Thursday, July 11, 2024

Barry Soper: Bring on Darleen Tana's replacement

Darleen Tana was an ideal candidate for The Greens, she was an environmental scientist with a degree in chemical technology, she won a Rotary Foundation to study, getting an MBA and of course was involved in an electric bike business, right up there with pedal powered party's ideology.

The party's co leader, Marama Davidson, was certainly impressed, standing aside from an electorate she herself couldn't win in Tāmaki Makaurau to let Tana have a crack.

Unfortunately for her, the Maori Party candidate allegedly propped up with some dodgy electoral practices which are under investigation, won the seat over longtime Labour MP Peeni Henare.

Tana won fewer than three thousand Green votes, or a third fewer than each of the two that beat her. She came in a poor third but was high enough of the Green Party list to give her a job in Parliament.

Presumably unknown to the Greens, Tana's hubby's bike shop was being accused of migrant exploitation with a number of complaints being made from underpaid workers.

That turned the Greens red with fury.

They ordered a taxpayer funded investigation by a lawyer and Tana was suspended, ultimately spending more time away from Parliament on full pay than she had actually been in the place .

The investigation's report is being kept under wraps - but if you listen to the Greens' sole leader at the moment, Chloe Swarbrick, it was damning enough for all the 14 Green MPS , excluding Tana of course, to ask her to resign.

Tana's not budging - or so we were led to believe.

When you defiantly sit on the findings of a report, speculation becomes rife and leaks abound as they have done here.

They vary from Tana being innocent of migrant exploitation to her being all over it. In her initial statement, she claims it was a set-up, her colleagues had decided to get rid of her even before she put her case to them last weekend.

The Greens are now in an ideological cesspit.

They can get rid of her alright by using the so called waka-jumping legislation, which means if 75 percent of a party's caucus wants a member to resign from Parliament, then she's gone after the involvement of the Speaker.

Trouble is, the Greens hate the law, even though they originally jumped from the Alliance waka to allow them to stand under their own flag.

The argument here is simple enough.

Darlene Tana was elected to Parliament on the Green ticket, she couldn't win a seat, but she came in on the list. She's there purely and simply because enough voters went out and voted Green.

She wasn't voted in as an independent, which she currently is, because she's shown she couldn't win a seat in her own right.

And just in case she needs reminding, we have a Mixed Member Proportional voting system, which means we have a set number of constituent MPs can win their seat for their party and the list MPs who are there at the behest of their party, depending on how many party votes they can attract.

If your party doesn't want you, move on and let the party bring in the next person on the list which maintains the proportion of the vote the punter opted for.

Barry Soper is a New Zealand political journalist, and has been featured regularly on radio and television since the 1970s. Currently, Soper's main role is political editor at Newstalk ZB, a radio network in New Zealand.


AlanG said...

Hopefully, those who voted Green are now seeing what their votes counted for - unqualified, unethical, racist, leftists sucking on the public tit, contributing nothing and answerable to no-one. How can anyone, with any morals or sense of responsibility refuse to resign from a list seat under these circumstances. It should beggar belief however from an entitled Green MP - not really that surprising.

Anonymous said...

Barry, I'm loving this. Cam slater and Dr Bryce Edward's listed the conundrum the greens find themselves in and it's their own making despite the taxpayer funding the investigation.

I'm not even the remotest bit sorry for anyone of them.

Anonymous said...

Personally think they are making Tana a bit of a scapegoat as she hasn't been found guilty yet. I'm more concerned with the guilty light fingered shoplifting by the Greens spokesperson for justice! Seriously a sign of the direction NZ was going and the Greens don't condemn her like Tana. If you have a look at what is going on in France with a far left political coalition pushed through that now wants 90% tax rate on salaries over 400,000 Euro's - that is a big concern, aka far left is getting ahead due to the scaremongering and stupidity of other parties supporting them against the so called far right. Far left has always been far more dangerous than far right when in power - and cause a mass exodus of professional people (which gives the far left even more power to shape the country), unemployment, crime and mass murder in China and Russia, Cambodia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo....

LNF said...

And the next on the Green list is a Benjamin Doyle. The Greens really are a mess. To be fair, the opposition is a mess

Anonymous said...

Also, Swarbrick keeps going on about Tanas behavior falling short of what Swarbrick expects. Could it be perhaps because Tana wasn't chanting genocide slogans Swarbrick turned on her?

Anonymous said...

if tana has done something wrong, swarbick owes it to the nation to make the report public & hand it over to immigration & police so that justice can be served. merely kicking her out of the party so she can stay on as an independent is nothing but a dinner & a show!

despite the fact that as a list mp, tana is in the parliament only because green party has chosen her, it makes sense for her to stand her ground is she's convinced that her crime cannot be proven. otherwise, it looks like swarbick can replace any list mp if she doesn't like them!