Norman challenged for Greens co-leadership

NewstalkZB reports:

Green Party member David Hay is intending to challenge Dr Russel Norman for the party’s co-leadership.

Mr Hay, who was the Green Party’s candidate for Epsom at the last election and is currently ranked number 16 on the party’s list, claims the party needs to be ‘putting its A team forward’.

“Russel has been doing a great job for the Green Party, but he has been co-leader for six years now,” he says.

“While the party has grown in stature and credibility during Russel’s tenure, we have new people in caucus, and there’s fresh new talent among the party membership.”

Mr Hay says he is putting himself forward with a plan to build the party’s base in Auckland, focus on environmental and economic sustainability and lift the party’s performance.

The statement from David Hay is here. He says:

“I think one of the Party co-leaders should be based in Auckland, be well-informed on Auckland issues, and take a hands-on role in building the party’s Auckland base.” 

“The Green Party has under-performed at winning votes in Auckland, and we need to turn that around. Only three members of the Green Party’s 14 MPs are based in Auckland. We currently lack sufficient presence here, in New Zealand’s largest city, where a third of the population live.”

The election will be at the Greens conference in June 2014.

This is the first time an incumbent co-leader has been challenged, and that is significant. There is obvious some discontent, but what is not known is how extensive it is. Is it an Auckland vs the rest issue?

What will be interesting to observe is where the MPs stand. Will they all back Norman or will they consult with their electorates and vote in accordance with their wishes?

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