Green Party List 2017 – why it will be hard to get over 11% in September


The Greens have released their initial list, now the factions splinter and pimp for their candidates.

It’s a good mix of new blood, which I argued for, but I still think they are being too safe. It’s good to see the huge numbers of green members who read TDB went with some of the ideas for a regeneration, but it’s just not enough to get above 11% in September.

How the Christ Jack McDonald got his ranking at 9 is a genuine surprise. The problem with the Green’s democratic process is that candidates start sucking up to the members which creates an insular list of people wanted by the members, but which can’t select candidates who will win over voters.

Here was my top 20…

TDB Recommends

1 – Metiria Turei – She just gets better and better. One of the most genuine human beings in Parliament, and one of the best champions for human rights, Metiria is a political national treasure and if given room to make fundamental changes in welfare could be one of the greatest Cabinet Ministers we’ve ever had.

2 – James Shaw – Look, I’ll be blunt, I’m not a James Shaw fan. He’s pretty invisible most of the time and I’ve never warmed to the bloke, but the incredible skill and talent Shaw does bring is that he calms business and industry the fuck down. We can’t bring real change if the vested interests can’t be brought along for that change, and James has the ability to talk with business and industry and convince them that a Green Government won’t be Year Zero for them. Shaw is an essential part of the team and will be an important bridge to business and industry interests who will go into shock when Labour and Greens change the Government in September.

3 – Marama Davidson – As far as I’m concerned, she’s the Beyonce of the NZ Political world. All hail the Queen. I believe Marama is one of the best Politicians this country has and her compassion, generosity, tireless social justice campaigning and intelligence make her one of our more unique political talents and promoting her this far up the list is acknowledgement for the immense talent she brings to the Greens.

4 – Jan Logie – Jan is a political superstar. Her work on welfare and domestic violence makes her highly identifiable to the electorate as a champion for some of our most vulnerable. She is incredibly intelligent and her work over the last 3 years should be rewarded with an increase up the Party list.

5 -Gareth Hughes – The guys is just such a brain. You need a clever policy wonk like Hughes at the Cabinet Table if you want to effect real policy change. He has immense intellectual muscle and knows Energy inside and out.

6 – Julie Anne Genter – The Greens always do incredibly poorly in Auckland, and they desperately require an Auckland personality who can champion their cause. Genter could be our smartest Minister for Transport we’ve ever had in NZ history.

7 -Barry Coates – Yes I’m going there. Thrusting Bazza up this high is a nod to his huge activist support base and the incredible work he has done fighting TPPA. With Bill English bewilderingly still trying to push the TPPA through, despite Trump turning his back on the issue, Coates fight against the Trans Pacific Partnership isn’t over and the huge protest numbers are proof his cause has massive support in the electorate.

8 – Mojo Mathers – The disability community are a huge voting bloc who feel utterly ignored by the political landscape. Mojo’s own hearing impairment gives her true insight into disability issues and makes her a leader in Parliament. She and the electorate she represents deserves recognition.

9 – Chloe Swarbrick – Again, I’m going there. Chloe should be in the top 10 folks, the woman is a political event. Someone with her potential only pops along a couple of times a generation. Her incredible 3rd place ranking in the Auckland Mayoralty is nothing short of a political miracle. She connects with youth voters in a way I’ve never witnessed in my 25 odd years of political punditry, and giving her such a high ranking would excite the bloody hell out of the very electorate the Greens need to win in huge numbers if they are to hit 15% this election.

10 – Damon Rusden – Damon is a really interesting find as a candidate. He has guest blogged on The Daily Blog many times and his intellect and creative mind are surprisingly refreshing and he shows a worldview well beyond his 22 years of age. If the Greens want to appeal to their youth voter base, then stacking the top 10 with new faces and new blood is essential.

11 – David Clendon – David is an old hand and has enough experience behind him now to act as one of the Party’s internal guardians when it comes to process. Very important if you intend to be a member of Government.

12 – Eugenie Sage – Very intelligent and smart on the environment, but just hasn’t built enough of a profile to the wider electorate. Needs to be there because she is a policy wonk, but there are other candidates with stronger voting blocs.

13 – Golriz Ghahraman – Has there been a more perfect candidate? A human rights lawyer, a UN consultant and international justice fighter. She is a rising star, needs to be in the top 15.

14 – James Goodie – Interesting guy, has huge networks of influence in Auckland, serious about drug reform and green entrepreneurship.

15 – Robert Stewart – Huge networks in Dunedin where he has serious support. Strengthens the Greens in the South Island.

16 – Sam Taylor – I am a huge Sam Taylor fan, her enthusiasm and passion for politics, life and culture is deeply infectious. She is a Youth Justice Team Leader and Youth Worker with a Bachelor of Social Science. Perfect future Youth Minister.

17 – Julie Zhu – Incredibly impressive candidate and the Green Parties only Asian-NZ candidate

18 -Dr Elizabeth Kerekere – Dr Kerekere carries huge mana in academia and within Maoirdom for her incredible work in Rainbow communities, youth and Treaty relations. A true kaumatua in every sense of the word. Would be an incredible gain for Parliament.

19 – Stefan Grand-Meyer – Well respected, highly intelligent and lots of interest in the voluntary and NGO sectors of society.

20 – Jo Wrigley – Strong Union voice inside the Greens who carries a lot of respect for her staunch stance on worker rights.

Here is the first blush of the new list…

1 Metiria Turei – Same

2 James Shaw – Same

3 Julie Anne Genter – Surprisingly higher than her terrible performance in the Mt Albert by-election should allow for.

4 Marama Davidson – Should be number 3, but good she has been boosted so high onto list.

5 Eugenie Sage – Waaaaaay too generous a placing.

6 Jan Logie – had her at 4, but again good she’s been boosted.

7 Gareth Hughes – Had him at 6, but good he’s been boosted.

8 Mojo Mathers – Same

9 Jack McDonald – WTF? Very surprising decision. Part of the Wellington Clique and a staff member,

10 Barry Coates – Had Coates at 7, deserves to be before Jack McDonald!

11 Kennedy Graham – Kind placement

12 John Hart – Such a high ranking for such a rude arsehole on social media.

13 Chloe Swarbrick – Should feel very let down by the process, 13 while a staffer like McDonald gets 9? Ugh. Seeing as the youth vote is the only place the Greens can generate new voter mass from, placing chloe at 13 is a bit of a slap in the face to the youth vote.

14 Denise Roche – Kind placement

15 Golriz Ghahraman – Had her at 13, she will be disappointed by 15.

16 David Clendon – Didn’t deserve a demotion this large.

17 Teanau Tuiono – ?

18 Leilani Tamu – ?

19 Teall Crossen – ?

20 Chris Perley – ?

The Greens would be lucky if they get 11% or 12% this election. I think Chloe and Golriz should be much higher because a higher ranking means their demographic will be far more inclined to come out and vote, which is the only way the Greens can get to 15%.

NZ First are poised over the next 6 months to possibly over take the Greens as the 3rd largest Party, this list has shaken some of the old guard with some fresh blood, but I don’t think it’s enough to excite the voters the Greens need to win to prevent NZ First from over taking them.

The factions will start to massage the numbers now, so it will be up to them to create something meaningful out of this, however when you consider what a mess this press release was for the Greens, I suspect the internal staffing problems are too large for them to overcome in time for September.


    • Come on. I know Chloe is a media darling in Auckland thanks to her admirable tilt at the mayoralty, but she only joined the party within the last year. She’s incredibly lucky to be on the list *at all*, let alone in the top 15, where f the Greens were to get up to 13% she would become a Greens MP, less than a year after joining the party. There are plenty of talented candidates who have put in more than decade of work into the Greens and would all be over the moon to be on the top 15. If she pays her dues, and campaigns hard to help get the part vote up, she will most likely be in parliament in 2020, giving her 3 years to learn how politics there actually works.

  1. Yep , – some mighty fine people in that line up indeed.

    Good for the country.

    And a fair few of them have posted articles on this site which were / are sterling. I remember Gareth Hughes speech and his blunt , honest and disparaging appraisal on the abject failure of this neo liberal National govt in parliament.

    Excellence in motion.

    I will also give a plug for Marama Davidson.

    My sister who works as an Auckland coordinator at Mainly Music met Marama at one of their sessions a few years back . My sister was very impressed in talking to Marama . My sister is very sharp in picking a person of integrity.

    How do I know ?

    My sister was in charge of the Salvation Army Bethany complex for at – risk young pregnant women , – when that was closed down because of deliberate under- funding by this current National party govt under John Key and his then Finance Minister Bill English.

    If it was me, …. I wouldn’t have been near so forgiving or accepting as she was .

    And I mean it.

  2. That the Greens actually care about the membership and want to consult with them about all things should not be viewed as “sucking up to the members”.
    It is much better than the National Party way which is to ignore the members completely unless you are staring electoral defeat in the face and then you panic and start demanding everything short of self-sacrifice.
    And it is better than the Labour Party way which is to promise the members their opinions will be heard and then to carry on regardless.

  3. You clearly have never met Jack McDonald, a bright, intelligent hugely capable young man who definitely deserves his placing. If I remember rightly he comes from south auckland so this crap about being in Wellington has little to do with it.

    I am very happy that he is above Barry Coates.

    Shame Genter is so high on the list, not on the left but clearly a very good spokesperson on transport.

    Kennedy Graham should be at 50, ever the diplomat and has never transitioned.

    Denise Roche, good woman good politics but should get out
    Eugenie – an environmentalist but little else in my opinion, not left enough.

    Interesting that in the top 6 there is only one man!

      • Gareth is no. 7 on the Greens initial list. I am well aware that when members which includes me rank them there will be a considerable adjustment and after the members vote there will a shuffle in terms of gender and ethnicity and where people are from to get a good broad balance.

  4. Great to see my old friend Teanau on the list. He is a tino rangatiratanga activist who I originally met through the campaign to bring back free education in the late 90s, and worked with in various capacities in the anti-globalization movement. Among of things he was one of the group that co-founded Aotearoa Indymedia with me. He would be a fantastic MP.

  5. [Comment deleted. (1) Valid email address required. (2) Comment comes across as trolling by a faux Green “supporter”. – Scarletmod]

  6. The list is only a guide for members. Every member gets to vote for their preferred candidate list over the next month or so and the final list is solely based on this. That said, in the past the final list has closely mirrored the preferred candidate list.

    The problem for the Green Party is that it is a 100 percent democratic party but also a small one which means that like will vote for like, which makes it hard to expand out of its natural tendencies. Undemocratic parties have the advantage of parachuting in candidates they know will appeal to their targeted voters. John Key was an example of that. While they can use their party list to bring in people who will never be popular with the electorate like Steven Joyce.

  7. I’ve said this before, but there is something about James Shaw that bothers me. In my opinion, he comes across as a green/blue, leaning more to the blue side if anything, giving the impression he would swing over to the Natz in a breath if the opportunity arose.

    Why Gareth Hughes wasn’t elected co leader with Meteria Turei, beats me. He and Meteria would be an incredible leadership.

    Meteria is one of the best MPs in Parliament. The matriarch of the NZ Green Party. However, that said, to me since Russel Norman left, she doesn’t seem to have so much fire in her belly as she had with him as support. Could be the conservative influence of Shaw. I’m not sure. Meteria and Russel were a team to reckon with and on many occasions, kept Parliament alive and kicking over. But despite that, Meteria is still a positive for NZ.

    I like Julie Ann Genter for her astute public transport knowledge. She would be a great asset to Auckland.

    Yep, agree about Marama Davidson. She is the future of the Green Party and NZ and isn’t afraid to rock the boat and kick some arse at the same time, something we need more of.

    Should there be a Labour/Greens government later in the year and I’m thinking this could be the case, I hope talented Green MPs are used in positions to benefit the country and not left to warm seats on the back benches. Plenty of old hack neo lib Labour MPs to do that!

  8. The Greens are in a bit of a funk.
    The Pt England Development Enabling Bill has f#$ked them! By supporting the Bill means supporting a “Fake” iwi claim, Ngati Paoa’s rogue negotiators to build 300 houses on a Reservation & Park.

    The last piece, 45 hectares of open space near the CBD.Has bird life(protected) and is a high use park. 1140 hrs per year of use, more than 535 bookings for events & sports.

    Met many times with Marama & Eugenie, spoken to CoS, Dir Strategy & others … Being a party where their fundamental core value(s) is the Environment, they are still not opposing the bill which sets a precedent for all reserves & parks, DoC land & National parks at risk of confiscation! WTF!

    And they’ve accepted the petition to oppose the Bill but still are dicking around! That is poor judgement & the end of their “Environmental” Credibility!

  9. Think Barry Coates is good and should be higher place. I also think he has the ability to be liked and respected by voters. More than 50% of people are against TPPA so that is all good for Barry and the Greens. He ran a great campaign and connected to a lot of people. I think he should be number three.

    Marama is respected by all, but like Metiria is she popular? Will people vote for her? The housing issue seems to have eclipsed the environmental issues by the Green party. Hope they don’t turn into a party of 2 or 3 side line issues that go off Green branding and into the respective politicians personal issues. Saying that, liked Marama’s style when she went to Israel. At least she’s an activist and courageous. Maybe focus more of that activism on the environment, too.

    I want the Greens to do well. But they need to look at what people really care about, and in particular not get bogged down in National specials like the unitary plan driving up house prices as we speak which many on the left supported due to some clever manipulation from the Natz.

    The other concern is that most of these people on the Greens list seem to have little public profile and even if you google them, nothing comes up! I’m on their email list and don’t know anything they are up to and read leftie blogs. Where are the Greens??? Who are the Greens???

    Even worse, some come up for the wrong reasons, in my view like pro developer Chloe Swarbrick.

    Greens seem to be seriously are lacking talented people who have actually done something environmental that the public actually know about.

    There are too many Greens high on the list who are policy makers or trendy hipsters and not genuinely environmental activists. Going to uni and doing urban planning and owning a bike, is not the same thing. That’s Labour. Key’s transformation idea was a National cycle way so it is not really a sole ‘green’ radical idea.

    We are now a Nation of Typhoid cases and poison Havelock water for God’s sake! Water is very important – everyone drinks it! So that’s a clue where the Greens might like to pop up publicly. Hopefully not blaming middle NZ voter’s for it on TV.

    Maybe hiding in there, the Greens have some radical Green ideas or even better have publicly been involved in saving something valued in their community, if so, they might like to highlight it much better because what is going to happen if the Greens blow it, and the Natz get in and destroy our environment as well as the social fabric of this country for another term?

  10. What does Chloe Swarbrick actually stand for apart from being young and having the approval of the secret ACT member, Phil Goff? Her solution to the Auckland housing problem is to free up developers. She should be ranked about 122nd.

  11. Where’s the Kedgely, Bradford, Tanczos, or Donald, or even Norman? Who is going to wear a hemp suit, wrap their dreads in a bun and skateboard down Molesworth St and then eloquently and rationally argue for restorative justice?

    • I know Nandor is, actually has he ever not worn hemp, wraped his dreads in a bun and skated, not down molesworth st, but, Iv known him to do those things. Still does. Not sure about the rest

      • Sam u said “see ya” to me further up after my comment was deleted. I said much the same aas you – that the party has become Neo-Liberal suck ups & have gone down hill since the old crew died / moved on. I also said that I’d seen the Genter women on TV who had grinned like an idiot throughout an interview when the subject matter was NOT something to be grinning about. Similar with James Shaw. An interview on “The Country” was a shambles . . .”umm – argh . . .etc., etc. was not impressed. Why is there no one actually wanting to really stand up for the planet & the billions of wretched poor who inhabit it in abject poverty. The prevailing “business-as-usual” is not working, will not work & sucking up & tinkering around the edges & playing it safe so they can sit at the big table (& get their heads patted) is not the Green party I voted for.

        • The Green Party is very different from the one Jeanette Fitzsimmons and Rob Donald founded through the 70’s and lead into the naughties and was roundly criticised for being to radical. Now criticism of the Greens is that they are not radical enough, while at the same time enjoying some of the highest polls the Green Party has produced.

          So I wouldn’t put any stock in what political fairies say about the Greens because anything, flatterers of the court water down Green and other minor polling.

  12. The Greens are becoming too tame for my liking. Adding the odd young baby face may get a few votes here and there, but that will not be enough, if the contents of the message is not clear.

    And re that, I am concerned when it comes to Labour and also increasingly the Greens now.

    • Think back to the early 1990’s, Social Dems’,Mana-Motuhake, New Labour, the formation of the Alliance & the Greens … join the dots. Look for the players then & where they are now?
      Not hard to figure out what “could” happen next aye?

  13. They won’t increase their vote because there is a limited pool of deranged people in the country who will vote for them.

    It takes a rather ‘special’ person to be a Green Party supporter…

Comments are closed.