Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Greens' first caucus welcomes new faces

Green Party co-leaders Russel Norman and Metiria Turei take stock. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Green Party co-leaders Russel Norman and Metiria Turei take stock. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The Green Party's new 13 member caucus sat down together for the first time this morning at parliament, joined also by Mojo Mathers who could be their fourteenth MP within two weeks, if special votes allow.

The new faces around the Greens' caucus table are Eugenie Sage, Jan Logie, Steffan Browning, Denise Roche, Holly Walker and Julie Anne Genter.

This morning's meeting was to be "about celebrating our win, in the first instance, getting over 10 per cent", co-leader Russel Norman told reporters shortly before it began.

"It's also about introducing the new people and getting them oriented to Parliament and their fellow caucus members. It's also about the beginnings of the discussion about what the MOU (memorandum of understanding) might look like and what might be in it."

However, Dr Norman said there was no hurry to hold discussions with National over a new MOU that would continue the two parties' co-operation on environmental projects and possibly policy formation.

After the last election those talks didn't happen until the new year. In the meantime the projects agreed on last term were continuing.

Co-leader Metiria Turei said with four additional MPs, the party would be better able to allocate roles within the caucus to reflect where particular strengths lay.

"People will be able to focus on the things they're very good at."

Addressing his new caucus for the first time Dr Norman acknowledged their predecessors, "particularly Rod (Donald), our first male co-leader who's no longer with us who would have just loved this day.

"It's a tribute to Rod's work and that of all those who came before us that we're able to be here today."

He also acknowledged former co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons who had sent a message that was to be read out at the meeting.

"It is of course a fantastic day for the Green party and for the Green movement more generally, to have 13 MPs, hopefully 14 very soon. I'm quietly confident we'll do that."

- NZ Herald

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