Green Party co-leader James Shaw yesterday announced that the Green Party is ready to start the process of finding another female co-leader.
So who are the contenders and what would they be likely to bring to the job. A brief examination of each of them is below:
JULIE ANNE GENTER
Young, popular with an outgoing personality, Ms Genter was a thorn in the side of National when it came to transport issues. Generous with her time, and vastly knowledgeable about the portfolio’s that she was spokeswoman for Frequently out manoeuvring the various Ministers of Transport between 2011-2017, Ms Genter was able to hold her own in Parliament, much to the chagrin of National M.P.’s.
Ms Genter has time on her side. She is only 38. Her position at #3 on the Green Party list ensured she would return to Parliament and is an acknowledgement of her strong work ethic
Compared to the other contenders, Mrs Davidson’s profile is somewhat lower in terms of public visibility. Perhaps her strongest claim is her links to Maoridom, being of Ngapuhi, Ngati Porou and Te Rarawa heritage. I am not aware of her having had any significant achievements in Parliament. Following the Greens re-entry into Parliament after the 2017 General Election, Mrs Davidson was awarded the Auckland, Maori Affairs, Pacific Affairs, Sports and Recreation, Housing, Ethnic Affairs and Disabilities spokesperson roles.
Ms Sage comes as a prominent contender to the role of co-leader. As Minister for Environment as a person with an extensive record in conservation related work, she is one of the higher profile Green Members of Parliament. She was spokesperson for Forest and Bird, before being elected to Environment Canterbury for the local government term starting in 2007. Before that term was out, Government Commissioners had taken over from the elected council. Ms Sage stood for the Green Party in the 2011 N.Z. General Election in sixth spot. She was given Conservation, Christchurch, Environment, Land Information and other spokesperson roles
THE OUTSIDE CONTENDER
Ms Logie’s openly lesbian orientation will endear her to the LGBTQ community when the Green Party has its internal vote on who should replace Metiria Turei as co-leader. Ms Logie is the Undersecretary to Minister of Justice Andrew Little. During the 2011 Election she stood in Mana where she came in at 9th out 14 Green M.P.’s eligible to enter Parliament.
At this stage Ms Logie has not indicated whether she would be interested in the leadership.
Golriz Ghahraman and Chloe Swarbrick have not been in Parliament long enough and are still learning the ropes. Both still have to build their Parliament profiles and gain a base of followers. Ms Swarbrick, despite her popularity with those just out of high school, Ms Ghahraman will be for the time being probably happy to keep out of the limelight and get to know the smorgasbord of portfolio’s that she now has to be the spokeswoman for, which include Defence, Foreign Affairs and Trade, among others. Let us hope they are trained well by their colleagues because a failure to make the most of the opportunities, whilst conducting themselves in a responsible way would go some distance towards preventing the Greens holding high office again in the near future.