Tuesday, 31 May 2011

A Woman's Place - Greens' list 2011

Updated 8.30pm 3/5/11 with a bit of additional information supplied by commenters, in italics.  Thanks so much.

The Greens are a party with some significant internal commitments to gender equity, not least the co-leadership, and co-convenor positions, which must be filled by one woman and one man.

Historical representation of women:
The Greens first stood in their own right under MMP in 1999, and in that time they have had 16 MPs of whom 5 have been female (31%).  They have long had gender balance for shared leadership positions both of the caucus and the party.

In 2008 the Greens had their best result ever, but only brought in one new woman MP, Catherine Delahunty.  In addition long-time female co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimmons retired and sitting MP Sue Bradford left Parliament after failing to win a contest with Metiria Turei to replace her.  Both were replaced by new male MPs (David Clendon and Gareth Hughes) who were in the next two spots on the Greens' party list from 2008.  The Greens have only ever won a single electorate; Coromandel which has since returned to National incumbency, making the Greens a party with only List MPs.*

2008 Green Party List:
Women represented across the whole list: 20 out of 48 (42%), with 50% in the top 10.


Current representation of women:
The Greens currently have 9 MPs in total and three are women (Catherine Delahunty, Sue Kedgeley and Metiria Turei), making 33% of the caucus. Turei is co-leader.  It will be interesting to see how the TV debates are divided up in the forthcoming election campaign.  Also, Kedgeley is retiring at this election.

2011 Green Party List:

Women represented across the whole list: 16 out of 42 (38%), with 40% in the top 10.
 
Top 5 - Two (Turei at 1, Delahunty at 4) 2/5 = 40%
Top 10 - Four (As for Top 5 plus Eugenie Sage at 6, Jan Logie at 9) 4/10 = 40%
Top 20 - Ten (As for Top 10 plus Denise Roche at 11, Holly Walker at 12, Julie Anne Genter at 13, Mojo Mathers at 14, Jeanette Elley at 19, Sea Rotmann at 20) 10/20 = 50%
Top 30 - Twelve (As for Top 20 plus Dora Langsbury at 22, Saffron Toms at 28) 12/30 = 40%

After 30, the remaining 12 Green candidates are unranked and listed alphabetically, with four women, giving an overall list of 16 women out of 42 total, or 38%.   This treatment of candidates sub-30 repeats the Greens' practice from 2008 (and is one I personally think is highly sensible for smaller parties).


Likely future representation of women:
The Greens are likely to return 9 MPs again on current polling.  My suspicion is that they may come in with less than that, but I'm never very good at predicting these things.  So based on returning the top 9 on their 2011 list, the Greens would have four female MPs out of 9 (44%), including two new women (Sage and Logie).  The co-leadership arrangements will ensure a gender balance in the top spot for the forseeable future. 





Other observations on candidate diversity:
Much has been made of the lack of Auckland candidates in the top ranks this time around, but to be honest geographical spread isn't as concerning to me as the lack of cultural diversity.  The Greens are good at finding great Maori candidates (Turei being the obvious example, ETA: and David Clendon is also part-Maori), but they do seem to fall down in regard to including those who are neither Pakeha nor tangata whenua.  Being the Greens, and concerned about diversity, I suspect this is something that bugs them and which they are trying to address.  Would be interested in comment from those with more knowledge than I.  

There's lots of young faces, in particular some great activist younger women.  I'm aware that at least one of their sitting MPs, who would be returned, openly identifies as gay (Kevin Hague) ETA:  and that Jan Logie is also out.  In terms of people with disabilities, I've got no idea so would be grateful if readers with some would share in comments.  ETA:  Big thanks to those who have informed me that Mojo Mathers is deaf and Catherine Delahunty also has personal experience of disability.


Overall I'm a bit disappointed that the Greens haven't been able to match or better their gender balance from 2008. 

Links:

Official Green Party release of List
Idiot/Savant's analysis, including ups and downs since 2008's list.
Index of A Woman's Place posts from 2008 and 2011



*  So I won't be bothering with examining their electorate selections by gender.

5 comments:

Hugh said...

In terms of people with disabilities, I've got no idea so would be grateful if readers with some would share in comments.

Mojo Mathers is deaf. I don't know about any of the other candidates.

James Butler said...

The Greens are good at finding great Maori candidates (Turei being the obvious example), but they do seem to fall down in regard to including those who are neither Pakeha nor tangata whenua. Being the Greens, and concerned about diversity, I suspect this is something that bugs them and which they are trying to address.

I only know that my own electorate, Mt Roskill, is one of the most ethnically diverse in the country; however our small Green Party presence is almost entirely Pakeha. Yes, it is a bit worrying; no, we don't seem to have done much about it other than worry.

In terms of people with disabilities, I've got no idea

Mojo Mathers is deaf, and has some experience in advocacy for the disabled.

katy said...

Jan Logie is also out: http://www.gaynz.com/articles/publish/2/article_10424.php

anarkaytie said...

I was going to reply that Mojo is disabled, but see someone has already beaten me to it. She is also the convener of the disability policy issue group, and has been influential in the use of sign interpreters at Green AGM's and other national meetings, as well as getting all OOP offices and the National office located in barrier-free buildings.

There are other candidates with disabilities, but Cath Delahunty and Mojo would represent disabled members well.

There are also a diverse crew of Rainbow Greens, some of whom campaign as 'out' members of the list, some who don't make that a feature. Again, many more involved in policy networks than as candidates presently.

Ethnically, there is a perceptible bias to maaori/pakeha especially within Young Greens, which I'd put down to the campaigning that goes on at Uni campuses around the country. This also leads to a bias towards academic types, and currently a more than slight bias towards Environmental Science grad's. Go figure ...

Most people don't realise that David Clendon is part-maaori as well as a Jafa. He gets to wear a lot of hats, having a strong interest in Tertiary Education issues.

We don't tend to attract the Korean or Chinese communities in Auckland; perhaps they feel well served by the recently departed Hon Pansy Wong, and the new Hon Melissa Lee. It's certainly where they put their campaign funding efforts.

I've been involved in green election campaigns for over ten years now, and I have to say I don't have a 'typical' green party member in my lexicon - there is great diversity amongst age, gender, occupation, urban/rural, vegan/not, etc, etc. I've met some of the most interesting and enlivening people through green networks, and I look forwards to continuing to do so.

Julie said...

Thanks so much for all your informative comments, I'm about to update the post to reflect them. Really appreciate the intel. Hope to get to the Labour List sometime in the next week.