Former Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman will today give his valedictory speech in Parliament, wrapping up seven years as an MP and nine years as Co-leader during which he put climate change and smart green economics on the political agenda.
Green Party Co-leaders Metiria Turei and James Shaw both expressed their warmest thanks to Dr Norman today, paying tribute to his huge contribution over nine years as a co-leader of the Greens, and 18 years of involvement with the Party.
“We are so grateful for Russel’s contribution to the party, and the powerful positive impact he has had on New Zealand,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.
“Russel has worked tirelessly to protect the things that New Zealanders love.
“As Co-leader Russel helped develop the Green Party into a powerful political force, and in so doing ensured that our environment and the need for a sustainable and fair economy remain top of the political agenda.
“Russel’s service to the party spans 18 years after first joining the New Zealand Green Party in 1997 and the Australian Greens before that.
“He started out as a member volunteer and was has been employed in a range of jobs over the years including receptionist, executive assistant to former MP Sue Bradford, 2005 campaign manager, and several other positions before he was elected Co-leader outside Parliament in 2006 following the tragic death of Rod Donald,” said Mrs Turei.
“Russel has clocked up a staggering number of successes, including his work with the Party and other organisations to get a referendum on the Government’s asset sales, successfully fighting to keep Kiwibank locally owned, and his work alongside community organisations to campaign for cleaner rivers,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.
“At the beginning of Russel’s Dirty River tour in 2011 he was a novice in a kayak, by the end, he had mastered the Kaituna falls.
“One of Russel’s greatest achievements was his ability to communicate an alternative economic vision for New Zealand – one where the economy worked for everyone, and which sustained the environment rather than destroyed it.
The entire Green Party team wishes Russel our warmest thanks and best wishes for his new job as executive director of Greenpeace,” Mr Shaw said.
He manawa tītī, he kōtuku rerenga tahi. Ina te mahi, he rangatira.
A person of great endurance, a white heron only flies once. Nobility evidences itself.