Greens want to dump referendums so they can force separate Māori wards

Several local bodies have failed in their attempts to impose Māori wards on their constituencies, with voters initiating petitions forcing referendums that subsequently voted strongly against separate democratic privileges – see Māori wards and democracy.

Undeterred by determination through the current democratic process, Green co-leader Marama Davidson is promoting “a movement”  for  “Māori wards right across the country”.

NewstalkZB: Green Party not giving up on Maori wards

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson is refusing to give up the fight to create separate Maori wards, after Whakatane and Palmerston North both voted against the wards in binding referendums.

Davidson says it’s wrong for the majority to be setting the rules for minorities.

“Passing my law, which would have removed that referendum step and which would leave the decision in the hands of the elected councillors, is what is sorely needed.”

She has a law to take a means of democratic decision making out of the hands of voters.

Last year: Greens introduce Bill to make local wards process fair

The Green Party has today entered a Member’s Bill into the ballot that would make local government representation more equitable by ensuring that the establishment of both Māori and general wards on district and regional councils follows the same legal process.

“I’m really excited to be launching my new Member’s Bill today, which will ensure that the process for establishing Māori wards at a local government level is equitable and fair, and honours our commitments under Te Tiriti o Waitangi,” said Green Party Māori development spokesperson Marama Davidson.

Green Farm: ‘All votes are equal…but some vote should be more equal than others’.

“This unfair double standard in our electoral law works to limit Māori representation at local government level throughout the country.

Māori currently have the same opportunities for representation as everyone else. Davidson wants them to have separated representation. Davidson is promoting one standard for Māori the is different for the standard for everyone else.

Why just Māori wards? Why not women’s wards, LBGT wards, immigrant group wards, and white male wards?

“Removing this discriminatory provision is the right thing to do.

With a more discriminatory, less democratic provision?

“The Green Party has a proud history of standing up to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi. This is a continuation of our work as the political leaders on advancing kaupapa Māori and honouring Te Tiriti,” Ms Davidson said.

By promoting separatist local body democracy. I’m not aware of Te Tiriti o Waitangi stipulating separate democratic rights. There are valid historical reasons for the establishment of the national Māori electorates, and there is no strong indications that voters want that changed – but there are strong indications in New Plymouth, Manawatu, Kaikoura and Whakatane that separate wards are not wanted.

Having lost out in the democratic process Davidson wants the rules changed so she can have what she wants. This is alarming from a party leader.

From the Green’s Open Government and Democracy Policy:


  • We have a proportional electoral system that is transparent and fair.

This refers to ‘a proportional electoral system’, not dual systems. Fair for all, or ‘more fair’ for some?

Key Principles

1. Key decisions on the shape of the nation’s electoral system belong to the people, not political parties.

And not councils. But Davidson wants this principle overturned so councils can ignore their constituents.

2. The votes of all electors are of equal weight in influencing election results.

Except Davidson wants added weight for a select minority.

6. The electoral system should encourage close links and accountability between individual MPs and their constituents or constituencies.

8. Active democratic processes require more than periodic elections and stronger mechanisms are needed for the ongoing engagement of informed citizens in the development and enactment of key national and local policies.

But Davidson wants to remove the right of local body voters to petition for referendums so they can have their say.

A. Changing the existing system

The Green Party will only consider supporting changes to the Electoral Act if:

1. The only effect of the change is to grant the right to vote to some group of citizens and permanent residents of Aotearoa New Zealand, who were previously ineligible to vote; or
2. The changes are adjustments to the existing electoral system that have been recommended by an independent commission, and that are consistent with our Key Principles.

Separate Māori wards are excluded by point 1. because Māori are already eligible to vote.

I’m not aware of any independent commission recommending Māori wards.

Māori wards are not consistent with Green Party Key Principles, but who needs to bother about principles when a party leader wants to override the current democratic systems?

Another Green democracy ‘vision’:

  • We are actively engaged in our democracy and are able to meaningfully participate in government decision-making.

That’s ok as an ideal, but you can’t make people actively engage in our democracy. Local body referendum turnouts were all close to 40%.

And Davidson wants to remove a petition/referendum means of meaningful participation because she disagrees with the democratic outcome.

Perhaps Davidson should try some meaningful participation and actively engage with Māori non-voters, and find out what would encourage them to engage and vote. That would be much better than trying to change the democratic rules when you don’t get the results you want.

It would be great if more Māori voted. It would also be great if more Māori  candidates stood, and if more Māori candidates were good enough to get voted on to local body governments.

B. Changing to a new system

The Green Party will consider supporting changing to a new electoral system only if:

1. The new electoral system is approved by a free and fair referendum of all people in Aotearoa New Zealand eligible to vote under the existing laws. The referendum should have the following characteristics:
a) The referendum process is determined by an independent commission not by members of parliament

Davidson wants to do the opposite.

Great to get more Māori  voting and standing and elected. But terrible for a party leader to try to change the rules to get what she wants.

Not only is Davidson promoting double democratic standards, she is promoting very different democratic standards to he party principles and policies.

Marama Davidson on the budget – more ‘grate Greens’ than ‘great Greens’

Green co-leader Marama Davidson’s response to the budget gushed Green greatness, as well as smooching smugness while ignoring why the Government has a healthy surplus with which to invest in some green projects.

This Budget begins the process of rebuilding our public services. Restoring our health and education systems. Putting in place the foundations for our future. The foundations for a Green future.

A real government builds houses and shelters the homeless. National stuffed around as rents and house prices exploded.

A real government funds hospitals to deliver the best healthcare in the world to our people. National blew smoke rings while mould grew in the walls of Middlemore Hospital, where three of my babies were born.

A real government thinks the justice system is for delivering justice, not feeding Māori and Pasifika men and women to the private prison industry.

This is what we campaigned for: a real government. A government that takes action rather than kicking the tyres. A government that builds, not a government that shuts things down.

People ask why we didn’t go with National and focus on environmental stuff. But being Green means understanding how our social and economic systems fuel the destruction of our environment.

The environment doesn’t sit in a box on a shelf. Mama nature is all around us. She affects our lives, and our actions affect her, every minute of the day. 💚💚💚

The issues facing our environment – water and air and native species – are connected to the issues facing our society – low wages, high rents, mental health, violence and discrimination.

These all have roots in an economic system which isn’t broken – it’s working exactly as intended, siphoning off the wealth we all create into the hands of a few who missed kindy the day we were taught to share.

This Budget has the largest redistribution of wealth since the Mother of All Budgets, but more Robin Hood than Ruth Richardson – helping those who need it the most. That’s what a real government does.

When National were in government, they were so focused on the surplus they ignored the massive moral deficit: families living in cars. Hungry kids. Toxic rivers, dying kauri and dead dolphins.

National certainly struggled to deal adequately with some problems, but they did try. And the current Government has the benefit of a healthy economy and a growing surplus with which they can fund more initiatives – in large part thanks to the careful financial management of National.

Claiming moral superiority means Davidson has a lot to deliver on, and she is a long way from doing that yet.

Today we’re turning the waka around. We’ve ensured every rental will be warm, dry and well ventilated. We’ll fix Auckland’s transport issues. We’re delivering real justice and aroha to the families of the Pike 29.

We’ll deliver a rent-to-own scheme in KiwiBuild, more services for mental health, drug and alcohol addiction, and overhaul our welfare system to focus on helping people, not reading their Tinder profiles.

We’ll transform Aotearoa into the country we know it can be. Where kids grow up in warm, dry homes in vibrant cities and towns, and can swim in the river and drink water from the tap without getting sick.

A country where everyone who works has a decent income and a good life, and paid employment is not the only kind of work we acknowledge and value.

A country which honours and does MORE than just honour te Tiriti o Waitangi. A country which leads the world in tackling the global problems of climate change, inequality and injustice.

There’s a lot of idealistic maybes there.

We’re not just managing until the next election: we are governing for the next century, planning for the world our mokopuna will inherit: one built on love and community and kaitiakitanga.

This government is going to transform our country. We are so proud to stand with our friends in Labour and New Zealand First and vote for this Budget.

Some of her claims are a bit premature. The world won’t be transformed into a Green nirvana with one largely unremarkable budget.

Greens have only just got their feet under the Government table. They have a lot to deliver yet if they are to achieve what Davidson is claiming.

And her divisive ‘them versus the great us’ moral superiority attitude does not look like ‘one built on love and community and kaitiakitanga’.

More humbleness and more results would help achieve some real and significant Green achievements,

The attitude that Davidson has brought to the top of her Party is more ‘grate Greens’ rather than ‘great Greens’. That’s a real shame.

I applaud some of what the Greens are bringing to budget decisions, but I cringe at how some of their ideals are delivered.


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.

OffShaw shrilling overstates ‘great Green change’

In his latest newsletter James Shaw seems very happy about his party’s successes to date in Government, but he is overstating achievements a bit.

You got the Greens into Government and now you’re seeing the results.

This is what great green change looks like: No new drilling for fossil fuels in the oceans of Aotearoa!

I think that is inaccurate. There has been a ban on new offshore permits, but existing permits can still be used to drill new wells.

This is gigantic! Just the push back from oil companies alone proves how huge this is.

It may be big compared to green achievements in the past, but there is a lot of debate about what effect it will have in practice.

It will limit future exports of oil and gas, and local use of gas could be affected, but until practical large scale alternatives are found to fossil fuels for vehicles (including trains and planes) in particular New Zealand will have to keep importing oil.

And we could not have done it without you.

This campaign started decades ago and has taken the hard work of people, like you, who’ve participated in many different ways to support the stopping of fossil fuel extraction from our oceans.

For years we’ve shone a spotlight on the perils of the continued use of fossil fuels and its threat to our very existence. We know that the world cannot burn the 80% of the reserves we already know about if we are to have any hope of stopping catastrophic climate change. We know that our wellbeing and the wellbeing of our planet demand that we move to cleaner, lower emission ways of doing business and of living our lives.

The permit ban is a battle win, but the fossil fuel and climate change wars are far from over.

We’ve drawn a line in the sand. So now, not only are we taking climate action, but also our beaches, our whales and our Māui dolphins are much safer because of this decision.

I think that ‘much safer’ substantially also overstates the changes gained.

Shaw goes on the Ra Ra! the troops, with the inevitable pleas for donations, but if he oversells successes too often Green supporters may become jaded.

For the first time ever, we’re making the environment a major priority in transport. From now on, transport spending must focus on reducing climate pollution as well as other negative impacts on public health such as water quality.

And finally, no more taxpayer subsidies of large scale irrigation!

Cleaning up our rivers just got real! Thanks to our confidence and supply agreement, the Government is winding down taxpayer subsidies for large scale irrigation schemes that lead to over-intensive land-use.

Another massive win for the Greens and for you!

A lot of work was already being done on cleaning up waterways. A recent report showed that river quality has been improving over the last few years. More Green pressure will help, but a lot is happening regardless.

Perhaps loyal Green supporters will buy Shaw’s exaggerations, but most voters are more likely to be swayed to open their wallets by the Briscoe’s lady – who has toned down a lot lately.

In decades we may be able to look back on great Green change, but at this early stage it sounds like too much offShaw shrilling.

Sensible Green decision to stand in Northcote by-election

The Green Party has announced that it will stand a candidate in the Northcote by-election in June.

While a challenge to their meagre finances and a risk this is a sensible decision. They will be criticised for reducing Labour’s slim chance of winning the seat off National, but they would have been at risk of more damaging criticism if they had helped Labour by not standing a candidate.

That a win for National will have no effect on the balance of power in Parliament will have made this decision easier for the Greens.

Greens will be intent on differentiating from their Labour partner, this is critical for a support party on the cusp of the make or break MMP threshold.

And they will be keen to get measures of their their popularity and of their performance in Government with the Northcote voters.

A candidate has not been announced yet.

We await concrete Green action, and can do without the nutters

The Labour led government banned oil and gas exploration on Thursday, sort of, permits anyway, in the future. It has dismayed NZ First and the Greens are ecstatic, in what may be a largely symbolic move. But it has risks, including:

  • It could deter investment in the existing and non-banned fossil fuel recovery industry based largely in Taranaki
  • If it stops future gas recovery it could increase our reliance on existing dirtier coal energy if the Greens don’t get their way and ban that too)
  • It could force New Zealand to import more expensive energy to meet our needs.

Green co-leader James Shaw followed up yesterday launching a ‘preliminary survey’ of finance for climate related economic activity.

“There are huge opportunities in the clean economy. Today I’m launching a report into how we can finance the transition to net zero emissions, creating jobs in new industries and upgrading our economy to be more resilient.”

The greens claim that alternative energy offers huge business opportunities – see Green report – climate finance in New Zealand.

But there is still a lack of concrete proposals on post fossil fuel clean green optionn. Green ideals need to be translated into viable opportunities.

Shane Cowlishaw (Newsroom): Real climate challenge lies ahead

Tasked with creating many of those next steps will be a new, independent watchdog.

The climate commission will be established under the Zero Carbon Act, with an interim committee soon to be announced while the permanent body is set up.

Alongside its job of holding the Government to account for its progress on greenhouse gas emissions, it will also provide advice on setting targets, reducing emissions and addressing climate risks.

It has its work cut out for it.

On the face of it, the decision to ban new offshore exploration permits will have little effect on our use of oil and gas.

Until people’s habits change or new taxes on fossil fuels are introduced, the country will continue to import what it needs from overseas.

Last week Jones was in Taranaki to soften the exploration ban blow, announcing $20 million of spending for the region.

It included $150,000 on new energy initiatives, but the major money was for the restoration of a cathedral and better walking tracks.

That won’t replace the loss of the oil and gas sector. New industries will be needed.

Shaw told media he believed the end of exploration would be a boon for the economy rather than a hit, as clean energy industries surged forward.

“It does represent, I think, the greatest economic opportunity in at least a generation for the creation of new jobs and new technologies that our dependence on fossil fuel has held back for too long.”

At this stage, however, talk is cheap and unless real solutions are put forward the Government risks watching the exploration ban thrown out at the next election.

The Greens have talked up their vision for a vastly different energy and economic environment to what we have now.

They have succeeded at getting into Government. They have succeeded in making a mark with the ban on future oil and gas exploration permits.

They have a much bigger task ahead of them – proving their ideas are not just unrealistic ideals, and coming up with concrete alternatives.

And no Robert, I won’t just give the promoters of the revolution a blank cheque and ‘trust the Greens’.

In principle I support many of their aims. I think that we need to make a much better effort in transitioning away from our reliance on fossil fuels, for a number of reasons, including pollution, the environment, the climate, and the economic risk – a war in the Middle East could throw New Zealand into chaos. We have already had major change forced on us by the oil shocks in the 1970s.

But I have concerns about some of the Green aims, and what impact their ideals could have. Some of them can’t avoid having adverse effects, any major change does.

It’s time now for the Greens to step up and prove their worth. They have only just begun and are a long way off having a convincing alternative at this stage.

One thing that would help them gain support is to ditch extreme targets. Zero carbon, zero road deaths, zero poverty are so fanciful they are easily dismissed as pie in the polluted sky.

They need to convince the people of New Zealand that there are benefits from radical change – and that will mean not being too radical, at this stage at least.

A goal of halving emissions would be difficult enough – and even that is too vague for people living everyday lives.

Trying to force things like bikes and trains on people risks resistance.

Greens need leadership that works with the people, for the people rather than for the few percent of their loyal supporters.

Green zealots who think that their way is the only way, and who are  are intolerant of criticism and being held to account, are likely to continue to be detrimental to the cause.

If the Greens want to win the PR battle they need to start by convincing their own of a reasonable approach to radical change. Otherwise they risk being dismissed as nutters.

Greens hail ‘biggest victory yet’

Gareth Hughes:

I had to pinch myself because I almost can’t believe we did it!

Today our government has announced the historic decision to end all new fossil fuel exploration in our oceans.

Ending deep sea oil and gas exploration has long been a key goal of the Green Party and today, in Government, we’ve delivered it.

Without question it is our biggest victory yet.We’ve stopped the rigs.

Without doubt this is a big win for the Greens, but I don’;t think it stops the rigs, it just stops possible future rigs that don’t already have permits.

This nuclear free momentof ending the environmentally dangerous and planet threatening search for new oil and gas in our pristine waters has come about because of you and generations of New Zealanders calling for a clean energy future.

This campaign started decades ago. As a teenager I took part in a blockade of Mobil Oil calling for the end to oil exploration. And in 2011 I joined thousands of others on the beach at Tauranga to help clean up in the wake of the Rena oil disaster. Like so many Green members and supporters the campaign to stop oil exploration has been core to why I’m involved in politics.

And we really should all take pride in today’s historic win.

The Green Party has thrown everything (bar the kitchen sink) at achieving this goal. We worked with artists and painted giant murals, marched in the streets, tendered for the oil blocks to protect our oceans from the oil companies and I even donned a wetsuit to launch a policy underwater following the Rena oil spill. We uncovered scandals in Taranaki like the spreading of fracking waste on farm land and the National Government’s plans to drill for oil in the endangered Maui dolphin sanctuary.

For decades Greens have shone a spotlight on the perils of oil drilling and its threat to our very existence. And today we have won.

Our beaches, our whales, our Maui’s dolphins are safer from the danger of a Deep Water Horizon type catastrophe because of the decision our Government has made today.

Some people will not be happy about this decision. The oil companies are sure to protest loudly and have deep pockets and loud voice to drown out the call of the environment.  At the same time as this, the Government has started transition planning and support for the works.  So we need your help to get the positive message about protecting our climate out to as many people as possible.

How ‘intrinsically linked’ is the environment and social justice?

Greens have been re-expressing how they think that environmental issues can’t be separated from social justice.

Green list candidate from last election:

Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick‏:

Hawkins is a Green Party Dunedin city counsellor.

Alternate views:


Obviously there is crossover between environmental and social issues, as there are with many other issues, but Greens seem somewhat obsessed with promoting an unarguable and inextricable connection between the environment and social issues.

They can, to an extent at least, easily be dealt with separately. Better farming practices and cleaning up waterways can be addressed, as they should, without having to give benefits to anyone who wants them without question.

What the Greens seem to be angling at is if the State gives everyone nice warm dry houses for life, and bicycle lanes and electric trains, and health food, and all the health care they need, then the environment will work itself out.

But I have never seen them explain how this transition will actually work, and how it can be paid for without the country going broke (in which case both the environment and society will suffer).

They are really just trying to justify their choice, a party with a dual purpose, saving the environment and instituting socialism. They have chosen to intrinsically link them in their policies, but are a bit shaky on another essential – economic sustainability.

Is there any example of a sustainable socialist country without social or environmental problems? Or is it a grand idealistic state that can never be reached?

It appears to me that Green Party members may be brainwashed into believing that they can’t champion environmental issues without also buying fully into a socialist system of government.

Marama Davidson’s acceptance speech

Some interesting extracts from Marama Davidson’s Green co-leadership acceptance speech.

I will be a leader who strives for consensus in everything I do. All of our contributions and views are essential in the work we have ahead of us.

Consensus with whom? Consensus in the Green Party? I presume that’s what she means, Greens promote consensus style democracy – when it suits. But that’s not how some of them work in practice, Green supporters and activists can be very intolerant of any person or party with whom they disagree.

Consensus with her supporters? Consensus with the New Zealand public? That would be radical for Green radicals.

History shows that smaller parties struggle to retain their support in coalition governments, lose influence and can sometimes fracture.

My number one goal as co-leader is to make sure that doesn’t happen to us.

That could be a big challenge for Davidson, promoting a more left wing radical social agenda without fracturing the Labour-NZ First-Green government.

We can’t clean our rivers, save our native species, lift our families out of poverty, build warm safe houses and new public transport if our party isn’t united and positive, governing and campaigning for change.

And there is a lot to change.

The National Government has left our country in a mess. It is worse than even we imagined.

So consensus with National on environmental issues seems out of the question. I think this is disappointing – sustainable policies on a sustainable environment would work much better with a degree of consensus across all parties.

Steven Joyce was right, there is a fiscal hole. We see it every day. In the sewerage in the walls of Middlemore Hospital where the Government was more interested in delivering a surplus than making sure our babies were born in safe conditions.

We see National’s fiscal hole in our homeless and unemployed,

In our impoverished families

In our lonely and isolated elderly

We see it our polluted rivers

In our threatened species

And in our climate pollution

But National didn’t just leave a fiscal deficit, they left a moral one too.

So I guess Davidson means consensus with allies, not with everyone.

More than ever we need to deliver on our policy programme and stamp our mark on the Government with bold and effective Green solutions to the fiscal and moral deficit left by National.

More than ever we need to be strong and united. Backing our Ministers and MPs to lead lasting Green change and working with our coalition allies to go even further, be even bolder.

We can make the change Aotearoa needs and grow our vote, returning after 2020 with more MPs and influence.

Remember Metiria? She nearly obliterated the Greens last election. Davidson is generally seen as a Metiria replacement. Will she learn from Turei’s big mistake, or try something similar.

I am a leader who, alongside James, can deliver that real change and grow the Greens by representing a broad cross-section of New Zealanders.

This seems to be Green self-delusion – that they represent a broad cross-section of New Zealanders. They got 6.3% of the vote.

I am very much looking forward to working with James and with our different backgrounds, skills and experiences I think we will make a strong leadership team.

Between us we represent the broad church of green voters. Our different backgrounds and experiences mean we empathise and understand the cross section of issues from economic to social. From human rights to environmental sustainability. We are a team that can reach all.

I think she is right here – Davidson and Shaw probably do represent ‘the broad church of green voters’ – but that’s far from ‘a broad cross-section of New Zealanders’.

James and I will work to regain the trust and support of those voters who left us in the last election, and we also need to be reaching out to new audiences.

A big task.

In order to be a genuine and relevant voice for modern Aotearoa, we need to reflect its diverse reality.

We need more members from all backgrounds and communities.

We need to be present in multicultural, Māori and Pasifika communities, in provincial and rural communities, and in the suburbs, with women, young people and workers.

I have the connections and credibility in these communities. I’m proud to have helped lead the work to start to diversify the party over recent years and as Co-leader I will prioritise it.

A fairly selective diversity. ‘With women’ pointedly excludes half the population. Her National bashing also by association excludes about half the voting population. Farmers and small business owners don’t feature in her diversity, but are a very important part of the New Zealand fabric.

As an activist for social and environmental justice, I stood with many communities on the frontlines of the climate change and inequality crises and the struggles for indigenous rights.

Indigenous rights are important, there are still wrongs and flow-on effects effects that need to be righted. But the rights of the non-indigenous also need to be considered.

I have demonstrated the ability to pull together teams, inspire the best in everyone, and elevate the voices of those who are not otherwise heard.

She may well help inspire better from National MPs, but in reaction rather than cooperation.

And I intend to make that a defining feature of my leadership, elevating voices and working alongside our friends up and down the country campaigning for change.

Good on her for that. It’s good for a minority party to work with minorities and promote minority rights.

I will make sure those without a political voice are heard, and I will be the only leader of a political party in Parliament that brings to the table deep sustained experience in these communities.

Some of those communities. Davidson does not try to represent many of the ‘silent majority’, just selected minorities. That’s not a bad thing, but believing she represents all New Zealanders would be a mistake.

As the most progressive party in Parliament, it is the role of the Greens to continue to be a loud and active voice on behalf of our communities.

‘Progressive’ is highly debatable here. Some see some Green policies, especially the more radical leanings of Davidson and her core supporters, to be regressive.

The next few years will be critical for Aotearoa and the world as we grapple with the crises of climate change, inequality and environmental degradation.

Labelling them crises may not encourage wide support, and excluding the official name of the country could also be divisive.

In this country, two men own more wealth than the poorest 30 per cent of the adult population.

The richest 10 per cent have more than half of the wealth, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth.

Depends on how you define ‘wealth’. This is populist bashing of people with paper money.

We are losing our indigenous biodiversity at an alarming rate – three-quarters of native fish, one-third of invertebrates, and one-third of plants are threatened with, or at risk of, extinction.

Addressing this is likely to be widely supported.

We have among the highest rates of homelessness, child poverty, suicide among young people, and incarceration in the developed world, alongside among the highest per capita carbon emissions in the world, and rivers so polluted you can’t even swim in them.

Some issues of serious concern there, that have to be addressed much better.

These environmental and social crises are the direct result of a flawed and broken economic model.

I’m not sure that fits with consensus views. It sounds more like a promotion of a revolution, a change to a radical and untested alternative that would be out of step with most of the developed world.

Parliament needs to turn our faces to the streets, to communities right up and down this country, and understand the hardship and struggle that so many of our people are facing.

Yes – to all of the communities, the many struggles people face.

New Zealanders have been waiting far too long for a fundamental shift in our politics, for the return of care and compassion, for a real commitment to our natural world.

Except there is little sign of a fundamental shift in voting preferences.

For an economic system that measures its success by the wellbeing of the people and the environment, not simple GDP growth and the massive accumulation of wealth and power in the hands of a few.

A minority party fighting for the many against the few.

The Green Party vision for Aotearoa would restore us as a world leader through the greatest challenges of our time.

Restore? New Zealand omitted again. I support at least debating whether to rename our country or not, but not to ignore the widely accepted name of New Zealand. (She does refer a couple of times to ‘Aotearoa New Zealand’ and also to ‘New Zealanders’ – Aotearoan doesn’t seem to have caught on yet.

It would ensure all children grow up in healthy, liveable cities, in warm, dry homes that are affordable for their parents.

A vision for a country where all people have a liveable income and people don’t have to work two or three jobs just to survive.

Worthy ideals to aspire to, but they are ideals that ignore realities.

And that recognises the central importance of honouring our founding document, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and celebrates our unique and vibrant diversity.

Our whole diversity. We all should have a good look at what Te Tiriti means and should mean in modern New Zealand Aotearoa.

Parliament needs leaders and parties that champion minority rights. But they will alienate more than succeed if they believe they represent popular opinion and wishes while picking the minorities they want to represent, and at the same time alienate large groups of others.

If Davidson championed issues that faced the majority of New Zealanders in the middle who face struggles and challenges of their own, if she didn’t omit non-females and non-Māori and those who value the input and diversity of past and recent immigrants, then she could do well, and might widen support for the Greens.

But if she pretends to represent the many while being divisive and excluding large chunks of New Zealand society she and the Greens are likely remain a small minority party fighting for small minorities.

Greens return leftward, away from National

Green’s sole leader over the last eight months, James Shaw, is seen as relatively moderate, almost centrist-ish (in some ways at least). He is regarded as business friendly, not a particularly NZ green attribute.

The Green Party has just chosen a new co-leader, Marama Davidson, by a wide margin of 110 delegate votes to 34 over the more business savvy centris-ish Julie Anne Genter.

Davidson has been active on left wing issues as an MP. She is likely to remain so. And she has much more scope than Shaw to promote her more radical views and policy positions – while not in Cabinet Shaw has some responsibility as a Minister not to rock the Government boat too much

As she doesn’t have any ministerial responsibilities Davidson is not so constrained, and without a ministerial workload she will have much more time to work on issues of interest to her and the Green membership.

Both Shaw and Genter are learning the realities and compromises of working in a Government. Davidson doesn’t have this, she is firmly in the Green idealist activist bubble.

And that bubble is staunchly anti-National.

Henry Cooke at Stuff: Greens swing left with Marama Davidson in the co-pilot seat

This should finally and completely end the notion that the Green Party could consider going into Government with National. It was never going to happen under James Shaw and it is really never going to happen with Davidson, who took care in her victory speech to trash-talk the former National-led Government for the massive problems at Middlemore Hospital.

Just as some Green Party members threatened to leave the party if Davidson didn’t get selected, similar threats have been made in the past when any suggestion of a Green-National deal.

By supporting Davidson so strongly the membership of the Green Party have shown their desire to make the party more than just a junior partner in Government, pushing Labour to the left in the areas its ministers are responsible for.

We just have to accept that the Greens are two parties in one – a strongly pro-environment party, and a staunch hard left social issue socialist-type party. They claim that the two are co-dependent, but that’s more of an attempt to justify their more hard-left policies.

Environmental issues are acknowledged across the political spectrum, to different degrees, but both National and the business world know they have to work more on sustainable practices and lowering pollution. They do differ with the Greens on the preferred levels of socialisation and socialism.

Big business and big money are going to be important influences in New Zealand, especially with farming practices.

In tone, tactics, and perception, however, Davidson was always the left candidate, even if she prefers to say “progressive”.

‘Progressive’ is a left wing populist attempt at deception.

Many Green members don’t want to put more women in the boardroom, they want to destroy it. Davidson made clear in her acceptance speech her distaste for the fact that two men held more wealth than the poorest 30 per cent of New Zealanders. In our debate she professed support for a new top tax rate on higher earners and free dental care for all Kiwis.

Davidson-Green is to a large extent anti-business (and pro socialism). Shaw-Green promotes more responsible business.

Of course, the Green Party hasn’t lost the more suit-and-tie Shaw as co-leader. There will be plenty of members who voted for Davidson because they want balance at the top, with the environmentally focused climate change minister fighting besides the new co-leader for a holistic Green vision.

It’s impossible to know how many Green members and Green branches preferred the far more left wing leanings of Davidson, or chose her for balance. The Māori  factor can’t be discounted either.

But for the next wee while –  at least –  Davidson has the mandate to make some real change to how the Green Party operates in Government. Ardern and Winston Peters should expect some well-publicised disagreements – which will be particularly biting as non-Minister Davidson isn’t bound by Cabinet collective responsibility.

The party now enters into a somewhat strange two-year period, where the Green ministers actually making change arguably represent the wing of the party just rejected by the membership.

It will be interesting to compare the so far moderate ministerial missives of Shaw, Genter and the third Green minister, Eugenie Sage, and the more radical activism of Davidson and her activist Green supporters.

Genter has been seeking attention during the two month leadership contest but may well retreat to her ministerial responsibilities. She probably won’t want to compete with Davidson for attention now.

Shaw has been fairly anonymous as he gets to grips with working in Government. Sage would have also been barely noticed except for her embarrassing involvement in publicity over allegations of interference in state agencies, and her changing claims due to ‘poor memory’.

So Davidson may well get a disproportionate amount of attention. This will please the activist socialist Greens, but how will this affect wider green support?

But there are over a hundred thousand more Green Party voters than there are members. For that number to keep steady or properly increase both wings of the party will need to rack up some decent wins in the real world, not just the tiny landscape of internal party politics. Everyone in the party will be watching the next poll with a whole lot of interest. It’ll be what makes this whole thing finally real.

It will take more than the next poll, it will take several months and several polls to see how things pan out. It will also take that long to see how the Green Ministers perform and get attention, versus Davidson’s freedom to promote a more radical agenda.