benefit fraud.

Graham, a former diplomat and academic, sought to rejoin the party list after Turei eventually resigned, but was rebuffed by the party’s executive.

Jack McDonald, a former candidate, campaigner for co-leader Marama Davidson, and current Parliamentary staffer, wrote a post on an internal Green Party Facebook group saying Graham’s planned attendance at a BlueGreens conference on Saturday proved excluding him from the list was the right decision.

Another ridiculous claim. Graham was effectively dumped and shunned by the Greens, what he does now is his business.

Graham is appearing at the BlueGreens Forum alongside National MP Todd Muller and Motu’s Catherine Leining for a talk entitled “Climate Change – By Degrees”.

When Graham was in Parliament he led a cross-party group on climate change.

Graham was widely respected for his cross-party work, something that is important in an MMP parliament, but something many Greens, including McDonald, fail to appreciate.

“Kennedy Graham is speaking at the BlueGreens forum in Canterbury this weekend. … No wonder he sabotaged us and Metiria [Turei] when it mattered most,” McDonald wrote.

Turei sabotaged the Green campaign and her own political career. Trying to blame this on Graham is reprehensible. Graham stood down on principle, something McDonald doesn’t seem to have any grasp of (both the fact and principles).

“In the context of Kennedy still apparently having many supporters in the Party who were upset he wasn’t allowed back on the list, we need to make sure there isn’t the ability for this to happen in the future and prevent the election of Green MPs whose politics are incompatible with fundamental Green kaupapa.”

If McDonald represents “fundamental Green kaupapa” then the party is stuffed beyond being a fringe party of zealots intolerant of anyone different to their own self perceived perfection.

“We all need to work on bringing together the party and reaching out to those who disagree, but there also needs to be a line in the sand, and for me, Kennedy represents it.”

If a widely respected MP for 9 years and and loyal party member who acted on genuine principle crosses a line for McDonald that’s sad. Does he represents a common culture within the Green Party

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman “liked” the post.

There seems to be a growing influence in the Greens from younger, more fanatical and far less tolerant members, staffers and MPs.

Recently on Twitter:

Ironic given the vitriol McDonald has dumped on Graham, who was an important part of Green diversity that now seems seriously under threat.

If McDonald and like minded Greens represent ‘fundamental Green kaupapa’, and dump on anyone who doesn’t fit their narrow ideals as McDonald has with Graham, there’s no way I’ll consider voting for them again. And I doubt I’ll be the only one  with that view.

This narrow and intolerant approach to politics is a particular problem for climate change – for enduring and effective measures to be taken by our Parliament it will require general cross-party agreement, and that means working with the National Party who have indicated a willingness to deal with climate change.

McDonald’s zealotry and spiteful drawing of lines is more likely to harm rather than help the Green cause. If they dump on too many people they increase their chances of being dumped from Parliament.



  1. Pinned tweet:

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  April 28, 2018

      I would steer clear of him. Weakness and hatred.

      • cryptoWarrior

         /  April 28, 2018

        You could see it sitting behind a desk at the Ministry of the Interior with that smug grin signing off on the extermination of millions of Kulaks by private property confiscation and forced starvation.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  April 28, 2018

          Yes, but wearing a nice pendant and cuff links.

        • Blazer

           /  April 29, 2018

          don’t forget while stroking the persian cat…on his…knee.

    • Gezza

       /  April 28, 2018

      I bet that IS an overstatement, tbh.

  2. PDB

     /  April 28, 2018

    The Greens have drawn a line in the sand – you can only care for the environment if you also agree that Turei should be applauded for lying twice about her days on welfare;

    *The first time to the government in order to claim benefits she was not entitled to.
    *The second time to the general public/MSM when she obviously told a half-truth over the financial assistance she received whilst claiming benefits that was about to be exposed by RNZ before she decided to quit instead.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 28, 2018

      What ? Don’t you believe that her mother never gave her a brass farthing all that time that she was living with her ?

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 28, 2018

        Two people seem to, they probably also believe that the baby’s well-off father and his family didn’t give the poor girl anything either, even when she and the baby were in danger of going hungry.

  3. Zedd

     /  April 28, 2018

    The Greens are a ‘broad church’ of ideas.. but all have a basic focus on sustainability & a clean environment.. any talk of ‘Blue-greens’ is just plain nonsense; how can a party like Natl with their focus on mining, farming with chemicals & more cars/trucks, join with a party that opposes these things.. it goes totally against the Greens basic kaupapa, (IMHO)..

    Maybe the Natl party should talk about factions like; DarkBlues & lighterblues.. with a slightly green tinge OR they could even actually split up into 2-3 separate parties; ie TOP 😀

    • PDB

       /  April 28, 2018

      “The Greens are a ‘broad church’ of ideas..” – then PG’s post and your own post proves they are anything but.

      • Zedd

         /  April 28, 2018

        what does that really mean pantzi ? 😀
        more waffling !

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  April 28, 2018

          Why do you/Greens oppose farming, mining and individual transport when these are the basis of our civilisation?

          That just shows how loony and how far removed from sane environmentalism your beliefs really are.

          • cryptoWarrior

             /  April 28, 2018

            “these are the basis of our civilisation?”

            With its marxist foundation, Left hatred ( cloaked in a glowing aura of feelz and pregnancy, or not ) for Western Civilization is axiomatic.

  4. Trevors_Elbow

     /  April 28, 2018

    No surprises there. Pete – why would you have ever thought the NZ Greens were any better than this? Watermelons the majority of them and the green skin is getting thinner and thinner by the day.

    Environmental issues are for all parties. Talking to all parties is the only way to build a long term, sustainable consensus on environmental policy, and prevent radical policy flip-flops every time the political coin spins left to right to left to right….

    Building consensus on environmental issues de-fangs lobby groups for the do nothing to protect the environment section in the business world…

    But Jack McDonald doesn’t get that – how can a candidate for our parliament be so lacking in basic understanding of co-operative policy making as to attack a person who straddles party lines on environmental issues? I’ll answer that – because Jack McDonald is really using environmental issues as a cover for his real beliefs – which are hard right SJW beliefs which is clearly demonstrated by his support of MeTu and Marama…

    The NZ Greens are going to destroy themselves…. pass the popcorn

    • “why would you have ever thought the NZ Greens were any better than this?”
      Some of them were much better than this.

      As well as Graham and Clendon there’s Fitzsimons, Donald, Hague, even Norman. But it’s looking a lot different now.

      • Trevors_Elbow

         /  April 28, 2018

        Ah – you mean the ones early on when it was more environmental with a social conscience. That was infiltrated awhile ago now….. Norman, Turei, Davidson…. strong, strong emphasis on redistribution, anti – markets in those 3 and they are the spearpoint behind which the rest of the gullible, young cadres who don’t have any memories of the 70’s and 80’s trail.

        Sad that you have to be a leftie to have a green conscience according to Jack McDonald

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 28, 2018

      Sad and an arrogant way of thinking…people like me who go to some trouble to live greenly are grossly insulted by this attitude. I sometimes wonder why I bother, except that it’s the right thing to do.

  5. sorethumb

     /  April 28, 2018

    The problem with the Greens is that you can’t pin their ideology down other than it is based on postmodernist anti colonial ideology – the sort of dialogue that can’t surface in rational discussion.

  6. Blazer

     /  April 28, 2018

    as if any on the right are entitled to a ‘holier than thou’…attitude…laughable.

  7. Grimm

     /  April 28, 2018

    He’s pathetic. Thinks he needs to slay all the imaginary identity politics dragons to be accepted.

    Am I left enough, brown enough, feminist enough. Sorry enough, for being a man.

  8. Seabird

     /  April 28, 2018

    Wouldn’t it be interesting if Kennedy Graham stood for a National Seat and got elected . that would really throw the cat among the pigeons.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 28, 2018

      From your lips to God’s ears, Seabird.

  9. Gezza

     /  April 28, 2018

    He says he’s a ecosocialist.

    • David

       /  April 28, 2018

      Anybody for watermelon?

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 28, 2018

        No, thanks, I’ve gone off them. Or do I mean that they’ve gone off ? Or both ?

  10. David Farrar points out:

    Also guess which other Green MPs have attended Blue Greens forums in the past? None other than his hero Metiria Turei, and Kevin Hague. So are they also traitors?

    I thought the Greens had a charter saying you debate issues, not attack people. Doesn’t seem to be something their next MP believes in.


    Does anyone know who McDonald works for as a Green staffer?

    • Apparently Māori Political and Media Advisor at Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand.

      He could do with some media advice himself.

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