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Russel Norman is gone – long live Russel Norman

By   /  January 30, 2015  /  34 Comments

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Russel has done much to rid the party of its fringe tag and made the Party a central pillar of the political progressive movement. His mind on economics is the strength the Party needs.

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He’s stepped down, which is a shame.

Russel has done much to rid the party of its fringe tag and made the Party a central pillar of the political progressive movement. His mind on economics is the strength the Party needs.

He will have been bitterly disappointed by the low vote at the election, and new blood is needed.

It opens questions up about how long Metiria intends to stay on for (hopefully forever).

The teaming up of Genter and Shaw would as the new leaders open up the Party to a larger step to the middle that Labour are rushing for.

That might be too ambitious, so the inner conclave of the Greens may decide a Hague leader with Met leaving in 18 months for Genter.

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  1. esoteric pineapples says:

    “It opens questions up about how long Metiria intends to stay on for (hopefully forever).”

    I like Metiria as a person, especially when she presents herself and her life sans gloss, which I think is more the sort of person she really is. But I think her personality annoys a lot of people outside the core Green Party constituency. However, she pales in comparison to Mojo Mathers who went up two steps in the party list last year, but irritates the hell out of your mainstream constituency voter.

  2. countryboy says:

    Oh God .

    We have a prime minister with all the charm of a Lizard/weasel cloning experiment gone wrong . We have the importance of our Primary Industry remaining invisible to the Labour Leader who averts his eyes every time someone tries to shove the Farmer in his face, and the dire implications of that are a mystery to everybody but me it would seem, and now lovely Russell Norman is making a run for it from the stinking , sinking shit barge of rat infested, rugby charmed , jonky fans as it sinks to new lows is far too much, even for me .
    I voted Green / Green not because they represented our environment so much but because Russell and Metiria are good people and I knew that what ever they came up with was motivated by the best intentions .

    Unlike that little rat jonky and the other vermin in The Nat’ nest that is simon bridges . And perhaps worst of all … all you fucking morons who voted for the bastards . And you know who you are , you dick heads . You deliberately ignorant , greedy , selfish, fucking bastards . Look what you’ve done ! ? Down – vote that , you pricks .

  3. Save NZ says:

    I’m sad to see Russell go. The MSM and other parties including the left have run a low level smear campaign against him. I actually preferred Jeanette to Metira, if only the ‘old crowd’ could return to the Greens. They were ahead of their time and now the actions of the “neoliberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry politicians” who have, at best, an economic appreciation for culture are now being exposed, it is actually time for the ‘old’ fashioned Green values to come back again. Let’s hope it won’t be GreenLite that replaces an ethical player like Russell. I’m for HeritageGreen values myself.

    • Richard Christie says:

      Depends on what you define Heritage Green as.

      I hope to hell the magical thinkers and crystal gazers don’t reappear in the Green line up.

      My hat’s off to Russel Norman, the party under his (joint) leadership has had my vote and I hope his replacement holds to the path he navigated.

  4. Mike the Lefty says:

    I have gained a lot of respect for the guy over the years. He has constantly been a thorn in National’s side and really gets up the right’s nostrils, which is why they constantly ridicule and lampoon him. However even many of his detractors (apart from the blubberboys of course) quietly admit that he is smart and does not lack courage in pursuing what he believes is right. He has done a lot for the Greens and the green cause over the last decade. All the best to him.

  5. Murray Simmonds says:

    Very sad to see him go – but its quite understandable.

    Johnny boy of course will be crowing from the highest treetop he can find – always assuming he can distinguish between the tall trees and the weeds (which is doubtful).

    At the bottom of that I suppose is the begrudging acknowledgment by Key that Russel Norman was by far the most astute, politically gifted, and able of the present (and recent) bunch of party leaders. Envy, which can comes in various shades of green, is a dangerous thing.

    Wishing Russel Norman all the best for the future.

    In the sorry state of politics that we are faced with today, where DEMOCRACY is both a laughing-stock, and in the minds of some, a dirty word, Dr Norman may well be right if his thinking is that there is more important work do be done outside of the political system.

    Particularly if one’s prime motivation is to try to help to bring about the kind of radical change that the planet so desperately needs, but alas is not going to get, under the present political system.

  6. Dan says:

    Is there really a place for the Green party anymore? The world is slowly becoming greener anyway as Western Governments (perhaps too slowly for some) go Green any way. N.Z. puts out only .2 of 1% of worldwide greenhouse emissions, so even if we put out no emissions at all, it would not make much difference. Is the Green party a bit like an “anti smoking party”? Their work is all but done and being green is more a portfolio matter for whoever is in Government rather than a political movement?

    • Murray Simmonds says:


    • raychch says:

      “The world is slowly becoming greener anyway.” Yes, due to the fact that we have Green parties and environmental groups who constantly call out the neoliberal consensus and simultaneously educate the public. Well Dan, I think you just got the prize for the day’s least intelligently thought out comment. And that’s before you go on to spout your ideological nonsense.

    • e-clectic says:

      Why the Greens work isn’t done – an incomplete list:
      * Greenhouse gas emissions – low globally but high per capita
      * Climate change adaptation
      * Water quality of rivers, lakes
      * Fracking
      * Mining for coal and lignite
      * Offshore oil exploration
      * TPPA
      * Child poverty
      * Inequality
      * NZ financial system – especially debt levels
      * Sale of state assets
      * Local government reforms/centralisation
      * Gutting of the RMA
      * Introduction of GMOs
      * Opposing draconian so-called “food safety” legislation
      * Sensible water usage
      * Switch to sustainable/renewable energy sources
      * Rights and services for the disabled

      Not forgetting the Herculean tasks of making kale and quinoa edible 😉 .

      • Dan says:

        ECLECTIC – you make a valid point – perhaps without intent.

        A number of the items you have listed are not really Green issues. They are of course worthy of attention, but not Green as such. Hence my argument that a “Green party” is perhaps not now required. A rename or re brand perhaps?

      • Harry says:

        E-clectic – you forgot legalising cannabis. Seems like the Greens have forgotten that too – despite the fact that it got them into Parliament in the first place.

  7. e-clectic says:

    Well done Russ! Have always admired your gutsy stand for the injustices in Tibet. Of all the leaders you were the most statesman-like – a missing quality these days.

    Being a Green MP (or leader) is the toughest gig in parliament.
    Standing up day after day in the face of massive disagreement requires guts, tenacity and unshakeable belief in what you’re doing.
    Take a rest, focus on your family and I’m sure you’ll be achieving change for the better through some other means.

    In terms of the future, I’d like to see more of Kennedy Graham. He’d provide an excellent foil for Metiria. What he may lack in charisma he makes up for in character, principle, experience and a quiet assurance.

  8. sly dixon says:

    Great shame! Russell in my opinion was clearly the standout opposition politician in the last election. He would be justifiably disappointed with the hideous result and I can quite understand that he feels the need to live a life less public. Sure is a pity though as his wit and political savvy will be hard to replace.

  9. Tuan Nguyen says:

    Moving to the centre is the euphemism for selling out to the financiers and the neo liberals. The Greens could well take a lead from Alexis Tsipras’s playbook on how to change the rules of this rigged game.

    • Dennis Dorney says:

      Alexis Tsipras has not yet changed the rules and his intentions so far dont encourage me to think he can, so your remarks are premature. Losing Russell Norman is a massive blow. He is one of the few Greens who knows anything about economics (in fact one of the few in Parliament who understands economics -Bill English certainly doesn’t). He’s going to be hard to replace. I cant see an obvious replacement. Every now and again I think politics cant get any lower. Then it does.

  10. Nick says:

    “all you fucking morons who voted for the bastards . And you know who you are , you dick heads . You deliberately ignorant , greedy , selfish, fucking bastards . Look what you’ve done ! ? Down – vote that , you pricks”.

    That sounds like an election slogan, Countryboy. With a view to winning hearts and minds, have you considered getting a T shirt printed?

    Last time someone shoved a Farmer in my face, I tried not to avert my gaze and am now slightly one eyed as a consequence. Don’t give up shoving though on my behalf.

  11. mary_a says:

    Russel’s resignation from the Greens’ co leadership, is a loss for the country. His brilliant honest presentation in Parliament will be sorely missed. Like Metiria, he could hold his own against Key. Russel was an attack dog, standing up, asking the challenging questions of this government, while always working for the benefit of the little guy, as well as the environment.

    However that said, Russel is prioritizing his life and putting family first, something which I commend him for. Demonstrates the good and strong calibre of the man.

    Many thanks Russel for attempting to make NZ a better place for those of us here now and future generations. A great contribution.

    I wish Russel and his family all the very best for the future.

  12. ThinkAboutIT says:

    Ah if only other politicians were capable of this level of self appraisal.
    While I do not feel Dr Norman had reached his “used by date” one must respect his decision to stand aside.
    Perhaps in the future he ay return to fold refreshed.
    One SINCERELY hopes that at the very least he ensures that the Green party does not loose the economic credibility that he so skilfully won.

  13. Shona says:


  14. elle says:

    MIKE Sabin resigned today as well, so a bye election , maybe Russel Norman is the one he beat up (just joking) , Will miss Russel,Sabin is an idiot to stuff up his career, but he batted for National so wont miss him.

  15. JC says:

    Hard to know if this will help or hinder the Greens.

  16. Maria says:

    I agree this is a shame for the Greens. I was not happy with the dissing of I-M post election b/c the left needs to be unified, but his heckling of the right will be missed. Go well Mr Norman.

  17. cleangreen says:

    I cant add anything to this string, except we should remember the election was rigged by electronic source code during the counting of the results to National required results.

    Check how easy it was done at the end of my coment.

    Kennedy Graham is a good straight presentation, and has excellent mana he gets my vote.
    Likewise Metiria is a very enduring warm likable person and coupled Russel very well as Jeannette did with Rob Donald so we need another statesman to partner the delightful Metiria.

    Russeel we respect your reasons no matter what the reason but know we all wish you well as you focus on the things that matter to you and yours.

    Thank you very much for your compassion to carry on as long as you did in the fire as the MSM and dirty politics ground you down.

    Computer Programmer Testimony He Was Requested to Write Code to Rig U.S. Elections “US elections … Rigged USA Elections Exposed – YouTube Video for US election fraud testimony

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEzY2tnwExs Mar 2, 2006 – Uploaded by truthstream



    Computer Programmer testifies that Tom Feeney (Speaker of the House … to offset the massive programming fraud.

  18. Reddelusion says:

    Leaving for family reasons hmmmmmm, rolled more likely but allowed to leave with dignity. Russell a bit wussy for me but respected his conviction albeit some of it pretty loopy. Did a good job for the greens and all the luck to him and his family in what he does next

  19. Pat O'Dea says:

    There have been a number of questions raised around the stepping down from the Green Party co-leadership by Russel Norman.

    Not least and most obvious, is who is the most likely of the possible contenders to replace him.

    Just to leave personalities aside for a moment;

    It has been my contention for sometime, that as the crisis deepens and becomes more apparent; Where political parties and politicians stand on climate change will become a make or break issue.

    This, I contend is true for every political party, but it must be even more critical for an environmental party like the Greens.

    It is interesting to note that the current climate change spokesperson for the Green Party is Russel Norman.

    It seemed odd to me at the time, that Russel had taken this portfolio for himself. And for a number of reasons I was never sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing.

    The question now begs itself: Who in the Green Party will become the spokesperson for climate change issues?

    Will the new Green co-leader keep this important (make or break) issue for himself?

    Will Russel Norman retain this shadow portfolio?


    Will the Green Party spokesperson for climate change be someone else?

    One thing is for sure, whoever takes on this portfolio for the Greens they will need a passion for the issue that has been somewhat lacking in the last two Green Party spokespersons for climate change.

    Getting back to personalities: After hearing him speak on the issue, my favourite pick for both new male co-leader and climate change spokesperson for the Green Party is the same person; Gareth Hughes.

    Here is Hughes on deep sea oil drilliing;

    “Deep sea oil drilling is a defining environmental issue of our time. New Zealand stands to lose a lot if the world cannot limit climate change to 2 degrees warming. It can’t be said enough: Our agricultural nation depends on a stable climate. If we don’t get serious about climate change our farmers will suffer increased droughts and damaging storms, and profits will suffer. This year if Labour and National want to ignore the realities of climate change and throw their support behind deep sea oil drilling, that’s their choice. The Green Party knows there are better alternatives, which is why we will focus on providing solutions to do more with less oil and invest in a smart green economy.”



    Particularly notable is how Hughes always links deep sea oil drilling, (which is one of the unconventional fossil fuel technologies) to climate change.

    When the science tells us that even the unrecovered ‘conventional’ fossil fuel reserves have the potential to broil the planet, this is a smart move by Hughes.

    Last year I attended a public talk by Gareth Hughes where he stated that if we really want to fight deep sea oil, we must fight it on cllimate change grounds.

    I can see his point. The evidence is irrefutable, there can be no legitimate defence against the argument that unconventional fossil fuel technologies (Deep sea oil, Fracking, Tar sands, shale oil) are suicidally dangerous in the threat they pose to the climate.

    Disclosure: Pat O’Dea is the Mana spokesperson for climate change issues.

  20. Stuart Munro says:

    Russel gave parliament much needed civility and intellectual credibility. His depature will leave it on the same tier as the whaleoil blog.

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