Green Party Candidate For Invercargill 2nd Time
It doesn't seem like three years ago when I first stood as a Green Party candidate in Invercargill, however a lot of water (much of it full of sediments and nitrogen) has flowed under the bridge since then. I am a older, wiser, possibly a little leaner and the Green Party is much stronger.
I noticed it was May in 2011 when I was selected last time and I am three months ahead this time round. In fact I am the first of any party to announce my candidacy for Invercargill (I have heard that the National Party are selecting theirs this weekend).
Lesley Soper was actually selected for the Labour Party in December of 2013, but when the sitting National MP Eric Roy announced his retirement the Labour Party strangely opened nominations again. Lesley, a seasoned campaigner (with past experience as an MP) is being challenged by Michael Gibson, an ACC advocate.
Two weeks ago I attended the Green Party Campaign Conference in Auckland, one of the best managed and professional conferences that I have attended. This is where all those who have been selected for the candidates pool (a prerequisite for later selection as an electorate candidate) perform a number of tasks in front of delegates and fellow candidates to inform the initial list ranking. Fifty of us put ourselves through this grueling process and I was personally impressed by the diversity of backgrounds and consistently strong performances. We had farmers, bankers and scientists, the youngest was 20 and the oldest 67 and 8 identified as Maori. The Greens have developed into a mature party with an increasingly diverse membership.
The draft list ranking will be established by the votes of delegates and candidates attending the conference and then this goes out to the wider membership so that they can have their input. Under this democratic process current MPs are not guaranteed a high ranking and all of us will be judged on the value we can bring to the next Green caucus.
Hearing the announcement today of the last asset sale and realizing that around 1/2 a billion dollars of taxpayers money has been spent on progressing them all, makes me even more determined that we can remove this dangerous government and replace it with a truly progressive one.