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Marama Davidson elected new Green Party Co-leader

South Auckland-based MP Marama Davidson will join James Shaw in the role of Green Party Co-leader, after the result of the leadership contest was announced this morning in Auckland.

Ms Davidson secured 110 delegate votes. Julie Anne Genter, the Minister for Women and Associate Minister of Transport and Health, also contested the Co-leadership role and won 34 votes.

Ms Davidson entered Parliament in 2015 following Russel Norman’s resignation. She is the mother of six children and has before entering parliament worked as a youth worker in South Auckland and as an advisor at the Human Rights Commission for 10 years. She was the Chief Panellist on the Owen Glenn Inquiry into Domestic Violence and Child Abuse.

“It’s the greatest honour of my life to be elected Co-leader of the Green Party of Aotearoa. It is also an enormous responsibility and for party members to have confidence in me to lead the Party is truly humbling,” said Ms Davidson.

“I want to congratulate Julie Anne Genter. My respect for Julie Anne and her obvious talents has only increased over the course of the campaign. I’m proud to call her a colleague and a friend and I know she will continue doing a fantastic job as a Minister.

“History shows that smaller parties struggle to retain their support in coalition governments. My number one goal as Co-leader is to make sure that doesn’t happen to the Greens.

“Without ministerial responsibilities I can focus on the party and ensure the full delivery of our confidence and supply agreement while maintaining unity. With one leader as a Minister and one not we can able to avoid the pitfalls other parties entering Government have experienced who have seen their support fall.

“I intend to stay connected to the community I come from, South Auckland, and other communities like it around the country. I will be the only party leader in Parliament that brings to the table deep sustained experience of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged communities in our country and I plan to ensure they are given a voice.

“The community I come from is at the coalface of the most pressing issues we face as a society: rising poverty and inequality, the housing and homelessness crisis, polluted rivers and poor health and education outcomes. I will ensure their voices are heard, in Parliament and within the Green Party.

“Our Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Labour Party commits to providing a transformational Government. I am looking forward to working even more closely with our colleagues’ right across the Government to achieving our Government’s ambitious agenda,” said Ms Davidson.

“I am incredibly excited about this new era of leadership in the Green Party and getting to work with Marama to deliver great green change and further growing our party,” said Mr Shaw.

“Marama is a magnetic politician, people are naturally drawn to her and respect her. She is acutely aware of how some people and communities are struggling in this country, and she will be an excellent advocate for their interests in Parliament and in our Party.

“Between us we represent the broad church of Green voters. Our different backgrounds and experiences mean we empathise and understand the cross section of issues New Zealanders face. We are a team that can reach everyone committed to a better and fairer New Zealand. 

“Member elected Co-leaders have provided decades of unity and stability to the party, and I am sure this new pairing, the first as part of a Government, will be no different.

“I want to congratulate Julie Anne Genter, whose leadership skills and political acumen remain invaluable to our party.

“I have no doubt that Julie Anne will continue to be a stand-out minister in this Government, well into the future.

“I want to thank Green Party members who participated in the leadership contest. Our electoral system is the most democratic of any party and this result represents a clear mandate for Marama to lead our party,” said Mr Shaw.