Russel Norman bows out

  • 22/10/2015
Russel Norman (Simon Wong/3 News)
Russel Norman (Simon Wong/3 News)

Former Green Party co-leader Russel Norman has bowed out of Parliament after firing a few parting shots about the way it works.

Dr Norman stood down from the co-leadership in May and was replaced by James Shaw.

He's leaving, after seven years, to become head of Greenpeace New Zealand.

"Question time is no longer answer time," he said in his valedictory speech today.

"The Official Information Act is virtually moribund – it's very hard to get information the Government doesn't want to release."

Journalists had too few resources to hold politicians to account, and had to produce too many stories.

He had some problems with the state of the nation as well.

"There are too many cows and they're causing water pollution," he said.

"There is too much poverty and inequality – we have moral obligations to deal with those issues."

Dr Norman concluded that humanity faced some big challenges in sustainability, climate change and democracy.

"But we also have huge opportunities," he said.

"Human creativity, generosity and courage is infinite – we have access to some fantastic resources."

Dr Norman said he wanted to dedicate his time in Parliament "to the people who stand up for a better world, regardless of the cost."

He will be replaced by the next MP on the party's list, Auckland political commentator Marama Davidson, who has worked at the Human Rights Commission for 10 years.