One constant when I talk to members across the country is that they want better communication with our MPs. That's something I want to deliver as Co-Leader. So I announced a package of proposals for reforming the way we MPs engage with you and how the leadership can best communicate and consult with the backbone of our Party.
In my campaign for the Co-leadership I have been talking about how, as a smaller party in a first term Government, the Greens face a lot of challenges. If we lose the same average amount of votes as every other party in a similar situation under MMP in NZ, we would be on about 4% and out of Parliament at the next election.
What we have seen from previous examples such as with the Alliance is that as well as having a strong independent voice, one of the most important things we can do to manage this risk is to maintain our party cohesion.
As Co-leader my first priority would be to bring the Party together so we can focus on the important work of implementing change in Government while rebuilding from the last election and growing our movement. I have experience across my whole career in pulling together people with diverse backgrounds and views and bringing out the best in everyone.
We can have more MPs and more influence in Government after 2020 if we make and uphold a commitment to transparency, regular communication, and appropriate decision making at all times. We need to ensure we are always striving for consensus at Caucus and across the Party – this is what sets us apart and will give us the strength to thrive in Government.
This evening on Zoom I announced four practical proposals that I would work to implement if elected Co-leader:
1 - Leading Caucus communication with members as Co-leader
It would be a top focus of mine as a non-Executive member to lead Caucus communication with the membership. I will prioritise attending branch and province events to help grow our Party and will personally commit to ensuring that members’ voices are heard in decision making.
2 - Caucus Reference Group
I would propose to establish a Caucus Reference Group to advise MPs on contentious issues that are either confidential or time sensitive and so can’t be consulted on more widely. The membership of this could be flaxroots members selected by each province at their AGMs, and include the Policy and Executive representatives on Caucus.
3 - Monthly Co-leader Q&As on Zoom for members
I would work with James to start a monthly Co-leader update and Q&A on Zoom. This would be open to all interested members and will provide an opportunity for us to be hearing directly from members to inform our decision making and it will give members the chance to ask us questions directly too.
4 - Video updates after caucus meetings
I would prioritise doing a quick video update for members after every caucus meeting and caucus planning day to let everyone know what we are discussing and making decisions on. I would post these to internal members’ website and social media forums.
I think these are common sense ideas that will help us work together in Government as they will bring greater transparency and access to members while also significantly improving Caucus decision-making.
These proposals will, of course, need to go through relevant processes and be agreed to by consensus. I look forward to your feedback and hearing from you about more ideas.