Green Party negotiations 'inept' - Sue Bradford

Sue Bradford on The AM Show.
Sue Bradford on The AM Show. Photo credit: Newshub.

A former Green Party MP turned party critic says the Greens negotiating team was "inept" and the party should take a "deep look" at itself and its leadership.

Sue Bradford became a vocal critic of the party despite spending a whole decade as a list Green Party MP. She left in 2009 after running an unsuccessful leadership race against Metiria Turei.  

The Greens have faced internal criticism for supporting New Zealand First's waka-jumping bill, legislation the Greens historically oppose.

It's emerged the party failed to include waka-jumping Bill in a list of New Zealand First policies not supported by the Greens - a list requested by Labour during coalition negotiations. 

Ms Bradford says that oversight is "an indictment on the negotiating team, or of their politics, or both."

"It's one of the most inept pieces of negotiation I've ever seen, and I would hope that the Green Party will be taking a deep look at itself and its leadership over this," Ms Bradford said.

"Is there anything else lurking there that this rather inept negotiating team might have signed up to?"

On Friday morning, the Greens said the negotiations were done in good faith and that waka-jumping legislation simply wasn't anticipated.

"During the negotiations, we looked at the policies that parties ran on during the 2017 campaign. Waka-jumping wasn't one of them. We are now managing this issue within the Green Party," a Green Party spokesperson said in a statement.

"This legislation has been historically problematic in the Green Party.

"Support is the price of entering government but the Bill is imperfect and we think there may be further improvements that can be made to the Bill through Select Committee stage."

The leak revealing the Greens' failure to include waka-jumping in a requests list of NZ First policy no-go zones came via a screenshot posted to Reddit.

The screengrab was taken from a Young Greens Facebook page and posted to Reddit a week ago. 

"James [Shaw] has explained why the Greens are supporting the waka-jumping bill," Young Greens co-convener Mr Tweedie wrote in the post.

"NZF and Labour, and the Greens and Labour conducted blind negotiations for the agreement. Labour requested a list of NZF policies that we don't support, and while we went through, we didn't even think of the waka-jumping bill. As a result, because of the agreements between us, we have to support the bill because our opposition wasn't flagged."

The Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill - nicknamed the waka-jumping Bill - prevents MPs from being able to quit a party and remain in Parliament as an independent. NZ First negotiated the bill's inclusion in its coalition agreement with Labour, a sort of safeguard against the dissolution of a party or coalition.