The Green Party has a constitution which says the Party must have two leaders, one male and one female. After Metiria Turei resigned as co-leader last year, James Shaw has been the only leader of the Green Party. Today, delegates at the Green Party meeting voted for Marama Davidson to be the co-leader, by 110 votes, to 34 for Julie Anne Genter.
Marama Davidson is Maori, aged 44 and has 6 children. Her father, Rawiri Paratene, is a well-known movie and theatre actor, and a handsome man. She, also, is attractive. However, more importantly, she has always been a political activist, and a believer in social justice for all. She was employed for 10 years by the Human Rights Commission which works towards a fair society, valuing diversity. When an Inquiry into Domestic Violence and Child Abuse was first set up, she was appointed the leader of this group.
The Greens hope that she will help to increase their vote at the next election. At the last election, the Greens won only 6.3% of the vote.
As a minor party in a coalition with Labour, the Greens could easily lose votes to Labour in future. They need to show they are different, but they still need to support the coalition.
• Constitution – a written document giving the laws of the country (think of the American Constitution)
• delegate – a representative of an area who has voting power
• activist – someone who works hard for political and social change
• social justice – a fair society for everyone eg. rich and poor, all cultures and racial groups
• diversity (n) – (from the adjective diverse meaning varied) different cultures, different ages, different regions, different sexual orientation
• coalition (n) – two or more political parties working together; in New Zealand, Labour has the support of the Greens and New Zealand First