Topic: Politics

Bids for the Green Party co-leadership start Friday

By Talisa Kupenga

The race to be the Green Party's female co-leader begins Friday but until then any prospective candidates will remain tight-lipped. But with Marama Davidson the only Māori member eligible to run the race, what does this mean for Māori?

Although candidates were yet to go public, political expert and Tumuaki Māori at Victoria University Wellington Dr Maria Bargh has her thoughts.

"Marama Davidson, Eugenie Sage and Julie Anne Genter seem to be the three main contenders."

Nominations open for a week this Friday with any female member eligible to run, including those outside of Parliament.

Campaigning and debates will end late March and from then around 150 delegates will cast their votes to decide the winner by April 8.

Dr Bargh says, "One of the advantages for Marama is that she has no other ministerial positions at the moment so she's freer to advocate and be critical about government policy, one of the difficulties for the Māori Party was because they were bound by Ministerial collective responsibility at a cabinet-level it meant they were constrained sometimes on what they could criticise."

The victor will replace Metiria Turei who resigned prior to the Election following her public admission to committing benefit fraud in the 90s.

Green Party co-leader James Shaw says he will work with “whoever the membership elects”.

When it comes to reassuring Māori voters I think I can honestly say with my hand on heart that the Green Party has demonstrated its commitment not just to Te Tiriti o Waitangi over many years but also to public policy that most affects Māori."

All three MPs were unable to comment, but Te Kāea understands Davidson is looking to put her name forward. Having already planned a special announcement for Sunday with no specific details, speculation is mounting she could announce her potential candidacy there.