Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection

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To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after special votes are counted we will have with 14 MPs. This will mean we retain the number of MPs we had previously. I am number 15 and we did not get the Party Votes we expected to enable me to become an MP.

I am not leaving this fight. Striving for a fairer society is too important. It feels quite liberating knowing that my family and I are in this for the long haul – both in our support for the visions of the Green Party and community actions, and to contribute with my voice however appropriate. I have always said that we need decent people everywhere and at all levels. It is essential to have more decent people in Parliament and the Green Party has loads of them.

I am concerned for the future of our country. More than ever we will need to be strong voices for  our children, our economy and our environment. We will need to stay connected with those most disconnected. We will need to stay attuned to the heartbeat of both grassroots struggle and grassroots celebration. I have seen Green MPs do exactly this which is why I am proud to have stood for this Party.

I have spent two days responding to a flood of disappointments about me not getting in. It became clear that people deserve an assurance that I will not leave the platform of hope that I campaigned on. This blog response is for those people. You first time voters who said they had never considered voting before until the Greens spoke with you. You voters who shifted your support from another party because the Greens listened to you. You who swayed your whole families to vote Greens because we met with you. I have not forgotten you, I am feeding off you. You are why I will not stop fighting.

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On the Sunday night after the election, my wider family all gathered at my house for a celebration. We gathered kai and kids and sat around soaking in the safety of whānau. This is the privilege of my life. I have a family immersed in the importance of unconditional love. We stand up for the values our family have. So while I did not become and MP on Saturday night, we reflected on the months of Green Party campaigning to stand up for what we believe in. We reflected on our whanau collective years of activism and the different journeys it yielded. Hell yes – it was a celebration of our conviction.

My family are proud of me and I am super proud of them for having my back. During this campaign life continued to throw life at us, as any other candidate will tell you. The trials and tribulations of being human do not stop simply because the campaign chaos begins. Other candidates will all be nodding their heads now as they recall having to look brilliant and focussed in front of media or packed community halls while some family crisis was happening in the alleyways of our non-public existence.

I am aware that we will need to support those people for whom things may become harder under this National government. Caring for each other and our environment must remain a priority. But I also maintain some optimism about this election result. Yes the revelation of grubby politics mostly concreted people into their already held political ideoligies. Those who have lost faith in our system mostly stayed in that spot and stayed out of the vote. Those who are accustomed to the system working for them got up to protect the status quo. Perhaps we were not going to see real change until such things had come to light. A necessary backwards step as it were. We are now faced with the real challenge of inspiring people to engage with a better vision, including those who voted this government in. And that vision  is not restricted to any one political party or even to our parliamentary system. But things happen at  central government that negatively impact on real lives and on our environment. We do need positive decisions to be made in that House. This government if it continues on its cruel path will not sustain itself.  We have to be ready to inspire into the margins of our neighbourhoods more than ever before. I look forward to seeing some innovative direction to galvanise communities of thought and communities of causes for a smarter Aotearoa.

Already the Green Party is seeing some positive opportunities. By Sunday after the Saturday election the Green Party had a flurry of new memberships. We did not expect this immediate reaction. Through our campaign we remained strongly led, united and issue focussed. Despite the overall vote results our calibre resonated on the ground hence the almost desperate queries I am having to field around not making it into Parliament. I have already seen Māori who held my support into Parliament decide they will join as members. If people want to get behind our visions and our plans for a fairer Aotearoa you can join here for $15 a year. Members get to determine policy, rank our Party list, choose our co-leaders and run our flax roots branch system. And it’s a good way to hang out with your ‘tribe’ of like minds which I find hugely energising.

Thanks to our ground focussed campaign we have built up a promising core of Auckland based Māori and Pacific young women support in particular. This is very exciting and is something I want more than anything to help grow. Whatever profile I am slowly building will also be used to support the Green Party in my strive for recognition of indigenous rights and social justice.

I am not going anywhere folks. My whānau and I are on this waka for the long haul. Right now the opportunity in front of me includes the clear vision and good sense plan of the Green Party. My extended whānau will be cementing our  Green Party membership this week which will amount to enough members for our own branch almost! I urge particularly our Māori and Pacific communities to get involved so that the Green Party can support our Tangata Whenua and Pacific green aspirations better.

Join us. Challenge us. Celebrate with us. Plan with us.

I will be here.

Marama

33 COMMENTS

  1. What a wonderful, generous, compassionate article. Members of this Party can stand proud while they are represented by such people as Marama (and there are plenty of them). Ka tino pai!

  2. Agree with your comments Marama – had thought that over three years, NZers would have become more informed of the issues facing us all and thus I also expected an increased green vote regardless of what happened around us. It will happen, it has to. Meantime, many are feeling a bit down … one response is to become familiar with the global grass roots Transition Movement (Transition Towns – you may have a group near you) – there are several publications by Rob Hopkins as well as on line sources. You will relate to stories of how others have felt ‘abandoned’ but have been lifted in putting their efforts in to building strong resilient local communities – just doing stuff which also helps to enlighten others which ‘at the end of the day’, will swing public opinion.

    • Economic Greens is more accurate, than say Environmental Greens that is for sure.
      Seeing as they want more jobs on higher pay, which just adds more strain to the environment.
      Jobs equal CO2.

      • Not so true Robert. Green jobs can actually save us from the higher carbon emission jobs and be better paid because they are tapping into an innovative economy. Our clean rivers policy for example would create conservation jobs. Public transport jobs mean less cars on roads and so forth. Development in the regions could mean less consumption based on local manufacturing.
        Green innovative jobs that are well paid because we truly need them for an innovative future.

  3. When I wake up in the morning one of the first things I think about is how to fight this government over the next three years. I suspect the main battles won’t be fought directly in Parliament but in the workplace, schools and environment. I’m hoping polticial active people will look at how they can support each other in these battles, for instance, contributing to workers who go on strike. There needs to be more linking of the various strands of opposition, Labour connecting up with the Greens, both connecting up with Unions etc. No point in burning oneself out, but consolidating energies together.

  4. I am a centrist, with a strong social conscience. I love New Zealand, and love our natural resources. Love our forests, our bush, our rivers, our lakes and our beaches. I truly wish that there was Political Party in NZ that is close to the center, and was truly an environmental party. I do not see the Green Party as that party, I see it as a far left party.

    • Kia ora John. I am genuinely interested in what makes you uncomfortable about the Green Party?
      With your strong social conscience and your love for our natural world, it would appear to me that your values might align to our visions and our plan.
      But I am keen to have these genuine conversations with people to find out what doesn’t stick?

      • I am really middle NZ, with a wonderful blended family of 7 children (5 part Maori), 9 grandchildren (all part Maori), we have had over 100 foster children. We always say leave the world better than you found it, am example is always clean up after you, an then clean up a bit of somebody elses mess. We always find the positive in any situation. I think what turned me off was the really negative message from the Greens, saying NZ was a rat shit country with open-cast mining, mining in conservation land, basically one big oil spill, all rivers polluted. Living in a rural setting near dairy farms, near a river that had mine waste in it for 50 odd years (the Ohinemuri) I know this too be, at least, an exaggeration.

  5. Well said, Marama. This is precisely what we need.

    Indeed, we got bruised, we get back up, dust ourselves of, and we continue the struggle.

    Like you, and many others, I refuse to give up. Not while I draw breath.

    Kia kaha to you, Marama, and your indomitable spirit.

    That’s all. Now back to my blogging. There is much to write about…

  6. Thanks for all of your hard work and for being such a source of inspiration Marama Davidson – as I have said before, I look forward to being there in Parliament for your maiden speech, just not as soon as I had hoped !

    “It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen” 🙂

  7. Bit Sad you didn’t get in Marama but you, Russel, Mataria, and Julia Anne were the real inspiration for me to get my love for Politics back. I joined the Greens on Thursday last week and will get Involved. This was complete shift from my up bringing but I really believe in the honesty and integrity of the Green Party. So Thanks and keep up the good fight.

    • Peter thank you for joining up. We are really committed to honouring our members, our supporters our voters and especially our country. Thank you so much.

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