Richard Harman writes:
A former top Green official .and leadership contender in 2015 has resigned from the party because he believes it has lost its way and he is now working with National.
Though he has not joined National, Vernon Tava is part of the campaign team for Erica Stamford – an old friend — who is standing for National in East Coast Bays.
As for the Greens, he said he began to part ways with them because he began to doubt whether the environment was seriously at the top of their agenda.
He also began to doubt that there was any genuine will on the part of the party to work with the Government whoever they were.
The Greens have given up on a constructive relationship with National. Their job now is to be cheerleaders for Labour it seems.
“When I stood for co-leader one of the great things about that was that we travelled around the country and I was contacted by a lot of the older, founder members who thought it was no longer the party of Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald.
“And the composition of the party did change very significantly with the collapse of the Alliance.
“A lot fo those people did move into the Greens and being people who had backgrounds in teaching, union organising, and they were people who were very good at working with an internal structure.
“I do feel that there was a point where the emphasis and the balance of the part shifted.
“I had joined what I thought was an environmental party and I did find that on the whole, it was more of a socialist party.”
Yep. And remember this is not some junior person, but a former Northern Region Convener.
Tava says his fundamental question of the Greens was to ask how serious they were about the environment.
“Is it that we will only protect the environment when it feels good or will do what it takes to work with whoever is in Government.”
And he says that in 2012 the Greens began to change the way they dealt with the National Party.
“I was very disappointed, and I know some members and MPs were too, that a decision was taken to personalise the attacks against the National Party.
“When Russel Norman really started going after John Key, a lot of us were very unhappy about that.
“It was like we’d burned the bridge, and the party was traditionally always meant to be above the fray, and you didn’t hear Jeannette Fitzsimons or Rod Donald making personalised attacks against people.
I recall Russel Norman comparing John Key to Muldoon.