Is Kennedy Graham the Green’s secret weapon and are they getting rid of him too soon?



The Green leadership may want to take some notice of what some of their staffers in Wellington are doing. If the rumours from the Green conference in Auckland are to be taken seriously, some were busy slicing and hacking MPs who didn’t fall into their very narrow idealogical frame work. This is the very same clique who leaked the original party list to Farrar and is the reason why the party put the list out to the public to prevent the leak happening again.

This movement could see Kennedy Graham pushed down the list and that might be a terrible loss. If the Greens are to reach out to Winston and repair the damage Russel Norman inflicted upon him during the Owen Glenn affair, they must sit down over a bottle of Scotch and repair the relationship personally. If this repair is not done, then there is zero chance of a Labour led Government as the animosity between the Greens and NZ First will be simply unbearable and Winston will sit on the cross benches and make John Key’s life miserable for 3 years.

As enjoyable as witnessing that sounds, 285 000 children in poverty growing up in a climate change damaged environment don’t really have time for a personal political ego wank.

So if the Greens are serious about being the main part in a Labour led Government, they have to start finding bridges to build with Winston.

Enter the silver haired fox, Kennedy Graham. A man with the kind of fierce intellect and dignity of Kennedy could be the very person who Winston could bond with. It’s not that Catherine Delahunty couldn’t try and do this, but I’m just not sure if her offering to astral project with Winston would be the best way to engage with him. Bless Catherine, I really, really, really do love her.

Winston gaining 5% is no guarantee though. I still think there is a good chance that he won’t because the same pressures that propelled him over the threshold last election (Tea Pot Tape, Phil Goff moving with all the natural grace of C-3PO as a candidate) are not there so there’s no need for Russel Norman to go to Rainbow’s End with Winston. But fireside chats between two old silver foxes to build the rapport and trust necessary to implement a legacy project for Winston like a compulsory super fund that buys back the assets and for Winston to feel relaxed enough about a high proportion Green Cabinet with real ability to implement genuine green change to the economy doesn’t sound like a stupid idea does it?


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  1. If it’s known who supplied Green Party information to Farrar, I hope they are not still associated with the party in any way, shape, or form.

  2. I wouldn’t have thought so.

    The initial list released that was ranked by the delegates and candidates had Kennedy Graham listed as seven, one above Julie Anne Genter.

    While that ranking is listed as an indication only, and the final ranking will be the result of Green Party members voting, I’d be very surprised if the membership are unaware of his excellent work in the areas of foreign affairs as well as his steadfast defence of local democracy.

    Dr Graham’s speeches in the house are erudite and his arguments compelling. He commands the respect of the majority of the MP’s in the house.

    He also serves as a living rebuttle to anyone who tries to argue that the greens are clueless stoners.

    I’m curious, what makes you think the membership will vote him down?

      • He said staffers, not members, there’s a difference there. The more seasoned Green MPs are impressive beyond a doubt. It would be a great shame if any of the party were to disregard this fact.

  3. Kennedy Graham has intellect, huge amounts of knowledge and experience, having been a diplomat and else.

    Yes, it would be risky for the Greens to risk him not getting back into Parliament.

    As for Winston, we will have to wait and see what he and his party will deliver and achieve.

    A bottle of scotch, hah, that sounds “warm” and entertaining.

    I see the Greens wanting to get more fresh blood and younger members into Parliament, but the best balance is always with mixing good experience and maturity with the novices. All can learn so much from each other, and that is better than have a caucus of apprentices, all wanting to be on top and in front.

    I will wait and see what they will come up with.

  4. I think you are calling it wrong here Martyn. (Call me sectarian if you like), but until Winston declares himself one way or the other (on anything), we must consider New Zealand First to be an ally of National.

    For instance….

    Where is Winston on climate change?

    New Zealand First is running on issues of anti immigrant and so called ‘Maori privilege’ which are populist Right wing Hate Radio topics.

    On this alone Peters should be discounted as an ally of the Left.

    But increasingly where political parties stand on climate change is becoming the main dividing line in politics.

    Getting answers out of Winston on where his party stands on climate change will determine which party, or block of parties, NZF is likely to go into coalition with after the election.

    Climate change is the most pressing issue that humanity has ever faced, yet Peters and his party are deathly silent on this issue.


    In my opinion because Winston Peters does not want to offend National and their big business backers.


    Until Winston comes clean on climate change

    No fireside chats, especially with the Greens, until Peters tells us exactly where his party stands on this singular issue.

    Until he does…

    The message that the Left including the Greens need to hammer home, and hammer home hard, is that a vote for Winston is a vote for National.

    How do the Left get that message across?

    The answer is, that the Left must seriously take up the fight against climate change themselves, and make it an election issue, No More of THIS.

    By making climate change an election issue, Winston Peters and New Zealand First will have to declare themselves and take sides.

    Is Winston Peters with the people and the planet, or is he with the polluters and the plutocrats?

    Will Peters be left wanting in the leader’s debates when the issue of climate change is raised?

    The electorate need to know.

    And to Curwen Rolinson, and other NZ Firsters, don’t bother replying saying that New Zealand First is opposed to the the ETS. This means nothing, even ACT is opposed to this corrupt market based pollution trading scheme.

    What we need to know is where does New Zealand First stand on, Deep Sea Oil Drilling?

    Where does NZF stand on the opening up of new coal fields like Denniston, and Mangatangi?

    Where does NZF stand on the huge multi $million fossil fossil fuel subsidies being paid to Solid Energy and Comalco and the oil companies?

    Where does NZF stand on fracking and all the other new and risky unconventional fossil fuel extraction technologies?

    Where does NZF stand on more motorways vs. more public transport?

    Where does NZF stand on the cancellation of Hauauru Ma Raki?

    Where does NZF stand on the Majuro Declaration On Climate Change?

    These questions need to be asked of New Zealand First, (and all the other political parties).

  5. “Phil Goff moving with all the natural grace of C-3PO as a candidate”

    Sure, that happened, but look at Labour at the moment. They have 2 problems, and both are reinforcing each other. Cunliffe’s charisma has been lost because he’s trying to sell failed policies. Labour’s policies remain as they were under Goff and Shearer…it’s unrealistic to expect another leader to come in and get people excited about them.

    Remember, Winston hasn’t even played the xenophobic card yet and he already looks as though he’s at 6-8%.
    No need for a teapot scandal when a population bulge is pushing into retirement without economic security. With the boomers moving into retirement in droves, I fear that Winston’s career is just beginning.

  6. Any Green party members prepared to leak documents to Farrar would be in a very small club. Kennedy Graham is an excellent speaker who understands the serious issue of climate change, I would be most suprised and disappointed if grass roots party members voted to move him down in the list rankings. Good as Kennedy is, its a bloody big ask to expect him to build a bridge to NZF as well as perpetuating the idea that whatever the rest of us might think, the real decisions are made behind closed doors by old men in suits over a drink. “Now excuse us, we ladies will retire to the drawing room while you gentlemen discuss the important issues over port” Gee thanks for that Bomber, here I was thinking this was the 21st century.

  7. Winston and his supporters are a bunch of anti-immigration racists that appeal to the worst aspects of human nature. He is a New Zealand’s answer to Pauline Hanson, to the racist anti-immigrant parties that have created so much toxicity in the Netherlands, Denmark and elsewhere. Lest anyone forgets, see, e.g.,

    Yes, it would be nice to see the end of this awful government, but not at the price of bringing in something else that is about as bad. I did not vote for Labour in 2008 largely because Clark brought Peters into government despite indicating that she would not do so. The answer to the left’s current woes is not to cobble together unholy and unsatisfactory alliances who share little ideologically in common, such as between Mana and Dotcom or between the Greens and Winston. The ‘enemy of my enemy is my friend’ approach doesn’t work and the Greens would do well not to burrow down that particular rabbit hole. Finally, Martyn, I want to see the end of the current government just as much as what you do, but both on the Dotcom issue and now this one, I am surprised at the sorts of collaborations you are suggesting (including with those whose views are also offensive to many of those in the left) in order to try to achieve that.

  8. Here’s a really nice recent “frog blog” from Kennedy Graham.

    Earth’s climate – and the matter of the human spirit

    The issue for the Greens is that it has an amazing amount of talent on its party list and for every excellent incumbent list MP there is another candidate who would do an extraordinary job. If people want this fresh talent in Parliament then they need to give their party vote to the Greens and get more people they know to vote Green.

    • Spot on. Kennedy will be there, don’t you worry. The issue is how much more effective he can be with a big Caucus with him.

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