- Commentators are concerned about The Green Party’s infighting.
- Lots of insults and drama to go around.
- This recent episode is more reality TV than statesmanship.
Social Justice now trumps other issues
According to Bryce Edwards, the Green Party has historically comprised three ideological threads: environmental, social justice, and socialist politics. Recently their traditional socialist element has taken a back seat, along with the environmentally-focused faction. As a result, the social justice element known as the Rainbow Greens now dominates the party’s caucus and activist base.
This shift has led to tensions within the party, with the social justice wing prioritising identity politics over pressing economic concerns that affect working-class Kiwis. This activism reached a peak when a number of Green members recently supported and attended a violent protest in Auckland supporting the desire of some trans women(ie. biological men) to be able to use women’s private spaces when the natural born women don’t want them there.
Guess which group Dr. Elizabeth Kerekere, an MP who recently quit/was forced out of the party, belonged to? Her title derives not from a medical qualification, but from the Ph.D. she was awarded for a thesis on transgenderism in Polynesian culture, which she claims was part of tikanga Māori.
Infighting rarely leads to success
The party’s infighting – primarily centred around personality clashes and culture war politics – is a distraction from the issues that interest their voters.
Kerekere has recently spoken out in an interview, stating her astonishment at the party’s investigation into bullying allegations against her and claiming the Greens have a racism problem.
Her accusers have said Kerekere’s behavior included shutting out and belittling other Māori MPs, staff, and volunteers. The allegations include Kerekere being hostile towards her colleague Chlöe Swarbrick and her habit of asserting herself as the authority on Māori and Pasifika issues, while also dismissing those with opposing views.
Kerekere now an independent
Kerekere, now an independent MP, expressed her disappointment with how her voice was suppressed within the party due to her focus on gender and race based activism. She announced she will not be joining the Māori Party at this time. It is not clear they would even accept her.
The internal conflict within the Green Party has escalated in recent years, including a short term ouster of co-leader James Shaw. The social justice faction sought to replace Shaw, considering him too conservative. Is this departure of Kerekere pay back? Is there more to follow?