Fitzsimons ‘deeply distressed’ by Green support of waka jumping bill

Ex-leader of the Green party Jeanette Fitzsimons has joined the criticism of the Green Party support of Winston peters’ ‘waka jumping’ bill in an appearance before the select committee hearing public submissions on the bill.

NZH: Former Greens co-leader ‘deeply distressed’ by party’s support for waka jumping ban

A former leader of the Green Party, Jeanette Fitzsimons, says she was “deeply distressed ” her party supported the so-called waka jumping bill to its first reading and she hopes wisdom will prevail.

She spoke about the internal dissent and crisis within the Green Party before the last election over the admission by co-leader Metiria Turei of historic benefit fraud.

She appeared before the justice select committee to speak against the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill, which allows a party leader to oust an MP from Parliament with the support of two thirds of the caucus.

If the bill becomes law, the Greens co-leaders with the support of two thirds of the caucus, could have had them booted out of Parliament.

“Integrity cannot be legislated for,” Fitzsimons said. “It is a matter of conscience and judgment.

“In some cases, leaving one’s party is an act of integrity – as when the party has departed from the policies it took to the election or has abused proper process.

“In other cases it may be just self-serving political expediency.”

Greens have always strongly opposed measures like those proposed in the bill, until they supported the bill at it’s first reading. Some Green MPs have also expressed concern about Green support of the bill.

Fitzsimons also referred to the upheaval in the Green Party before last year’s election.

“Dissent is a valuable part of the political process, ” she said. “Without it, MPs are just clones of their leader.”

Referring to the Greens’ internal strife before the last election when MPs Kennedy Graham and David Clendon withdrew from the party list because they could not persuade Turei to resign, she said she supported their right to dissent.

“I strongly disagreed with the stance of my former colleagues Kennedy Graham and David Clendon took on the actions of co-leader Metiria Turei, and I was highly critical of the way they went about it which was unnecessary and damaging.

“But I would defend to the end their right to freedom of conscience and to express their views in opposition to the rest of the caucus, without being thrown out of Parliament.”

I hope Green staffer and list candidate Jack McDonald hears that. He recently slammed and excommunicated Graham:

“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.”

See A culture of Green zealotry and intolerance

He could learn a lot from older wiser Green Party stalwarts. Fitzsimons:

“Dissent is a valuable part of the political process. Without it, MPs are just clones of their leader.”

But a seemingly growing number of Greens view dissent, and disagreement with and questioning of their ideals, as blasphemy that should not be tolerated.

It will be interesting to see whether the leader McDonald worships and clones, Marama Davidson, stands by fundamental Green kaupapa and votes against the ironically named Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill.

If anyone is respected for their integrity in the history of the Green Party it is Jeanette Fitzsimons.


  1. “National’s Nick Smith, who sits on the select committee, said all of the submissions the committee received were against the legislation.”
    While submitters are not ‘the public’ that sounds like strong opposition to the bill.

    • Gezza

       /  May 4, 2018

      When in coalition, and as demonstrated by NZF, and even National, as well as the Greens, it is obviously sometimes necessary to sell out some of your supporters.

      • Gezza

         /  May 4, 2018

        Labour however cannot be accused of this because they had *no idea*!how bad things really had got under National so they are not selling any supporters out because it will just take a bit longer & you may just have to pay more levies (#moretaxes). 😕

  2. Grimm

     /  May 4, 2018

    It’s incredible how much money is wasted in this country on following or trying to undo, follies instigated by Winston Peters.

  3. Zedd

     /  May 4, 2018

    The Greens are part of the Govt. (Conf./supply) & are ‘required’ to support Govt. bills, but they do need to make more noise.. I see NZF have voted with Natl on a few mbrs bills & against Greens Med-use cannabis bill. 😦

  4. Trevors_Elbow

     /  May 4, 2018

    Mama Greens sayz…. bad for Gaia, bad for da people, bad for the world….

    but of course this is no longer Jeanette’s Green Party.

    Its Marama’s Party now…… and we all know that the NZ Greens are real just the SUP in drag…. and the SUP LOOOOOVVEEDD Stalinst compulsion and toeing the Party line.

    So all you would be Splitters…..take a hike. Its for the cause that the Greens will support that man Winston in his pursuit of a sock puppet party which he can legal dictate to on pain of expulsion from the Parliament!!

    I hear there is a Green Party garage sale round the corner: Integrity, Principles and good sense are all for sale at knock down prices….

    • phantom snowflake

       /  May 4, 2018

      That’s fukn nuts! In what world would actual Commies support a conservative Nationalist party?? This has happened, like, never!!

      • Trevors_Elbow

         /  May 4, 2018

        Yes – your post is fukn nuts, perfect turn of phrase

        Where did I mention the Nats – your comprehension skills a bit askew? Its not about supporting the Nats, dullard. Its about standing by your principles and opposing an anti-democratic bill into Law.

        If one of the founders of the parliamentary wing of the NZ Greens thinks its a very dumb idea does that make her a Nat supporter as well?

        Seriously – nice try on a diversion form the topic of my post but come on, you need to do much better than Snowy

        • phantom snowflake

           /  May 4, 2018

          “conservative Nationalist party” = New Zealand First!!

          – Is that you, Redbaiter??

  5. Blazer

     /  May 4, 2018

    ‘ Integrity, Principles and good sense are all for sale at knock down prices….they’re just recycling abandoned waste picked up outside…Nat H.Q.

    • Trevors_Elbow

       /  May 4, 2018

      Geeeezzz…. them overlooking you for that safe electorate all those years ago has left some serious acid reflux happening chick….. you really need to find another hobby horse, because this one is making you all bitter from the splinters in ya arse….

  6. Kitty Catkin

     /  May 4, 2018

    Why would anyone object to their party vote potentially being stolen by someone waka-jumping to another party ? I would be very indignant if the person I voted for with my party vote changed party and I found that I had voted for Greens or NZ First.

    I will always remember seeing that man who’d voted for Auntie Alamein saying ‘She’s stolen my vote.’ She had, too. Four words that said it all.

    • Callum

       /  May 4, 2018

      It really comes back to do you vote for the party or the people it puts forward on its list? Or do you vote for the policies? What if the party drifts from its core policies, would you like the an MP to stand for the policies the party stood for? Do lists affect how people vote? If they don’t why were Chloe and Hayley so high profile?
      I think the Green party actually embodies the reasons this is bad legislation and it should be voted down. They get members to pick their list as it is about selecting the people they want to represent them. That will be a diverse range of views across a number of issues, otherwise you might as well just clone Shaw or Davidson. They are representing a diverse range of people who will disagree on some issues. Do you want someone who just tows the line or will stand up for what they believe in?
      Reality is this is only an issue for big matters, you are not going to get a fresh MP sworn in who suddenly jumps party over nothing. If they did it would probably harm the party they went to as well as their own standing.
      Winston is just worried as he doesn’t have a lot of high calibre MP’s or even a strong party direction so is very prone to his party splintering, especially as he nears the end of his career and there is no clear successor. NZ First voters also straddle the spectrum more than any other party, there was not really a clearcut preference for who his voters expected him to partner with. A few MP’s could decide that they can get together and achieve more of what their voters wanted such as a referendum on Maori seats.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  May 4, 2018

        As human beings are all different, there will never be a one size fits all on this.

        But if I gave my party vote to National,for argument’s sake, I have to take it on trust that John Smith, who’s first in line, will follow National lines. I am voting for National, not John Smith as a person. John Smith then decises that he’s really a Labour sympathiser and changes. My vote, and all the other votes which put him in as a National MP have now been given to Labour. In my opinion, John Smith should step down and let Joan Brown, who’s second on the list, have his seat.

        I didn’t want Labour; in this scenario, I voted National. If I’d wanted Labour, I’d have voted for Labour in the party vote.Labour would have an extra seat whose voters wanted it to go to National;

        • PDB

           /  May 4, 2018

          The problem is electorate MPs will also be given the ass under the waka-jumping bill if their leader/party wants them gone. I’d suggest there are a lot of people that vote for their preferred party for their party vote and the best person for the job for their electorate vote regardless of what party they represent.

          There are many times an MP wins an electorate whist getting well beaten in the party vote for that electorate. In the 2014 election for instance Grant Robertson, David Clark, Clare Curran, Mallard, O’Connor, Cunliffe, Twyford, Hipkins etc all won their electorates but lost the party vote in their electorates. The bill makes the electorate MP more loyal to the party than to the people that actually voted them into parliament to directly represent them.

        • Callum

           /  May 5, 2018

          If I voted NZ first because I wanted a referendum on Maori seats, if the party fails to deliver but an MP or MP’s decide to go with National to get that referendum, then who has let me down? The party who changed their bottom line policies or the MP’s who stuck to them?

  1. Fitzsimons ‘deeply distressed’ by Green support of waka jumping bill — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition