Lloyd Burr: The Green Party list is missing something
OPINION: The Green Party list has been decided and will be released within the next two weeks - but how refreshed and rejuvenated will it really be?
It comes after an intense candidate selection process, which featured a conference where hopefuls from right around New Zealand had to sell themselves to paid-up party members, who then went off and voted in another long and confusing process.
The party has gone to great lengths this year to promote and publicise fresh faces like Chloe Swarbrick, Hayley Holt, Jack MacDonald, and Golriz Ghahraman, in bid to show voters it is renewing and not stagnating.
But based on my list prediction, that might not be the case:
- Metiria Turei (female, Māori, South Island-based)
- James Shaw (male)
- Eugenie Sage (female, South Island-based)
- Gareth Hughes (male)
- Kennedy Graham (male)
- Julie Anne Genter (female)
- Mojo Mathers (female, South Island-based)
- Jan Logie (female)
- John Hart (male, non-current MP)
- Jack McDonald (male, Māori, under 35, non-current MP)
- Denise Roche (female)
- Marama Davidson (female, Māori)
- David Clendon (male)
- David Moorhouse (male, South Island-based, non-current MP)
- Golriz Ghahraman (female, under 35, non-current MP)
- Barry Coates (male)
- Chloe Swarbrick (female, under 35, non-current MP)
- Hayley Holt (female, under 35, non-current MP)
There are some stringent rules the party must adhere to when formulating its list, including quotas for men, women, Māori, non-MPs, South Islanders and under 35s.
"For every 10 candidates you rank together, at least one should be Māori, and one should be under 35," the Green Party rules state.
"For every five candidates you rank together, at least two should be male, and at least two should be female, at least one should be from the South Island and at least two from the North Island."
It doesn't stop there. There's a recommendation for fresh faces too:
"In order to promote renewal of our caucus, for every 10 candidates you rank together, aim for at least two to be non-current MPs."
Based on the 2014 list and the current MPs in Parliament, it appears there will only be one new member of Parliament under the age of 35 - current Green Party staffer Jack McDonald.
He's male, he's Māori and he's young. He fits all the rules.
The other newby hotshots like Golriz Ghahraman, Chloe Swarbrick and Hayley Holt are a lot further down the list, and unlikely to get in unless the Greens get a substantially higher party vote.
It proves there's a case for forcing some current MPs to step down gracefully to make room for some greener faces.
Time's up for Kennedy Graham, David Clendon, Barry Coates and Denise Roche.
The problem is, the old hats are mainly men, and there's not a huge pool of promising up-and-coming male candidates to fill the gaps.
And that's a problem for the party, which risks turning from Green to grey and losing its appeal.
Lloyd Burr is a Newshub political reporter.