Bid at urgent meeting fails to delay Green Party list ranking amid Elizabeth Kerekere scandal

By Craig McCulloch for RNZ

A last-minute bid to delay the Green Party's list ranking has failed, with members unable to reach agreement during an urgent online meeting on Thursday evening.

More than 80 members took part in the 'member assembly' to consider a proposal to delay voting until after the inquiry into Green MP Elizabeth Kerekere's conduct was complete and the findings released to members.

The lack of consensus means the ballot will open as planned on Friday, allowing members to vote on the final make-up of the party's list which helps determine which MPs or candidates make it into Parliament after the election.

The meeting began at 6:30pm and wrapped up shortly after 9pm. It was convened at the request of various party groups, including the Rainbow Greens, Young Greens and Pasifika Greens.

RNZ understands the core argument made by proponents was that members should be provided with the best information before making any ranking decisions.

A straw poll rejected the initial proposal after party musterer (whip) Jan Logie was unable to commit to a timeline for the investigation, or guarantee what might be shared in terms of the outcome.

Members then discussed a one- or two-week delay, but they were still unable to reach agreement.

Kerekere was not on the call. Participants were told she was given the opportunity to speak, but declined, believing it would be "inappropriate".

Under the party's rules, proposals must be agreed either by consensus or a 75 percent majority vote.

The Greens launched an internal investigation into Kerekere's behaviour in early April after leaked messages appeared to show the Tai Rāwhiti-based MP badmouthing her caucus colleague Chlöe Swarbrick.

The messages also showed Kerekere complaining about Swarbrick's good fortune to have her legislation be debated during the list ranking process.

RNZ has since reported the accounts of multiple sources close to the Greens who have accused Kerekere of ongoing "mean girl behaviour" and a particular hostility towards Swarbrick.

A draft party list, devised by delegates, was distributed in early April with Swarbrick ranked third and Kerekere fourth. The final list is expected to be published at the end of May.