Key Points:

Outgoing Green MP Nandor Tanczos said last night he believes the Green Party made a mistake putting its support behind Labour in the 2005 election and would have been better off talking to the Maori Party as it was now.

Mr Tanczos also said he believed the party had missed the boat in not getting cannabis law reform through.

He also had a dig at former MP Mike Ward, who refused to give up a list spot so Greens co-leader Russel Norman could take Mr Tanczos' seat before the election.

Mr Tanczos said he believed any list MP should give up their seat if they were planning on retiring at the election. He said he was disappointed former Green MP Ian Ewen-Street had not done that when he announced he was stepping down.

The Greens are holding their annual conference in Auckland and Mr Tanczos last night gave his final speech to the membership as a MP, before retiring at the election.

He was elected to Parliament in 1999 and told members that when the Green MPs gathered in their Wellington offices after special votes were counted, he was filled with "infinite possibility" about what could be achieved.

He said it had been a difficult time learning the ropes as a MP. But when the Greens got back after this election, after winning "10 per cent" of the vote with more MPs, the party must ensure there was a buddy-up system so the newcomers could learn the process of being an MP.

Mr Tanczos said his only regret after nine years in Parliament was that the Green Party had not got cannabis law reform. He believed they could have done it but said a collective decision had been made to "back off" from it, which he considered to be a losing strategy.

Mr Tanczos said he did not believe the party realised how much support it had got from those backing cannabis law reform.

Those votes had pushed the party over the 5 per cent party vote threshold needed to get MPs into Parliament without winning an electorate seat.

He said he had been thinking about whether it was possible for smaller parties to be something other than "clip-ons" to Labour and National "or is there a third space".

He felt the Greens had taken the "wrong path" in throwing their support behind Labour in 2005. There was an important connection between the Greens and the Maori Party and the two parties were talking.

In order for Dr Norman to take Mr Tanczos' seat in Parliament, the next two members on the party list would have had to have stepped aside. Candidate Catherine Delahunty was prepared to but Mr Ward was not.

Mr Tanczos told the membership yesterday he believed any list MP who was planning to step aside at the election should go earlier to let another person in. He had not been pressured to do that but had wanted to do it.

It was a message to Mr Ward, who is not at the conference this weekend.

Mr Tanczos said the list belonged to the party, not the individuals. He believed Mr Ewen-Street should also have gone after he decided he would not contest another election.

- NZPA