GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Why won’t the Greens stand?



At the start of the 2014 election campaign, Hone Harawira said this,

“We are trying to change a system that resists change.”

And boy did the system resist it with a vengeance, as the course of subsequent events proved.

But without change, humanity are facing an ecological and environmental catastrophe of horrific proportions.

During the 2014 election Greenpeace’s “Climate Voter” campaign was endorsed by the Mana leader Hone Harawira. ‘

“Protecting Papatuanuku a Priority for MANA”

Climate Voter’ was an attempt by Greenpeace to get debate about climate change into the mainstream political discourse.

Harawira was the only leader of any of the political parties standing in that election to endorse this campaign.

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The climate crisis

Globally we are up against the greatest ecological and humanitaian crisis of all time, caused by our addiction to fossil fuels, which is seriously altering the climate of the planet. Yet all the major political parties in this country are conspiring to continue with ‘Business As Usual’, with regard to fossil fuel exploitation. And those that should care are keeping their mouths shut.

All the political parties, apart from Mana, standing in the Northland by-election support deep sea oil drilling in Northland. While the Greens have abstained.

When even the conventional oil and gas reserves have the potential to fry the planet, the tapping of unconventional fossil fuel reserves like deep sea oil, will seal our fate. But none of the major political parties in this country want to face up to their responsibility of care, to defy the fossil fuel lobby. (even the greens quail at the prospect of standing up to this political pressure)

Russel Norman, refuses to rule out Green’s support for deep sea oil drilling

Some hard questions need to asked of the Greens

Because of the Green Party’s refusal to stand a candidate; Will Rueben Taipari Porter the Mana candidate be left to face a hostile united establishment front during this by-election bent on forcing deep sea oil drilling on the people of Northland against their wishes?

Porter up against all odds

Why do the Greens not want to have their candidate in the Northland by-election?

Do the Greens not want to expose the Nats, Labour and NZ First for their sell out over deep sea oil drilling in Northland?

Why are the Greens refusing to put up their candidate?

Are we to believe that the Green Party really have no capable candidate prepared to represent them in the North?

And if this is truely the case, what does this say about the depth of the Green Party’s talent pool?

Are the Greens so unsure of their advocacy for the environment, that they are frightened to confront the Labour, National, and New Zealand First consensus on deep sea oil drilling?

Do the Green Party have a secret deal with Labour to give Labour a easy run in Northland? Is this why the Greens are not standing?

Are the Greens standing down because they do not want to challenge the Labour Party over their support for deep sea oil drilling and exploration in the North?

Are the Greens still preparing to sell out on deep sea oil drilling to strike a coalition deal with Labour in 2017?

By not standing a candidate are the Green Party playing the same two faced role over deep sea oil drilling in this by-election that they did during the 2014 general election?

Will there be no voice against deep sea oil drilling in Northland apart from Mana’s?

In light of Winston Peters refusal to oppose deep sea oil drilling in Northland. And in light of the refusal of the Greens to make a stand.

It is my considered opinion that all those who oppose deep sea oil and gas exploration in the Northland elelectorate need to give their full support to the Mana candidate Rueben Taipari Porter.

I realise that Rueben may have little chance of winning this election; But a big protest vote for Reuban especially if it is respectable will send a clear warning to all the other parties that their collective refusal to face up to the problems caused by deep sea oil drilling and climate change will not go unnoticed by the electorate.

Other than that, What I would like to say to the Greens is this; I don’t believe that you don’t have any credible candidates prepared to stand in this electorate. You have less than two days to get your act together and register your candidate before the registration for this election closes.


Pat O’Dea is the Mana Movement spokesperson for climate change


  1. Rueben Taipari Porter’s candidacy on behalf of Mana in the up-coming Northland by-election was confirmed yesterday at the Mana Te Tai Tokerau AGM. Mr Porter laid out his strategy and presented some interesting facts.

    Mr Porter explained the Norwegian company Statoil offers no jobs for Northland. In its home country of Norway 50% of all profits will go back to the Norwegian government. In New Zealand only 6% is awarded to the tax payer and not a cent of that money reaches Northland. The underlying issue here is that Northland is taking all the environmental risk and making no gains.

    Mana News

    Porter lays out his strategy and presents some interesting facts.

    Facts that none of the other candidates who all support deep sea oil drilling and destructive seismic testing in Northland want kept hidden during this election campaign,. Facts, which if it wasn’t for Rueben Porter’s courageous stand would remain unspoken.

  2. As they have publicly said, the Green’s aren’t standing because they believe the money that would be spent on the by-election will be better spent on their new nationwide climate change and inequality campaigns. As for whether they support deep sea oil drilling or not, have a look at their policy page, where they say “The Green Party stands strong against fracking, deep sea oil drilling, and mining on our conservation estate”.


    • “….the Green’s aren’t standing because they believe the money that would be spent on the by-election will be better spent on their new nationwide climate change and inequality campaigns”
      MOON MAN

      With even less money, (and no resources for billboards other than what we can scrounge and create by hand), and no sitting salaried MPs who could give this campaign their full time attention, either as a candidate or as an organiser. Mana has decided to do what we can to raise the issue of off shore oil drilling and siesmic testing in Northland during this election.

      Without this intervention this issue would most likely not even be up for debate, because all the other standing parties are in favour of it and the Green Party who should be doing this, have decided for whatever reason (and it is not money) they will sit it out.

      I find it hard to believe that the Green Party members and MPs are already so deeply and fully engaged in their nationwide climate change and inequality campaign, that they can spare no time and money for a few weeks in Northland raising the one issue that the Mainstream want to silence from this election.

      When both floods and drought have badly impacted Northland over the last few years, “climate change and inequality” are the two issues that are impacting Northland more than any other region of the country and desperately need to be discussed. Forgive me Moon Man, but I really can’t grasp how you can seriously claim that taking part in this by-election could take away from your climate change and inequality campaign? Surely it would enhance it?

      My guess is that most members of the public would not even aware of this nationwide campaign. (And at this rate, never will).

      When the media spotlight is going to be on Northland, wouldn’t this election have been the perfect platform to launch this campaign?

      Really Moon Man how can the voting public take your party seriously when you indulge is such sophisty to justify what may be for all I know, just lax organisation and innattention?

  3. “Do the Greens not want to expose the Nats, Labour and NZ First for their sell out over deep sea oil drilling in Northland?”

    I don’t think there is hardly one member of the Green Party who supports deep sea drilling. MPs like Gareth Hughes have been actively campaigning against it for ages. Also the Green Party’s charter also requires it to protect the environment. It would actually be illegal for the party to take a soft stance on environmental issues unless the membership voted to change the charter. The Green Party actually is quite a small party that punches above its weight. It doesn’t have the manpower or money to fight battles on all fronts at the same time. While a Green Party supporter, I see a place for Mana as well and hope it does well in future. We are both on the same side.

    • “I don’t think there is hardly one member of the Green Party who supports deep sea drilling. MPs like Gareth Hughes have been actively campaigning against it for ages.”

      All of the above is true, except for the leadership. Twice during the 2014 election campaign, Russel Norman was pointedly asked whether he would forgo the Green Party’s objection to deep sea oil drilling to get seats in a Labour led cabinet, twice he admitted he would. Thankfully, (and all credit to the Green Party), for this piece of treachery, (praised by the Main Stream Media as “pragmatism”), Russel Norman has been shown the door.

      I have tremendous respect for the members and supporters of the the Green Party including a number of sitting and past Green Party MPs, some I consider close friends. Though I don’t personally know him, I also have a great respect for the work done by Gareth Hughes.

      My hope is that Gareth Hughes emerges as the new male co-leader of the Green Party.

      (I also hope that my endorsement of him doesn’t hurt his bid.)

      P.S. Thanks E.P. for your endorsement of Mana, it is appreciated. As you also may know your non-sectarian approach to Mana was not one shared by Russel Norman either. Who joined the conservative chorus to attack the Mana Party.

  4. I was impressed by Hone’s passion for New Zealand and New Zealanders in the last election – this passion is shared by the Greens – with both in power, I know New Zealand would be a much better place.
    Good luck Mana party. Northland this your and NZ’s chance for change.

  5. My pennies worth.(greens)..they literally have no chance…so finally we see a good tactical play by accident maybe. Nats have 16000 odd from sabins vote count…prime had 8 to 9000. On paper..labour gone. But with peters party having 4000 votes…his chances of swinging nat voters is slim…but better than labours alright. So all peters has to do is get 7000 votes 5000 of which come from an embarrassed and disgusted nat fan base(if the news gets out on nats hanky panky),labours prime only has to pick up a couple thousand more…shes in parliament. If peters wasn’t standing…shes goner,but peters polls well he may beat her 8 to 10,000votes??? not…. Im the only one posting this scenario…but then again…I picked that there be a by election election before the last election. One thing im interested in is how the nats play a dead hand. Dirty politics is out…too much under the carpet in kaipara and ngawha. Msm has dirty hands in the pot up here…plus even the nat voters know bullshit has been spread liberally on their own back yard. Incomes are down,roads were shut for weeks,truckies were desperate to the point of using backroads and ferries to do emergency supply trips when highway was cut. 13 hour trips to Auckland for supply runs and major logistical nightmares when 3.5 trips were the norm. Power costs have doubled despite ngawha costs on geothermal only a few cents a kw….and no money coming back into the north on infrastructure as usual. Truckers hit with massive unfair full load rucs despite running empty,and the candidate for nats a complete unknown…things just got interesting…
    Peters entry has brought the game from no chance,to a slim chance. One sniff of “bad” publicity over the “affair” that’s caused the by election…and theres a fair chance of an upset imho. Lets face it…more than 15% of nat support didn’t jump of the boat this last term because the previous incumbent was actually in his electorate fixing all the bad shit on roading ,and sweeping shit under the rug in kaipara hardly a vote winner. Im buying popcorn.Especially after all the exemplary police work in the north last 6 months.

    • If only Peters would oppose deep sea oil drilling then he would have a chance.

      What is it with these politicians, there are no jobs in it, and any of the money from royalities is going to Wellington not Northland. While Northlanders take all the risk.

      It seems all the mainstream politicians except for Mana’s Rueben Taipari Porter either want to ignore Northland or want to keep treating Northland as the country’s toilet.

      A good vote for Rueben Porter would be a protest vote warning that their agreed consensus over oil drilling and mining in Northland is not on.

      How about some real jobs instead

      • The REAL question is “why is Labour standing?” when they know their candidate will split the vote and deliver the seat to National. Perhaps its their old policy of killing any opposition to National in the vain hope that they will benefit. Labour is a huge block to any meaningful change in this country.

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