Topic: Politics

Davidson confident Greens can differentiate from Labour

By Talisa Kupenga

Green Party Co-Leader Marama Davidson wants to build the party's vote and differentiate it from Labour to ensure its survival given the minor party's position in the coalition government.

But Davidson is unclear if this means taking back questions it gave to National in-house to push this agenda.

Davidson is confident the Greens can stand apart from Labour.

"The Green Party is the only party in Parliament now who holds up the customary and proprietary rights for Māori over water…we are also going to be the party pushing for Māori wards".

National Leader Simon Bridges has signaled his party will emphasise environmental policy.  

Davidson is unconvinced.

"Oh my goodness, he doesn't even place emphasis on environmental protection".

And with far left-leaning Davidson now their co-leader, it could be difficult for National to work with the Greens.

Davidson says, “To really protect the environment we have to transform our social and economic system because it is that flawed economic model that has ruined our rivers and oceans in the first place.  So unless Simon Bridges understand the connection it is probably us who won't be working with them".

Yesterday at her acceptance speech, Davidson said she would advocate strongly to strengthen the party, but was unclear if that meant taking back the 'patsy' questions The Green Party allocated to National for the rest of the term.

The decision doesn’t sit well with some Greens supporters.

The one or two questions a week could be used to define the party, especially with Davidson as the new co-leader.

Davidson says, "We retain the right to ask questions to differentiate us and where we have agreed to disagree and so that's what we still have in place, and as a non-minister co-leader I'll be seeking to use that right to ask those questions when we should be".

Bridges says it is up to The Greens whether the arrangement continues but irrespective of this National will use its questions to hold the government to account.