Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

'Great night to be a Green'

Actress Robyn Malcolm at the Green Party Election night party held at St Kevin's Arcade, 179 Karangahape Road. Photo / Steven McNicholl
Actress Robyn Malcolm at the Green Party Election night party held at St Kevin's Arcade, 179 Karangahape Road. Photo / Steven McNicholl

A beaming Russel Norman and a giggling Metiria Turei received a rapturous welcome as they arrived at their election night party in Auckland having steered their party to an historic increase in their vote which will bring at least 13 Green MPs to Parliament up from nine three years ago.

With 98 per cent of the vote counted, the Greens have captured 11 per cent. They were targeting 10 per cent.

Special votes, which have been kind to the Greens in the past offer them the real prospect of adding another MP to Parliament which would take their tally to 14.

"Isn't it a great night to be a Green'?', Dr Norman asked joyously raucous crowd of at least three hundred gathered at St Kevin's Arcade on Karangahape Road.

"This is an historic night for the Green Party, this is an historic night for New Zealand, and an historic night for the Green movement in Aotearoa and around the planet."

Dr Norman thanked voters who'd supported his party, which saw its party vote increase by more than 50 per cent on 2008.

The Greens were, he said, the first minor party to secure more than 10 per cent of the party vote.

"We have cemented our place as the third party of New Zealand politics."

It had taken a long time, "but it has been a worthwhile struggle because we believe that a fairer more sustainable Aotearoa/New Zealand is worth fighting for."

"We give our commitment tonight that we will use the power that has been given to us tonight by the people of New Zealand, we will use that mandate to push for good green change,'' Dr Norman said.

"What we have seen is the values of the Greens are values that are shared very widely in this beautiful country of ours. We intend to use those 13 or 14 MPs in order to make our country a better place."

Dr Norman's co-leader Mrs Turei was initially drowned out by supporters chanting her name as she began speaking.

She listed the new MPs the Greens would welcome to Parliament including Eugenie Sage, Denise Roche, Steffan Browning, Jan Logie, Holly Walker and Julie Anne Genter.

"And if can crack that 11 per cent with the specials, Mojo Mathers."

"This is the caucus that will deliver the change that we said in this campaign we would deliver."

"We will deliver progress in getting our kids out of poverty, our making our rivers clean to swim in and delivering green jobs."

"Tonight the Green Party has made a shift we have moved from the old to the new. We are now a new caucus from the 1999 crew on whom our party has been built and whose shoulders this caucus now stands."

Speaking to reporters later Mrs Turei she wasn't at all bothered by that her caucus may be seen as inexperienced.

"At least two or our new MPs are very experienced local body politicians. We have those who have been working in advising roles in parliament they know what the job is they know what it involves.

"Our new MPs are absolutely experienced and very passionate and they're ready to hit the ground running."

Dr Norman said he and Mrs Turei would be talking with the party about any post election agreement with National.

"We'll have to talk about what sort of relationship we want to have with them tomorrow."

"Obviously Labour's had a pretty tough night."

Dr Norman said it was "hard to see how it's going to work out with NZ First back in Parliament".


- NZ Herald

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