Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Speech: Russel Norman to stand down as Green Party Co-leader

Russel Norman to stand down as Green Party Co-leader in May

Russel Norman MP on Friday, January 30, 2015 - 10:59

Good morning and thank you for being here.

I am announcing today that I will not be standing for Co-leader of the Green Party at our AGM in May.

This is my ninth year as Co-leader and I think it’s time for a change.

This is something I have considered for some time and over the summer break I have had the space to think hard about my future.

I concluded that after nearly a decade, it is a good time to find a new challenge for myself, and to spend more time with my family, and now is also a good time for new leadership for the party.

My replacement will start from a strengthened base and will have a full parliamentary term to establish himself in the role and take the Greens into government in 2017.

The time is right.

I have always held the view that no organisation should be reliant on any one individual, or indeed two.

I am proud of my contribution to the Green Party and the green movement, but know that others can pick up and build on this work and take our party to even greater success.

One of the hallmarks of the Greens has been our successful leadership renewal.

When I became male Co-leader in 2006, after the tragic death of Rod Donald, many commentators chimed the death knell of the Greens. How wrong they were.

In my nine years as Co-leader we have more than doubled our electoral support to over 10 percent.

I am personally gratified to have been part of a team that led our party to its two most successful election results ever, the only time under MMP that a party other than Labour and National have received more than 10 percent of the vote two elections, in a row.

The Greens are now unquestionably the third party in New Zealand politics and are an important and influential part of our political landscape. I am very proud of that achievement.

Our electoral success has been built on developing policy that is both principled and realistic, a strengthened party organisation, and a highly professional and effective parliamentary structure.

Our membership has never been higher and our branches never more active. That forward momentum will continue.

It has been a pleasure to work alongside a smart and passionate caucus and dedicated staff who are the best in the business.

We have put forward positive smart solutions to the issues facing our country, while leading the opposition and holding the Government to account.

Our policy work in the last election is a blueprint for modern progressive green government and I am proud to have played a key role in shaping that.

In particular, as lead spokesperson on economics and the environment, I have relished the opportunity to develop policy that is both good for the economy and good for the environment. It has been inspirational to see, in spite of a disinterested New Zealand Government, that there are so many great businesses and organisations taking up the opportunities of sustainable economics in New Zealand and around the world.

Those countries and businesses that embrace the opportunities of sustainability will dominate the twenty first century.

The Greens are focused on the future and not simply managing a status quo built on the past.

That is the distinctive role that the Green Party plays in our democracy. We are thought leaders and catalysts, pushing ideas and solutions against the headwinds of fear and inertia.

We operate at the vanguard of change and it has been a pleasure to be at the helm for a time.

But as they say, all good things must come to an end.

I started as a party volunteer in 1997 and later, after my PhD was completed in 2001, I started work in the Green Parliamentary office. I never imagined I would end up as Co-leader.

It has been a most rewarding job.

I want to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues in the Green Party for their unwavering support over my nine years as Co-leader.

In particular I want to thank Metiria. Together we have built a true political force that serves New Zealanders well and offers genuine choice and leadership on the issues that matter. I know that you will carry this work on with a new male Co-leader.

I also want to acknowledge the support of my family and in particular my partner Katya. I know that you have carried alot at home while I have been off at events up and down the country.

Being Co-leader while raising a young family has been an interesting experience, one that I feel has enriched my political work and strengthened my passion for building a better world for the next generation.

One of my political heroes Gough Whitlam once said “a conservative government survives essentially by dampening expectations and subduing hopes. Conservatism is basically pessimistic, reformism is basically optimistic.”

I will leave this role optimistic. Optimistic for our party, our country and our world.

We will continue to reform with optimism.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On What Triggered The Carnage In Gaza

At last count, 195 Palestinians have reportedly died in the latest round of violence, 55 of them children. Roughly ten times that number have been wounded, and thousands made homeless. On the Israeli side, 8 people have died from rockets fired from Gaza. The imbalance in casualties reflects the vast gap in weaponry between the two sides. The Israelis are carrying out air strikes with impunity on densely populated civilian neighbourhoods... More>>

 

Budget 2021: Boosts Carbon Neutral Government Commitment

· Budget 2021 delivers $67.4 million to support the transition to a carbon neutral public sector by 2025 · State Sector Decarbonisation Fund receives significant boost to support more schools, hospitals and other government organisations to replace ... More>>

Government: To Rev Up Reductions In Transport Emissions

The Government is calling for feedback on a range of potential policies to eliminate emissions in the transport sector. Transport Minister Michael Wood today released Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi - Transport Emissions: Pathways to ... More>>

KiwiSaver: Default Provider Scheme Improvements Slash Fees, Boosts Savings

Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders will be significantly better off in retirement following changes to the default KiwiSaver scheme, Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said today. More>>

ALSO:

Child Poverty: Reports Highlight Need For Ongoing Action

The Government has released the first Annual Report for the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the second Child Poverty Related Indicators (CPRI) Report, both of which highlight improvements in the lives of children as a result of actions of the Government, ... More>>

ALSO:

PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels