This weekend the Green Party will be holding their Annual General Meeting in Auckland and I am looking forward to another well organized event. If it is anything like all the past meetings I have attended it will be full of robust and informed debate, useful workshops and great food.
It amuses and sometimes frustrates me when the media representation of these same meetings often goes to great length to confirm myths about the party rather than report on important policy development or serious announcements.
While I admit there have been times when we have fed some of these myths ourselves by some interesting activities early in our history, like the infamous Morris Dancing, it does seem odd that years afterwards it is still referred to while grossly racist comments at other party conferences (for example) are quickly forgotten. Television footage of our meetings in recent years have revealed a strange magnetic power that the few bearded or ethnically dressed delegates have over news cameras. With hundreds of people to choose from at our meetings I can almost guarantee that random interviews will aways include someone with a beard or wearing a cotton dress with an ethnic pattern. While those same people would have interviewed well it does mean the diversity of our membership is ignored.
The skills, work experience and knowledge base of our highest ranking candidates is impressive so I thought I would list some of the occupational backgrounds or qualifications within our Party list:
- University Researcher
- DHB CEO
- Diplomat, NZ Foreign Service, Fulbright Scholar
- Regional Councillor, Environmental Consultant
- Business Advisor/Company Manager
- Development Manager
- Media Advisor, Rhodes Scholar
- Transportation Consultant
- Forestry Management Services
- Union Organiser
- Business Strategist
- Senior Policy Analyst
- Scientist/Research Team Manager.
- Army Officer
For a closer look here is our full ranked list and biographical details and I will let you play the media game of "Spot the Hippie", too.